So I'm going to go a bit out of order here and blog what's just happened instead of keeping things in chronological order. I should really be telling you about the fun we had at Glastonwick last week but having had the drive I've just had you'll see why I'm writing this instead.
I have been toying with a few ideas about why she's been behaving the way she has and this morning I put on my scruffs and had a good poke around underneath. It was clear that the fuel leak was finding its way into the clutch and causing it to slip (diesel is very slippy stuff and clutches are all about friction innit!)
I came up with an ingenious design to fix the problem for a couple of weeks until I can get her to John (the guy who fixed Donna). It involved a few strips of cloth tied in the right places to soak up the leaking fuel and drip it away from the clutch.
It worked a treat. I set off to Ipswich to collect the pair of 1920s deck chairs I had bought on eBay. The journey there (91 miles) was a real treat (mostly). I got a real feel for what she'd be like with good traction and positive gears. So what if she shook a bit at 70 mph , she was only designed to do 55 anyway. She hauled ass up the hills and took the corners very confidently. It was delightful.
I even enjoyed the 1 hour delay on the A12 while we waited for the emergency services to clean up an accident. I used my iPhone to find an internet radio station dedicated to traffic reports to find out what the delay was. Then sat back and enjoyed the rest.
Note the people walking on the motorway to see what was wrong. It wasn't long before they were running back to their cars as the traffic got going again.
A few miles from the destination she started sounding a bit odd. Engine braking sounded like a bowling ball hitting the skittles and there was the occasional puff of smoke from the gear stick which was getting hot enough to melt the carpet.
I did stop a couple of times and have a look but what the hell could I do?
I collected the chairs and parked up in a layby surrounded by lush green English fields and cooked myself sausage and egg for lunch which I ate sitting in one of the newly acquired chairs. It was idyllic and what owning a campervan is all about to me. I could quite comfortably have stayed there the night. It was such a pleasure to just chuck a couple of bits of food in the back and know that everything else I needed was already on board.
So after food and a rest I set off again. In no time she was making her new noises and back to her old ways of dragging slowly up not very steep hills.
We managed to limp most of the way home but with only 23 miles to go I went to change gear and CLUNK!
I knew giving her hazard lights was going to be useful one day. It was so tempting to lay down in the back and have a nap while waiting.
40 minutes later I was guiding Althea onto the back of an AA low loader. Upgrading my account was a wise idea. She's sitting in her space now waiting for me to arrange her repairs. I would love to have John Warden work on her as I trust him and know he would do a good job but he's in Norfolk. So the search begins tomorrow to find a garage to do the job.
Up she goes. Thank you very nice man.
Home at last. We had fun getting her off the truck. As she reached equilibrium with her front wheels still on the truck. Even tipping it as high as it would go made no difference. We pushed and I jumped in and hit the breaks before she rolled back on.