I've gone soft

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 00:01
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Picked up a very well used 2003 TVAN today. It's travelled more of Australia than I have. Previous owner loves the deserts. Owner before him the same. It looks very, very rough and ready and is covered in dirt and stone chips.

So a quick check.
#1 Calcium deep cycle battery reads 3.5V!.......Anyway, its taking a full 10 amp charge at present - see if it can be resurrected. If not an AGM will end up there.
#2 Electric brakes not working (I've fitted a new Tekonsha P3 controller). Look at the Tvan hubs and the wired to both hubs are broken - presumably by sticks.
#3 It has a radio/CD/MP3 installed - I turned it on and an electric aerial pops up. Then I broke the aerial putting it in the garage - it was stuck! :-))
#4 It still has mud from the last few trips - went to the Happy Wash on the way home - nobody there, I thought thats great.........the change machine was busted :-((

Why did I buy it? Well, I needed something new to keep the hobby going. Same reason as I moved from a wagon to a traytop 5 years ago.

I know nothing about towing, or brake controllers or porta pottis or for that matter, what on earth do people do in caravan parks...........well on second thoughts, I won't lower my standards. I'll stick to the deserts.

This thing is very well used, and needs a bit of TLC and a heap of gadgets and inventions and "stuff" need to be built..... bring it on :-))

Cheers
Phil
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Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 00:32

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 00:32
Gday Phil,

It's not called going soft mate it's called getting OLD... LOL Nah truely mate you will enjoy the extra little comforts. Maybe you can give it a shake down run by coming up for the Gathering up here in 2 weeks :-)

Cheers...



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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:39

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:39
Gday Glenn,
Would have loved to be up there ... but my son is getting married that weekend. I'm not sure I've earnt enough brownie points to cover that one :-)))
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 00:57

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 00:57
Nah!! your not soft Phil we all do it after awhile :-)

The Tvan is a great unit and you will have heaps of fun fixing her up and getting out bush with her.

Good one.

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Reply By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 01:42

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 01:42
So, does this mean you'll be joining the ummm (ahem) "trailers in the desert brigade" ??

You'll need to learn 'a thing or two' about tyre pressures ;-))))

Catch ya later... Ed C

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:45

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:45
Gday Ed,
Yep, I've not really towed much before but thanks to Exploroz, I know it all already..... :-)))))
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Reply By: Member - Uncle (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 06:54

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 06:54
The older we all get Phil, the more comfort we all deserve I say.! We have all been there and done that in the not so comfortable ways of camping before.
Enjoy it mate.

cheers Unc
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Reply By: Wilko - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 07:02

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 07:02
Hi Phil,

Congrats on the Tvan they look to well made and fixing it up is half the fun lol.

Your not going soft your just mellowing as you get older : )

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: Member - Amy G (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:04

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:04
So when are you bringing it for a visit to Brisbane? :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:49

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:49
Don't you have any spare rooms for your poor old mum and dad or do we have to tow this "bed on wheels" from Adelaide? Have fun today!
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Follow Up By: Member - Amy G (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 13:32

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 13:32
We thought you must have bought it because you were having severe withdrawals from Dora :-)))) Looking forward to seeing it in a few weeks.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:05

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:05
Congrats on your choice Phil
You pair will enjoy your desert trips more than ever.
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Reply By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:16

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:16
Mate, your've bought a pile of trouble.

WANNA SELL IT.......hahaha.


Cheers.......Lionel.
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Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:43

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:43
Sounds like you bought a perfect match for the broken, run down bucket of bolts you are going to tow it with hehehe.

I feel very confident the camper will house you in plenty of comfort wherever you decide to open it up. More fun fixing it up as well.

Good choice,
Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:12

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:12
Gday Trevor,
Hehehe....Yep, its shaped like a lemon too :-))
We'll have fun....better get out there now
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:24

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:24
I just checked the calender and .....NO....it's not the 1st of April, so I can only assume this post is not some sort of sick, perverted joke.... hahahaha

I never thought I'd see the day when such a well-seasoned bush traveller would "lower" his standards and join the rest of us mere mortals....hahahaha

Really Phil, you will (hopefully) enjoy the new challenges and rewards that owning and towing and extra tonne of dead-weight can bring you.

I can see the old land bruiser will soon need to be traded in on a new 4.5TD V8....???? hahahaha

Cheers and have a lot of fun fixing it up and working out what's what.

See you on the track somewhere.

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:26

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:26
Bill,

I think Phil is going to wait until Mick has completed his build up including the mandatory testing before he gets a new one LOL

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:48

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:48
Gday Bill,

Yes, perverted and sick but true!
Yep, thought about an Ultimate like yours, but it was waaaayyy too soft :-)))

I was toying with the idea if an upgrade to the Bruiser but I reckon my model is better... just need to make the brake work a bit better (slotted rotors to go on) and I'll treat it to a 3" exhaust and Dtronic - then I'll have at least the same power and torque as the V8!

And Kev, Micks new beast looks pretty flashy - I guess he couldn't find a white one :-)) He's adding an extra axle in front of the hitch, so pretty much the same!

cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 13:23

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 13:23
Phil,
Congrats on coming to the darkside

Seeing you broke your aerial, I will send you a new universal aerial shown below.

Image Could Not Be Found

As for the new V8, there is talk at work about importing 6cyl cruisers from South Africa for use underground as the maintenance costs on the V8's is very very high. A couple of mines I am told have already purchased some. Some for Mt Isa and O.D. I am led to believe.


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Follow Up By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 23:18

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 23:18
Rockape

Agree there is no reason to change from the older 6 to the newer V8 - unless the older 6 is worn out. Buying new, there is no choice for on road use except one of the common rail diesels. Seems the mines can work around the Euro IV emission standards the government has imposed on us. The rest of us can't. I notice the South Africans can also buy petrol powered 79 series with 6 cylinder 4.0 litre 170 kw engines. That might be a more interesting engine for here but perhaps, like the diesel 6, it can't meet current Australian emission standards.

Changing brands does not help either.

My former boss has one of the older 6 cylinder 79 series. He was planning a year long trek through Africa. We were talking one day about the pre and cons of the V8 then new on the market. The V8 issues were all known even then (I bought a V8 a year or so later) We both agreed that the older 6 was the better vehicle for touring Africa and also there was no point "upgrading" from the 6 to the V8 if the 6 was in good condition, like his was Fuel issues, spare parts and so on were also a worry with the V8 in Africa as they had not changed to that model then or since. He shipped his cruiser over in a shipping container.

This is a long round about way of saying the emissions standards are what is behind the engine we get to "choose". That is government decision and not always what the manufactures, fuel companies or drivers would want.

One of the ironies is the vehicle manufacturers cop the blame for all the injector problems etc when it was an inevitable consequence of government mandating Euro IV compliance before the fuel distribution system or the manufacturers were really ready for it.

That said I love my cruiser and as it has a far more pampered life than its mining cousins it should outlast me.

PS Phill G has gone soft :)

Flynnie
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 07:09

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 07:09
Flynnie, yep I'm soft!

Rockape,
Don't worry about sending the aerial - I found a supplier in Adelaide.
Looks futuristic eh....
Image Could Not Be Found
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 10:02

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 10:02
Well done Phil, if I ever join the dark side it'll be through either a TVan or an Ultimate.

You know this thread is useless without pictures!

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:41

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:41
Ok I give in.
Heres the best bit .... sorry about the dirt :-))
Image Could Not Be Found
And it looks like a Tvan:
Image Could Not Be Found
Here is the soft bit:
Image Could Not Be Found
And its got the electrical bits - the fan is neat - they used a volt converter to change the speed. Ands its got the 240V and charger etc
Image Could Not Be Found
I'll go back out and play......
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Follow Up By: Krakka - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 15:57

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 15:57
Nice one Phil, looks to have plenty of factory options or it is a high spec model. Curtains, fully lined interior, stereo, 4 reading lights, roof storage and side pockets, stereo, looks like bed extension as well. We have the innerspring deluxe mattress in ours, worth every cent. Have fun tidying it up.

Krakka
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 21:32

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 21:32
Phil!! Just think of all the extra junk you can take away with you now!! Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 07:17

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 07:17
Gday Krakka,
Yeah, its got almost all of the Tvan options. Went through the canvas and its got fully enclosed awning and draft skirt. I'm still fixing stuff - water tank was leaking from a crack caused by one of the tennis balls that secure it, so its been patched with sikaflex. I had the kitchen out and have added a marine 12V waterproof cig socket next to it, just below the hella socket.

Michael,
Yep, extra junk could be taken - the canopy on the truck is going to look half empty now! I need to be strong! :-))
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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:30

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:30
G/Day Phil

Congratulations on your new purchase, a bloke needs a hobby or two, great choice, when I saw the heading on your Thread I was concerned about you Going Soft, there's pills for that now lol lol.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 08:31

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 08:31
Cheers Daza,
Actually, its got these huge yellow grab rails on each side of the mattress - what are they for?????? And the roof is lined with this velour stuff....not sure whether mirrors were an option!
Speaking of that.... I wonder how couples get on in the Tvan - 230mm travel in the suspension....would have to rock a bit....wonder if they hit their heads....hehehe

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Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:52

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:52
Phil

Your not going soft, but i am jealous. I am still waiting for mine to arrive, it currently should be on a truck between melbourne & perth.

So i should have mine next week.

Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 08:21

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 08:21
Gday Alan,
I'm hopeless at waiting - I expect you've had the 5 month wait. Getting new would have been good, and I was tossing up about it, but this one came up. Would have been nice to get the later stove and kitchen, the right axles etc etc Have fun when it arrives!!!
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Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 14:56

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 14:56
Geez, Phil - you didn't! Unbelieveable! Having said that - Ian and I looked at a CARAVAN (??!!??) this week - luckily it didn't suit (anything) so gave that idea a quick flick - still camping. We'll be in SA all March - going fishing - you out playing anywhere then?
Ruth and Ian
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 08:17

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 08:17
Hey Ruth,
Bugger, you found me out....
We're in town all March so I've emailed you
Cheers
phil
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Reply By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 00:04

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 00:04
Gee, Phil, you have done it now. The rot has set in. I am sure the type of trip will change now but the TVan will look "ïnteresting" chasing you down Blue Rag. The weight will add up with a bigger water tank, more batteries, solar panels, and that inner spring mattress for the Princess, the porta loo will have to be empty each morning so you can tow it. Talking of towing, we will set up a tow track around a 40 hectare paddock for you to learn on. Mind, you, expect you to reverse out the gate.

Is the good lady Princess in the sporting capital currently? There was a UK Prince here apparently a few days ago, there may as well be a good Aussie one here. The match tonight was a bit fore-shortened. I could see a problem actually in Bagdatis early in the first set. Movement just wasn't right and picked the right shoulder or upper arm.

Phil, back on the new investment, I am sure you will enjoy it mate. Look forward to checking out your mods to it.
Cheers,
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 07:55

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 07:55
Gday John,
I'm not getting rid of the swags! We'll do more weekend trips in it, and take it to the GVD and WA deserts. Probably leave it at home for the Simpson trips!
I reckon I need to learn how to back it before doing Blue Rag. Naaa - wouldn't dare try it :-)
Is that a "tow track" or a "test track" :-)))
Kathryn didn't make it to the tennis - all looked too hard, but she flew to Melbourne to check out our daughter's new place, and help her with the shopping.

Got plenty to do with the Tvan. I want it to track as close as possible to the 79series (pretty narrow track), so will have to change the axles (it came with a narrower set of those big fat arms!)and may as well go with 5 stud hubs. Just working that out now.

Cheers
phil
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 07:32

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 07:32
Had a good shed day yesterday.

The kitchen had been removed and is now back in - had to remove the runners and clean all the dirt out of them. All good.
The "queen of clean" has taken to the inside with her Dyson. I dare not step inside it now. She's talking about installing one on the wall on the inside - anyone done this yet?? :-)
Found out why the battery was flat - the stereo was drawing half an amp when turned off - needs a switch on the yellow wire. The battery surprisingly has taken a lot of current, suggesting it might be OK. I'll test it's capacity with a light to see if its worth keeping.
Its got a lot more storage space than I expected.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 07:25

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 07:25
Yesterday was more sinister...Took the water tank out because there was a leak. Filled it up on the bench - couldn't find a leak. Put it back in, filled it up again and it leaked as soon as I put the tennis ball spacers back - small crack caused by a tennis ball!! Repaired with sikaflex and spaced it with very high density foam. Another job done!
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