Friday, February 12, 2010

our little home on wheels

Problems we encountered along the way on, on our first road trip in our caravan. We are writing about this as we really hope someone else might read this, save themselves from experiencing what we went through.
First of all if you are going to tow your ting house or caravan you must check that the vehicle you are using tow is capable of towing such a weight. You can check this by looking at your log book were it tells you your towing limit for your car baring in mind that you must also account for all the stuff you have put in to your tiny home or caravan. Here is a great site that has a lot of information about towing we found it a great help?
A few bumps in the road,

Ok so when we got off the boat in France we drove through the beautiful French country side through the sleepy French villages and double tree lined Avenue’s, without a problem. It was when we were approaching the Belgium border we felt our caravan shake at first we thought someone had bumped us so we stopped and had a look we couldn’t see any damage. There was a heat wave in Europe and it was so hot and sunny great for driving. We drove straight through the French/ Belgium border we stopped to get petrol and we were happily unaware of the situation. While my husband was filling the tank I went in to the shop to get some supplies on my way back to the car a man started shouting something in French at me. I gestured that I don’t understand and he said in very broken English and while shaking his head with disgust pointing at the caravan “very dangerous very dangerous” I looked at what he was pointing to and I realised that a jagged piece of our wooden floor was jutting out and it looked like it had ripped our tyre of as one of our wheels only had little bits of rubber hanging on to the metal of the wheel.
We were horrified to see that our little house on wheels floor was falling apart but on further inspection we went inside the caravan we saw Little black bits of rubber tyre all over the caravan and luckily for us it was not our floor that had destroyed our tyre it was our tyre that had exploded with such force it blew up through the floor and again luckily for us the part of the floor that had the hole in it was in a part of our built in heating system and was very easily patched up and Adrian put on the spare tyre and we were back on the road.
Whether it was the heat plus the combation of who ever had the caravan before us had left it the caravan weight sitting on to the tyres it transpired that all four of our tyres had to be changed two exploded we were stranded in Germany trying to get of the ato Bann while stuck in a dreadful not moving for hours traffic jam with large juggernauts we were surprised at how helpful people are when you are in trouble because we had many offers from drivers from all over Europe to help us. The traffic jam we were in was only in the lane for getting off the auto Bann the other 3 lanes were moving at least six drivers of large trucka and juggernots at different times in our long long wait in line to get off the auto Bann got out of their trucks and walked along the auto Bann to tell we have a flat tyre. I Know that they had risked their life’s to tell us as for what I can gather there is no speed limit on the auto Bann and cars were really moving very fast. I just wanted to get off the auto ban as I was worried that people who were trying to help us might get hurt. After we got of the auto Bann we had a hell of a job trying to get through to the AA thank fully the AA man came and brought us to the shop to get new tyres we bought four new tyres and the AA man help us put them on the caravan.
We lost a day and 200 Euros because of our exploding tyres at 6pm we were finally on the road again we toured right through Europe up to Poland and 10kms before our destination we had our final problem of our road trip.
We had been so relieved that on our GPS it was saying were only 20 minutes away from our destination so when I looked in the side mirror and caught a glimpse of our curtains flying through the air oh my god I said the window is open well it turned out it was worse than that because the quality of the roads in Poland is so bad and there really are so many pot holes we think that hours of driving on the bumpy polish roads loosened the window so it came undone and finally just blew off I got out and tried to retrace our steps but there was no sign of the window. I laugh to think of some farmer in Poland finding my window in his field wonder whatever became of it. I have been trying to find replacement for the window the caravan is an eldis and it is a window if any knows where I can get another one?