Domestic MattersSpain

Domestic and Technical

We were delighted with the truck and how it was performing. When it was chilly outside it was beautifully warm and cosy inside. The shower was full size and delivered a good amount of hot water. Our beds were comfortable and, providing we were sensible, there was enough space to store our stuff. The truck held enough fresh water to last us a week or more and the electric Cinderella toilet worked well, reducing two weeks of toilet waste to a small bowl of innocuous ash, without the use of water. The washing machine was a real luxury and would save us a lot of extra hassle and, hopefully, keep our clothes smelling reasonably sweet.

We did have several technical problems with the truck that had to be sorted before we could carry on our journey. We were waiting for a replacement water pump for the diesel water heater which had an intermittent fault due, perhaps, to impurities in the cooling system.

The truck had a Central Tyre Inflation System (CTIS) that worked off the engine compressed air brake system. Unfortunately, we had never been supplied with the adaptors that allowed the connection between the CTIS hose and the wheels. These connectors were being sent on to us from Poland and we were reluctant to travel on to Morocco without the CTIS being in good working order.

The most bizarre and inexplicable problem we faced was the omission of a gas regulator fitted to the gas tank feeding the outside barbecue – notwithstanding the fact that the truck had been issued with a Gas Safety Certificate. When we tried to use the barbecue a rush of gas blew past the burner valves at a rate of 150 psi – Tony could have lost his bushy eyebrows and more. It was proving difficult to source an in-line regulator locally and, without the gas barbecue, we would have to rely on our small diesel hob and having to do all our cooking inside. Not a deal breaker but a real nuisance caused by a schoolboy error.

As the number of days we stayed at the camp site increased, we began to get to know our neighbours better. Most folk stopped for a chat if we were sitting outside, usually showing an interest in the truck and our travelling plans.

An English couple passed by our pitch several times a day, walking their elderly little dog of indeterminate breed. The dog was called Sonny and had a wonderful party trick. The owner would say, “Listen Sonny, I have had enough of you – it’s time for you to go.” Then the owner made his two fingers into a gun shape, pointed it at the dog and said “Bang!” Sonny immediately fell over with its legs in the air, playing dead. It was very funny to watch.