I lost three pages of typed blog due a dodgy WiFi connection. Was not impressed to say the least. Welcome to being back on the road Nelly I hear you say. Hour and an half in a supermarket carpark wasted. LOL. So sorry its taken so long but this is the 5th attempt at least. McDonalds is pointless with 100Kb/s and costing 5€ for each attempt. They are a bit busier than before. Go back in the blog to early days to see the historic early French McDonalds....they are now the same as UK i.e. Packed !
We left Henning and his hospitality and along with his lovely wife and daughter we had a great time. I think Julie was "played out" as the little girl monopolised her a great deal. It was great catching up although i'm not sure we talked about anything new. Same stories and same stuff as we used to talk about before. It was a little like old times and we will miss our travelling buddy.
After Denmark it was Germany and we got away with the class 3 toll on the bridge again and got class 2. What a relief.
Now we were in Germany where we drove North to South passing four, in total speed cameras. Upon entering France there was 4 in the first 10km. I've looked at the stats and the accident rates between Germany and France are similar. So what are they for? Maybe the French are so bad at driving that it would be 100 times higher without? Anyhow its a pain in the bottom. Nobody can actually tell me the speed limit for a Motor Home in France, not even the police. Do we come under the truck limits being over 3500Kg or don't we. Are we a Van? Are we a Truck? The web sites contradict each other on the verdict so the result is we drive about 10Km under what we imagine the speed limit might be for us. Sometimes ridiculously slow even on the Motorways where we do know there is a minimum speed. That is well publicised. Whats that french saying "Such is life"?
We went to the Millau bridge and went under and past rather than pay the toll. The photos are better from under it anyhow and budgets don't bend to 14€ for nothing. Random photos below. So a Great British Design meets something by Norman Foster.....hehe.
We managed to visit Andorra and get another flag on the truck and some cheap Vodka. Andorra is tax free so anything with tax on it is cheap. Mainly Alcohol, Cigarettes and Fuel. So 1.09€ for Diesel and a bottle of Bison Grass (i forget the name) Vodka which is twenty something in ASDA at home is 8€ in Andorra. You can only get 3 litres. We got stopped on the way out and checked, well asked what we had. Oh and one other thing. Denmark have a soft border and we got stopped. So whats all this fuss about us having one?
We are now in Spain and the weather is superb. We like Spain more as the driving is easier and the roads better. We've met a couple of English and a Swiss overlander. Hi to Martin and in his truck Taurus. We've paid for a couple of campsites and tonight is 15€ which is the limit for us. The last one was 12.50€ which was good. I don't mind spending 12.50€ for a shower and a campsite. Problem was no WiFi. This one at 15 has and so the blog.
We've only had one failure on the truck in the form of a blown USB socket which luckily I had a spare. We are almost all USB charge now so loosing two of the 6 sockets we have was bad. We're even on the look out for a USB charging toothbrush. Not that we use it much. We need to get back into the routine.
'Henrietta made it to Denmark and has another flag. We came here on a surprise visit to see Henning. It was a very BIG surprise. Henning came home from work and we were sat outside his apartment. A few cryptic facebook messages and it suddenly dawned on him we were outside and not on our way to Africa. We are actually still on a way but with this little detour. 550 miles and a 34 Euro each way on the bridge. Luckily we got class 2 for the camper-van otherwise its nearly 80 Euro each way! That would have be enough to reconsider the visit and turn round.
Still learning how to use the new camera so the selfies are rubbish. Some shots in Copenhagen and of the expensive bridge. The trip to Ikea Sweden for an free "Family Card" tea is cancelled as that's nearly 100 Euro return so the free tea and that extra overlandstickers Sweden flag doesn't quite add up in trip budget terms.
So that's it. The end of the first blog entry for the new trip. I'm sure they will get better...maybe not.
I'm sorry to say that my beloved #Crocs are no more. The company has just shut its last manufacturing facility in Italy. I wept a little when I heard this news and am in fact devastated! If #Craghoppers went the same way i'm not sure i could carry on being an #overlander. Its not enough that my famous Craghoppers blue fleece is on its "last legs", the burn marks from the many nights of camp fires, oil stains from the days under the truck. For my loved Crocs to be vanishing is unacceptable. I have one pair in reserve but before long they will be worn out too. What should i do. My wife, as they do, has tried to move me over to Birkinstock's but i'm not a Pringle jumper wearing "golfer" so that is just out of the question. I'm too old for flip-flops, I've tried them, they just look wrong on a middle aged man. Should i grow dreadlocks next? So whats a man to do? I think i might cancel the trip......
Using the diagram(s) showing the six way switch.
Get to the back of the six way. Find the two red wires.
Get to the back of the six way. Find the Blue Wire
Get to the back of the six way. Find the Brown Wire
Get to the back of the six way. Find the Brown/White Wire
Cut off the six way. Completely remove it.
Tape up the Red/Brown Wire (you can still feed this with a switch and live to make the convoy light at the rear work) Might be good for a work light??
Extend the Brown wire to behind the speedo (LIVE)
Extend the Blue wire to behind the speedo (POS2)
Connect the two Red wires and extend to behind the speedo (POS1)
Behind the speedo and steering column – Fit new switch.
Connect the wires above to new switch in correct positions
Running the 3 extended wires can be done behind the black plastic dash tray with the main loom. I just used some 2.5 which is plenty big enough. Overkill really
You really need Yellow crimps for this.
Everything is still fused as originally.
If you swap to LEDs at any point drop the fuse ratings to half.
Sorry about doing this but got tyres to shift. I have 4 slightly used and 2 new BFG KM2 for sale in 235/85/r16. Hardly used in fact. Tell you mates as you never know whos looking.
£250 for 4 used
£250 for 2 new
A trip today to the National Michelin Training and Information Centre in Stoke to pick up something a little special. Thanks to Michellin and BFGoodrich I now have some lovely black shoes. No not the safety footwear i had to replace my trusty Crocs with but the BFGoodrich KM3 tyres that replaced my barely used KM2. First impressions are great. I will do a bit of a review later on but already noticed is the fact they are more like ATs in the handling stakes. Certainly less "jelly" in them than the KM2. Thats not the say the KM2 are bad its just if you go from AT to Muds that you notice it a bit (bouncy wobbly flexi things) and this is a step back in the ATs direction for sure. Is that as clear, as well, Mud? I've got to say thanks to the team there and Brian and Francis who looked after me and Henrietta all day. I learnt so much you cannot imagine.
Needless to say i had may own stickers made. Why wouldn't I....
Finally fitted the hoses complete with new Radiator and new Inter-cooler. Good quality stuff. Few niggles on the angles and stuff but a little trim here and there and they are spot on. The main trim was the top Rad to Engine Block pipe in the foreground. Trimmed the end next to the thermostat housing and then perfect. Better too long than too short !
#stoneyracing #overlandbirds #bfgoodrich #goodproject #driverenough
Look what turned up from Stoney Racing, a full set of Silicon Hoses and i mean a FULL set. Wow! They are even Green to match Henrietta's magnificence. Thanks to them for sending me them. They look like really good quality all i need to do now is fit them. #stoneyracing #overlandbirds #bfgoodrich #goodproject #driverenough
On the way back from Adventure Overland in Stratford this weekend we did something we don't do very often.
We broke down !
To be accurate we ran out of diesel so it turns out my fuel gauge is wrong and has become progressively more inaccurate since Morocco. It was just above the Orange area and we ran out. Now initially I panicked a bit as we were on a main 60MPH single road but only 3 miles from home. Cars were whizzing by us and I was flapping a bit. I took a breath and thought what stops a 300Tdi and applied rule #1 of you've broken down in a 300Tdi....its got to be fuel. I mean what stops a 300Tdi other than no fuel getting to the engine. The cause could be a few things but I switched over to the new reserve tank and after 3 mins she started with a cough and splutter. For those that don't know. Fuel Pump, Stop Solenoid, Timing Belt are common and all do the same. No Fuel.
The main tank is out and the wiring checked. I did spill enough diesel on the drive to enable drilling to start in a few years and I drained out 45 litres and that's the entire reserve tank give or take. The fuel sender is 206 Ohms and should be 270 Ohms on empty or thereabouts. So its a faulty sender. The gauge is good. It also turns out my tank is bashed to hell under the guard so i'm changing the lot. Its well dented. Presumably by squaddies.
So here I am fitting a Tank only a few weeks after the reserve went in.
Approximately for a Land Rover Fuel Sender the Resistance is as follows.
Full ~ 19 OHMS
3/4 ~ 38 OHMS
1/2 ~ 67 OHMS
1/4 ~ 116 OHMS
Empty ~ 270 OHMS
It just had to be done. Question is, have i done it correctly? My welding isn't up to much and hand tools are not really my thing. I can operate machine tools and make stuff but using a welder, mitre saw, hand drill and an angle grinder i made something made from pigeon poop (as welders call it). I'm probably going to add another bolt. Its removable so my Landy will pass its vehicle test (MOT) as it obscures the number plate.
Henrietta has an auxiliary tank. Custom made and exact fit in the space we had. Took a lot of measuring and even a cardboard mockup to make sure it fitted. The professional that made it added a single (unwanted) item which meant it didn't fit so that was quickly rectified in his workshop and the offending drain welded over. It would have been nice to have a drain from the splash bowl but i didn't specify one. Its a proper job and at £200 was a good price. Double baffled even.
You may be wondering how it's plumbed in....maybe not. It's a gravity feed into the main tank breather. The drain is T'd into the breather as close to the main tank as possible and the auxiliary tanks breather is connected to the main tank breather a bit higher up. Gravity and levels does the rest. The flow rate from this tank to the main isn't super fast but in 10 or so minutes the ~45 litres is down across into the main tank. We think it will hold nearer 49 litres with extremely careful filling.
New range is now 670 Miles or 1080 Km @ our shakedown average of 25.5 MPG (UK Gallons). We will also carry 40 litres of backup in 2 standard underslung Jerry Cans.
Some of you might have noticed my sticker posts. They've been going to the wrong place. Sorry
We have a new business doing country flag stickers. Something thats been a royal pain when we've been travelling. We've had many sets to only have them stolen, picked off and damaged on the road. This time there will be a consistent supply. We have started delivering quality stickers at reasonable prices and they can be replaced individually. We ship all over the world. We already have orders from three continents.
If you want some country flag stickers for your car or 4x4 then click the link above.
The busy media department at BFGoodrich have made us a video. I'm loving it. Here's to the next installment.
#BFGoodrich #GoodProject #OverLandBirds #DiverEnough
Some more sexy pics (taken by Angela) of us crossing a little Oued (Oued ed Daoura) in Morocco. It looks like nothing but was very steep on the way in and very muddy on the way out. The guys did a great job reconstructing the bank on the near side and in Clarkson style the "more power" was applied mid river for a truly bouncy, muddy, splashy exit....like a ferret up a drainpipe so to say. The mud has just been cleaned off the driveway on the UK and there were spades of it.
#BFGoodrich #Goodproject #overlandbirds
Planning starts and dates are being decided. Got lots to do and preparations to make. We are currently heading to West Africa and then who knows where. I've got to give a shout out to Angela who took some of these (most of them) amazing pictures.
I'm out of work and funds are now tighter than they should be but as they say (who says this?)....you only live once. As Coen once said, "there is no time only money" and who needs money anyhow? Turns out we all do. Its going to be very tight. I'm going to do another budgets page soon enough to let you know the state of affairs.
Doesn't she look absolutely amazing !
#BFGoodrich #Goodproject #overlandbirds
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