Big trip

Submitted: Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 20:38
ThreadID: 19540 Views:2464 Replies:7 FollowUps:9
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Hi folks
Guess I've finally got over the drama involved in out trip around Oz. You might remember I posted in May that we were leaving Newcastle heading West through Mutawinjie, up to Birdsville, down the track to Marree and up the other side to Dalhousie then through Finke, Chambers Pillar, Rainbow Valley, Alice and on up to Darwin then down the West Coast across the bottom and back home. We got to about 40 k's from Dalhousie and managed to write off the 2000 model Jayco "Outback" camper! Suspension collapsed - closer inspection revealed my earlier concerns about the quality of the suspension were realised. Despite having spent a lot of money on new shockies the whole thing collapsed on the left side. Nothing dramatic happened to cause it. Simply put the left hand wheels up on the edge of a good stretch of road to go around a bit of water. Hit a little bump and all hell broke lose. Thanks to a wonderful property owner we were able to get the camper back to Oodnadatta and eventually to Adelaide where the NRMA Insurance wrote it off. Couldn't have asked for better service from them - they were marvellous! Pity I can't say the same thing about a particular bloke in Oodnadatta. Anyway the upshot of it all was that we became a bit gunshy about travelling in remote areas on our own. We bought an on road caravan in Adelaide and picked up the itinerary again in Alice and did most of the things we had planned. Had a few side trips with the tent along the way. But the main reason for this post is to apologise for not keeping you all informed on our progress as I said I would. I guess I was probably too embarassed at the time.
By the way, we had a ball! Finally got home mid November.
Tessa
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Reply By: Member - John - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 20:55

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 20:55
Sorry to hear about your woes. Good to hear that you had a good trip afterwards. Tell us more about the bloke in Oodnadatta to avoid? Welcome back.
John

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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 21:06

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 21:06
Thanx John. I don't think I should identify the guy. But if you happen to have trouble anywhere within cooee of Oodnadatta this bloke will smell a quid and be on your back as quick as look at you!
Tessa
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Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 21:57

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 21:57
He doesn't run a fairy coloured roadhouse does he?
The bloke just down the road was most helpful with a tyre repair for me.
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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 07:31

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 07:31
Hi Des
you've obviously been to the town so I won't say any more.
Tessa
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 15:19

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 15:19
Tessa, there was a Jayco opposite Des' referenced fairy coloured roadhouse back in June when we were at Oodnadatta overnight. Would that have fitted into your time frame is it just another Jayco to add to the list?

It has been said before they do appear up North in the same manner.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 17:21

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 17:21
JohnR
Yes that was ours. Sat there for nearly a fortnight waiting for the most expensive backload to Adelaide you've ever heard of. You'd also be interested to know that the insurance company was assured it was in "a secure place".
Tessa
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Reply By: Bros - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 21:55

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 21:55
tessa_51,
I don't know what sort of suspension a Jayco "Outback" has, so could you please advise the suspension type, if slipper spring, shackle spring, independent etc etc. I see you mention shockies.
Good to see that you had a ball despite the trailer troubles and welcome back.
Cheers,
Bros.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 07:44

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 07:44
Bros
The camper came originally with slipper springs and Alko shocks. I was shocked when I walked into Auto 1 just after I bought the camper and was able to buy an identical spare set of shocks for $35. Never got to use them, but after each foray into the outback I had to have the originals welded back on. This obviously wasn't good, so I went to a suspension specialist before setting off on the big trip. He replaced the Alkos with a set of Pedders and I thought I had solved the problem, but not to be. Don't know what broke first, but when it happened the front spring hanger was lying on the road, the spring was broken, and the chassis sheared off where it was attached to the new shockie. This was the left side. The wheel was still attached but the axle had bent to roughly 90 degrees at the u-bolts on the other side so the left wheel was facing east west under the back of the camper instead of north south. Thank god for Treg couplings!
Tessa
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Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 00:18

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 00:18
Tess, It's seems you got a bigger adventure than you hoped for. Good to hear you persisted & had a great time. Just for interest what preasures did you run in the camper tyres & how heavey was the trailer all up?
Unfortunately probably half the camper trailers on the market aren't quite up to the pounding they recieve out central oz.
Cheers Craig,......
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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 07:52

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 07:52
Crackles
Was running brand new Dunlop Adventurer(?) tyres on the camper. All up weight about 1450kgs. On the bitumen I was running 40psi and on the dirt down to 30. I think the problem must have arisen some distance back because the road where the incident occurred was excellent and I only hit the bump at about 45kph. It was something I had done a thousand times before. I am aware that Jayco have changed their suspension at least three times since I bought mine in 2000. They must have realised they had a problem. But no thought of a recall to update the early models.
Tessa
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Reply By: Bros - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 08:09

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 08:09
tessa_51,
Thanks for the details, will file away for future reference.
Cheers,
Bros.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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Reply By: Member - PatC - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 13:46

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 13:46
Seen this happen with slipper springs before. Once anything in front of the axle lets go there is nothing to stop the axle doing a 90deg bend.
AnswerID: 93768

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 17:36

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 17:36
Very sorry to hear of your experience ..... I wasn't too impressed with the "fairy coloured" premises either, not too well thought of locally either! Next time I go through Oodnadatta, is exactly what I will do .... go through!

Suspension & chassis is the most important consideration when buying a camper trailer IMHO.
Which is why I bought a Track camper trailer, less 'bells & whistles', but gets where your going, but more importantly .......... gets back too!
AnswerID: 93810

Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 23:02

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 23:02
Got to agree with you totally Shaker that the suspension should be the primary consideration. Too often the shiney stainless kitchen sells the trailer without so much as a glance underneath to see what it's riding on.
Track have an excellent set up that has the trailer riding smoother than the tow car. With coil springs & Koni shocks they're built to last.

As for the Pink place we spent a few hours sitting there recently & watched the impatiant & rude customers come & go & can see how the owners may get hardened to the wants of the tourists. We came in a large group, radioed our food order through on the UHF & waited quietly for the meals & fuel. We got great service & were even donated a T Shirt for our Flying docter raffle. I think many forget that these places have a limited time to make their $$$ & have expensive cartage costs to cover. Also look at the great job they did sign posting the Simpson.
Cheers Craig................
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 20:52

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 20:52
goodday tessa
we had a simlar problem with our 2000 freedom offroad in same area but going the other way bloke at caravan park at william creek was fantastic welded broken shocker together for us got us home and even though out of warranty jayco replaced all brackets and shockers then we sold it original shocker bracket was a piece of 1/4inch angle iron for off road
anyway new vans not much better at nearly twice the price but this one i am doing the work then i know its as strong and leak proof as possible

steve
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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 06:45

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 06:45
Hi Steve
Yes on close examination of the various bit and pieces they really were a bit short of the mark. Met a bloke in WA who had a brand new Coota Camper. Got half way across the Gunbarrel and one of the springs broke clean through. He was a blacksmith/fitter. What chance has a poor old retired pen pusher like me got.
Tessa
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