With plans afoot for a European break in the Volvo, a few jobs still need attending to.First thing was to upgrade the towing electrics. The Volvo only came with single 12N towing electrics and for a long european touring trip, the fridge needs to stay cold during the day.

With plans afoot for a European break in the Volvo, a few jobs still need attending to.

First thing was to upgrade the Ryder Smart Relaytowing electrics. The Volvo only came with single 12N towing electrics and for a long european touring trip, the fridge needs to stay cold during the day. That means installing the 12S system.

 

Towbar trial

Getting the towball off was not as tough as I expected, although I had to resort to a Dremel to remove the badly rusted bolts holding the 12N socket to the backplate. The Volvo has numerous places to hide the Ryder smart relay and a handy vent hole to feed the cables through. In fact the toughest bit was running a 12V cable from Ryder Smart Relaythe battery to the boot. After a lot of deliberation, I pressed it into some unused saddle clips parallel to the brake lines and used cable ties to ensure a secure fit. A bit of crimping later and it was all hooked up.

 

A much simpler job was fixing a buzzing speaker. Ryder Smart RelayA 3000+ mile drive with a buzzing speaker would drive Mrs Donnelly and I mad, so I had a dig around in the garage. I'd bought a pair of speakers for our last project caravan and never fitted them. They were the right size too. Getting the door cards and speaker guards off without breaking them was fairly delicate work, but an hour later, the work was finished.

 

Next on the list

The much more important work is still to be done. Next up is the fitting of some Grayston Spring Assistors. These will shore up the Volvo's saggy rear end - vital for composed handling on those Alpine passes. The parts cost £15 from Halfords and fitting is a simple DIY job.

Other than that, I bunged the car into the local garage for an oil change and a check over. Aside from a ragged exhaust mount, she got a clean bill of health, so I don't think we're far from being ready for the road.

nigel@practicalcaravan.com

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