September Trip Summary

posted in: Travels 0

Orkney

First off, I forgot to reset the odometer on the van so don’t have total miles, fuel consumption or average speed, Oops!

As I have mentioned in the posts posted during the journey, we left home a bit earlier that intended due to forecasted bad weather. Because of this we spent a few days on Orkney Mainland.

  1. Home
  2. Parked up for first night in Kirkwall
  3. Dounby to visit Rosie and Sergio
  4. Skaill bay – became very busy so moved on
  5. Marwick Bay – was already full of cars and campervans
  6. Brough of Birsay – Oh my if we thought Marwick was busy! There was barely room to turn round and run away!
  7. Evie – Perfect! No people when we arrived and very few during the course of the day. In the end, although we went shopping during the day, we spent two nights here.
  8. Ha ha, Oops no No 8!
  9. Not tracked with tracker, don’t know why, anyway this is Stromness where we boarded the Hamnavoe to Scrabster

Scotland Mainland

Here is the map of our travels in Scotland.

  1. Castletown Old Flagworks – There were three other motorhome here but it is a massive carpark and we were well spread out so we spent the night here. Nice and quiet with good walks for Oscar.
  2. Carpark next to cemetery at Trantelberg. Too early to stop here but one to keep in mind for the future.
  3. Baile An Or: spent the afternoon and night here. There were a few people panning for gold.
  4. Duffus Castle: we (I) slipped up with this leg of the journey, it took a lot longer than expected and fairly took it out of Marlene. We intended to spend the night here but the noise from the farmer working in the adjacent field had Oscar panic stricken so we moved on. Actually it wasn’t an ideal spot overall and I have taken it off my list for future reference.
  5. Culbin Car Park: We’ve stayed here before but now they have signs explicitly prohibiting overnight parking so moved on again!
  6. Culbin Car Park: another smaller, older car park with no signs so we spent the night here. Quiet night with no other visitors throughout.
  7. Shopping at various shops in Inverness
  8. Scrabster for return ferry to Orkney.

Cold Box

I mentioned in my last post that we had bought some frozen food and would see how my “cold box” under Marlene’s bed worked out. It worked a treat! All of the frozen food was still frozen solid when we got home, great result.

Issues

I was a bit disappointed with the battery bank performance on this trip. The weather was poor during our time on Orkney and for the first day on Scotland so we didn’t harvest much solar energy. That said we did a good bit of driving and I would have expected the vehicle alternator to top up the leisure battery bank. I didn’t have my meter with me to investigate properly but it didn’t look as the the battery bank was getting any charge from the alternator at all! On top of that the vehicle battery didn’t seem to be performing particularly well either. I feared that perhaps the alternator might be up the spout and we were relying entirely on the solar.

Further investigation when we get home and it looks as though the vehicle battery is more or less dead as it isn’t holding charge as it should. I think this was masked during the summer due to being continuously topped up by the solar panels. New battery ordered.

Also, I think I will get better leisure battery charging from the alternator via a battery to battery charger than the current voltage sensing relay so I have ordered a Victron B2B charger to replace the VSR. The B2B unit is a lot more expensive that the VSR but does a better job. I should have put my hand deeper in my pocket when I did the initial installation (isn’t that often the case?).

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