Wednesday, 13 February 2013
"In the Bleak Mid Winter " or a damp February!
I guess it's about time I did an update on Billie and the crew! Now joined by my nifty little Hyundai i10 just named Heidi, because we need another girl in our family. Heidi, joined the family back in November, when I decided I really didn't want to keep driving a Volvo estate to the shops. New and shiny she was a treat to drive and kept Smartie company on the long winter evenings, until a drunken driver shattered her equilibrium and ours by smashing her in the back end!! Still, following a bit of R&R, she is now fully recovered. The plan is possibly to fit her with an A Frame and turn her into a Toad, perhaps a handsome prince may then whisk her off to foreign climes. We'll see, although Smartie and the trailer may feel a bit put out, so we will have to give them a few outings too.
Back to the main story, "The Saga of the Soggy Mattress".
When we first took delivery of our van, I thought the mattress was a bit, well dampish. I put this down to the fact that it had probably been stored in a warehouse somewhere and with a bit of an airing it would be fine! Victorian housewifes knew a bit about airing things, we just open the windows and wash the bed clothes regularly! However, being a bit old fashioned I have a nose for a bit of damp. In France last year and during the summer everything was fine. Then in October we went away for a weekend and had the heating on low overnight. On our return we prepared Billie for his winter hibernation and noticed the mattress felt wet in places.
Following lengthy explorations and propping the mattress up to let the air circulate, it still felt very damp! We put the damp down to the fact we were sleeping over the boiler in an enclosed space with the windows shut, saunas are fine in their place but not in our van! We looked at ducting and air vents and finally got a pair of mini humidifiers. We keep an oil filled radiator on low during the winter but the rest of the van and all the other seating , cushions and fabrics were bone dry. While we did all this, I guess we were not totally convinced that the dampness should have happened in the first place. Finally, we kept turning the mattress and propped it up in the middle of the van, the next plan was to take it into the house. Den contacted Bailey's to see if they had noticed a problem, customer services replied in less than a helpful manner!! In the end, Chipping Sodbury Caravans and Tony to the rescue!
Yes, there was a problem said Tony, bring the mattress in and we will get it sorted! Our mattress went back to be refilled and recovered and arrived back this weekend, clean bright and DRY!! Ready for the new camping year. The problem had been the fire retardent filling which had been used by the manufacturer in the mattress had been retaining water. This had meant it had acted a bit like silica gel and absorbed all the moisture from the van and us.......nice, and retained it like a sponge! We suspect a big problem for someone, especially when the vans wake up from their winter hibernations. It only seems to be some mattresses and cushions in caravans and motorhomes that were affected, glad we spotted it when we did. Checked this morning it's still dry! Better get the bed clothes back on and get off for a weekend.