Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Problem - does not start!

Next morning the car engine does not start. The battery is fine, but it seems that it does not get any fuel. Must be the cold, at night it was -20 C. Since I do not need the car, I just leave it parked.

A few days later I tell my hosts in the Albergo, they call the car repair shop, and the Fiat Doblo is being picked up and taken into the garage down in the valley.

Next day it is ready. This is the very first time that I go down a slope by skis to pick up a car from a garage...
There had been ice and dirt in the fuel filter, which then prevented the fuel to come to the engine. Is now fixed.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Into the Mountains

From Iphofen I depart between 6 and 7am, so that I avoid traffic congestion which might come later in the day. As I approach München, there is some light snow fall, and after passing München there is a bot of a slow-down. But snow is no problem for the all-year-tyres which I put on. A short stop before the border to Austria, taking some pictures of the snowy landscape.

Well, since this is a blog solely about the campervan, it will be featured in each picture here. The landscape-only pictures are on my Facebook page, and I might have them later also on Flickr.

In Val Gardena I stop at a station with a car wash, and I spray the car to remove all the grit and the salt it has picked up from the driving so far. Then up to the passes, then arriving in the afternoon at the destination.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Big Travel - to the continent - and a technical problem

In the morning I am leaving Leeds between 5 and 6am. The roads are empty. Long drive as usual to London. I take the A1, which is 30 min shorter than the M1. But it has worse lighting, and smaller rest stations along the way. Also its lanes are more narrow than on the M1, and there are some curves which require full attention when driving at 70 mph.

This is the first real long-distance drive for this Fiat Doblo. I had it in the shop for a service a few days earlier, to make it winterproof. Also the brakes were done, as they had been worn down quite a bit. No more work has been done regarding the conversion, since I am not planning to use the van as a camper for this trip.

Arrived ok at 11am, one hour time to wait and board the ferry at Dover.

No problems during most of the drive. But then after a rest stop between Köln and Frankfurt it seems as if at the left front wheel there is some noise. It seems to come from the wheel itself and gets louder when I accelerate or decelerate. I keep the speed down at around 120 km/h for the rest of the drive. The noise seems to get louder. I think it might be a ball bearing - had something similar once at my Mitsubishi Space Wagon. I keep the speed further down, am not too worried about it.

I arrive in Iphofen shortly after midnight. The first thing is having a look at that front left wheel. And what do I see: one of the wheel nuts is missing! And the remaining three are not very tight...

Next morning after sun rise I put a spare nut in, which I had with me. Try tightening the other nuts, but after a short while the noise is there again. So I bring the car to a shop. They have a look. Measure the balance of the wheels - both front tyres were out of balance. This might have been the reason. But also could have been that after the brake repair I should have tightened the nuts, about after 100 miles of driving. These are alloy wheels, and they do require this re-tightening.

Next time I will be more careful! This could have ended badly, with the front left wheel falling off on the motorway...