Kiri and


It pours

September 9th, 2013 (by Steve)

A week on from the last post, and what a week it’s been. We have come on in leaps and bounds (a bit like Tigger), then have become quite disheartened about things (a bit like Eeyore), but in general we think we’re just muddling through (a bit like Pooh).

This week we spent a few days down in Portsmouth where a friend with an enormous toolkit and knowhow to match helped us out, well, enormously. It’s probably easiest to break down the journey of the last week into categories:


The good news is that the rear of the motorhome is now completely watertight. The bad news is that the front wasn’t. On Thursday night I woke up to find my crotch was wet. For the first time in my life I hoped that I had wet myself, but no, the vent above our bed was leaking. Kiri nimbly jumped on the roof (in the morning) and sealed it though with Sikaflex, so we’re all good.

Our water pump turned out to be dead, but with a bit of online bargain hunting and a price-match guarantee we got a good deal on a new one (see below). It’s just a shame that the water heater had another leak that we hadn’t seen previously. To cut a very long story (involving 3 soldering devices and 3 people having a go at soldering) short, the leak is now fixed, but a control valve isn’t… something else for the todo list.



Remember the loose wire in the zig unit? Turns out I had connected it back in the right place – the black wire denoting vehicle earth (or negative if the circuit was elsewhere). It was re-assuring to have someone with an electrical qualification confirming this though. Once he’d shown me how to use my multimeter, he left me measuring voltages happily whilst he replaced the electrical connector boxes (the previous ones were crumbling… turns out they were the cause of the previous issues), wired in our second leisure battery and fitted our solar panel regulator.


Once all of that was done, with a great team effort the solar panel was glued and screwed to the roof, with the wires passing through a marine gland to avoid water ingress. Since then I’ve added another couple of strips of LED lights, leaving just a few 12V cigarette lighter sockets for us to wire in as extra charging points.


We don’t want to be lugging gas canisters around the whole time as we travel, so we’ve gone for the Gaslow option; refillable gas canisters that can be refilled with LPG at petrol stations. It’s sold as a kit that you can install yourself, so, once again with a little lot of help from our friend, we got cracking; screwing together the connections and putting a filling point in the skirt of Bertha.


[Edit 14 February 2015: We’ve just found out that the installation of this Gaslow R67 kit does not meet regulations. Although we ordered a “normal” gas bottle to start with from Gaslow, for which a strap is an acceptable fitting, we were sent an R67 cylinder (because the normal bottle was out of stock), for which there are specific regulations. The new owners of Bertha have been informed. Thank you to the guys at for highlighting this issue.]

We’ve blanked off the oven as we’re removing it to give us more cupboard space, so the appliances we had to test were the heater, hob, grill, boiler and fridge. All of them lit straight away apart from the fridge, which we’ll have to read the instructions for. I mean, an appliance that cools things down with fire? Blows your mind! Talking of things blowing up, we’re getting a gas safe engineer to check the whole system, so that we can be safe… after all, gas safety week is next week!

Lessons learned

It’s impossible to do a review of a week without a standard consultancy “what went well” and “even better if” question. Well firstly, Kiri learned that bumpers aren’t to be stood on (at least we found out that the bumper connection was rusty at this stage). Secondly, we both learned of our fuel consumption… at 17 MPG it looks like we’ll be spending most of our money in this next year on petrol! And thirdly, snow chains can get in the way a little (don’t ask!).

3 Responses

17 MPG!! Ouch! About the same as a modern day Ferrari.

Hmmm, motorhome or Ferrari? I know which I’d prefer!

Looks like you are learning so much each week though that teething issues aside the rest of the time you should totally have a handle on!

Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.