Out of the Parking lot and into the shop!



This section should be a no-brainer, but due to Covid, our travel plans were sidelined for a year. We took this opportunity to invest in a rebuild. Suffice to say, we planned out what we wanted and created a budget to accomplish things promptly. Unfortunately, Murphy's Law struck right after making one of the last big purchases and tapping out our spending allowance.


I was so excited when I completed the increased battery bank and solar panel install and upgrades to the interior that we planned a weekend trip to test out some of the new features. Admittedly, I had noticed an odd sound the last few days but thought it was just the need for new brake pads. However, the day we were set to head out, we could not ignore the noise. Frustrated but not discouraged, I picked up new pads from the local Canadian Tire and started the process of a quick change and then off.


Surprise, not so quick. After fighting to get the bolts loose, I discovered the pads were new and not the problem. I wrote it off as a stone in the pad and started my adventure. Ten feet from my parking spot, the brake peddle went to the floor, and brake fluid sprayed out all over the parking area. I blew the left rear brake caliper seals. If that wasn't bad enough, trying to get the tire off, I stripped a lug nut and now needed a garage to take the tire off. Calling around on a Sunday afternoon, my regular garages were closed, and I had to have the van towed to Canadian Tire. Surprisingly enough, they were priced reasonably but couldn't complete the work until the next day.


$360.00 later and a night of separation anxiety, I hope to be back in business. I can't sleep thinking about all the stuff in the back of my van and its value, wondering if someone would help themselves to my belongings. I have irrational fears as I chose a large chain for the repair instead of a small private unknown garage, but a fear nonetheless.


Let's not forget that I had spent my budget on upgrades, and now I have to tap the last available amounts on my credit cards to cover this repair. I KNOW BETTER, but somehow I had convinced myself that if I wasn't traveling, I didn't need to worry about breakdowns. Thankfully we were not living in the van at the time, or we would have been stuck overnight with no place to sleep. My advice is to treat your van as your home, even if it isn't full-time. Manage your budget expecting the things you will encounter on the road, even if stationary.

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