Tuesday, July 29, 2008

repairs on the campsite (2)

When I wrote the last post, I thought I'll have every important appliance in the camper working. But things changed since the day before yesterday.


The absorption fridge works only on gas. It doesn't work on 12 nor 230 volt electricity. I have no idea why. I removed the back cover of the fridge cupboard only to see that the power is delivered where it should be. The 12 volt heater conducts current, but doesn't work. I don't know why, I have no equipment to see what's wrong. I tried to see if the 230 volt heater works, but only got electrocuted. For the lack of tools I tried to check that using standard lightbulb.

Pump and faucet

Both worked yesterday. When I wanted to put the faucet together, I thought it'd check the last time if everything works. I forgot to put inside the part that closes the water flow, so the water fountain made everything wet. Including the switch that had to be cleaned when the faucet didn't work. I thought it just needed to dry and will work. I was mistaken. The next day the switch worked great, but the pump did not. So not every important appliance does work...
The photo shows me tightening the screws that hold the couch's hinge.

We're leaving tomorrow. I had enough of cold sea (today the water temperature was 11'C - 52'F), messy bathrooms and stupid rules on this campsite. More details on the latter - in one of future updates.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

repairs on the campsite (1)

Since we arrived at this campsite, I repaired some broken appliances here. That's why I wrote yesterday that my camper is in it's best shape ever...
The most important thing is the starter. Repairing it was the easiest on the list, though. I had the same thing some time ago (sorry, no URL today, you have to scroll through the blog's archive). Tomek repaired it easily and laughed at me as it was so easy to figure out what caused the starter to fail. He phoned me yesterday and gave me detailed instructions on what I need to do.
Do you see the blue cable, lying on the starter? It tells the quarter that I turned the ignition switch. It is of course supposed to be installed on the starter. I told you it was easy to fix...
Tomorrow: how I fixed the sink faucet and how I tried to make the fridge work on electricity and got electrocuted.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

at Kolobrzeg

Long time, no news. You might thought I died or the campervan broke or something... None of this happened, honestly speaking, the camper is now in its best shape ever, but that required some work to be done.
After leaving Krepsko, we drove with my parents to Borne Sulimowo, a town that 20 years ago held a large Russian military base. We ate there lunch and were going to separate for the rest of the trip. But when I wanted to start the engine, the starter didn't work. So dad pulled us and we started our camper's engine this way.
We arrived at a campsite near Kolobrzeg some two hours later (see photo). I had trouble with my cellphone charger, because of that I couldn't use my GPS software installed on my phone. We had to use old-fashioned maps instead. ;) And I had to make sure the engine will be running at all time...
Now the starter is fixed, more info on that tomorrow... In Poland it's midnight, a good time to go to sleep.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

day one done

So we arrived at a campsite near Pila. I picked my wife here. I wrote "we", 'cause I drove with my father. He has his own camper, built on Ford Transit. Mine is better. ;) we ate some grilled fish and now are getting prepared for the night. Tomorrow we're driving with my wife to Kolobrzeg, my parents are going somewhere else.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

vistula river

This is the Vistula river. Photo taken couple minutes ago. More info and a full update on today's journey in the evening. Subscribe to RSS feed (link on the right) if you'd like to read it as soon as it's written.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

bicycle mount

This is a test post to check if I can post something here using MMS message sent to an e-mail address.
The photo shows the bicycle mount I installed today.


Tomorrow I am going for my wife, the day after we're going to KoĊ‚obrzeg on the Baltic Sea coast. Yesterday and two days ago I spent some time with my camper, preparing it for the trip.

I started with the most important issue on saturday. I had to check if the camper's 230V electricity worked. I am going to use it intensively during our holiday to power my electrolux camping refrigerator, laptop computer and probably some other stuff. I bought a connector that allowed me to connect my campervan to standard socket which can be found on polish campsites (and in our homes).

From Volkswagen Tr...

Then I had to check if there's any electricity inside the van. I put a lightbulb in my only 230V socket. As you can see, it worked.

The next stage was to clean the van and make some room in the trunk below the back seat. I use it for the most important things such as:
  • jack,
  • toolbox,
  • a box with lightbulbs, connectors, fuses and some other electrical stuff,
  • a box containing screwdriver and some bits,
  • compressor,
  • some spare parts,
  • some wires,
  • unused (yet) loudspeakers.
When I finally dug out the trunk and was able to vacuum it I was very proud.

To make some room in the camper, first I had to throw everything out.

The gray bucket is my camping bin. The black vessel with two handles in the back of the photo was a pot for a christmas tree I planted with my wife on my piece of land at the beginning of may. The shovel and scythe (you can see the wooden part of scythe on the photo, just under the fence) I use on my land and never have time to store them anywhere else than in the camper.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What was wrong and what was done?

I promised yesterday to write more information on what was wrong with my camper and what was done to correct it.

First of all, I need to remind you, that the camper had trouble with starting the engine and oil leaks. I drove it to Tomek (my mechanic, friend and my best man), he was supposed to change the oil and battery (the old one was in very poor shape) and to figure out why the oil leaks. He was not going to fix it unless it was relatively easy. I was prepared to drive to my summer holiday with oil leaks. Tomek with some help from Przemek (aka Igor) tried to fix the leaks but were unsuccessfull.

Tomek then moved the camper to another mechanic. A guy who repaired many volkswagen T3s in his life. But later told me that this guy won't be able to repair my van fast enough, 'cause he has to get the parts to fix gearbox lever (I complained about difficulty with switching gears here). Those parts were supposed to arrive just after he wanted to go for vacation. Tomek, feeling guilt about this, promised me to loan me his camper.

On wednesday Tomek phoned me and told me that the mechanic will fix my camper before the end of this week.

Yesterday he called me to inform me that the van is ready to be picked up.

All the trouble was caused by those idiots who switched engines and gearboxes between my T3s:

  • oil pressure gauge had to be replaced,
  • valve cover was sealed not with a seal but with silicon,
  • the gearbox lever was connected improperly.
So now I have to think what needs to be done now, prior to leaving for my holiday on wednesday...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

T3 back at home!

I just got my VW T3 from repair shop. It seems I'll be able to drive it to holiday next week. Since it's a very fresh news, I'll post the entire story tomorrow. Subscribe to my RSS feed if you don't want to miss it. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fixing the oil leak

As I mentioned the last time I wrote here, the camper needed to have its oil changed and oil leak fixed.

On the june 26th I wanted to drive it to Warsaw to leave it to Tomek for this repair. I woke up an hour earlier than I usually do and found out that the camper simply refused to drive. It refused to start the engine. The starter was dead. Later the same day my wife pulled the camper with our lanos and this way we started the engine. Tomek thought that an old car battery was broken and didn't give enough current to the starter. He advised me to pull the camper, drive around for a while and recharge the battery and to try starting the engine after that.

Of course it didn't work. We replaced the battery with a one that we removed from lanos (one of those batteries has negative terminal on the left side while the other has that terminal on the right side which made it difficult to switch them between cars) and it didn't work either. The next morning Ania pulled me and the camper again and I drove safely to Warsaw.

I left the camper on friday, june 27th and don't have it back yet. I am a bit worried that Tomek will be able to prepare it for my summer camping trips. I hope he does. If this will be the second summer in a row when I can't drive my T3, I will sell this damn van!

Tomek went to Germany to get his own camper. His is built on some Mercedes 208 or something like that. Slow, large but equipped with some very cool stuff (like solar panels on the roof). He left my camper with one of our colleagues, I hope this guy will fix my camper.

If not, I'm prepared to drive for summer vacation with oil leaks. As you can see, I am desperate...