The worst camping experience!?

Submitted: Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:27
ThreadID: 80415 Views:4510 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Its all good most of the time!, But sometimes things go Belly up!!

Like when the gearbox flew to bits on our Mits triton ute 9am on a sunday ! out the back of Goondiwinidi a few years ago, What a nightmare!!.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:33

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:33
Mine was when Darkie's Fuel Cut Off Solenoid crapped itself on a Sunday Arvo in Moree earlier this year when we were heading to Lightning Ridge.

Turns a relatively cheap holiday into a bloody expensive one :(

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:52

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:52
Hmmm!,, I went from Mits to Landrover To gain reliability!, I know!!!...hahahahaha,.. The thing is theres a Toyo in the mix as well these days'm convinced !, THERE ALL AS BAD AS ONE ANOTHER!..LOL.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Graham & Lynne - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:44

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:44
When the camshaft and roller lifter destroyed themselves at Katherine in the 7year old commodore towing the 30 year old caravan. Me being a Mechanic had to take another weeks of holidays to pull the engine out and fix it then drive home to brisbane to check the warranty. The family were grounded at the caravan park while I fix the car.
From Graham

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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:56

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:56
Not nice Graham, the big plus was your trade!...LOL.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 20:16

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 20:16
Last Anzac weekend when my trailer broke it u bolts and nearly flipped over.. Lucky i was on a dirt track doing 40kph... Problem was i just crossed a deep crossing and out in the middle of nowhere.....what a weekend read my blog!!! Michael
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Follow Up By: townsville - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 20:29

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 20:29
Kevin Rudd is camping out at the moment..........ask him!!!
not even allowed in the tent............hehe
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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:22

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:22
I bet you stare at those u bolts everyday!, Whether your thinking about taking off somewhere or not!....LOL.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Aug 01, 2010 at 20:40

Sunday, Aug 01, 2010 at 20:40
Axle, im just getting all the new bits, actually the complete spring, alxe and new electric brake system together now,,, Im going for the 5/8" u bolts this time and i'll not be complacent about my trailer again.. A $1300.00 bill has woken me up!!!! Michael
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Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 20:57

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 20:57
I"ve never had one go belly up, but I had an engine ECU fail on my old mazda 2600 the morning of leaving for a trip to central aust. It could have gone belly up if it happened out the back of no where. Thank my lucky stars it happened at home.

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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:10

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:10
4 or 5 years ago, I owned a garbage truck and decided to train up a driver for my weekend work so I could actually have 2 days off!! for the first time in a number of years.
The plan was to start at 2 am with the driver and park my ute in the city so my run would take me to my ute at about 6, go home, pick up my wife and SIL and head to Rainbow beach and be there for lunch (from Brisbane).
The Driver wasn't sure he was up to speed with the run which is why I started him off on the right foot for the Saturday which took 10 hours.
All is well until about 15 minutes before we got to where I had my ute planted, when the motor of the truck just stopped, no fault codes, just no go.
So I rang road service for this particular brand of truck and waited, I couldn't leave the driver to sort out whatever problem there was after all it really wasn't his problem, cut a long story short, factory mechanic wasn't much good without fault codes telling him what was wrong.
Well, 7am turned into 8,9,10,11,12 1pm,2pm the whole time my wife is ringing me, WHEN ARE WE GOING was the common theme of the calls
I ended up leaving the mechanic with the truck and driver, issue still unresolved, remembering I was intending to be gone from my spot by 6, only to find a "love letter" under the wiper courtesy of council, got home, had a quick shower, Ute was already packed and ready for the road,
Got to Rainbow beach township just before Dark, I wanted to camp at the Near by caravan park so we had amenity's, but my wife and her sister wanted to camp on the beach, near the surf so they could hear the waves, so off the freshwater camping ground we go, only to find it booked out and full!!, Oh well plan B, no plan C, beach camp (in the appropriate area).
By this time it was well after dark, Facing the ocean there was a stiff breeze blowing and squally rain, the weather was NOTHING like rainbow beach township, payed the self registration but had real difficulty finding a sheltered camp spot in the dark as this area was busy as well, Tried to put up my large cheap tent, one of those ones that have a living area and sleeping area that requires 2 layers of material to be waterproof, You put up one part first (sleeping area) and a fly over the whole lot,the fly IS the water proof bit.
I uncliped the strap of my tonnea cover to get the tent out and pulled the cover back over everything else so it wouldn't get wet while I put the tent up
I wrestled for half an hour in the blowing wind and rain, just to get the first part of the tent up, I was getting frustrated by now and started arguing on hows, whats, and other suggestions, The straw that finally broke the camels back was when I look over to the ute only to see that the wind had blown the tonnea cover right up exposing everything to the rain, ALL the bedding, the food, the cloths where all soaking wet it was just impossible in the conditions we where in to get the tent up, tring to hold a torch as well as putting up the tent.
THAT'S IT I yelled, I GIVE UP, get in the ute, we are going home.
Got back home at about 1 am, still wet covered in sand starving hungry, very tired being awake for 24 hours,
Had a warm shower and into bed.
Not an expensive inconvenience (apart from the truck), but one of those things that simply wasn't meant to happen, it was months before I attempted another weekend off.

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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:19

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:19
HAhahahahaha!...."Them the days ya wish ya never got outa bed"

Cheers Axle.
FollowupID: 696304

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:52

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 21:52

Going to Broome in 1985 with a bunch of mates. Planned to take two weeks from Perth. Day 1 blew gearbox in my landrover and towed into Northhampton. spent 5 days camped at the shell garage in the car park. Rebuilt the gearbox and went home. Finally got to Broome in 2009.

Second time, travelling Perth to Melbourne and back, besides the weather and heat, got to Renmark and the bottom pulley on the crankshaft broke the roll pin and welded the bolt into the crankshaft. Necessitating the engine being removed. Car was a V6 Triton Ute and spent two weeks in Renmark. When we left we went accross the great alpine road and that night a lightning storm lighted major fires in the high country. On the way back to perth we hit a emu just out side Eucla. Limped home and the car spend another 3 weeks in panel beaters. We were gone for 4 weeks, and the car spent about 5 weeks in workshops. Engine cost was mine but at least insurance paid for the Emu damage.

At the end of it you learn its not what happens that counts but how you handle it. And ultimately we still had goo d rememberable holidays.

AnswerID: 425782

Reply By: splits - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 23:29

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 23:29
This is not exactly a camping story but we did sleep in cars and it was in the Outback.

I intended driving from Perth to Sydney in my EH back in 1973. I had previously dealt with a Perth company that, for a $5 fee, found travelling companions to share expenses so I decided to use them again. They soon found an American couple who were on their way to Adelaide complete with a hell of a lot of luggage and two cats. They also had a man with two cars who was looking for a driver to take the second one with him to Adelaide. I thought why not? The EH was left at home and the three of us, plus the cats, took off in his '63 auto Falcon wagon following close behind his Valiant.

We slept overnight in the cars and reached Eucla late the next day. That was when the rain started and we had about 450 ks of dirt road ahead of us. We had not gone far into it when the Falcon stopped with wet ignition. We dried the cap and leads with a rag and set off again. It was now dark and this was happening about every 15 minutes. On one occasion we even used the hot exhaust gas from a tourist bus to dry the parts while the driver reved the engine.

Finally the owner had had enough and told us to wait there while he drove on to Nullarbor Homestead to get something to "fix it". The rain was still falling when he returned the next morning with a can of CRC and a packet of Gladwrap! We wrapped the dizzy and plugs up as best we could, sprayed everything with the CRC then took off again. It was not long before the engine stopped again.

After going through this procedure a few more times, the starter motor stopped working. Now having an auto car should have stopped us but those old Falcons had a tailshaft driven pump at the rear of the transmission meaning you could push the car to start it, providing you pushed it at 30 mph that is. The procedure now became: wipe the cap, plugs and lead, wrap with more Gladwrap, spray CRC, line up the Valiant's bull bar behind the Falcon, wait until the speedo reached 30, click into D, hear the engine turn over and start.

It took us 29 hours to cross those 450 ks of dirt and it had rained all the way. We were all wet, the car was full of mud, the Americans looked bewildered and must have thought all Australians were mad and the cats were a !%X#Z*& nuisance! What surprised me was we had not had any traction problems despite all the mud.

This was not the end of it though. All through this adventure, the off side front wheel on the Falcon started to slowly develop an alarming amount of negative camber and tow out. I knew the early Falcons were noted for having the lower control arm tear away from the sub frame in rough conditions. As sure as can be that was the problem but I was not game to look. We drove on and just as I stopped beside the bowser at a servo near Pt Augusta, there was almighty bang as the tyre blew. Undeterred we changed the wheel and drove on to my sister's home near Elizabeth.

The next morning, after the first decent sleep since we left Perth, the cats were missing. I spent the next hour wandering around with their owners calling out their names which happened to be the words "morning" and "evening" ....... in Japanese!

I drove the Americans (and the cats) to Adelaide in my sister's car then hitch-hiked to Sydney leaving the Falcon sitting outside her home and looking like it had just completed a Redex trial. I have never again gone into the Outback with Americans, cats and Falcons and I never will.
AnswerID: 425788

Reply By: roberttbruce - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 13:11

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 13:11
for decades i had being planning an extended trip to Sandy Straights...

after much ado and provisioning I finally got there only to realise I had forgotten my lotto entries...

yep, you guessed it ... made the run down to rainbow on the hightide and then back up to the top, was a pita of a drive...

did i win lotto.... YES, $12.85 ... lol...

i am just glad i travel in what is percieved as poorby mechanised vehicles - i couldnt fix or afford to have fixed an electronic based vehicle.
When i do have breakdowns in my poorby's, I can fix them infield... like the time my bottom radiator hose burst along the way up aline-way, at 3am in the morning... the only water available was a sodden walk to a frozen stream 1KLM into the bush... ... imho, that is true adventure...

AnswerID: 425821

Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:53

Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 16:53
11 years ago Camper went belly up on Savannah Way. Limped into Cape Crawford bashed the crap out of it to make it square welded the top on and finnished the holiday. The whole canvas top came through with out any problem just a small scuff mark on the cover. When the camper went over it bounced and kept going until it went back on its wheels. The safety chain was very hard to undo as it was wraped around the tow hitch. I hate dirt roads while towing ever since.
AnswerID: 425837

Reply By: Flynnie - Friday, Aug 06, 2010 at 22:50

Friday, Aug 06, 2010 at 22:50
My worst few seconds camping were the night before last just after 2 am. Location somewhat south east of Windorah. Scrub camping.

There I was snug and asleep in my swag when I was awoken by very loud noises. A few rifle shots. First time I have ever be woken by rifle shots. Thought the best thing to do was to stay low to the ground in the swag.

Soon worked out it was roo or wild dog shooters, most likely, and they moved on to another area.

I was a little uneasy when the cruiser was caught in the spot light.

Such is life in the country.

AnswerID: 426423

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