Friday, August 13, 2010

Water hose burst

Couple days ago, in the middle of our camping holiday, one of water hoses in my vanagon burst and forced us to change our plans. To be more exact, it didn't happen in the middle of our trip, but at the beginning, on the third day of total 8 days we planned to spend in my RV/camper Vanagon.

I had trouble with engine cooling for a long time. I destroyed one engine because of that, when one hose burst and left me with no coolant at all and overheating engine. How was it possible? Well, the temperature gauge shows the temperature of coolant and not the engine. It doesn't indicate that the entire coolant is gone and engine is overheating...

Monday, July 19, 2010

The thermometer I soldered doesn't work

Yesterday I bought a second soldering iron, as well as solder and rosin flux.

I spent two hours soldering all the parts onto the circuit board. The most time it took me to solder the connectors that are used for temperature sensors and power supply.

The set was high quality do it yourself, but required also a high level experience in soldering. Many parts needed to be soldered on both sides of circuit board. I thought it was enough to use much flux so than the solder would cover the metal legs of the parts on the both sides of the board. I was wrong.

Anyway, I had two hours of great time (I love doing such stuff), but in the end the termometer didn't work as it's supposed to. Something did work but also something didn't, as you can see on the photo below:

So I ordered another thermometer, electronic one as well, but this time a completed device, not a diy kit. ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer holiday plans

We finally decided on our summer vacation plans, and I decided to share those plans with you today. :)

In two weeks, on July 26-31st, I am going to stay 100 km (60 miles) from my home on a strawbale building workshop. I am going to learn there how to build a loadbearing strawbale construction with green roof. I want to use that knowledge later to build my own garage from the straw bales and clay. I could rent a room there, but since I have a camper/RV I don't need to rent rooms or sleep in tents anymore. ;)

On August 7th we're going to our friends' wedding near Opole in Lower Silesia, and after the wedding we're going to explore that region a bit more than we did last year. We want to stay for a couple days in Wrocław, and return home on monday 16th or on tuesday 17th of August.

In the middle of September I'm going to stay on my lot in the camper as this is the time I want to be actually building my garage there. I believe this would take me about 2 weeks, and I would camp in my RV for total of more than 4 weeks this year. ;)

I will keep you updated if anything changes or if I have any interesting photos or news from the trips.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

new electronic gadgets

Month ago I ordered two cool electronic gadgets that will be installed in my RV/camper Vanagon. Both are electronic kits to be assembled at home in a DIY fashion. I like soldering such kits and that's why I ordered them in such form (I might purchase them already put together).

The first is a electronic thermomether, capable of measuring temperatures in two points, with two sensors. It has two-colored LED display, one color displays the first sensor's temperature, the second the other.

Why do I need such thermometer?

I always wanted to know the inside and outside temperature. To know how cold it is in the evening and how warm it is inside my camper. One of the sensors will be installed inside, probably will be attached to one of cabinets. The other I will attach to the radiator or the coolant hose to measure also the temperature of water reaching the radiator. I am not certain if my cooling system works properly, so I need something that will let me know if it fails. The original temperature gauge is not enough -- I destroyed one engine while looking only at this gauge.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Plans for summer holiday

June is almost gone, soon people will start going for their summer holiday. Maybe we should also make some plans for our vacation?

Since 2006 my friend Tomek and I want to go for a camping trip around Baltic Sea. But every year something stops us. Last year our son was born, this year his dauther was born, which makes it difficult for both our families.

The idea was great. We wanted to drive around the Baltic Sea during three or four weeks, with one small trick. We didn't want to visit Russia, so we would use a ferry from Estonia to Finland. Our trip would look similar to the following:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New tires

Since I bought my camper in 2006, I never bought any tires. Last year I bought four wheels (winter tires and rims). Since then they spent 6 months in storage, and two of them were installed on the rear of my camper last fall, when I had to replace one broken summer tire.

Two weeks ago I ordered two new tires, Barum Vanis, that will be installed on that rear axis.

I need to replace them before the next weekend. May the third is one of polish national hollidays, so it will be a three-day weekend. It's too cold for any camper trip without internal heating source, but we're going to my parent's cottage. I don't want to drive there on winter tires.

Today we visited my parents-in-law in their summer home, because I wanted to tidy the camper a bit for the season. Last week I removed most of the garbage from inside and ordered all the equipment that I carry with me in the proper places. But I have much more to do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Camper home again

Yesterday after work I drove with Tomek to mr. Zbyszek, who repaired my camper for the last month. I left it to him to have the gearbox repaired, hoped that he would find some time to fix some other things.

When I left my camper, Zbyszek told me that he would fix it in his free time. And because of that he didn't have time to fix anything else, but the gearbox. In the gearbox he replaced only one syncronizer, the one responsible for synchronization of the second gear, and the gear oil. Nothing else required fixing.

I am not worried that he didn't fix all the other things I thought he might. Except the engine that uses some motor oil all the other things are not very important. And for the engine we have a solution. Tomek wants to replace his engine in his Syncro, so I would get his original 1.6 turbocharged diesel. We will probably replace the engines in the autumn, as doing it now might get us stuck in the garage during summer holiday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Camper left for repairs

On wednesday I drove my beloved Vanagon to one of local repair shops.

The guy who owns the garage repaired my camper in july 2008. He fixed some oil leaks. He's one of the well known mechanics that work near Warsaw. He owned five Vanagons, including one that he built for 2 or 3 years -- a doka (doppelkabine) syncro with 2.5 liter petrol engine.

I asked him to fix the broken gearbox, as well as some minor repairs (like glow plugs indicator light, engine pressure indicator light or the pressure gauge).

He promised to finish the work before the april 15th. I hope he can make it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Camper insurance renewed

At the end of 2009 I had to pay insurance premium to renew (prolong?) my mandatory liability insurance. I paid 345 PLN, equivallent to $120 or €84.

How much do you pay for similar insurance?