Lockdown is lifted (well, almost), and we can head off back to a campsite.
Unfortunately, the campsite we wanted to visit didn’t have any facilities open. So, rather than take the new tents we’ve been wanting to try, we took our caravan.
The caravan is completely self-contained. We had washing up, toilet, and even a shower. So what could go wrong?
Heading to Wales
This is a campsite we’ve visited before. It has a beach and a sheltered bay. An ideal place to test our new paddleboard 🙂
The weather was fantastic, though a swarm of midges came in the evening.
The next day we planned to spend on the water. Paddling to the far shore and having a picnic.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan.
While washing up the breakfast items I discovered the caravan’s carpet was wet. Investigating, I found the cupboard under the sink was full of water, and so were the drawers.
The waste water pipe had become disconnected from the sink. The sink was draining directly into the drawers and cupboards below it!!
Looking closer I could see why.
The waste pipe is about the same level as the top of the drawer, and angled so that anything in the drawer can easily push the pipe of its fixing.
It is just a push fit but there’s no friction to hold it in place. So, duct tape to the rescue!
This temporary fix is holding and stopped the water leaking.
A lot of items in the drawers and cupboards had to be thrown out. Judging by how some things had rusted, this pipe must have been leaking a bit of water for some time.
We get the caravan serviced every year. I had hoped this sort of thing would have been checked, as they’ve picked up on a number of other items in the service.
Before we could get out on the water, I discovered our Outwell Tide Awning had a puncture.
In all the years we’ve been testing air framed tents, we’ve never had a puncture.
A few pushes of the pump, and it re-inflated. However, when I came back to the caravan later, it was down again.
Fortunately, I had closed the isolation valves inside the awning, and so the remainder of the air tubes were still inflated.
I’m going to have to remove the failed tube and locate the puncture. It may not be in the tube itself, but might be that the valve needs tightening.
At last, on the water
Finally, we did manage to get on the water!
Followed by great weather in the evening. 🙂
Unfortunately for me, the day’s issues weren’t over as the water stopped.
The pump was no longer pumping water, despite the AquaRoll being full.
This, of course, happened just as a swarm of midges arrived, and so I got bitten a lot while trying to fix it.
Eventually, the pump started working again.
But when I went to fill the kettle in the morning, the water had stopped again.
Our caravan uses the submersible Whale pump, and these can fail after a while.
There are lots of possible causes, from the electrical contacts not making contact, to sticky impellers, to failed motors.
There are also other possible causes, such as microswitches on taps failing, or the pressure switch in the caravan.
In the end, I noticed that one of the on-ring washers was looking suspect. If there isn’t a good seal between the pump unit and the caravan, the pressure switch in the van won’t work and the pump won’t be turned on.
Searching the local town of Bala, I found the hardware stores closed but managed to get some o-rings from Travis Perkins. These weren’t an exact fit, but managed to seal it and get the pump working again.
I now have some new correct size o-rings and some silicone grease to make a good seal. This should be an easy fix 🙂
Again, this was one of the things I would have expected the caravan service to pick up.
A good break
Despite these issues, it was still a great break at a great campsite with lots of fun on the water. Nice to be able to finally get away again.
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