Mothership II Shakedown trip #1

We took MS2 on a shakedown trip down to Horam in Sussex and had a delightful couple of days in Horam Manor Touring Park. We had a couple of niggles including a leak from the fresh water tank. It seems that the tank covers were not screwed down tight enough. There is also a little seepage from the drain hose and the overflow hose. The tank covers are now numbered and marked so we know if they come loose again. We’ll drain the tank properly and check the drain hose in the next couple of days. A leak in either of the water tanks is a big deal in a double floored van because the water leaks inside and not down onto the road as with underslung tanks. We probably lost a litre so there was half an hour of careful mopping out and it’s sorted now. We think no damage has been done. This is an important thing to fix as we do need to travel with the water tank full – we don’t have the budget to be on campsites all the time, so wild camping means carrying everything for a few days with us.

The acrylic mount for the sat nav works reasonably well – it seems to flex a little so some strengthening strips to glue on the back over the next few days. There’s a niggle or two with the captains table – it has a latching middle leaf that seems not to latch properly plus some magnets that hold it together that are not fitted properly. Again, on the snag list they go!

We’ve been fitting the obligatory tack matting to the cupboards and storage spaces to try and stop things sliding around and we still have to sort out the bathroom cabinets – they have only a tiny lip so almost everything falls out when you open the doors. I guess this luxury tourer is meant to travel from place to place without anything in the bathroom lockers!

The fridge needs another shelf – so we’ve emailed Dometic to see if we can buy a spare. The auto switchover for the fridge seems to be non-intuitive, so we’ve turned it off for now. 

The underfloor storage areas seem to be naturally morphing into beer, wine and soft drinks storage.

We decided not to test the power budget this weekend so we stayed on hookup. We have a music festival in a couple of weeks so that will be the first wild camping weekend. We don’t expect any issues, but we still want to make some changes to the solar setup before we go away.

It was a scorching weekend and the van was certainly warm, but we have found that the Alpa layout allows us to completely partition the cab off and that makes a big difference. The 7(!) skylights mean that we can get plenty of air in and the windows all open really wide too. The overcab bed was really comfortable and we hope to have proper bedding for it in a week or so.

All in all, we tested pretty much everything on the van this weekend and apart from the above niggles everything seemed to work just fine, although the snag list is longer now than it was on Friday! But we are moving onwards and upwards!