Funny noises whilst roadtrippin' - a top 10
When you get something new that weighs 2 tonnes, then get something else new that weighs 3/4 tonne, and then again something else that weighs 1/2 tonne; and then you tie the three of them together with a few straps, cables and lashings of duct tape - there are inevitably strange and randomly developing noises to get used to. Some of them (most, perhaps) turn out to be innocent enough. Here's a review, so far, of our top ten strange noises:
Juicy has a strange whistling somewhere in the air conditioning system. Not a death rattle, we hope. More like the whistle from Otis Redding in 'Dock of the Bay', but performed by someone else. Like this fella. Did you notice that everyone applauds when he stops? Our car noise is like that. For the moment, considered benign.
Our neighbour on the current campsite in Germany is sweet enough, but fairly aged and apparently hard of hearing. And sentimental. All I can hear is the German equivalent of The Archers (complete with bloody irritating music) coming from her radio. Considered malign.
Soon after we got the trailer, we kept hearing an odd rattling noise from somewhere behind us in the direction of the trailer wheels. Several stops to check ensued. Eventually realised that the padlock I had installed was rattling against the clasp. Panic over. Considered stupid, and benign.
There's a squeak - only sometimes - when I have the steering wheel hard over to the right. It's a low speed noise, perhaps related to the suspension or maybe the wheel itself. Not easily repeatable, which promotes it to No. 7, and possibly malign.
Would the rig heel over, or remain flat as the proverbial pancake when cornering? It was perfect, except for a strange grating noise. I got out several times on the return journey (yes, I stopped the car first [ed: shame]) to check the duct tape holding it together, but all seemed good. The seller advised that any noise wasn't normal, and suggested placing a cushion (a rug or thick cardboard) between the camper unit and the truck. Grating disappeared. Malign but cured.
Road noise. There's a lot of it. Big tyres, three axles. In the rain, it sounds like an elephants' watering hole. We can live with it. Compared to Rosie on a good day, it's as quiet as the grave. Benign.
The chime like a cheap casino (or is that an oxymoron?) as the emails from work drop onto the phone. Simple enough solution - I disconnected from the server ;) ! They have my phone number. Malign but cured.
The Sound of Silence. No, not the song. I love the song [ed: bloody hippy]. I mean the silence when you know you've done something wrong, but you can't figure out what it is. And you can't ask the other half, because that's an admission of guilt, right there. So you have to disturb the silence with subtle questions.
"Lovely day, isn't it?"
Bloody mosquitos. It's just incredible. We have fly-screens everywhere. At every orifice. Even the toilet has a flyscreen. How the hell do they still get inside? And why is it, when you're trying to get to sleep, that they insist on flying past your ear. ZZZzzz. Zzzzz. Like Spitfires over Kent.
Number one noise is connected to No.6, and for some time was our most worrying. After placing the cushion (an old bathroom mat) between the cab rear and the camper unit, the grating noise disappeared... but then we could hear something else. A ticking noise from behind us, which was speed dependent. So convinced were we that we had a wheel bearing or tyre issue, we stopped into Kwik-Fit on the way. Mechanic checked around, but couldn't find anything. Then it occurred to me: perhaps the end of the mat was loose and was flicking against the rear metal panel of the cab as we picked up speed. We rearranged the mat, and hey presto! No more noise. Of course, every few hours the mat slips back and the noise starts again.
Meet Matt, our hitchhiker.