Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Balkans 2017

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
This years trip is to the Balkans. I dont normally post as i go, but i happened to have some free time, plus EU mobile roaming doesnt cost extra.

Plan is to crossover to cross over from Hull to Rotterdam, then dash across the Netherlands, Germany and Austria into Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia and then back into Croatia and Slovenia and back. Three weeks in total. The route is primarily based on Vibraction road book 31.

https://www.vibraction.org/road-books/les-balkans/

I had originally planned to tag on Albania but then decided against it as i would really be pushing it. Anyway, its always good to leave something for next time.

Plan was for single vehicle with travel companions, but as things happened, they dropped out and i decided to go solo. As such i reconfigured the back to be able to sleep in vehicle apart from having the roof tent.

So last Friday, car serviced, loaded with camping, recovery gear and enough provisions for an army I headed to Hull to catch the night ferry to Rotterdam. As i approached Hull the gods decided i should be sent off in style as a gull swooped down and dumped across my windscreen!

The crossing was uneventful and by 10am on Saturday I was on the road. The weekend traffic was pretty hectic with lots of cars towing caravans. I parked up for the night at around 9pm in a services just short of the Austrian border and the city of Salzburg. Not too many photos, but heres one arriving in Rotterdam

IMG_20170826_083735845.jpg


This morning i headed south into Austria with the intension of crossing into Slovenia. I was driving along the A10 autobahn when the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. The gps showed a rest stop a kilometer or two ahead and i pulled in there, safely off the motorway which didnt have hard shoulder.

The dash lights for battery, oil, oil filter, at temp, brake and even the timing belt came were lit. Since its unlikely that all those systems would suddenly fail, my thoughts went to something electronic, a cpu maybe. The dreaded electronics in a 100 series.

I pulled my phone out to see who i could contact. Paul's name, previous owner, came up and he suggested it was proably the alternator. Thanks Paul. I also called Jon, and he said the same. Thanks Jon.

Now in the UK my breakdown service is the AA and my cover doesnt extend to Europe. As things turned out, the gods were smiling on me - thank you seagull in Hull. I had seen Chris's thread about ADAC and last minute on Friday before i left, I subscrbed over the phone. Thanks Chris. Little was i to know that I'd be using them within 48 hours! I gave them a call and within the hour a truck showed up. The alternator, called generator in german, was confirmed kaput. I followed the breakdown truck to a local indy garage just off the motorway, with a toyota dealer just round the corner. I now need to wait till tomorrow to get the replacement alternator ordered and fitted. Hopefully wont take too long. Im camping in the garage yard at the moment.

IMG_20170827_165942371.jpg


There was nothing else for me to do so i decided to walk to the village so 3km away - in 30C heat. On the corner next to the garage I came across a strip club. Brilliant I thought to myself, that could come in handy for later....




.... whoa what are you all thinking!!!! If I walk to the village and get lost, Ill ask a taxi driver to take me to the garage by the strip club. Honestly you lot. Now i know it didnt happen if there are no photos, so here you go ...

IMG_20170827_141353837.jpg


There, day 2 of my holiday and Im stuck with a vehicle breakdown, but my spirits and humour are still high ... just wait till i get the bill!

In truth, it looks like the alternator was on its way out and would have failed anyway. Its just bad timing. Now Im just praying to the seagull from Hull that I havent fried the batteries.
 

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
Now I dont know whether its related but about two month ago my Victron split charge unit stopped triggering. Its been in the truck for the last 6/7 years and was in the 90 before that.

IMG_20170812_120645037.jpg


It had given me good service over the years. The plan was to replace with a dc to dc charger and maybe add solar, but i didt have the time, so i replaced itvwith this...

IMG_20170806_123840830.jpg
IMG_20170812_120645037.jpg


I am now a little wary. I dont know why the Victron went, or was it still ok with the problem being in the alternator. Or is the problem in the new quantity in the equation.

Ill be needing the splitcharge and leisure battery. I can switch off the fridge (no cold drinks in 30C heat, but ill survive), but i need the leisure battery to run the pc which i use for navigation. I could use the Garmin, but i havent got my route on there.

If i use the split charge, there's going to be this nagging doubt. I think i need to stay close to where i can get problems sorted for a while. The risks of single vehicle travel ...
 

garygiles1963

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
689
Hi

Sorry for your bad luck.

But maybe its better it went now, not when you up some mountain, million miles from anyone.

Good luck with the rest of the trip.

Keep us posted.

G.
 

Gary820

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
3,119
Garage
Country Flag
great_britain
Unlucky with the breakdown but looking good so far.

I use the same split charge relay and it gives me no issues, been on for over a year now. Its more likely the alternator was just on it's way.
 

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
Yes indeed. I did pick up a replacement sat phone before i left, but that wont get me off a mountain if the batteries die.

I did a search on the forum before i bought the split charge and saw your thread. Trucks getting on, so tjings will fail from time to time. I dont know if there is any preventable maintenance you can do on alternators. If the replacement is not on exchange i carry thd old one round the Balkans and get it refurbed in the UK to keep as a spare.

Thanks for the support
 

AndyCook

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
3,733
Garage
Country Flag
scotland
A temporary mishap , I am sure rest of trip will be great.
Looking forward to seeing the balkans, I saw that roadbook, but needs a big chunk of holiday time to do it.
Hope you get s speedy fix tomorrow
Good to see ADAC were good
Haven't needed to call yet, been using them for cover for a few years now
 
Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
Thanks Andy. All part of the fun. The countryside where I am is very nice so im sure I'll find something to do if im stuck here for a while. Only thing is its too hot for walking... 30c plus.

The response from ADAC was excellent. Even on the phone.

Thinking back, yesterday at one point i turned the ignition on, the engine fired up but shut down immediately. I thought it strange but also thought i must have knocked the key back. It fired up normally the second time.

Ahhh another breakdown truck has pulled up. Must go and seecwhat happening! Excitement.
 

chapel gate

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Promoted Company
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
4,454
Country Flag
england
All part of the fun. I once drove from leipzig to munich on three cylinders. Spent the next week putting new rings on piston number two in a side street, germans just dont do that sort of thing. Never had any cover, just a good tool kit and some spares.

as said, better to happen in a town than the middle of no where.

enjoy the trip, sounds great.
 

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
Thats a good point lol. In sleeping in the back of the truck and it feels uncomfortable and muggy.
 

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
One point about ADAC, I offer to give them my location using coordinates off the gps. The said they couldnt use those which i thought strange. I had to give them the rest stop number.
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
17,841
Garage
Country Flag
great_britain
Well now, that's an eventful start Reinhard! You have my attention for sure. Buckle up folks ....
 

GeekOKent

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
2,570
Country Flag
uk
Lucky, to have all these things fall through in perhaps the best way possible. Hope you are back on the road quickly and have a slightly less eventful trip.
 

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
So Ive spoken to the master mechanic. He is ordering replacement on an exchange basis. The cost is E430 and E150 to fit. Shame the exchange rate is what it is. The alternator will be here sometime tomorrow, then need time to fit, so it looks like Im stuck for the next day or two. At least he's ok with me sleeping in the yard so I dont need to factor in any hotels.

I checked the voltage on the starter batteries this norning. They show 12.52v connected together. The label says 12.4v is their minimum so they are probably ok. I should check them individually. Just an observation ... the split charge cut out is 12.5 (currently isolated) - that is very close to the battery minimum. I think I will look to get it upgraded.

I need to do some replanning. I think Ill factor in some down time as work has been pretty stressful recently. It will mean dropping part of the route but hey Im the boss, so I can do as I like :) Also Id like to hang around where i can get easy help if i have further problems. I think ill be coming this way again as Albania is still on the list, so I can pick up where i left off next time round.

Now i need to think about lunch - pretzels, sausage and beer should do it.
 

clivehorridge

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Guru
Joined
May 23, 2012
Messages
14,927
Garage
Country Flag
romania
Keep your chin-up Reinhard, it sounds a bit steep for a fitted alternator, but what the heck, at least you'll be mobile again soon. :thumbup:

Lunch at the strip club, again?
 

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
Thanks Clive. Yes, the alternator is being fitted as we speak. Its an extra expense but it would have gone anyway. Its a good thing it went while i was still in Austria. I think it might have been more difficult to replace further south. According to thd toyo website the alternator would have been some e800 from the dealer.

The problem has forced me to slow down. My life in the real world has become way to hectic, mostly with work, but even outside of it. Being stuck in Austria has allowed me to stop, to look around, to do some reading and even to browse through the forum - something Ive not really been having time to do. Ive been told that this phenomenon is called 'relaxing'. Cant remember the last time Ive done it. Im in the process of replanning the trip. Im shortening the route partly because of the extra time spent in Austria, but also to factor in some more relaxing time.

Oh, and cant afford the club after this expense!
 

SpinDrift

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,130
Garage
The alternator has been fitted. Damage was 590 euro, just about as estimated. I drove from Austria to Croatia without any issues. I am now in a campsite by the Adriatic. Its a little busy but I think Ill linger here for a couple of days. Rain is forecast on thd coast for Friday, so Ill head inland and hit the dirt then.

If anyone needs a mechanic when in Austria, this is them: http://www.kfz-pleschberger.at They did a good job at a reasonable price.
 

garygiles1963

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
689
Great to hear your back on the road.

One thing I learnt from my Norway-Sweden trip last year, was to many miles in to short a time.

That's why I want to take more time with my recent Pyrenees trip. just not rushing it. Taking a bit more time to appreciate my surroundings.

I'm really interested in seeing and hearing about your trip. Its an area I really keen on traveling.

G
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
17,841
Garage
Country Flag
great_britain
This has prompted me to dig out my spare. I don't carry one on long trips as it's more stuff and you can't carry everything. But ..
 

AndyCook

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
3,733
Garage
Country Flag
scotland
Great news enjoy the balkans

I reduced the time we spent in vehicle on our trip this year too,
Tried to be at camp spot by 3pm so we could enjoy afternoon and go for walks etc
And more exploring on foot or bike during day too, but often the heat scuppered that
 
Top