Kiri and


What’s the Dutch for “Sikaflex”?

May 4th, 2014 (by Steve)

Water is something that you become very aware of when you’re living full time in a motorhome. It’s a resource that you have to manage very carefully; being aware of how much fresh water you have left, ensuring that no water is wasted when you’re using it, then making sure that the grey waste tank (the stuff that goes down the sink, not the toilet tank) doesn’t get full. Water is everything. But sometimes you can have too much of it!

Having seen plenty of water in the form of canals at Kinder Dijk, our next destination was to be the Hoge Veluwe national park, near which we found a free aire to stay in overnight. The plan was to spend the following day cycling around the park, but we woke to ominous skies and over breakfast the heavens opened… not really the best day for cycling. We sat tight and prayed that the following day would be clear.

The mist wasn’t the best of signs as we munched our breakfast the next morning, but we nevertheless optimistically set out for the national park. After paying to enter, we set about selecting our trusty steeds for the day; two of the many white bikes which are free to be used whilst in the park. It took a little while to get used to the upright position of the bikes and braking by pedalling backwards, but actually, they were perfect for purpose. Well, our purpose of trundling around the park anyway. If your purpose was trick cycling backwards, these would not be your bikes.


The park is a combination of woodland, heathland and sandy (almost desert) terrain with over 40km of cycle paths. We chose not to explore all of them, but we probably covered 26 or 27km through the course of the day, stopping for lunch at the centre of the park, several times for photos (we especially loved an area of scorched earth through which green grass shoots were conquering) and for an icecream in the last 6km. As we wolfed down the last bit of waffle cone, the sky was darkening, so we hastened back to Bertha. It is with dented pride that I admit that I fell off right at the end of the cycle ride (I blame the stupid child seat that I caught my leg on whilst dismounting), but in my defence, the first drops of rain were falling and they were big. Once in Bertha… torrential rain; we’d (somehow) timed it perfectly!


We drove on to our overnight destination, parked up, then sat back to enjoy the thunder and lightning. There’s something lovely about being warm and dry inside when the rain is coming down in buckets outside. As Kiri found out though, there’s nothing lovely about a little trickle of water going down the back of your neck when you’re meant to be warm and dry inside. I believe her exact words were “ah” (or something to that effect), “that’s not meant to happen”. As the water plummeted to earth from the sky, so my heart plummeted also. We thought we’d fixed all of the leaks last summer. Obviously not.

After some minor investigation with a screwdriver (i.e. removing the pelmet, the curtains, the window blinds and some of the inside rear wall of Bertha), we discovered that all of the beams were dry in the wall. Good news. This one trickle of water was making its way between the aluminium and the wooden frame, then pooling atop the batten above the window, from whence it falleth onto the head of mine dear wife. That suggested a hole, rather than one of the seams leaking, so we headed outside and sure enough, a hole in the aluminium skin that I’d filled with Sikaflex previously was open to the elements; more specifically a compound of 2 hydrogen atoms bonded with 1 oxygen atom.


The rain ceased overnight, allowing us to seal the hole in the morning with copious amounts of Sikaflex (given the number of times we’ve mentioned this product on our blog, we are considering seeking sponsorship from them). Job done. And so to wend our merry way towards a dam built out of ‘amsters… now I know they can retain food in their cheeks, but who knew they could retain water!?

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What’s the Dutch for “Sikaflex”?

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2 Responses

sikaflex! the saving grace of camper van enjoyers around the world, apparently – always thought this was something dutch : )
(the only reason my yellow 1971 mercedes 406 hasn’t completely fallen apart yet, is exactly that miracle stuff.)

You’ve got a 1971 Mercedes 406?! Awesome! As for the Sikaflex, we thought it was English… but then again we’ve just bought some more in Germany, so it must be international. If it weren’t for Sikaflex, we’d have to wear wetsuits inside Bertha!

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