First trip away..

Our planned trip on Friday nearly never happened as we had some bad news on the job front for Ian. More later as we are not allowed to discuss it just now. Because of this we hadn’t finished off some of the bits and pieces we had hoped to do. After some thought we decided to go and take some tools to finish off some of the smaller jobs while on site.

We packed up the van and were ready to set off with the dogs in their new cage. As we were about to pull away Duncan said Pepsi was up at the window and sure enough she had managed to unzip the cage and escape. This meant we needed to find a padlock and lock the zip in place. With everyone secured we set off for North Ledaig in Connel near Oban.

North Ledaig Caravan Park

The view from our pitch

The journey up was good. The roads were fairly quiet but we still arrived a bit after reception closed. We made the decision to go on site and find a pitch rather than spend the night at the late arrivals point. Before heading for a pitch we pulled up at the motorhome service point and that was when we encountered our first disaster. Although we had anticipated this to some extent our contingency planning just wasn’t good enough! The exhaust pipe from the van ran very close to the fresh water tank and we had been concerned that the hot gases might melt the tank therefore we had purchased an extension pipe with a slight bend to divert the gases away. Unfortunately it turned out the pipe was just a bit short and the gases did indeed blow back and melt a lovely hole right in the bottom corner of the tank. This would mean a weekend without running water but after consideration we decided we could live without it.

We parked up on a pitch and set up the van.

North Ledaig Caravan Park

Sitting out on Friday night

The next problem we encountered was the 240v. When we switched on the fridge nothing happened. We thought the site might need to switch on the power to the pitch so we weren’t too concerned and settled down for a night without electricity, running the fridge off of the gas bottle.

As it got dark we switched on the reading lights but they did not come on. Ian checked and the fuse had blown. Putting a new fuse in place made no difference and it blew straight away. We decided to settle for the night and address all these things in the morning. We knew there couldn’t be much that needed sorted as all had been working fine when the van was parked in the drive and connected to the 240v in the garage.

A settled night however was not on the cards. Pepsi who normally goes to bed without a peep decided that she did not like this new setup and spent a good part of the night yelping and trying to get out of the cage.

On Saturday morning Ian went to reception for it opening and they told us we would need to move pitch. It was so much easier than the caravan just to pack a few things away then drive to the new area.

North Ledaig Caravan Park

Pepsi sleeping

We had hardly settled in the new pitch when Pepsi decided she needed to make up for her lost sleep and she was soon out for the count on the van seats (so much for not letting the dogs up on them).

We plugged in the hookup on the new pitch and tried the fridge again, it still didn’t work! In an attempt to make sure it wasn’t just the fridge we plugged a charger into one of the sockets, it worked fine, it was then that Ian remembered that he had unplugged the fridge under the sink. Putting the plug back in and switching the fridge on, everything was fine, first problem solved. Ian also had a look at the reading lights it turned out that when they had been screwed in place a wire had been nicked by the screw and was shorting things out. It was fine when the van was sitting in the drive but the vibration when it was driven must have moved the wire causing the short. Problem two solved.

There was no way to sort the water tank during the trip but we really only needed water for cooking so a few trips back and forward to collect water was no big deal.

The weather was great on Friday night and stayed dry for most of the day on Saturday, the rain starting at tea time. It continued to rain into Sunday morning but was already drying up by the time we were packing up to leave.

Throughout the weekend we managed to go some nice walks on the beach and a walk into Benderloch. Ian put on the rest of the handles on the cupboards and mounted the accessories in the toilet.

The layout of the van was ideal. The bed was really comfy and the cooking arrangements and table set up worked well. All in all it was a successful first trip. We’ll sort out the tank this week and get the toilet finished. Hopefully we will have another weekend before our main holiday to do some final checks.

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