2016-03-28: Waking up after the winter - 157 Km

Ruby has been quiet over the winter. We drained all the tanks and left the 230V plugged in, filled the diesel tank to the top and left the handbrake off. We thought maybe there would be a chance to go out somewhere but it didn't happen.

We were planning to have a couple of days away and prepared everything to go but then we found the water pump was not working. A quick check showed that the submersion pump in the water tank was not working so I bought a new one and fitted it.

The pump worked, but unfortunately it was on permanently so long as the 12V was turned on. The old pump had therefore burnt out because at some stage it was on all the time. We went to Buscamper in Gorenchem to have it checked and it turned out that the kitchen tap was defect so it was changed. Should be OK now, hopefully.

Ruby was due for an APK (MOT check) to ensure that everything works. Also the increasingly worrying reports about the Ford Transit engine problems meant it was a good idea to have the Ford software update, which doesn't cure the problems but at least makes sure the engine is working at its best. We also planned a yearly service so all in all there was a lot to do. It was all performed by Broekhuis, the Ford dealer in Amersfoort. The fuel filter was changed, along with lots of other things, and they checked the valves and injection system and it all looked OK. Hopefully we won't be a victim of the Transit problem.

The Ford Transit Problem is a fault that appears on low mileage Transits built between 2006 and 2010 whereby the valves can stick open causing overheating and burnout of the engine. Various advice has been provided, by various people, and at one stage a Ford software update was claimed to be necessary. This undoubtedly helps to some extent, and is now provided free by Ford, but there are other effects, such as algae in the diesel tank that can get on to the valves through a faulty fuel filter, causing the damage. Keeping the fuel tank topped up whilst the camper is not in use helps with this. People who have experienced the problem are currently complaining to Ford to try to allay some of the costs of the repair. Ford are claiming that maintenance services not performed by Ford can cause the problem, for instance because non-Ford fuel filters can be used. The arguments go back and forth. In any case, it's a very worrying situation which we hope won't arise with Ruby especially after all the work that has been carried out in the last week or so.

So, now we are ready to go and are making plans for what we want to do and where we want to go.


This picture of the open road is probably a step too far since it's part of Route 66, but it's representative.