Kiri and


So near, yet so far

September 26th, 2013 (by Steve)

We’re so nearly there… yet sometimes it seems like we’re so far away from leaving. It seems to be that we take one step backwards for every forward step that we take. Our wins in the last week have been:

  • We’ve got the cab curtain made, lined with thermal stuff, with velcro around the edges to keep the cold cab air out of the living area when we’re parked up
  • The solar panel on the roof has now had all of its screws sealed with sikaflex and a bead of sealant around the front edges
  • The bathroom has been given a deep clean, been resealed (silicon is so much nicer to work with than sikaflex!!!) and has a new removable floor over the shower tray
  • New 12V charging points have been fitted in the habitation area and also in the dashboard (the previous charger in the dashboard was conveniently hit every time you changed into 3rd gear!)
  • We’ve had a gas safety check and Bertha has been given a clean bill of health… we just need a quick re-test once we’ve got the water heater back in and the gas heater flue on
  • The carpet in the living area has been ripped off to allow for vinyl to be laid in the next week

On top of these wins, we’ve had a couple of transformations. Firstly, we’ve finally got around to getting out the soldering iron and replacing all of the fluorescent tube lighting with LEDs, which will use much less battery juice. We’d already put a couple of strips of LED lights on the underside of the cupboards for “mood” lighting, but for the main lights, LEDs give a much warmer glow and look prettier behind the diffusers.


Our second transformation was of the oven space. We don’t really use an oven much in life and it was a bit weighty, so we decided we could better use that space for storage. After removing the oven, we built a little shelf in the middle of the void, then “up-cycled” an old blackboard to form the new door. Now we just have to decide what we can use as a handle…


So everything’s hunky dory then? Well… not quite. The things that have gone wrong this week have been:

  • When we went to test the laptop charger in the newly-wired 12V socket, all of the lights went out. Turned out we’d got a 5amp fuse on that circuit and the laptop charger was trying to draw 5.7amps. The fuse box is a little inaccessible, but after a bit of work we’ve now replaced the fuse with a 10amp. At least we know the fuse box is working…!
  • We ordered a 55mm flue for the gas heater, as that’s what the diameter of the old exhaust flue was. Turns out that when you’ve got a stainless steel flue rather than an aluminium flue, it’s not quite so flexible at stretching over the flanges, so that’s now gone on eBay… also marketed as a musical instrument and we’ve ordered a 60mm flue. Further delays!
  • Despite being soldered by 3 different people and having a lot of attention in the last few months, it looks like we will have to say farewell to our Paloma water heater… we had such faith in it too. The gas engineer has diagnosed a faulty diaphragm and has suggested it would be cheaper to buy a new/reconditioned heater than have him fix the old one.
  • As we pulled up the carpet, we discovered to our horror that the floor underneath it was wet. It wasn’t coming from outside, so we started investigating the water pipes. We thought it might be the sink waste pipe to start with, as that was quite brittle… we ended up having to reseal that when it cracked a bit more. However, we finally diagnosed a loose jubilee clip on the bottom of the hot tap. Squeezing in behind a fridge and working in a confined space is my idea of fun luckily and soon there was water no more (see views from outside and inside below!).


The list of things to do is getting ever shorter and the end is very much in sight. The remaining big jobs are getting the vinyl down and a new water heater fixed in, but I’m sure there will be a few more setbacks before we depart!

One Response

Thanks for the update. We continue to pray for you. Hang in there – the end is in sight! Looking forward to seeing you before you go.

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