Something to think about

Submitted: Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 16:27
ThreadID: 87443 Views:2773 Replies:6 FollowUps:18
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G'day everyone

Heard it on the ABC North West radio today ~ an unfolding saga in the "Kimberley" ~ around 200K's south of Broome on the Great Northern Highway.

A Queenslander travelling through the region experienced problems with his vehicle (not sure what the vehicle type is or what the problem might have been) but the problematic vehicle was towed into Broome, by a passing good Samaritan, but the caravan ~ a fifth wheeler ~ was left behind in a roadside parking bay, unattended !!

The time span ~ unattended was possibly around 24 hours.

The fifth wheeler is now a burnt out wreck and the problematic vehicle is still a source of grief.

Again one would need to ask ~ What were they thinking?

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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 16:41

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 16:41
Sad story.

Have these travelers not heard about roadside assistance like NRMA Premium Cover in NSW?

We were recovered from the Bungle Bungle, several years ago, that included us, tow vehicle and trailer. It cost nothing from my pocket. I had been only paying for Premium cover for a couple of years so I am in credit for a long time yet. Our scenic trip back to Kununurra by Sling Air was also paid for and a motel room on our arrival.

I guess they were saving money!

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Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 17:07

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 17:07
It is most unfortunate that some scum has done this to their home and I do feel for these people and may the perpetrators of this fowl deed get a dose of the plague.

Just think about this.

If you were the driver of the said vehicle would you have left your spouse alone in this spot with the fifth wheeler. Better it than your partner.

And although they were towed in by a good Samaritan it highlights the problems of a fifth wheeler as one can flat top the tug if it is broken down but then cannot tow the fifh wheeler.

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: rags - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 18:04

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 18:04
It was only recently that i seen a Rodeo broken down with 5th wheeler attached at bellbird hill on the Bells Line of rd ,and it had me thinking what do they do with the caravan when a tow is needed.I guess it is one of their unique problems.
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Reply By: racinrob - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 17:51

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 17:51
Reminds me of a caravan I saw a couple of years ago that had been left on the side of the Gibb River Road , It had a hand written sign on the side saying,
"Please don't touch my van, we have gone for assistance and will be back soon".
It had been completely gutted and trashed !!! Now that would certainly spoil your holiday.

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Reply By: Ian & Sue - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 17:54

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 17:54
So they found the driver then? Last time I heard they where looking for him.
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Follow Up By: snoopyone - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 19:31

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 19:31
Found today in Broome safe and well acording to a news report on a caravaning site
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Reply By: Fred G NSW - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 18:01

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 18:01
I guess no one knows at this stage if it was deliberate or accidental?

Most 5th wheelers have an extensive 12 volt system, or maybe they used gas to keep the fridge running. Lots of possibilities.

Sad story indeed, and no point speculating as to what caused the fire. It would be good to find out though, when the facts are clearer.


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Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 19:13

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 19:13
unbelievable ... and I mean not the fact the van was burnt, I meant the fool that towed the vehicle, why didn't he tow the lot , I would have.

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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 19:42

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 19:42
Spot on Doug.

A very good friend of mine was towed north several 100 k's up there 4 years ago, by a flat top, after cooking his motor. Towed the falcon and 18ft pop top to next roadhouse, and he eventually got towed to Karratha, where he enjoyed the hospitality for 2 weeks while his motor was rebuilt.

But the silly bastard spat the dummy, and back-tracked all the way back to Nerwcastle, the way he had just come. He was half way, and could have continued.

He went halfway around Aust. and saw the trees from BOTH sides LOL LOL

He reckons to this day, the ball is still somewhere in the bush where he kicked it up there LOL LOL

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 20:44

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 20:44
what if the vehicle and 5th wheeler has no powered braking, yes I would tow the lot with someone that i trusted in control of the towed vehicle but I wouldn't do it otherwise.

Have a good one and I hope all has returned to normal where you are. I was looking at some photos of transtars + Inter Eagles and I thought of you, I had a very soft spot for a 4200 that I drove.
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 21:40

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 21:40
I don't think size would be an issue with a 5th wheeler, last week I hooked onto an Isuzu Bus , belongs to Connections Tours, give it a tow start, the driver said ....are you sure, it weighs 10 tonne, I said , well that's easier than 84 tonne that I did at the Burke and Wills Roadhouse .

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Follow Up By: Dreadnought - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 23:49

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 23:49
Why should he have towed the lot? As far as I am aware, he was a GOOD samaritan, going out of his way to help out someone in strife....not a tow service!! And now some people are calling him a fool!! WOW, that's gratitude for you...Makes me want to go out and help someone now so I too can be called a fool. I think he's probably lucky he even got his vehicle towed the 200kms and wasn't just given a lift. If the good samaritan had cooked his engine trying to tow the lot, I wonder if he would have been compensated somehow? Me thinks not...........
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 00:44

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 00:44
Seems you havn't travelled much and seen what I have seen over many years of truck driving, I have seen many Caravans and cars left on the roadside, sure as the sun rises in the East on the return journey I always see that same vehicle trashed or burnt a couple days later or on the next trip. That's why I will call someone a fool for not doing the free job properly, If I were stranded with my Van and Troopy and a 2 wheel drive stopped to see if I would like a tow I would send him on his way and wait for a larger vehicle that could do the job, maybe a little common sense on both parties about the vehicle the main post was about could have had a much happier result.
If a good samaritan had any doubts about if his vehicle could tow another then he should not do so, of course at this stage we don't know what the tow vehicle was do we.

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Follow Up By: Dreadnought - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 06:42

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 06:42
Doug T.....Unfortunately we can't all be crusty old truckies with years of experience. But just because a few of us are, doesn't give them the right to call someone who was willing to go out of his way to help someone else a "fool". People don't expect to be called a "fool" for doing what they think is the right thing...........
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 09:49

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 09:49
I don't remember reading in the post what the "fool" that helped him out was driving.
Maybe he didn't have the capacity to tow the lot, calling him a fool is more than little harsh & symptomatic of this forum lately.
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Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 13:07

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 13:07
The Good Samaritan that towed the vehicle, would still be a good samaritan if he hadn't!!, He offered!.

Two Bad Decisions!

Dougs right, Wait till you can tow the lot,

Cheers Axle
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 20:44

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 20:44
this has got to be a joke right?
Did the "fool" (aka good samaritan) force the owner to abandon his 5th wheeler?

And the (possible) people who torched it? How about using the vitriol on them? Or are we relegating this to "normal practice".?

The combination of good samaritan, driving a vehicle large enough, not already towing, and going the right way-would have to be rare enough to warrant making a snap decision.

Im with you Shaker.

The minute someone I stop for implies Im a fool for offering a lift-adious cobba.

Also I believe it is illegal to tow a vehicle/trailer in combination isnt it? While this may not stop me in certain circumstances, Id want to be sure who was paying the fine beforehand. There is a huge difference between an 18 ft poptop and 5th wheeler.
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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 08:16

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 08:16
I agree with Doug. the Samaratin should have known if his vehicle was capable of towing both units.

If not it would have been better to report the incident in the next town the Samaratin came to.

We were in a situation several years ago when our 4by broke down and we were parked on the side of the road with no phone reception, a driver pulled up and I asked him if he could contact the RACQ when he got phone reception, I gave him the membership details and he went on his way.

About an hour later RACQ arrived and trucked the vehicle 80ks to their depot.

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Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 10:31

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 10:31
G'day Daza

Firstly may I say thank you to everyone who has voiced an opinion or thought about my "Something to think about" post.

Daza, I trust you won't mind that I've hijacked your reply port to reply in general to everyone.

The full details of the ~ unfolding saga ~ may never be made public, but the fact that the bloke in the saga reportedly was feard missing and the local police up graded the alert simply because the "bloke" did not answer his mobile phone or respond to several text messages sent to his phone, so no doubt they may have thought, with a caravan burnt out, car and man missing, could this possibly be a murder ? it has happened in the past in Queensland on the Rockhampton to Mackay stretch of highway,can't remember if it was the inland section between Rocky and Malborough or the coastal stretch.

No doubt there are plenty of other sinister stories along these lines.

The actual point of my posting the story was to gauge how and what "You" the traveller would do, should a simular ~ vehicle / caravan ~ break down occur to "you" when you were on the road and on a genuinely remote stretch of highway, taking into account the fact that there are literally dozens of travellers driving the same route on a daily basis, the "Good Samaritan" being just one, who dared to assist. This poor bugger has been flogged for not towing the blokes complete rig the 200k's to Broome !!

I really don't want to start a war on the saga because I for one don't care about the type of car that was towing the fifth wheeler or even the fact that the thing was apparently torched.

I am very curious about what "You" possibly a seasoned traveller might do should this break down scenario happen to you, assuming the thing you are towing is yours and not an ~ empty vessel.

The reason for my curiosity are quite genuine and I will let you know ~ maybe!

Just to add a little something else to think about, all mobile phone and electronic data communications were disrupted for most of the period during which this saga was unfolding, the Opitc Fibre cable(s) were damaged in the Dalwallinu region some 2000k's away to the south of Broome, this could be why "Bloke" did not respont to his mobile phone?

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Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:07

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:07
What would I do?

If I was in the unfortunate fifth wheeler driver I would have stayed there and sent a message for assistance.

If I was the good samaritan I would have happily delivered the message to whosoever was required.
FollowupID: 733073

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 20:09

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 20:09
I would stay put till assistance could be arranged at the break down site, if I didn't have our Sat/Phone.

The experience that I mentioned re: the previous followup was enough for my wife and I to go out and purchase one.

Also I have heard of people in the same situation having the wife go with some passing travellers who stopped to assist, to the nearest town to arrange a tow ect while the husband stayed with the vehicle and caravan.

As to your remark re: ~Empty Vessel? I would be buggered if I would leave some thing we worked hard for on the side of the road for some MORON to destroy or vandalise.

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Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 21:59

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 21:59
G'day Daza and g'day everyone else.

Daza, the Empty vessel remark is aimed at a true fact that there are people on the road(s) who actually tow caravans, trailers and even fifth wheelers to a destination outside of the metro areas, not all recreational vehicle dealers have or use semi trailers ~ something to think about, next time you see a nice shiney rig on the road. Also there are folk who choose to travel light and do not carry much in the way of goods and chattels, food or water, because it's all ahead of them at the shops?

As a person who, through my work as a Tour Coach driver for a large operator in WA and also in my personal persuits ( I can't advertise me on this site ) clock up some very serious Kilometres ~ on and off road, I see the abandoned cars trashed and torched on a regular basis, sometimes only a few k's from a roadhouse.

A few years back, six I think, my wife and I were deep in the Rudall River N/P when we happened onto a young family with a near new Camprite camper trailer, sheared off lhs axle in the middle of a deep but dry watercourse.

The young bloke had the means of contacting the outside world, he had already organized the parts required for a fix, but his wife was affraid to stay with the camper. My wife and I stayed the two days it took for them to head back out to Newman pick the parts up from the overnighters and return to their stricken camper.

Technically we babysat the broken camper from about 300 metres away and smiled and waved to the few passing vehicle groups that passed by. I can't say for certain that we prevented anything from being pinched or trashed or even torched, but I am pleased to have been able to assist.

What did my wife and I gain from this ~ life long friends and a firm handshake on saying "see ya later mate", as nothing was asked for, nor was anything expected in return.

I personally would not leave my caravan, trailer or car unattended on the roadside anywhere, no matter if its remote or not. Like you, I've worked far too hard for what I can honestly call my personal property ~ but I also have 40 years worth of mechanical knowledge/experience to help try and ovecome most of non totally disabeling (mechanically) dramas that might befall me.

I also actually have the means to make contact with Family ~ Friends ~ emergency services etc and I would not leave the "Boss" behind to gaurd anything either, we've been married far too long to stuff it up now.

I guess in saying all of this, one should be prepared for the long open road trip, don't cut corners on anything that might just help save the situation, a plan, communications and above all else ~ think about your next move.

I just think the "fifth wheeler bloke" did'nt think too far ahead and eventually made the wrong move and the "Good Samaritan" did what he/she thought was best or possibly what was asked of them.

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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 22:05

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 22:05
Member Joe F

In regards to your "It has happened in the past" is exactly why my father told me never sleep in your car, alone on side of Qld roads. I think the 'story you are referring to' is about that murderer who killed 'Virginia Morse' at her farm but before he got there, he pointed a .22 through the gap of a window and shot n killed the driver, who was asleep.

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Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 10:57

Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 10:57
G'day Outback Wanderers

I don't actually remember a specific incident but I do remember that the Rockhampton to Mackay stretch of Queensland had at the time a very bad reputation, I guess the same can be said in regards to the "Falconio" murder somewhere near Barrow Creek N/T.

Sadly life in Australia can be very brutal at times, not only because of evil deeds in the outback but possibly in the neighbourhood where you live.

Society and the values that should bind us all as people who should respect one another, simply have changed ~ but not a lot of people see the change as being bad. I should'nt moralize simply because I can be hard nosed most of the time.

Thank you to all who responded to the original post and I am very sure we have all had "Something to think about"

Anyway think about where and how you camp up in the bush.

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