Caravan repair Kununurra

Submitted: Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 16:52
ThreadID: 104349 Views:6466 Replies:4 FollowUps:26
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Bushtracker is being towed back to Kununurra from GRR with busted swing arm.
Does anybody know of a good van suspension place to get it repaired at.

Thanks Ken
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 17:38

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 17:38
G'day Ken,

Sorry to hear of your troubles.

Argyle Engineering in Kununurra did a fabulous job on a rather difficult repair to my swing arm bushes a few years ago. I gave them contact details for my van manufacturer, they talked between themselves and the repair was spot on.

They are not specialist caravan people, but I reckon they can figure out how to do a well-engineered repair on just about anything. Reasonable prices too. 08 9169 1097.

Good luck

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Follow Up By: braggy - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 18:43

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 18:43
Thanks Frank
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 18:54

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 18:54
Hullo Ken
As per Boggers site, you could also try Wayne at Top End Motors.
Gave me excellent same day service.
They try to get tourists back on the road ASAP and so give them priority if possible
AnswerID: 518252

Follow Up By: braggy - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 19:16

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 19:16
Thanks Andrew.
ASAP sounds great
Although with RACQ Ultimate, 12days in a resort sounds OK as well

Cheers Ken
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Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 21:45

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 21:45
Be interested to know what actually failed..the spring, an arm, a bolt coming out etc.
AnswerID: 518259

Follow Up By: braggy - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 07:27

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 07:27
Hello Andrew.

I'll be more interested as to why it failed. (unlike the van maker)

The plate on swing arm frame, where the stub axle is attached, has cracked.
It's a single axle, 4 month old van, had traveled a 100km of the GRR, average speed 37k/h (scanguage trip recorder), with 25 psi in tyres, so I don't think theres a problem there.

I'll post some photos when available.

Cheers Ken
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Follow Up By: 4wd26 - Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 07:52

Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 07:52
any news either as to what/ why it failed
and have you been able to get it repaired and are you back on the road again?
FollowupID: 798225

Follow Up By: braggy - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 12:05

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 12:05
This thread after here went bolistic, so I stayed out of it, but

Firstly Motor Workz (formerly Kimberley exhaust),were/are fantastic, He (Nathan) had a look at it straight away,so we could get the parts on the way.
The suspension under the Bushtracker (14' single axle) is Simplicity( Absolute Trailers are QLD agent), who are just as good as Motor Workz,and they got on to it straight away as well.

What happened was, for some reason (make the entry step lower) BT decided to put a "drop arm frame" on it which lowered the whole van 100mm, odd thing to do on an off road van.
The drop arm has cracked , no one has ever seen it happen before.
So we are changing both frames to normal straight arms, more clearance, no weak point, and since BT do not want to know about warranty, thought it was good chance to make it better.

Don't know how to post photos here but are on the Bushtrackers Owners Group site in public section.

Thanks to all who gave advise
Cheers Ken

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:10

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:10
Hi Ken

Very pleased to hear you got a good result, and it appears that Motor Workz must have given you priority service. You can only post photos here if you are a paid up member. I saw your photos, but your suspension is a bit different to ours. We deal direct with Hauffe & Co in Melbourne for our parts, but ATS must have done very well for you in that timeframe, knowing what freight to Kununurra is like.


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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:29

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:29
You don't have to be a paid up member to post photo's, all you need to do is put your photo's on photobucket or similar and the copy and paste the URL into the Insert Images & Files button on the bottom display when you post your follow up.

FollowupID: 798353

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:35

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:35
Thanks Phil for the clever idea - I hadn't considered that. We used to have to so it that way on other forums.

NOT in the Kimberley:


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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 01:04

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 01:04
I think this is the place we went to and they as RAC agents were doing repairs to recovered caravans, including suspension. If I have it right

Kimberley Exhaust & Spring Centre offers all exhaust repairs, mechanical repairs, new & reset springs and general servicing. For recovery and transport of plant and vehicles throughout the Kimberley region, Top End Tilt Tray are available to you - both businesses operate from the one convenient location. They are also agents for Coates, are a member of MTA and RAC and welcome CMCA members.
Address: Mango Street, Kununurra Phone: +61 8 9169 1463

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Follow Up By: braggy - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 06:50

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 06:50
Thanks Motherhen.

That's where it is heading , via RAC tilt tray.
Cheers Ken
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Follow Up By: On Patrol & TONI - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 08:17

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 08:17
Good luck braggy. They stuffed me around for 2.5 weeks for repair of 1 off road caravan spring back in June 2012. it was something straight out of a Charlie Chaplin film. They showed no concern that we needed the van as we were travelling with a dog & a resort stay was out of the question. NRMA put a lot of pressure on them via the RACWA. God knows how long they would have stuffed me around. They had no interest in the job whatsoever, fine but there was nowhere else to go to. They told me they were very busy, but did not want to pay overtime to their staff to help catch up. I'm sorry but I have no faith in them at all.
Good luck, OP.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 09:58

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 09:58
Sorry to hear of the delays you experienced OP, so I hope the process goes smoother for Braggy.

Kununurra in peak period can overbooked, and getting parts sent there was another story :O. When we were there in 2008 getting staff was a major issue, with everyone advertising for staff in their windows.


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Follow Up By: GimmeeIsolation - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 13:23

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 13:23
Until recent, we did services and repairs for Joe blo here in Kununurra.
Gave up, too many sob stories, whingers, whiners and comments "my mechanic in Victoria does it for cheaper" - well, go back and get him to fix it. In Victoria it does not cost $1000-$1500 a week for staff to rent a basic house and then pay extra for fuel, food etc.
Why should we work overtime when the insurance companies and public do not want to pay for it. Everything costs more up here, get over it or stay home or tootle around down south there where it is cheaper.
It does take at least a week for larger parts to arrive, IF the transport company gets it on the truck and does not just drive past to Darwin, yes, happens and we have to cop the abuse for others that is out of our control. Transport does not leave down south everyday for your convenience just because you have a dog, a cat, have another booking in 3 days in Broome and have to get there, don't have enough money, gee - it costs more than Melbourne, wife and kids are too hot here, expensive staying here in Kunna, yadda yadda yadda, pass the tissues.
There is no such thing as overnight by flight either unless the gods are shining upon you, overnight is an east coast thing even if you have paid for it at Aussie Post
If you tow anything on the GRR, just cop it sweet because for decades it has been well known as a destroyer and yet, people still do it. Buy a welder and do it yourself.
Even peoples shiny useless alloy bullbars fall off from metal fatigue.
We cannot just order in parts that "may be" required for the Terrorist season and try and find staff (good luck with that one) just for the nut behind the wheel that ignores the warnings and then expects us to cut into after hours when you have already done 10-12 hours. Our workers have a life too and if you work them like navvies they just take off too. We do not have a ready supply of qualified people sitting at home here looking for a job like bludgers down south that will not shift up here where there is work, and plenty of it.
If you think the Mechanical Business is like a Charlie Chaplin movie, what movie do you think they reckon you and others who do the same are out of ?
Are you Chevy Chase ?
Pls, stay at home or follow others advise, just because the van/camper salesman said it was offroad, maybe it just meant the parking bays on the highway.
Open your own business up here and see how you go. We are all turning work away so should be easy ay ???
FollowupID: 798083

Follow Up By: den57 - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 13:39

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 13:39
Now this is a man who knows how to get his message across. Some may take offence but he doesn't speak with forked tongue.
FollowupID: 798086

Follow Up By: On Patrol & TONI - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 14:44

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 14:44
What an arrogant pr1ck. That is the attitude I refer to. No regard for anyone & contempt for all. Sloppy work is my beef. 2.5 weeks for a 45-60 min job & total lack of communication. That dick would not last 2 min. In Melbourne & rightly so.
FollowupID: 798088

Follow Up By: bobldo - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 14:46

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 14:46
now thats what I call getting the story straight.
FollowupID: 798089

Follow Up By: GimmeeIsolation - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 15:57

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 15:57
Yer, no regard, we are the arrogant, contemptuous, sloppy working, non communicating people with a bad attitude going out bush in the truck or our personal 4X4s driving 8 hours or more one way where a truck was not designed for on a passed on message to get there in the wee hours because some idiot has bogged himself to the belly because "I thought my car could go through that black mud, its a 4X4 and the tracks on my GPS" and has no recovery gear, family covered in midgie and mozzie bites, no water, no food, no communication, no offroad skill, having a real ding dong barny with the wife and kids, and then does not want to pay what it is costing us.
Or out there picking up the remains of their rolled car and van at the request of emergency services, Roadhouse call or truckies radio call, clearing the road, getting all their personal belongings to bring back to send back to them and then they don't want to pay any costs incurred or they whinge because some small item is missing that we did not see in the dark.
Some shifts run 24-36 hours when a tourist comes to grief, occasionally longer with another worker if we have to go back for what we could not fit on first time, we don't recoup that because some city slicker reckons recovery only costs so much and everybody goes for the cheapest insurance they could find.
No thanks for it either from them, funny if its a local or somebody from up north working the land they have the time for a thankyou and we are the ones with no regard and contempt !!
2.5 weeks for an hours work sounds like you rubbed somebody up the wrong way (if its true) which would not surprise me, funny how I picked where you were from when you did not mention it.
You are always welcome to tell me personally in front of my face about the pr1ck and dick part, its part of our customer service, all of us in the Kimberley welcome feedback like that..
Please stay in your postcode for your own good.
Over and out, you know the saying about arguing with an idiot, or maybe you dont.
FollowupID: 798092

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 20:56

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 20:56
:o)....I'm hearing Gimmee.

Folks you only have to look at some of the threads here and often you can fore-tell a disaster in the planning.....looking for somewhere to happen, and too often it is in Gimmee's backyard, or Al at Tjukayirla roadhouse

What about this one.."We have a Geist 485 which has a similar build to the Jurgens exept BPW not Alko, which has been taken thro' kakadu, Oodnadatta track & other rough tracks here in WA do have to keep the speed down <20kph, also have airsafe hitch yet to try dropping tyre pressures for hard corro' expect to be able to get up 40kph. No chassis problems, few loose screws inside so keep checking & take it easy."..

After all that, he is now considering letting the van tyre pressures down....maybe that should have been the 1st option..or sit in the van while your Mrs drives and actually feel how rough it is on road pressures even on a dirt highway like the Oodnadatta.

People buy the cheapest or mediocre crap....and ask or think it will go the endurance outback.....without proper knowledge or experience, and expect those living out in remote communities to respond pronto, as maybe expected in Melbourne or other metropolitan communities.

People like Gimmee are out there living all the tourists nightmares together and constantly expected to fix up very quickly their faults, stuffups, ignorance..or accidents.

Have a think about this...any incident that occurs to you in your travels is a result of an act, a defect or an omission, and any 1 of those is by direct involvement of a man, woman or child. Yep, the human factor.

Take it easy out there, buy good gear, ask, listen, look, before you do big things, do little things and learn by experience and exposure...and be patient.

FollowupID: 798113

Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 21:16

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 21:16
More power to you Gimmee for telling it like it is.

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Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 21:27

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 21:27
Great posts Gimme :-) well done mate.
FollowupID: 798119

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 22:31

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 22:31
Gimme tells it like it is, even though he does come across as less-than-diplomatic.
I've lost count of the number of times I've helped out stupid people who have gotten themselves into an unholy mess, and who then expect everyone to bend over backwards and help them for nothing - because they've got no money, no ideas, and are driven by pure selfishness.

The North of W.A. is most certainly a bugger of a place to try and run a business, get decent employees, keep them - and try to compete with mining company wages.
My stepson drives a rubbish truck for a big American oil company on one of those NW gas plants on an island just offshore, and gets $200K a year. How can people like Gimme compete with those kind of wages??

The isolation of the NW and Kunners makes the average worker want to take off after 6 mths in the place - and everything costs a bloody fortune. Then you get 100,000 tourists through the place over 4 mths, and every one of them wants priority treatment and expects to be back on the road within 4 hrs.

Give the repair people up there a break - they have to face up to problems, and costs, and delays that no other business in the South has to face.
FollowupID: 798122

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 17:30

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 17:30
A thumbs up for the remote area mechanics.
I needed a repair to my caravan at Halls Creek. The owner of the mechanical repair shop dropped everything and worked on my job straight away. He worked under my van for about an hour doing a perfect job but when finished wanted to charge me $30, thats when the arguement started. We wanted to pay more but he didnt like to accept more. Anyway we won, got a good job and made him take the little bit extra!!!
FollowupID: 798185

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 17:58

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 17:58
We had excellent service from both Top End Motors in Kununurra and Ashburton 4WD and Mechanical in Tom Price.
They went out of their way to be helpful, prompt and efficient, prioritising the jobs, one on the van replacing the wiring loom; the other locating and fixing a fuel leak on the F250, thankfully on the low pressure side
What could have turned out to be significant glitches were attended to with no hassles. Full marks!
Another company in Kununurra did a small job for me involving one wheel and refused to take any money. But after a bit of haggling, he gracefully accepted some beer money :-)
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to others with vehicle/van problems.
FollowupID: 798191

Follow Up By: happytravelers - Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 20:23

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 20:23
This is the most entertaining set of posts I've read in ages. I too work in the mechanical repair trade and can certainly sympathise with Gimme. Everybody wants it fixed yesterday for nothing.

FollowupID: 798199

Follow Up By: Bob W5 - Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 08:40

Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 08:40
I've just arrived home from living in Kununurra for only 3 months. Gimme is right. It's a different world up there. For all of the reasons he mentioned ! As a person who ran a shop in Melb for 8 years. I found the extra challenges they face compared to down south was amazing. Peak tourist time in incredibly busy. There are hundreds of vehicles arriving and departing everyday. In the dry season it's still 36 degs + everyday. Who wants to work 12 hours a day 6 days a week in that heat during peak tourist season ??? To repair vehicles. From my experience up there the people were great to deal with.
FollowupID: 798230

Follow Up By: Geoff in SA - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:39

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:39

The first bloke to call a spade a spade and not worry about political correctness
Its what this country needs more of.

I agree with all he has to say.
I am sure a lot of his issues are pointed to the people who have
No Eye Deer
about how their vehicles and trailerables will travel in the outback or on anything other than the blacktop

I will buy the guy a beer when I am in Kununurra.
He deserves one or at least two or 3 or 4

FollowupID: 798339

Follow Up By: Bob W5 - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:00

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:00
Here here. I second that motion... Geoff.
FollowupID: 798350

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