A bit of backfilling of what we got up to in France August-September 2010. As you may be aware, the Vazulagon has developed a nasty habit apparently related to the fuel. This first manifested itself on the way to Folkstone, when it "kangarooed" on the motorway. The reaction to this was interesting. Two of my daughters were in the back and one shouted something along the lines of "We're going to die!" and the other one came out with "There's an evil monkey in the wardrobe!" (Family Guy reference). Needless to say, we didn't die and I never saw the evil monkey.
After stopping at a services and trying to spot anything wrong, we carried on to the tunnel. To cut a long story short, and miss out several expensive phone calls, we eventually got the CCC breakdown insurance company man to check it over at the Tunnel entrance. By the time this was done, we were late for our original slot but Eurotunnel pretty much got us on the next available train. Kudos to both the breakdown service CCC use and to Eurotunnel.
The tunnel is quite impressive as a route. By the time we were getting used to the idea of being in the train and being under the Channel, we were slowing down to arrive in Calais. Welcome to a wet and windy France.
Having already swapped one rear wheel brake cylinder, which, in itself was a pretty easy job, I decided I needed to bleed the rest of the system and change the fluid, having no idea how old it was. This is what prompted the cylinder change. I looked for the bleed nipple and found none. After a bit of investigation I realised this was because it had been sheared off. Fortunately, wheel cylinders on the Vazulagon are only £10 or so. A few hours of finding out how to do things and cleaning up and checking and the NSR wheel was declared OK. This was a few days back. Then I decided to do the bleeding. OSR bleed nipple won't take an 8mm spanner. Hmm? 7mm? No. It's been rounded off. Even using "Ultimo Ratio Mechanics" the Mole Grip, it wouldn't move so a new one was needed. So, yesterday I started on swapping the OSR. Take wheel off, take drum off OK, check pads, dust etc., everything OK so far. Undo wheel cylinder, yes the bolts undo OK. Undo nipple on brake pipe - no. The nipple undoes but the pipe is stuck to the nipple, so by the time I've undone it the pipe has made 6 revolutions and now looks like a threaded corkscrew. Remove pipe, make up new pipe hoping cheap flaring tool does the job. I must get a proper quality one because I know I'm going to need it again sooner or later, one of the cars being a likely candidate as I'm sure I got an advisory on an MOT about a brake pipe on it. Anyway, back together and just (just - ha!) need to bleed the brakes again. Interestingly though, on checking the old cylinder one piston appears to be seized and the brake fluid that came out looked like rust so maybe I will have solved the "supertanker" brake issue.
You have to name a motorhome. Usually, like ships, they seem to be female. I said to one of the children, we need a name for the motorhome and the reply came "Pippin". Then one of the others said no when she heard the name Pippin. So, delegated to come up with another name, she came up with Vazulagon. It's derived from the mis-pronunciation of Vuvuzela and doesn't exist on Google. Give it a few days and this post should be a GoogleWack, then.
Right now, I need to sort out the brakes and get it weighed before we go away in a few days. No point in finding it is too close to its weight limit for comfort once we set off. I'm still not sure if I'm spoilt by having a Merc Vito with discs all round and 21st century technology brakes or whether the Vazulagon does need some attention. Mind you, if it weighs anything close to the limit at the weighbridge I phoned, its poor braking would be no surprise. "Hello, is your weighbridge open to the public and can I bring a vehicle along?" "So long as it's less than 30 tons" :Eek!: It better had be.