Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Everyone makes mistakes…..
Parked at the edge of a small village we decided to visit the bar. It was in the winter and we were the only tourists so got involved in the local custom of drinking a raki (rough neat spirit) every time someone entered the bar. By the end of the evening we were both feeling rather merry as we staggered home. There are no
dump stations on Crete and our grey (waste) water needed emptying. It was pouring with rain so Steve figured it would be a good time to release some. After a few drinks the grey and black (toilet) valves look much the same and he got the wrong one. Even in a drunken stupor the smell permeated his senses and he shut the black valve then opened the grey. It was too dark to tell what had come out so he went to bed. At first light we went out and were horrified to find we could still smell the waste and worse still see some. We ended up getting plastic bags and doing a human version of poop scooping like you would do after a dog. There was a water tap nearby so to hide the fact that we were trying to get rid of the residue and smell we decided to wash the motorhome, at 5 o’clock in the morning. We certainly got some strange looks from the early morning fishermen. NEVER TRY TO EMPTY YOUR WASTE TANKS WHEN DRUNK
Always leave the water pump off whilst travelling and never turn it on for any reason. Due to a comedy of errors I had left the bathroom sink tap open then turned the pump on. Half an hour later we began to get a strong smell of effluence. I turned round to see the kitchen floor awash. In many American motorhomes the bathroom sink empties into the black holding tank. When the tank was full the pressure pushed the black water up into the toilet bowl and then over the top. NEVER LEAVE THE PUMP ON WHILST TRAVELLING
Always have at least one spare set of keys – you may be wondering what that has got to do with toilet disasters but read on. A friend of ours, who shall remain nameless, had just pulled up at the dump station and was walking to the back of the van to open the locker. His keys slipped out of his hand and landed in the well of the dump station. We had just dumped ahead of him so the area was wet with our rinsing water and the keys slid along this and down the hole. Let me assure you it is impossible to fish keys out of a dump station hole using your awning pole. Unfortunately our friend did not have a spare set of keys, but between the motorhomes camped nearby we found enough keys that would open his locker and fit the rest of the locks. HAVE AT LEAST ONE FULL SET OF SPARE KEYS
Getting locked out
Most of the modern motorhomes have central locking. We pulled up to check a camping area, Steve got out and left the keys in the ignition, he was gone for ages so I decided to find out where he was and got out on my side. Unbeknown to me I had caught the door lock button so as soon as I shut my door we were locked out. We had two spare sets of keys, one hidden inside and the other in my handbag which we could see between the seats. Flagging down all similar motorhomes that drove past we quickly concluded these keys were all very different. Once person we flagged down was in the car trade and reckoned he could break into anything but our Ford E450 truck had him beat. In the end we broke through a roof vent rather than smash a window. KEEP A SPARE KEY HIDDEN SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE THE VEHICLE AS WELL AS A FULL SPARE SET INSIDE, STICKING IT SOMEWHERE WITH BLUE TAC WILL MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR ANYONE TO FIND BY CHANCE
We heard of an incident in Germany whereby a husband and wife were heading off on holiday, she opted to have a sleep in the caravan. He pulled up at the motorway service station to use the bathroom; unbeknown to him so did his wife. The next think he knew was when a woman in a nightdress overtook him on the back of a motorbike.
In a motorhome parking area we spotted an elderly lady in her dressing gown heading off to do her ablutions. Her husband busied himself packing up the motorhome, hopped inside and drove off. We were rolling round on the floor laughing. When the lady emerged we went over to explain what had happened and offered to help. Her husband intended getting petrol before driving off for the day so we drove her to the petrol station where he didn’t seem the least surprised to see his wife step out of our motorhome in her dressing gown! CHECK ALL YOUR PASSENGERS ARE ON BOARD BEFORE SETTING OFF OR AFTER ANY STOPS.
Getting a level
After driving an automatic for many years we had to get used to Millie our small camper in Australia with a manual gearbox. On our second night we were trying to get a level and were having difficulty even though we were up on lots of ramps. Steve got out to look at the lay of the land and at that point Millie decided to start sliding backwards. Wouldn’t have been such a problem had there not been a big gully directly behind. Along with a friend he grabbed the bull bars whilst I was able to jump inside and put the handbrake on thus allowing Millie to live another day. ALWAYS USE THE HANDBRAKE WHEN RAMPING THE MOTORHOME
The first time we had a motorhome with automatic levelling system it was an exchange in Australia. The owner had explained how it all worked by pulling levers. Backing up to the embankment leading to the swimming pool we began trying to get a level. The vehicle started to slide backwards towards the embankment but Steve was still in the driving seat and could put on the hand and foot brake to stop us before it took a swim. You would have thought there was a shark in the swimming pool the speed it emptied. Reading the manual later we found out the problem. NEVER RAISE THE BRAKING WHEELS FIRST
Overall we have noticed many motorhomers have manoeuvring accidents when they get stressed TRY TO STAY CALM