Monday, June 30, 2014

The best laid plans.....

Having spent several enjoyable but uneventful days at some Mediterranean Aires we pressed on south into Spain. We stayed at a couple of our favourite stopovers, Saint Feliu near Girona and Peniscola near to Vinaros.

A few miles out of Peniscola I felt the steering go very stiff so pulled in at the next safe stopping point which was a fuel station (closed as it was a Sunday) and popped the bonnet to investigate.

All seemed Ok with the steering fluid but then I did a double take as I noticed the alternator was sitting at a strange angle and its pulley had no belt on it! Access to an A-Class engine bay is a little restricted but reaching in I discovered that the alternator was just resting on a ledge at the side of the engine and had actually sheared its cast mounting bracket.....

We were going nowhere.

Finding all our relevant paperwork I called the RAC breakdown service back in Norwich and after lots of form filling questions they set the wheels in motion to recover us. So far the RAC have been fantastic! They have contacted us regularly to tell us what had been going on and to ask us if we'd seen the recovery truck yet etc. When we said no they went off to chase it and called back to explain that the delay had been because they needed to source a BIG truck.

A while later a blooming great artic unit and low loader arrived and the van was loaded onto it.

At this point we were a little surprised to be told by the very polite driver, in Spanish or course, that we wouldn't be able to travel with it because there were 2 of us plus our dog! Anyway another call to the RAC and they were surprised but would find us a taxi that would take dogs.

With a couple of hastily packed bags we stood abandoned on the deserted forecourt in the middle of nowhere watching our 'home' driving off on the truck into the distance....

We were entertained by the comings and goings of various vehicles calling on the services of a working girl who shared 'our' forecourt.

Quite some time later, as we were just starting to wonder what our 'plan b' might be a taxi arrived and took us back to Peniscola, to a hotel (that accepted dogs) organised and paid for (except 8€ for Digger) by the RAC. We were very relieved and settled in to think about what next...

Again the RAC called to see that we were settled in OK and that they would call again the next morning with an update on proceedings.

Using the hotel wifi I took the opportunity to prewarn the warranty company of our claim and to email the dealer we bought from to let them know what had happened in case we needed any support from them with the warranty company.

Sure enough next morning (this morning as I write) the RAC called to say the motorhome will be transferred to an Iveco garage today and that they will organise a taxi to pick us us and take us to a car hire place as per their policy.

So, I'm sure this won't be without further dramas but so far I have nothing but extremely high praise for RAC European Breakdown cover.

1 comment:

  1. Hi ! Neil, you write well.

    we are a family of 4 planning to tour Spain and Portugal in a McLouis 2.22 in June / July and were wondering if it will be ok to drive in mountain areas and countryside especially northern Spain.

    also any ideas on where to safely wild camp...not so much as to save money but more to be really in the lap of nature and not always inside a commercial campsite