Nov ’15 – 1st Breakdown

Official ‘Club’ Member…

With the summer long gone, Rita and I have continued with our routine: A once weekly commute to work. I think this is good practice, to ensure she isn’t stood idle for long periods of time. It’s just over 10 miles each way, so we’re covering about 21 miles a week during the ‘off season’ (if there is such a thing). The starting issue hasn’t improved, but then it hasn’t got any worse either. She just requires a bit of persuasion to fire up, it’s never a total refusal to get going. I’ve come to see it as the old girl being stubborn! 

Iphone 6 1066

 

There’s a theory that you’re not a true member of the camper community until you’ve experienced your first breakdown. Well, with the onset of the cold weather, I’ve officially joined the club!

Travelling to work Rita begins to struggle, there is a definite lack of power along with a change in engine noise. The gentle pop, pop, pop of the old Aircooled engine quickly becomes more like a WW1 bi-plane. I have nowhere to immediately pull over so wait until I reach an upcoming roundabout to pull onto a quieter road. As I try and manoeuvre around the island she cuts out leaving me stranded. I’m now blocking what is a fairly busy junction. Frantically, I manage to get her running so we can get out the way. I consider nursing her back home, however she doesn’t sound healthy so after about half a mile I pull over to a safer part of the road. Switching her off, all sorts of pessimistic thoughts are whirling around my head. I pray I haven’t done anymore damage, I pray it’s not terminal…  

I sit tight for just under an hour for the breakdown service to arrive. Rita’s got cover through our insurance, so I’ve no idea who they’ll be sending to our aid. A tow vehicle from Rogers Rescue pulls up behind me. This is a local company I’ve heard of previously. The mechanics a friendly guy who listens to my explanation of what has happened. I’d have offered him a mug of tea, but being on my commute to work rather Iphone 6 1067than camping, I haven’t got any milk with me. With the engine lid removed, I’m asked to jump back in Rita and start her up, I’m not sure what’s going on back there, but she doesn’t sound any better! I get the shout to cut the engine again and sit and wait while he works his magic. No more than 5 minutes later I’m asked to get her running once again…

Success!

She’s running smooth. Easy when you know how! Apparently a hose had come loose, which turns out to be a simple 5 minute job. Luckily it was carrying nothing but air, so I didn’t even have a fluid leak. A jubilee clip is all that’s required and we’re back on the road. I’m so pleased to have her fixed at the roadside, my visions of being towed to a garage with a broken engine totally misplaced! I haven’t really any explanation for why this has occurred. Maybe it’s simply the cold weather? Maybe it’s been working it’s way loose for a long time? Whatever the reason, she’s fixed, that’s all that matters. The rest of the drive is completed, trouble free.

I arrive late for work with a story to tell, I’m now officially in the one ‘club’ I wasn’t keen to join.

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