Kiri and


We’re cooking on gas!

October 11th, 2013 (by Steve)

This week’s seen us clearing up a lot of loose odds and ends; inching ever closer to leaving. We sold our old water heater for parts (below left) and our new water heater arrived (below right), so we got to work installing that, adding in an extra flue (the old one didn’t have a flue!) and spending an hour or so in B+Q to try to get the right connectors. Once fitted, it seemed to hold its pressure well and it didn’t seem like there were any leaks (gas or water), but we had to wait until yesterday to know for sure.


I was going to wait until the end of the blog post to give the outcome of the gas safety check today, but the title kind of gives it away! After some pressure testing and fixing of a minor leak, there was the smoke test (literal smoke, not like software smoke tests!) and other tests (I think something to do with emissions) and Bertha passed! We’re self-sufficient now – just need to sterilise the water system today.

As for the other bits and pieces, we had a speaker floating around in the cab and a gear knob that was disintegrating, so we had to do something about that. A bit of bodging later, and the speaker now has a little carpeted surround… I didn’t have a plan with it… I just played around, adding bits to it until it looked vaguely complete (if a little odd). And then the gear knob. We didn’t really want to have to buy a new one, as that would mean creating a thread on the gear lever (the current knob is just pushed on and glued), but couldn’t let the current one keep disintegrating on us. The solution? Papier mâché! I’m sure no-one else in the world is odd enough to have a gear knob like this:


Aside from that, we had a further water leak – this time in the bathroom behind the basin. It turned out to be just another loose jubilee clip – I guess the 23 year old water system isn’t used to being used so much! However, in the course of fixing that, the plastic of the plug split (due to having perished with age), so we had to mend that too with glue, sealant and some plumber’s putty. I’m sure this won’t be the last leak, so we’ll take some tools with us!

So, it looks like we will be leaving… and within days, rather than weeks. It’s strange, as up until now the idea of leaving was just a concept – now it’s reality. Bit scary that! Better get packing!

9 Responses


Jason & Julie at suggested people might like to come over here, so that’s what I’ve done.

I have a 1994 Avalon, called Ava (what else?!), based on a Talbot Express and hope to do a bit of touring on the continent next year, too. But she’s sick and SORNed at the moment and probably won’t be fit until next spring. Much folding stuff will have to cross several palms before then.

Thank you for the info about the gear knob. Mine is loose and I thought the threads had stripped so bought a replacement of eBay (£10 + postage!). Now I know the old one just wanted gluing back on. One lives and one learns. But my gear lever IS threaded, so a bit of investigation is called for here, I think.

If it’s OK with you I’d like to join you for the journey. I promise to behave. I’m ticking the “Please add me to your email list” box and hope I’ll get alerted to new posts.

God bless


Just found you blog from Julie and Jason’s
Wishing you good luck on your travels and looking forward to following your adventures.

You may like to check out my site that has over 22000 campsites and motorhome places listed in Western Europe.
PS love the website design and graphics.

Thanks for the best wishes Ian; we’ll bookmark the your site as that sounds extremely useful!

Good to hear that there are other Talbot people as crazy as us, Stuart 🙂 No worries about the gear knob – we found out the information on the Talbot forum that we’re part of ( – they’re a friendly bunch there and incredibly helpful. Hope that Ava gets better soon! You’re very welcome to join us on the journey – let us know if the email alerts don’t work, and I’ll look into it for you 🙂

Well young Frodo, a bit of advise from Gandalf the wise – although a pain, I would probably dedicate 1/2 a day to reaffirming all connections – both water and expose electrical blocks, better to have time allocated now then hit a problem on the road, even from just a morale point of view.

Would also be beneficial to do similar for engine hoses if your mechanic hasn’t already done so – nothing major, just check all jubilee clips and ensure all cables, hoses and fittings are secured.

Will you be going passed this way on your mini tour?

Thanks Gandalf – good call.

Probably won’t get chance to swing by your way on our mini tour, as it’s getting mini-er by the day to ensure we actually make it to mainland Europe. Hope to see you somewhere foreign though 🙂

I’m another who discovered your blog through Julie and Jason’s We’re in the process of converting our ldv minibus into a camper and look forward to taking off in it next year (as yet he/she had yet to be named) Maybe in a few years we’ll venture abroad but for now I’ll tag along with you if you don’t mind. Looking forward to reading about your adventures and wishing you the best of luck on your travels


Thanks for the best wishes Julie. All the best with converting your minibus; we’ve certainly been through many trials and tribulations in getting Bertha ready, but it’s all definitely been worth it!


Still reading with avid interest, but beg to report I didn’t get e-mail alerts either for posts or for comments.

When I said “join you for the journey” I meant via the blog, of course!



Hi Stuart, it looks like the activation email may not have got to you or you may not have clicked the link within it, so you were still on our ‘pending’ list. I’ve now activated email alerts for you on blog posts.

Leave a Reply

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