The first few kilometers, the owner drove, I was doubtful. It was bumpy, noisy and mostly large. Very large. But when we left the tiny streets of pataya-center, things started to feel better. And when I took the wheel myself, I was quickly sold. Driving a truck, even a small one like this, gives you a sense of “lord of the road”. You don´t look through the windscreen anymore, you are immersed in what is in front of you… and I enjoyed it tremendously.
The negotiations went smooth. They wanted to sell it and Thailand has no market for motorhomes and before we could make an offer, the price already dropped and half an hour later we we the proud new owners of a Isuzu NPR71 motorhome.
A week later we flew to Bangkok, took a bus to Pataya and a public-truck into the center where we picked up “the Little Boat” for the long drive home.
Of course things did not go without little issues. One of the brakes was dragging and after a few hundred kilometers that wheel was to hot to touch. But we found a truck-brake “service station” and after 2 hours of pretty impressive engineering, the brakes were as good as new.
It also turned out that the Little Boat was a very very very slow starter due to, I suspected, a tiny diesel-leak in the feed-line. (This suspicion was confirmed and solved a few days later during a complete service by Isuzu Trucks in Nakhon Phanom.)
But nothing disastrous happened. On the 900 kilometer journey it used not a drop of oil and had not a single hick-up.
But the story has yet to begin…