Kiri and


I think we’re actually leaving!

October 24th, 2013 (by Steve)

After 711 miles in Bertha, we’ve finally completed our UK tour. It was great to see all of our families within a week, as well as road-test Bertha on a long journey and test our various ways of documenting the travels. By the very nature of saying we’ve completed the tour, you’ll have worked out that nothing went badly wrong, which is great news!

UK road trip

Bertha’s main test was water; we had several days of heavy rain and a lot of driving in spray. Leaks-wise, the condensation from the solar panel leak cleared up after a couple of days, however it wasn’t such good news for our coolant. Remember we mentioned previously about the coolant warning light coming on at Bristol? A couple of days later, as we were driving in motorway spray, the warning light came on again. This time the coolant level was fine, the temperature gauge was still below 90 and there were no visible signs of overheating (the fan wasn’t even on, and there was no steam). Rain and spray dried up, and the light went off. This happened again a couple of days later; again after driving in spray. Again, no visible signs of overheating. So we think we have a dodgy sensor, which we’re trying to troubleshoot with the help of the lovely people over at the Talbot Owner’s Club.

As you’ll note from the map above, our GPS tracker did its job well, allowing us to see exactly where we’ve been (in case we forget!). We also had a test run of keeping a daily log to fit in between blog posts; these can be found on our KIST 2EU timeline. We’ll be aggregating the data within each daily log onto a statistics page, which hasn’t had any styling applied to it yet, but here’s a sneak preview summarising our UK trip. Finally, the tea-fuelled nature of the travelling inspired us to start a gallery so we can remember the cups of tea that we’ve shared in Bertha, which we’ll add to as we venture further afield!

Other than the warning light and a couple of suspect smells, Bertha held up well, plus the Great British Bake Off has now finished, so we have no reason to procrastinate further; the ferry tickets to France are booked for next Tuesday! This announcement on Facebook (which happened to include the word “conquer”) has elicited such a positive response, that I think we may have enough support for a minor invasion! In the meantime though, work continues on “bitty” jobs, the main one of which was the re-shodding of Bertha, with winter tyres (5 new Continental VancoWinter 2 tyres delivered from Germany).


We’ve then spent today doing a bit of pro-active sealing with Sikaflex around some of Bertha’s joints that looked a bit dodgy, as well as testing our LPG alarm, sticking back a few things that had come unstuck and fixing the windscreen washer. We might get a bit of rest before we depart… but there are still plenty of things on the “to do” list

6 Responses

Hi … And good luck with your adventure. I have a small question ….what gps tracker are you using?…thanks in advance and I look forward to reading all about your travels

Thanks Terry. The short answer is that we’re using an i-gotu gt600… for more details, check out a previous blog post we wrote about it

You may want to check that you haven’t got a faulty thermostat on your coolant system. It may also be profitable to pick up a Haynes Workshop Manual for the vehicle, it will explain what the parts are and do and show you how you can do those running repairs.

Thanks Uncle Mike. We’ve just run a quick electrics test on the temperature gauge and the high temperature sensor; shorting them out to a good engine earth. The temperature gauge maxed out, but nothing happened with the high temperature sensor (we were expecting the light to come on). This indicates some dodgy wiring from the high temp sensor probably, which is consistent with the symptoms.

Sadly there is no Haynes manual for the Talbot Express, but we’ve got the equivalent; a Peter Russek pocket mechanic book, which I think we’ll end up using quite a bit!

Facebook?? Facebook?? what about duplication/replication on Google+ for those that chose to trust a single company with out privacy rather than another that will sell it to the highest bidder?

I’m a lazy social media bod and the only reason I use Facebook is because it’s got such a wide audience; if all of my friends were on Google+ (rather than just a few), I’d probably do that… As it is, I often forget that there is such a thing as Google+!

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