So we took delivery or should I say, we went to collect, the latest edition to the story that is our vehicle ownership, last week. It's a fully featured rig with the following toys:
And my personal fave:
The one of the downsides is, it's slow as fuck! I'm not sure why, but it is one of the slowest motors I've ever owned. I'm talking about 3rd gear when there's even the slightest incline in a road. It's supposed to be a 2.8 turbo diesel, but I don't believe it. Or if it is, then the turbo has long since given up the ghost, despite it only being a 1999 model with 81,000 miles on the clock.
The other is that it's giving off the most disgusting smell from the engine compartment, which is strange, because the amount of sulpha it's pumping out should be coming from the exhaust beyond the catalytic convertor, or the fuel management system getting the flow wrong, or... as I now suspect, it's the leisure batteries that sit under the driver's seat.
The thought only occurred to me after I'd already spent £85 on a Halfords Battery Recovery Charger, because the batteries in the motorhome are worse than low, they're near death, which I'm hoping to resolve with said charger, which incidentally you can get from Amazon for a bit cheaper (advert on the left).
I wanted to address the battery issue sooner rather than later because we were meant to heading away again this evening, but that doesn't seem likely now the van is pretty much tied into the garage electrical mains going through some serious charging.
We (or I should say, my daughter Jade) noticed the smell on Sunday, whilst up in the Mourne Mountains. The only trigger for it to my mind was the journey's incline, which must have stirred the acid in the batteries, causing the sulphur to ruminate in to it's full pungent aroma. Believe me, it's pure rotten.
I had to endure it for another three hours as I made my way back up to Derry, watching car after car overtake me on the Glenshane Pass, whilst I kept one eye on the engine temperature gauge to see how this lead bus performed. I made it, and the temperature gauge didn't flicker.
So, as I write this, in the motorhome (which as I've already mentioned is now my office), the new charger is giving it dixie in full recovery mode, the smell has dissipated (it was stifling when I came in earlier today), but I do also have the window open a little, to vent the odour. It's been running now for about 5 hours, and it's just saying that the voltage is 9.0v which isn't good. This could be a replacement, but the instructions do say to give it at least 20 hours of charging, so we'll see how we get on tomorrow when I check it again.
One thing you have to remember about leisure batteries, when they get to 11.1v you're already in deep trouble in terms of longevity of the battery, that is now classed as dead. So, hopefully, you can appreciate where we are with 9.0v. It's basically only capable of powering a smoke alarm.
I've posted some new images on the County Down Stock Photography gallery if you're interested in taking look whilst you wait for an update, if not, I don't mind, suit yourself.