We started that night by unloading the rear boot area of the MH so that Cranhams (the MH dealer) could fit our larger rear garage door. There were other issues with the MH too. We identified during our trip to Scotland that the heater exhaust was hanging loose. Closer inspection showed that the brackets holding the exhaust in place were all rotten. On top of that the generator control panel told us that the generator had not been serviced as per our last request/visit to the dealer. We were more than a bit pissed off. We had, a week earlier contacted our salesman, Jeff WILLIS, at Cranhams and I vented my calm anger and told him the MH would be back with him on Thursday, for these things to be rectified (by now we knew the rear door had arrived). I also told him that despite his pre sale promise that the MH would be serviced inside and out, it was obvious to us and any other moron that this had not been looked at let alone serviced.
The next day, I contacted Cranham’s to confirm they were expecting our MH. Guess what, they had no idea. I told them that I was bringing it down anyway and that it needed to be fixed by next Wednesday for us to move into it.
After dropping the MH off I went to the Yamaha dealer and swapped the little 660cc Tenere for the bigger 1200cc Super Tenere.
I even changed the tyres for off road knobbly ones before I’d even sat on it. What normal human being takes the wheels off a new vehicle before sitting in/on it!.... Ray does. Once home I stole some time (much to Karen’s annoyance) fitted the Sat Nav and communication system to the new bike.
We struggled to motivate ourselves to do the final clean up for moving out. We dithered about doing a bit here and a bit there but our hearts were not in it. I then spotted an advert for the Silverstone Moto GP (the Formula 1 equivalent premier bike race in the UK) on Sunday the 20th, I asked if Karen wanted to go, and she said “Let’s go, it can be my birthday present”. How many blokes can get a bird with those attributes? (Duck Ray !)
So it was off to Silverstone on the new bike to watch Gorge Lorenzo on his Yamaha wipe the floor. We also bought 2 new crash helmets to match the new bike – how sad – so what – DILLIGAF.
Gorge Lorenzo (far left) setting off from pole to lead all the way to the chequered flag.
Once back from Silverstone, it really was time to go to work, we were due to move out on Thursday morning so we had 3 hectic and very tiring days. We got stuck in and cleared the house room by room. It was difficult work as we had to make hard decisions about all of our goods and chattels. A lot of stuff went to the dump, a lot was packed for storage in Scotland and a lot was just stored for placing in the motor home.
Monday was an interesting day.
Problem 1. We have booked a family camping holiday in the Lake District and we needed transport to get 8 people from Harlow/Bishops Stortford to Cumbria. We originally intended to hire a mini bus and let Zoe (No. 1 daughter) drive it up and back. The problem was that we could not hire a mini bus with 8 seats (the max she can drive) from anywhere. Karen eventually had a brain wave. Rosie (No. 3 daughter) has a new boyfriend, Matthew, whom we had met two days previously for the first time at Trula’s (No. 2 daughter) birthday BBQ. Matthew had passed his driving test 2 weeks earlier. If we put him on the insurance then Zoe could drive her car with 4 and Matthew the Fiesta with 4. A phone call to the insurance company revealed they wanted £1200 for the final 6 months of the insurance term, bugger, eventually settled for 1 month’s worth for £160. The next problem was that Matthew had never been on a motorway and to expect him to learn with a 300 mile 4 up trip was asking a bit much so that night I took him out on the M11 and M25. He was quite competent despite his lack of experience. At last........ some good news.
Problem 2, Due to our mounting lack of faith in Cranhams, I phoned them to see how work on the MH was progressing.
A man came on the phone and said that he could not answer my questions as there was no one except him on site. The fire brigade had just put out a fire on their huge shop which had a gas canister store attached to it. He could not tell me if I still owned a motor home. Oh shit !!!
I phoned the next day and was told that our MH was safe and the work had been done.
Wednesday finally came. We phoned them about 0930 and told them we were on our way. We arrived to see our MH near the gate ready for pick up. I could see clearly, from a distance that the heater exhaust was still hanging down loose. On speaking to the dealer through clenched teeth, we were informed that the generator had not been serviced either. We were told that the heater parts were on order from a company in Colchester (about 30 miles away)....lovely.
We were then told that if we took the MH to the same firm in Colchester they would service the generator....it was getting better by the minute. We were met with a blank face when I asked who would pay. By this time we were both speechless. Mindful of the fact that there was a large black space where the shop used to be, Karen had to walk away and I ended up telling them that the best thing for us to do was to do it ourselves. During the encounter we were constantly told “we are not doing very well are we”. We did not reply with the appropriate response. We had repeatedly told them of our deadlines. We even waited for the rear door to come from Germany for 5 months. I could have walked there, strapped it to my back and walked back in that time. They, despite having the UK franchise for Frankia cannot phone the manufacturer.....What !!.
We got in our MH and drove off. Wankers.
We drove home and calmed down somewhat. We needed to, we had a lot of work to do. We called Trula, our daughter to come over and help us with the cleaning while we were packing. Bless her soul, she worked like a trooper and helped us immensely. We finally gave up late in the evening and in the morning put the final bits and bobs in the MH, cleared the last few rooms, loaded the bike on the trailer and eventually at about 1230 set off towards Bishops Stortford to drop off our Fiesta with Rosie.
The boot of the MH was so full, that when the door was opened there was a sold wall of stuff. It was seriously overloaded (almost at the weight limit officer) and was very sluggish. After dropping the Fiesta off we set off for Ripley in Derbyshire.