Archive for the ‘r&m’ Category

Rarawa part two

November 17, 2019

Fishing, fishing and more fishing, that’s how most days pan out, although it’s not just snapper we’ve been catching.

Left; Maori Chief (yes, that is it’s name), top right; Porae, bottom right; Trevally & Porae

And many thanx to my brother John for quickly identifying the fish we had never caught before i.e. Maori Chief and the Porae. I sent him a picture of each fish when they were caught and within minutes we had the reply and full answer. The Maori chief was returned to the sea to live another day as he is not good to eat whilst the Porae was filleted then the fillets were baked on the BBQ, a lovely eating fish it was too. Thanx John for your great knowledge and prompt responses.

But don’t be deceived, some very good snapper have also been caught.

Snapper or two

And that’s not to say there hasn’t been the odd line broken and lost nor a tangle or two to undo.

Some of you may have seen on the news that a Manta Ray was washed up on Rarawa Beach this week. It’s a very unusual occurrence, in fact it’s the first time that a Manta Ray has been washed up on a beach in NZ.

Glen lying in front of the ray to give you some idea of its size.

According to news reports it was over 4m across, very impressive and so pleased that we didn’t come across that in the water when swimming! A day or so later Roy found its liver on the beach after it had been autopsied by scientists, the liver alone measuring in at over 1.5m…and I’ve refrained from posting a picture of that for the sake of decency, you can thank me later. And I also declined Roy’s kind offer of bringing it back to cook up for liver and bacon breakfast🤢.

We’ve also been busy with adding little bits and pieces to the van, even after 8 1/2 years on the road we are still tweaking things. Parcels were delivered to the Kaitaia Post office where we collected them during the week.

First was a replacement fan blade for the bathroom, as after I cleaned the old fan most of the blades broke off. I blame our strong UV light here in NZ for the deterioration of the plastic.

New fan blades

We also got some covers for the wheels, again to protect them from the fierce NZ sun when we are parked up for any length of time.

Wheel covers

Next was some hardware for the flyscreen door, first a spring which when mounted automatically shuts the door once opened, which saves me having to remind Roy to shut the screen door behind him! The kit came with two springs to attach but after installing the one, the door snaps shut so quickly and ferociously we decided that one was enough. The Second item is a bar style handle which fits across the door, this will save people pushing on the screen material which eventually will tear over time plus it adds strength to the door .

Left, screen door bar handle, top right inside view, bottom right spring loaded door

Then there are the new rain gutter spouts, over the years we have made our own versions of thesewhich have served us well but it was time to get some proper ones.

Rain gutter spouts

I also bought a set of hangers that slide into the awning rail so I can hang my lights up at Christmas, it will make it so easy to hang the lights along the rollout awning rail without too much fuss or bother.


And there has been some other major upgrades with some new 12v outlet points located into either side of the rear lockers. This is so we can power a bilge pump that we use to pump rain water that we catch into our tank. Previously we have run the wire in through a bedroom window which meant having to remove the insect screen from the window and to then have one of us always at the ready to plug/unplug it in to control the power. Modifications have been made and the pump is now firmly and permanently mounted at the bottom of a bucket with hose adaptors placed on the outside of the bucket to connect either a hose into the water tank or to use it with a shower attachment for use in a shower tent when appropriate. An on/off switch has also been installed which makes it so much easier to use.

Keith and Roy rewiring the pump

Oh and then there is the new 12v LED strip lighting that Keith gave to us which we have installed along the length of top of the slideout. It’s given us lovely ambient lighting inside the lounge area in the evenings without the glare of overhead lights.

We are constantly fine tuning things and as time goes by with new technologies and access to information, ideas and hardware becomes readily accessible there are always tweaks to be made to make life a little more pleasant.

Oh, we haven’t finished with Rarawa yet, part three is on its way!

The R&M continues

October 23, 2019

I’m in catch up mode, being a couple of weeks or more behind in blogging, somehow life gets a little busy or maybe I’m just easily distracted?

In between fishing escapades whilst at Uretiti, and with the weather showing its ugly side, we discovered we had a bit of a leak. That will teach us to be oh so cocky after having the roof cleaned, obviously they cleaned it too well with some of the sealant around vents and the like parting ways with the roof. The leak was a drip drip drip right over the end of our bed. And of course there is not much you can do about it when it is actually raining.

With a bit of a break in the weather, it was time to investigate the roof. The ingress of the water wasn’t apparent, nor was it evident immediately above where it was making its way inside. As water tends to travel in not so obvious routes, finding the entry point was proving difficult.

Roy went up to investigate and Keith kindly offered to supervise the pensioner on the roof!

Roy and Keith on the search

Think we’ve found it! Even though the drip inside is on the other side of the van

We think they fixed the leak, we just have to wait for the next lot of rain to test out the hypothesis, which wasn’t too far away by the look of those dark clouds rolling in.

It did still leak a little, but just a drop or two which could well be residual moisture being pushed though by pressure….well, that’s the theory at this stage.

After a few more tweaks we think it is all solved with the magic tape that Keith had on hand for such just eventualities.

We left Uretiti on the Sunday as it was a good window of fine weather as the forecast was not looking very good for the next couple of days with heavy winds and rain expected. We thought we would head up to Kerikeri for a few days and sit out the storm there.

We arrived in clear skies but the following couple of days we were subject to a bit of wild weather. Although we didn’t get the 100km/hr winds they were experiencing back at Uretiti, we still got the rain. And very heavy rain at that. OMG what is this? The drip has moved, it is now in the toilet area coming through the light fitting. Again, not much we can do in this weather, we just have to wait it out.

A break in the weather again, everything inspected and checked, nope, can’t see where it’s coming in at all. Theories were put forward, tested, refuted and more theories put forward. What’s this? Raining again? Guess what? No leaks. Fingers crossed it’s all sorted.

Now let’s get back to the fishing.

A clean break

October 6, 2019

Sometimes it just gets to you, being parked on gravel that it. We’d had enough of being parked at Ardmore and we were both hankering for grass, nature, beach and some space around us. We decided it was ok to leave Ardmore but we would not be going too far as we still need to be around Auckland just in case. We packed up the van ready to move but with a few tasks to do along the way it was not going to be a quick getaway.

First stop was to Bruce Pulman Park to dump the tanks and fill with fresh water, it’s within a couple of kms from Ardmore and not too far to travel. It’s a very good dump station as it has plenty of room, accessible from both sides, drive in and out and basically level as well. Job done, from there it was along the road to the petrol station to fill up with fuel. We know which stations have good, easy access for the van as not all are accessible for us. Some have very low overhead structures, some have the pumps lined up in such a way making it nigh on impossible for us to get in or out, others are just in awkward locations. Filled with fuel we are on our way, taking the Western Ring Road hence avoiding the centre of Auckland, traffic, and the Harbour Bridge.

Our next stop was in Onehunga to Cleanco Truck wash. We had heard that this company also cleans motorhomes and that they do a great job of cleaning the vehicles so we thought we would give them a try.

Lots of men washing the van

I waited for a short period of time in the customer lounge, chatting to a couple of truck drivers whilst the attendants washed the outside of the van. Roy remained inside the vehicle as he then had to move the van from that particular bay to another bay where they could access the roof via mobile stairs and gantry.

About to clean the roof

At this point I left them to it to continue on the journey in the car so I could get a bit of shopping done along the way. Roy meanwhile stayed with the van, he said he had never seen so much dirt come off the roof as they cleaned it, and in hindsight they should have cleaned the roof first before the rest of the vehicle. A lesson learnt for next time.

With wheels polished, tyres siliconed, and everything sparkly clean he was soon on his way. And at just $66 for the clean, well worth the money we thought and we will definitely use them again.

We are heading as far as Shakespear Regional Park, back to familiar territory for a week of R&R in amongst nature.

The route

I met up with Ranger Emma on my way into the Park, and was very warmly greeted before catching up on all the news from the Park. Roy arrived shortly afterwards and he had a quick catchup with Emma before it was time for us to park up….on grass!

It is so nice to be back, with plenty of space around us, the joyous sounds of prolific bird life and the crash of waves on the shore. Bliss.

Parked on grass again.

We had just finished setting up, and I had just put the kettle on for a cuppa when from across the park we hear a familiar voice calling out to us. It was head Ranger Bruce. Although he was on his days off he’d heard we were back for a visit (thanx Emma) so he came down to see us and welcome us, how lovely is that?

Over cups of tea we caught up on all the news and happenings, and no Bruce we are not starting Camp Hosting duties early, we are just having a bit of a break before heading north again. The fish are calling.


September 27, 2019

We tried, we truly did. But the wing mirror fix was not going to work, it was still wobbly so in desperation Roy went to see a man, returning a little later to tell me that we would be taking the van down the road to see the man at Vanco as he was going to fix it for us. Friday we went for a drive down the road to dump at Bruce Pullman Park and then on to Vanco for the repair work to be done. We were there for just under an hour whilst options A,B and C for the repair were discussed before finally agreeing on the simple fix.

With the wing mirror removed and the old holes filled, new holes were drilled ready for an aluminium plate to be attached on top of the fibreglass body of the van. Oh, and the wing mirror also has an indicator light on the arm so things have to be kept clear of those wires so they can be reconnected.

Old holes filled, new holes drilled

Next it was time to affix the new base plate.

Attaching the plate

All complete

With the mirror back in place. Sorted!

Perfect, it all works and it’s still on the side of the van a week later so a good job all round.

Next we had the new table leg to position inside the van. Where to put it came with lots of debate, not all of them polite!, with several positions attempted by holding the leg in different locations and trialling it until Roy decided he would put in a couple of screws to hold the base plate in place in where he thought it should go .

Location No. 1….nope, that wasn’t going to work as it was too close to the slide out for a table to move effectively.

Location No. 2….nope, that wouldn’t work either but if we moved the power point by putting in horizontally rather than vertically, that could work.

No, the picture is not the wrong way, the power point has been turned on its side

Location No. 3……nope, not in the middle of the seat Roy, too inconvenient.

Location No. 4…..yes, that may work, let’s try it. A couple of pieces of wood found in our ’roundtuit’ box are used to set it at the right angle and position, let’s try that.

Temporarily positioned.

That looks like it may work…BUT, it all depends on the size and shape of the table top that we are going to have. The next round of debate ensues. First large pieces of cardboard are used as table top prototypes, duct taped into position to trial. We think we know what the final size should be.

Then we had the brainwave, we have a stack of tables in Antony’s garage, let’s measure up a few and see what we have. Perfect, an old table that folds in half which is what we were thinking for our final table top, with two sizes in one. A bit of duct tape and it was attached to the table mount.

Trying out the table for size, yes, we know it’s upside down when folded out, we were just gauging the size and position.

Now, I am a ‘visual’ person, as in I need to actually see what and how something will look like and work before committing to it. Do we really want a table that shape and to fold in that manner? I know, how about I try folding pieces of paper cut to scale to see which idea is best and will work?

My prototypes in paper form.

We looked and we tried different versions and sizing and came up with exactly what would work for us. A small table perfect for the two of us, which folds out so that it will then fit six people around it comfortably, something like the middle version of the paper examples above.

Another brainwave, what about trialling the old small table top that we used to use, it had a central leg but we can unscrew the mount off that and give it a go as we need to be sure where the table top should be mounted onto the table to give the best movement and height. It is a bit smaller than the final size we have agreed upon but it will do in the meantime.

Version number……oh, I’ve lost count now!!

In store away mode

The duct tape has been usurped and we have screwed this table top in place to continue the trial. Next will be to attach the leg to the front corner of the seat in its permanent position and then get the table top made.

We also have an extra mounting plate which can be used elsewhere in the van, the debate continues on where that one will be positioned… this space!

Unpack and a reshuffle

September 19, 2019

The worst thing about getting home after a long time away is the unpacking, nothing ever seems to fit back where it should, or you cannot remember where things should go, and of course there is all the extra goodies that we brought home with us to find a new home.

Actually, we didn’t bring too much back with us although the bags seemed to be fairly full. We did bring back with us a Lagun table leg for the van. See here for a clip of it in action. Its a height adjustable swivel table mount that you can then put on your choice of table top. Now, that’s the issue, we don’t have a table top as yet that we are both happy with. Much debate will ensue I am sure.

I did bring back some tea bags though, rather a lot! Not only the 480 Yorkshire tea bags but also tea bags with a malty biscuit flavour!! It’s the tea you have when you want a biscuit but don’t want the calories.

Tea bags and a cuppa

Yes, I know, you can buy the tea bags here but these were such a large quantity for a bargain price, I just could not resist.

Also brought back were a couple of items I picked up at IKEA for the van kitchen and pantry, and some organisational pieces for the wardrobes. I can’t think of what else we brought back, apart from wonderful memories of time spent with family and friends.

It’s about time to have a good clean out of lockers, ditch a load of gear that we have been carting around for “justin” …….as in just-in-case, either to off load to store at Antony’s or just get rid of stuff.

The shed at Ardmore became the recipient of some fairly decent items, all to give away in the hope that they find their way to a good home.

Items included;

a Navman GPS (we use our phones/iPads for navigation) including the instructions

A portable 600w inverter (we have a decent built in one)

Headphones and charging cord

USB Charging plugs

4 x Stainless steel drink bottles

A static mini cycle

Various other items. NB. all items disappeared within a few hours of putting them out.

Lockers have been emptied and anything not used in the past year or two have been put into storage and a reshuffle of other lockers items have been done to make better use of the space.

As well, a bit of R&M has been undertaken on the van; the sliding door inside has had some mods done to make it glide more efficiently, the drivers side wing mirror mount has had a bit of TLC after we noticed the mirror wobbling a bit. The fridge has a new ignitor installed after it spat the dummy on our return. And the major thing has been some welding work done on our A-Frame after a weld broke, with it all now having been checked and sorted.

And in case you were missing out seeing lots of Callum pictures, here are a few to keep you going!!

Solar upgrades

September 15, 2019

We have had our solar set up on our van for just over 8 years now. We’ve had a great run with our set up including the solar panels and the battery bank. We are told that AGM batteries should last only about 5 years but ours are still going strong, which is what happens when you;

a) buy decent batteries in the first place

b) look after the batteries

c) don’t overload their usage ie. we panic if the battery levels ever get below 80-85% full!!!

However, we did want to put in a new charger that would top up the van battery off the solar feed that serves the house batteries, as when we sit still for any length of time, the van battery starts to lose power and although we can top them up from running the engine, it seems silly to start the engine every day just to charge it up again although we do have a magic switch that allows us to start the van off the house batteries. A new charger would keep the battery topped up all the time with the excess solar. So it was off to see Wayne Hunt in Hamilton.

We had arranged to meet him at his premises opposite the Base shopping complex in Hamilton, after a bit of discussion we also opted to have a new solar controller put in, an MPPT controller which would allow better charging of the batteries especially when they are getting to nearly full. I had it explained to me once that putting the last little bit of power into the battery was like trying to fill a container of water to the very top, carefully and slowly trying to dribble in the last little bit in to get it absolutely full. Previously, on a sunny day and batteries at 96% full, we would get a maximum of 0 to 1.5 amps dribbling in. In stark contrast, today at 96% with a weak sun we are putting in up to 11amps with the inverter going as well. A great improvement.

Wayne had it all done quickly, efficiently and tidily, he also tested out a couple of other things for us and also told us that our initial set up done by Absolute Power all those years ago was very well done which is always good to hear and he also made a point of telling us that our batteries were in great condition and we must have looked after them very well. We were happily on our way in an hour or so.

The new digital VSR on the left and the new MPPT controller at the rear

We can highly recommend Wayne at Motorhome Solar in Hamilton for very friendly, excellent service and at a very reasonable price, plus he goes out of his way to explain in layman’s terms the ins and outs to people like me who have few clues on all things electrical!

Countdown is on

May 14, 2019

This time next week we will be in London and to say that we are just a little excited is an understatement. Even the thought of being kept captive inside a thin metal tube for 26 hours isn’t that daunting, it’s just something that we have to get on with.

We are basically flying straight through with just a 2 1/2 hour stopover in Hong Kong. Yes, we are going through Hong Kong this time, we are still refusing to go through the USA – our little protest against adding to the tourism figures of a certain orange coloured figure that is pretending to be President – and as we went through Singapore last time, Vancouver the previous trip, this time Hong Kong draws the straw. We are flying with Cathay Pacific and we haven’t travelled with them before so this will all be new.

We are starting to write lists of what we want to take with us, but one suitcase has already been filled with goodies for Alex, Ian and the baby. There are things to sort out with bits and pieces here before we go and there is always something at the back of your mind that you can’t quite recall but you are positive that you have forgotten something. Time will tell.

Of course things haven’t exactly gone to plan. With just one week until we fly out, I was heading to bed when I noticed that the carpet at the end of the bed felt very very cold, no hang on a minute, that’s not cold, it’s damp. A bit of a feel around the carpet area and yes, it’s definitely wet, I called Roy to come and check it out. Initially I though I must have knocked over my water bottle and it had leaked a bit but no, that wasn’t the problem. Next idea was to lift up the bed and have a look under the bed as this is where our water tank is located. After moving stuff out of the way we found that the carpet in one corner was also wet, following it back we figured it was coming from the pump. It looked like the seals in the pump may have given up with a leak dripping from a joint in the main pump. Bugger.

To cut a long story short, we were heading the following day to go visit friends in Papamoa so a slight diversion into Tauranga was required. At the store (which shall remain nameless) we were ushered to the correct part of the store to look at options, we were being strongly persuaded to buy a particular brand, the cheapest one, which they told us were being put into new motorhomes and used as replacements and they sell heaps of them. However, not one to be swayed by an effusive salesmen’s patter, we said we would carefully look through the options on our own for a while. After a bit of googling we decided against their advice and go for a more expensive one, in fact the same brand as the one we were replacing.

the new pump installed.

Roy had the new pump installed and the tank refilled with water and tested in no time at all. There were hardly and ¥{§&< words spoken either during the installation, or not that I heard, as I removed myself from the van and earshot to the safety of the house 😂.

Well, what a revelation, the pump is so quiet that we cannot hear it at all when we run a tap. Our old pump must have been getting noisier and noisier but so gradual that over time we hadn’t noticed. And the pressure is better too so all in all a good fix especially before we go away knowing that we would not come back to a swimming pool!

Only 5 more sleeps and we are off, my next entry will probably be from Old Blighty. So cheerio old chaps!

PS. Oh and just in case you were wondering…..

I adjusted the sign 😂.

Magic spray

April 14, 2019

Now I would hazard a guess that many of you have seen an All Black crumble to the ground in an agonising heap only to be restored to full fitness by a quick spray or drink of some “magic water”?

they even label the water deliverer so no one is under any illusion as to what is going on.

They even have the magic spray in football

I hasten to add here that you rarely see this sort of thing going on in netball, just saying!

Well, I can now attest to another magic spray, but it’s definitely not water.

Firstly, a background story of what has been happening within the Vannini Van that requires the attention of some magic spray or lubrication.

For some time now we have been having issues. And this issue has been blighting our travels on and off for a few years now. It doesn’t happen all the time, just intermittently and when you least expect it to happen. As well, it usually occurs at the most inconvenient moments and I have been saying for some time that I thought a bit of lubricating spray would help, however, we never seem to remember it until it’s too late.

You see we’ve been having major issues with our rear view/reversing camera. It is part of the passengers duties to keep an eagle eye on the said camera whilst we are travelling to make sure that the car is indeed following us everywhere we go. But for some reason or other the picture flickers on and off, sometimes more off than on, or the picture fades away but it goes just fine if you tap the contrast button or we go over a major bump in the road. The tapping gently of the contrast button tends to wake up the monitor and the picture becomes clear again for all of a second or two before disappearing again.

the said camera.

The problem has become worse and worse over time, I have complained to the driver who will give it a bit of a bash before grumbling that I am annoying or such like. Recently he tried taping the button down with some duct tape but that didn’t work for more than 5 minutes. So in desperation, I got out the spray can of WD40, attached the tube that gives you a controlled directional spray and gave the contrast button a drop of the magic elixir.

Well, the picture instantly became clear, and what is more it has stayed on continuously for our latest journey making me wonder why we hadn’t tried it before today.

On doing a bit of research, this WD40 stuff has a gazillion uses around the home, from cleaning, to lubricating, to just about anything you can think of. Here are a few uses I have found on the interweb.

1. Lube a shovel. Spray WD-40 on a shovel, spading fork, hoe or garden trowel. The soil slides right off — especially helpful when digging in clay.

2. Clean tile. The spray removes spilled mascara, nail polish, paint and scuff marks from tile floors, and also help you wipe away grime from the grout lines. Clean up with soapy water.

3. Scrub stains from stainless steel sinks.

4. Unstick chewing gum. A squirt makes it easier to pull chewing gum out of carpet and even hair. It’s better than cutting out the gum and leaving patchy carpet or a bad haircut.

5. Soften leather. Oil can help break in a stiff leather tool belt.

6. Free stuck LEGOs. Your kids will thank you.

7. Cleans old muffin tins. I am yet to test out this theory, I just wonder if this is for the underside of the tin rather than anything that would come in contact with food.

8. Prevent flowerpots from sticking when stacked together.

For a full list, read a list of thousands of uses here

In the interim, the monitor continues to function perfectly since we sprayed it a few weeks ago.

Never a dull moment

October 1, 2018

The fishing was going great guns, every time the blokes went out they came home with lots of fish so we were eating it, giving it away and freezing some. Just as well as both couples were heading away for a couple of days, us a quick trip to Auckland for medical appointments and Keith & Debbie were off to Tauranga the day after we left for a family matter.

But not before a last minute fish off Tokerau Beach.

Keith with control in hand ready to send the drone out with the baits and longline.

We have lift off.

Wait for 45 minutes then press the button on the reel to bring in the line….

Enough fish to share around with family and friends.

We were very fortunate as we were going to break our journey to Auckland by staying with Jacky & Chris at Whakapirau as it is a non stop 5 1/2 hour drive from Tokerau to Auckland, and who does that sort of distance without a couple of stops at least? It’s 3 1/2 hrs to Whakapirau, but add another hour on to that for stops, road works and the like so it’s still a decent drive.

Roy had a checkup with the Urologist, the upshot being he is having some surgery to clean up the prostate on Monday 8th October. He will be in Ascot Hospital overnight or possibly two nights. Meanwhile I had my 3month checkup with my surgeon, and we made a date for knee surgery, 19th November it is scheduled for the first knee replacement, a great birthday present to myself!!

After another great stay with Jacky and Chris on our return journey home, we headed home Wednesday morning, calling in to the Jewellers in Whangarei to pick up my repaired rings and necklace.

my rings, all beautifully repaired and polished, and now all joined together so that they don’t rub against each other.

I also had my necklace repaired with a new chain put on,

This necklace is one that Roy gave to me for my 21st birthday, just a couple of years ago!

Back at the van on Thursday I received a call from my surgeon, on reviewing the latest X-ray of my hip, they’ve noticed an anomaly on the trochanter (top of the femur) which doesn’t look quite right and could I go back for an MRI scan to further investigate things? Oh no, what could it possibly be? Stress fractures possibly, but they will see once they do the scan. No wonder I still have pain!! I’ve scheduled the MRI and consult for the 9th October so we shall have to wait and see what eventuates. Bugger!

Never mind, we can hopefully get another week of fishing in, whip down to Auckland in the car for a couple of days and get everything over had done with and still be on track for knee surgery in November. Fingers crossed.

When Sh*# happens

September 29, 2018

Sometimes you just wonder when will it ever end. This entry is all about the realities of living in a motorhome/RV so skip this one if you are of a delicate disposition.

We were in the sh#*. Literally! The valve that we open to empty the black tank had developed a leak, just a drip drip drip, but nevertheless a drip, and a smelly one at that because we are under no illusion that our crap does not stink!

Luckily we had a valve to replace the said leaky one, we’ve been carrying it around for years….just in case.

The new pieces, the black tank valve is 3 inch diameter valve (the picture shows the smaller grey tank valve).

This is where it all happens, inside the locker is the two handles to pull, one for the grey waste one for the black. By the time I took this picture we had managed to get the black valve out before the harrowing task of trying to get it all back together. How does it all work I hear you ask? You go to a dump station, place the evacuation hose into the dump station, pull the handle to open the valve and it all magically disappears down the pipes though the red hose you can see at the bottom left of the picture into the dump station, never to be seen. It is usually a no mess easy to perform task but not when there is a leak. Ewwww.

I researched how to replace the valve on YouTube, we watched the videos, it looked oh so simple, yeah right. Roy and I spent nearly a whole day trying to get the said goddam valve removed, it is in an awkward position and we had to both try to get our hands in there to undo nuts, wiggle around pipe work and other bits and generally become more and more frustrated with the whole process.

Roy contemplating the next move.

We finally got the valve removed but it was no easy task as two of the nuts and bolts were at the back of the locker behind the pipe work, almost flush against the rear of the locker. It did not help that also in this locker is the panel holding the outdoor shower and light panel which quite frankly was just a damn nuisance and got in the way.

In the end we gave up and waited for reinforcements.

Gary and Keith to the rescue. Not everyone would be ok dealing with someone else waste outlets, but in saying that we did make sure they were well and truly emptied and left empty for a couple of days to dry out.

Not only did they have to get the replacement valve in place, but it was critical that the two rubber washers were perfectly lined up so as not to create another leak and with little or no wiggle room to move the pipes apart, patience and determination were the key elements as you no sooner got the valve into position then one of the rubber washers would either fall out or be in the wrong position. Grrrrr.

three heads are better than one to nut out the problem, right? The easiest way it seems, was to also remove the grey waste valve giving a little more room to move and then replace the grey valve last as it is smaller and with less other pipe work around it. After a little while it was all done, great team work between the guys and it was time to test. I poured a bucket of water down the toilet to test for any leaks. Holding our breath we waited…..success, no leaks. Then the grey, hooray, it’s all working as it should, no leaks and all cleaned up.

all back together, handles labelled, pipes reinstated, we are now good to go.

A HUGE thank you to Gary and Keith for coming to our aid, it’s times like this that you get to know who your friends are!!!