5. Mar, 2020

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THURSDAY 5-3-20

Well the shower block gave us both lovely generous hot showers this morning with the added bonus that we have been enjoying lovely warm sunshine, though with a fairly brisk breeze, but after all that rain we had to endure on the way down anything is a bonus.

We have spent the day at the campsite making and receiving calls regarding our problem with a view to getting us up and running and on our way. What problem I hear you say. Well I've been wondering how to fill the entry up after such a nothing day, and so have decided to recount three stories to you. After each I will pose the question:-

Was it luck - or divine intervention?

STORY ONE

Our much loved motorhome 'Freddie Fendt' if you want to give him a name, is now eleven years old and has covered 55,000 miles most of them with The Chef and I, his second owners. In all that time 'he' has never let us down, never missed a beat until yesterday.

After we arrived at the campsite I turned the engine off and The Chef made her way to Reception to book us in. That's our usual routine as I can then move the vehicle if I need to, especially if I'm in anyone's way. After The Chef climbed back in armed with our joining instructions and pitch number (A5) I started up and reversed, before there was a loud 'CLUNK' from under the bonnet. I immediately told The Chef that I had lost power steering but decided to slowly make our way to our pitch where I could take a closer look. Trying to turn the steering wheel took all my strength, so it was just as well we were travelling very slowly.

Once we were pitched I climbed under the vehicle armed with my mobile phone with which I photographed the problem.  It was a broken Crankshaft Pulley. What the hell is that? I hear you cry. Well I wouldn't have much of a clue myself if it were not for the fact that that I am armed with an onboard copy of the Haynes Manual for Ford Transits, and I was able to refer to the appropriate section to identify the part. Basically it's a flywheel, nay, nay, two flywheels stuck together, one behind the other, each of differing diameters. These are attached to the end of the engine which gives them the power to spin. On these flywheels go the belts which power boring things like air conditioning, the alternator and power steering. Without those flywheels I had nothing. And this was no ordinary catastrophic failure I'll have you know. Our flywheel(s) had broken in rather a fashionable way. The outer part of the flywheel and the associated belts had actually broken away from the inner part of the wheel which remains bolted to the engine. How it managed that I have no idea.

Now only twenty minutes before that failure we were travelling at 60-70mph on the motorway, much of the time overtaking HGV's. Had the pulley failed at that time then consequences could have been fatal as I would not have been able to control the vehicle at that speed.

So, 'Freddie Fendt' has had eleven years to shed that pulley, it could have happened at any time, and yet it happened in a car park at one mile per hour, in the safest possible place. Now -

Was it luck - or divine intervention?