Designing the Van Part 38 – Testing the Water

With everything pretty much fitted it was time to perform some rigorous tests on the various systems before embarking on an epic drive from Wolverhampton to Barcelona via France. It was important that everything work otherwise it was going to be a very eggy-faced 1200 miles.

The solar panel regulator was indicating a fully charged leisure battery courtesy of its little ‘Float OK’ LED so I figured a good test would be t charge my laptop on it. I plugged it all in and left it while I went and filled the water tank.

The short journey to the tap was easy with the lightweight 30 litre bottle but getting back was a slightly tougher job as the tank weighed more than Dawn French and Pavarotti combined after a cake binge. The memory is a funny thing. I mention this now because further down the line I’ll fill this thing again, carry it several hundred metres cursing every step while remembering that I’d managed it easily before.

The mind is a lying bastard.

Back at the van and having expelled more ‘f’s than an entire platoon of commandos I dropped the pump into the tank, pushed it back into place and flipped the pump on at the control panel. I half filled the sink and let it sit for a while to see if any leaks were up to no good.

All was clear underneath so I drained it and emptied the waste tank straight away before filling the water heater for another test run. I was dismayed to see a third of the fresh water vanish into the belly of the Cascade II heater and came to the sudden realisation that in some remote places where water supplies might prove difficult we’d have to forego the luxury of hot water.

Still, if everything was as it should be we wouldn’t need it anyway – Spain is a hot country.

15 minutes later the water was almost hot and there were no problems along the delivery line which was an added bonus. The laptop was still charging nicely too, half an hour by this point.

I left it for another couple of hours and was happy to discover it fully charged and the leisure battery not even sweating. I tried the lights – all fine. Things were looking good for the journey which would start properly in the next few days.

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