Steering in the right direction

After the delay to our plans – due to a broken elbow stopping us from being able to drive – we are finally back on track. Today we took Freyja for her first upgrade: power steering!

We drove up to Stratford upon Avon where Chris lives. Chris first started out doing a power steering conversion on his own motorhome and has since done over 300 of them. You can read his story here. We had heard about Chris from a few places online and his reviews are outstanding, giving us confidence that this would be money well spent and a job well done.

After a few emails making arrangements, we decided to arrive the night before so that Chris could start early in the morning. He supplied us with an electric hookup and we spent a luxury night without electricity constraints. The next morning we let Chris get on with the job and took a wander up to Stratford upon Avon town. A good breakfast and little bit of looking around later, we arrived back to a nearly ready Freyja.

Chris did a wonderful job on the steering, and even just watching him test drive we could see the huge difference it made.

We did encounter a couple of unrelated technical hiccups, but they all contributed to further knowledge. Chis kindly pumped up our tyres while completing the other work, but a tyre valve split; we had noticed this tyre was losing air quicker than the others, so now we know why. It’s a good thing it happened then; a valve bursting on the road would have put us in a dangerous situation we’re glad we avoided. Fortunately Chris changed the tyre to our spare so we could get back to London.

On our way back we stopped near Oxford at a stone circle that we knew of. Just a short distance after setting off again, on a small road with no name, the engine cut out. We called the AA and they managed to find us by our proximity to a couple of nearby lakes.

After checking for the usual suspected faults and finding nothing wrong, the engineer asked if we definitely had fuel. We indicated that the fuel gauge was at a quarter of a tank – enough to get the whole way home – but after a few more checks he decided to try adding some extra fuel, just in case. This resolved the problem and so we discovered that the fuel gauge doesn’t work. Another good thing to know!

We’d like to say a special thank you to our AA engineer; he was very thorough and went above and beyond. He changed some pipes, cleaned up some connections, and even drove along with us to the nearest garage to ensure we didn’t encounter any further problems on the way to filling up.

After our little mishaps we did manage to get back to London safe and sound, and will get the tyre valve and fuel gauge sorted before any further trips. All in all this was a great trip for discovering things that will keep us safe and Freyja running long term.

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