• I managed to source the manufacturer approved repair and fitted it. Here's hoping...

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  • Just back from a 4,200 mile trip to the Baltic States, which took in a lot of poor roads, especially in parts of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Some of the roads we encountered in Lithuania and Latvia had long and deep washboard sections - tough on any vehicle.

    The trip blog can be viewed here if anyone is interested.

    The truck performed extremely well and only threw up one issue. It’s an issue that’s raised its head before and revolves around the exhaust. Failure of exhaust mounting brackets and the section of the standard-fit flexible bellows just downstream of the manifold is well known: even new trucks in active service suffered a lot. The flexible section was eventually replaced by a solid piece of pipe and different silencer mounting bands were used, presumably to try to take some stress out of the weaker parts of the system.

    On this trip the mounting bracket that attaches to the gearbox (6) worked loose so I added a couple of spring washers and retightened. That seemed to sort that but with only three days of the trip remaining the flexible bellows section (c) developed a small leak. This wasn’t a showstopper and only made a slight woofling noise at certain revs. I’m currently on working out the best way to proceed.

    Regarding the oversized tyres that I’ve written so much about in recent times. During a slow day when we were marking time in Sweden I changed a front wheel for the spare, basically to make sure I could do the job on my own with only tools we carried on the truck. All went well but the ‘spare’ wheel definitely gave a different drive. It returned us to the kind of unpleasant wobbles that we’d experienced with the original 12 inch tyres. It’s really odd as - like with the 12s - the problem was intermittent. As with the 12s, whether this problem is caused by a balancing issue or whether the spare tyre is slightly ‘squared’ I don’t yet know…

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  • Whilst on with pondering my original electrical installation and doing the below manual-relay-override conversion, I measured the consumption of a few other bits of hardware when in standby state.

    NB, all @24V:

    40A relay = 85mA

    60A relay = 165mA

    18A DC-DC Converter = 280mA

    1800W Inverter = 330mA.

    Leaving this combination of items on standby was something that we sometimes did when out and about and it came as something of a surprise to realise that to do so was 'costing' us 860mA an hour.

    We're normally parked up for about 17hrs per overnighting spot so were effectively giving away 14.62A. One 24hr period would equate to the consumption of 20.64A - and all this without actually using any domestic equipment.

    Put another way, these losses might otherwise run the compressor fridge on a low setting and in moderate ambient temperature. Proper shocker.

    I'm glad I did the measurements. Manufacturers tend to underplay standby / quiescent loads and I confess I had - until recently - pretty much just shrugged the issue off. I'd urge everyone - who hasn't already - to reduce / eradicate these pointless losses - battery performance / longevity can only be improved.

    Incidentally, using extrapolated figures from real-world solar panel use, it would have taken an 80W solar panel from dawn till dusk on a sunny summer day just to offset the 20A loss that my 40A relay / 60A relay / DC-DC / converter / inverter combination would 'steal'. On a sunny winter's day, you'd be looking at 600W of solar array to offset the loss.

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Tweaks and fixes are an ongoing part of the project. This series of pages form a blog - of sorts - and is intended to give a flavour of the day-to-day realities of living with the truck as issues crop up and tweaks and fixes progress. Many of the posts eventually end up getting written up properly and included in the main body of the Trip Truck site; so if you think you have read any of the older posts somewhere else, you almost certainly have.

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