Setting out for a long RV/motorhome road trip is many things; exciting, daunting, stressful, invigorating …. amongst many other equally apt adjectives. The vehicle itself is quite rightly a very significant part of it all. So shipping your own European motorhome to this ‘other world’ can be part of your security and give you the option of starting out with a vehicle that you know (possibly if you have owned it for a long time – love) and one that is familiar in it’s European layout and construction.
However that has a downside – it is then by definition European not North American. That means differing construction techniques and limited access to parts (ignoring engine parts how about wheel rims, tyres and other peripheral parts that we take for granted) and the imperial/metric crossover.
So landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and arriving at the port to re-claim your motorhome in itself might be a bit of the ‘unknown’ (see post to come on that experience) but jumping in and driving away is the start of the great adventure. At that point many things are tumbling through your mind probably based on your character as a person but the first and foremost thing should be a faith, unshakeable and solid faith, in the vehicle that you are now in control of. And suddenly the faith dissappears, there is a shudder, a wobble and scraping noise and grinding or just a single distinct feeling that something just ain’t right …. what ya gonna do?
We had that issue, to be fair we sort of knew something was amiss on the way to Antwerp to drop the van off for shipping, but it wasn’t dangerous or catastrophic and so onward we went knowing that we would need to get it fixed on the other side of the pond.
Landing in Halifax then we started to track down a place or a person to help and repair the problem (but mainly first to diagnose it).
The chain of recommendation led us to Miller Tirecraft in Dartmouth and a big thanks to those guys for their professionalism, friendliness and help – you guys are great, thank you.
However the problem still existed (for those that want to know – a serious wobble at around 45mph to 60mph and a general shaking of the van from the rear wheels and into the body). So we went via an RV repair centre and they gave us a name …. so with dwindling data allowance we searched and found Gary Murphy’s Automotive Workshop, 105 Main Street, Dartmouth, NS. We spoke with the lovely Pat who booked us in with the warning that we were too big to get in the workshop so they could only see us on days with no rain (because we would be in the parking lot).
We turned up on the alloted day and at the alloted hour and met the team at Murphy’s Automotive. Particularly Gary himself.
Now Gary is my kind of mechanic; he listens to what you have to say (so as to extract as much information about the problem as possible) and seems to have an encyclopeadic knowledge of vehicle construction and particularly European vehicles. Bless this man and his desire to get to the bottom of the problem, to repair not replace, to educate and offer solutions, to know when something was probably unnecessary and when something really needs to be done. And basically for being a very nice and caring man. Pat is the incredibly lovely and generous lady that hangs the office, backroom and part ordering, invoicing and payments together, and then there are the rest of the guys in the workshop who are all smiley and happy to go out of their way to help and advise. All in all this place is THE place to go if you care about what is done to your vehicle and how it is done and even WHY it is being done – we cant recommend them enough – Thank you Gary, Pat and the team – you saved us 🙂