Blog,  Blog News and Announcements,  News and Updates

Farewell to Knotten: Navigating the Challenges of Departure

Dear Friends,

As I prepare to bid a poignant farewell to Knotten, my steadfast companion on endless journeys, it feels imperative to lay bare the myriad challenges that have precipitated this solemn decision. From what was discovered prior to last year’s expedition from Lindesnes to Nordkapp and back again to Lindesnes, and what came to light during the trip.

Setting the Stage:

So where to start? I think we should start at the beginning. Knotten is an old gentleman. A 1999 model Chausson Welcome 50 built on a Fiat Ducato II chassis. So right from the start he was never a fresh guy when he came to me. When I got him he had around 90,000 km on the odometer. So you could say he had been around the block. Early on it turned out that there was a misconnection of the 12V outlet in the cockpit. This got fixed to some degree, but it turned out to not work in the end. Also, the AGM leisure battery was way too small. But I won’t bore you with all of this since I’ve detailed this in an earlier post.

Toffa and Knotten at the start of their journey together.
Me in front of Knotten the first day I got him at Voss Camping.

Discovery on the Horizon:

What was more ominous was come up during the yearly check-up. This check-up happened prior to me hitting the road last year. It was discovered rot and moisture damage in the hull of the living quarter of Knotten. After a consultation with a repair guy, I was told that it wasn’t so bad that I needed to fix this before the season began. So I decided that this would have to wait until winter.

Challenges Revealed:

Last year’s sweeping expedition with Kaddy and Peachy starkly illuminated the frailty of Knotten’s electrical systems. Despite our concerted efforts to traverse Norway’s resplendent landscapes with ease, it soon became palpably clear that Knotten’s ageing electrical infrastructure faltered under the weight of modern travel demands.

Me, Ludde and Knotten
Ludde smiling from ear to ear after he had waffles while I was sitting in the doorway.
Toffa, Ludde and Knotten
Me and Ludde in front of Knotten in 2022.

Facing Adversity:

The imperative need for solar panels and their accompanying apparatus became glaringly apparent. as we found ourselves grappling with diminishing battery reserves to work remotely amidst Norway’s wilderness. The absence of a reliable power source not only hindered our capacity to fully capture the ethereal beauty of our surroundings through photography but also dictated where we could charge, and diminished our comfort on the unforgiving road.

Navigating the Road Ahead:

Moreover, the revelation of fried electronics impeding the functionality of the cockpit’s 12V outlet added yet another layer of complexity to the current situation. Knowing that this would need to be fixed properly was an added layer of economical worry.

Braking Concerns: Navigating Maintenance Challenges with Brake Drums

The challenges with Knotten extend beyond its structural and electrical issues to its braking system, most of all the maintenance of brake drums. Last year’s journey highlighted the difficulty in sourcing spare parts, posing potential hazards for future travels. With limited access to repair facilities, addressing these concerns became increasingly daunting, further contributing to the decision to bid farewell.

Knotten being hoisted on the back of a rescue truck.
Knotten being hoisted on the back of a rescue truck. Photo: The Vanstatic Two
Knotten being put on the back of the rescue truck.
Knotten being put on the back of the rescue truck before it's time to get to the repair shop. Photo: The Vanstastic Two

The Final Stretch:

The urgency of addressing these challenges I’ve pointed out weighed heavily upon my mind as we entered a new season, prompting a sobering realisation: Knotten’s journey was nearing its terminus. While I harboured aspirations of embarking on myriad adventures with my cherished camper, the financial and logistical hurdles to rectifying its electrical, mechanical and structural maladies proved insurmountable considering Knotten’s age.

Farewell and Reflection:

As I reflect upon the countless moments of beauty, wonder, and changes to my life Knotten has bestowed upon me, gratitude burgeons within me. From the pursuit of the epic vistas to the exploration of hidden details as well as giving me a new lease on life, Knotten has transcended its mere existence as a mode of conveyance to become my sanctuary, my refuge, my healing, and my unwavering companion on the meandering road of life.

Me, Ludde and Knotten
Me and Ludde in the door to the living quarters of Knotten, ready for departure.

Closing Thoughts:

Whilst the decision to bid adieu to Knotten as I know him weighs heavily upon my heart, solace is gleaned from the knowledge that our sojourn together will endure in the indelible imprints of memories captured, stories shared, and friendships forged along the byways of our adventures.

With gratitude and a farewell brimming with fond remembrance,

Toffa and Ludde

(to be continued…)

Knotten and Fredda
Knotten and Fredda parked at a boondocking site outside of Alta.
Me and Ludde boondocking along the road to Lista lighthouse.
Me and Ludde boondocking along the road to Lista lighthouse.
Ludde, Peachy, Knotten and Fredda.
Ludde guarding Knotten while Peachy is resting in the background and behind Knotten is Fredda parked.

Hey there, fellow adventure seekers! I'm Toffa Berg, your friendly neighborhood vanlifer and landscape enthusiast, hailing from the stunning panoramas of Norway. As a nature aficionado, I've traded the buzz of city life for the tranquility of starry nights and the thrill of winding roads. My trusty co-pilot, Ludde the miniature schnauzer, and I are on a quest to uncover Norway's hidden gems. I've got a lens in one hand and the steering wheel in the other, capturing the intricate play of light and shadow that nature orchestrates so effortlessly. Oh, and did I mention that I'm the creative mind behind the Toffa and Knotten website? That's where I occasionally share snapshots from my photographic escapades, along with tales of vanlife and embracing the unknown. While Stavanger keeps me grounded, it's also my launchpad into the wild. Here, I recharge, ruminate, and get ready for the next great escapade. So, if you're all about celebrating the unfiltered beauty of nature, swapping stories from the road, and occasionally indulging in some photography magic, hop on board! Stay wild, keep chasing horizons, and let's make every mile a memory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *