Monday, 25 March 2013

Mixed luck

Did I say I was remarkably lucky in my last post? Perhaps I spoke too soon!

First, I was checking Fiona's tyre pressures yesterday, as part of my pre-journey checks (I took the caravan to Newport in South Wales today) and discovered that one of the rear tyres had picked up a small nail. The tyre pressure was normal, but air hissed out when I attempted to extract the nail with pliers. I hammered it back in quick! Damn. That will require a repair, or even a new tyre, when I get home again. More expense. Damn, damn, damn. Meanwhile, despite towing, and despite motorway driving, the pressure held up overnight and all the way to Newport. May it stay that way for now.

Second, while travelling down this morning I found the kitchen section of the caravan floor streaked with water from somewhere. It was quickly and easily mopped up with tissues, but I could not figure out the source of the water until I used the toilet in the bathroom. The toilet rinse reservoir was quite empty. I had drained it last November, and had forgotten to pop the bung back in for refilling a couple of days back. So all the fresh water, along with 250ml of fragrant pink Aquarinse, had leaked away. The reservoir holds a bucketful of fluid. But the kitchen floor had barely a cupful on it. Another cupful was still in the toilet cassette chamber, where the drain was located. Where had all the rest gone? I had to assume it had somehow found its way out of the caravan and onto my drive. I hoped so: it would be bad news if a big pool of pink water was still trapped inside the caravan, sloshing around and soaking into parts that ought to stay dry. So a silly mistake with disturbing consequences. Honestly, you fly-off-to-Tenerife-on-a-package-holiday people have it really easy.

But let's be of good cheer. On arrival, I had two bits of compensating good luck. I found I'd reserved four nights on a 'fully-serviced' pitch. That is, a pitch where you not only have electricity, but you can connect fresh water and waste water pipes. Plumbing was not required! I'd somehow made an error when booking online. But the pleasant and very patient lady on reception was able to change it to five nights with electricity only. For £44.90 instead of £54.80, giving me an extra night - and therefore another full day to play with - but still saving me a tenner. Nice! And the other bit of good luck was that I reversed the caravan onto its pitch on my first attempt. A smooth, neat, nonchalant manoeuvre, just like a real pro! And if you've ever reversed a one-ton trailer onto a small spot you'll know how good it feels to do it tidily. And myself 'just a woman' too.

Apart from the background din of the M4, which you get to ignore, it's nice here at Tredegar House Country Park. My pitch gets the afternoon sunshine. But it's very cold outside. Inside it's comfortable, but I think it's a night to leave the electric heating on.


  1. As long as it is not in the sidewall or close by the nail removal repair should be able to be done by any garage quickly and cheaply. Still an annoyance!

  2. It's 'close by', so I'll have to half-anticipate a new tyre. Fat, low-profile tyres seem rather prone to picking up sharp objects once they have worn a bit. The rear tyre in question, a Continental Gross Contact, has done 12,000 miles since fitting 11 months ago, but I was hoping to get much more mileage before replacement. The cost at Volvo was £214 last year.


  3. Perhaps you should invest in some 'slime' or its motor car equivalent. This stuff is used in cycle tyres and automatically seals any punctures without much air pressure loss. I know they make one for cars but I can't remember its name.

    Shirley Anne x

  4. Some new style tire patches can work closer to the sidewall than old school plugs.

    I know how annoying, I lost an almost new 235/75 R15 Yokohama white wall to a roofing nail in my sidewall.

  5. Long time since posting, hope that tyre did not let you down...


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