Day One – Disaster

So the day had finally arrived. The van was all packed and almost ready to go. We have been suffering fueling issuss for the past couple of months, and whittled the problem down to the fuel delivery system. Either it was the file filter or the fuel pump.

As our ferry didn’t set off until eleven pm, we decided to replace the fuel filter as it was a quick and easy job… Obviously, things are never quick and easy when it come to Ruby.

With Willow confident that we should be able to change the fuel filter without emptying the tank, we set about clamping hoses to ensure that petrol didn’t gush out when we started disconnecting the filter. Now I would like to write that we disconnected the fuel filter easily and swapped the new filter into the system without wasting a drop of petrol. However, this was not the case.

Considering the petrol tank was almost empty, what followed the unmounting of the fuel filter can only be described as a waterfall of petrol. I imagine like me, you have never had petrol poorbapl over you. There are two things you should know about petrol pooring over you whilst you are lying underneath a vehicle. Firstly , it burns. You will come to realise this very quickly, however you are now in the position where you are desperately trying to stop the petrol pouring out all over the driveway, so have to suck it up and deal with it. The second thing you learn is that petrol melts foam yoga mats and tarmac driveways. Not the best when you are lying directly on those two items, with petrol pouring all over you, the yoga mat and the drive way. Still, you have commited now and so have to finish installing the new fuel filter.

With the new filter fitted, and the downpour of fuel stopped, it was off to shower to ease the burnt patches of skin and scrap off the black goo that covered my back.

Finally clean, we tested Ruby to see the massive improvement we had made to the failing fuel system. Unfortunately, the new filter had no impact on the fuel delivery system, and Ruby still wasn’t running as efficiently as we knew she should. This could only mean that it was the fuel pump that was dying and would need to be replaced.

With no time left, and the van working, just with a poorer performance, we made the decision to order a fuel pump to a family friend’s french holiday home. That way, if the fuel pump died in whilst in France, we should be able to replace it.

With the new part ordered, we had our dinner and then set off to Newhaven.

We made good time to the ferry port and crossed the passport checks in no time.

This is the part where my writing becomes more akin to Lemony Snickets. As I would like to write that when the ferry was loaded, we drove onboard, and stood on the deck as we sailed into the horizon. Unfortunately, Ruby decided that at the moment we where about to load onto the ferry, that the fuel pump was going to completely fail and stall, as we were about to lead the last line of vans onto the ship. A mixture of disappointment, embarrassment and anger washed through me, as we had to explain to the harbour staff what was happening. We were told the ship could wait five minutes for us to try and fix it, and through nonlack of trying to find away around the problem, we were unable to get the dump working, and so waved goodbye to the ferry… And at that point, potentially our holiday plans already.

We towed Ruby back to Willow’s parents and racked our brains over what our plan of action would be in the morning.

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