Burton's Perth to Cape York Day -33 26 Feb 2012 Preparation

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 15:07

Mike & Amanda

After 2 weeks at Peachey’s the AORC Oddy was finally ready for pick up. Mike Davies did a tremendous job and his politeness and service quality can be highly recommended. Pedders who did the previous service installed the incorrect parts. The Trailer Parts brake drum cracked around the hub boss and the wrong studs rubbed on the electric brake magnets. Now all fixed with the correct Melbourne Trailer’s drum trucked over and installed together with two spare studs…just in case…the next issue was replacing the Pedders’ shockies. Installed since new, Peachey’s couldn’t get easy access to the shocky bolts. It turned out the bolts had frozen solid into the bush. When we bought the trailer we added the boat loader bracket as an option just in case we wanted to install the full loader later. These welded RHS sections fouled access to the shocky on the driver’s side, making it just about impossible to remove the top bolt. Mike’s team cut off a section of this tube, ground it back, removed the pop rivets and dropped down the rear water tank protective steel cover and cut the shocky into pieces. They then cut the bolt head off and drifted it out. Wouldn’t like to do this on the track!

We also had them replace the gas regulator and rubber hose to the gas bottle in order to prevent perished rubber blockage and to try and increase stove pressure a little. They welded up some small cracks appearing in the driver’s side storage box mitres.

This was followed by the usual AORC service checklist – a nice little visit, two weeks and $1,300.00!!

I towed the Oddy straight to KalTire in Belmont where Clint fitted new BFG KM2 Muddies to the Cruiser and rotated the best of the old survivors to the Oddy. She looks mean now with the heavily lugged muddies – very Transformer like!! More great service, polite, efficient and all done in 40 degrees Celsius! Don’t know how those heavy tyre fitters do it.

At last we have approval and permits for the Gunbarrel Highway/Great Central Road via Wiluna, the Abandoned section of Gunbarrel Highway and Sandy Blight Junction Road – yippee!!

Planning the trip has proven a tad more difficult than first thought. Our idea of remote travel is to turn up on the day! Alas you are not allowed to do this in Australia any more…YOU MUST BOOK! So travelling across Australia via remote places you must know where you will be and when…..mmmm…..this sort of takes the spontaneity out of it…so now we have a trip plan from Day 1 to say Day 120 with various bookings in between, like Gold Coast (kid’s theme parks), Brisbane (trailer service), Cape Tribulation, Lawn Hill, Katherine, Koolpin Gorge etc. The QLD parks people have changed the system this year to require bookings at all National Parks. This looks like applying even to remote places like Eliot Falls at the Cape! In the NT to visit Koolpin you must request a permit way in advance and collect a key on arrival. I can see this not turning out very well…one day delay due to an unexpected event will see the thing collapsing like a house of cards! We’ve tried to add some float here and there but….

We are meeting Amanda’s mum and step dad in Kununurra on June 19th precisely! They will drive up from Perth for their first four wheel drive adventure and accompany us around the Kimberleys and home. They appeared one day on our doorstep with a new (used) Hilux four door with canopy. Last week they spent $6K at ARB Welshpool fitting it out with everything….very keen and its great to see – they’ll love it. We are looking forward to travelling with other people as historically we’ve always been on our own. Their excitement at this new (for them) adventure is very contagious. We are going through all the stuff we learned (and are still learning) a long time ago and it’s great to be able to help them out and share in their fun. ARB compressors, Redarc dual battery isolators, Rhino roof rack, Icom UHF, long handled shovel, etc….oh what fun! We even picked up a new long heavy duty 15000kg ARB snatch strap (hope we don’t have to use it) and a 9000 snatch block. We now have two and should be able to winch from a couple of different directions.

Amanda has been chasing up housekeeping stuff like insurances – shock, horror – did you know if your house is unoccupied for more than 60 days they may choose not to honour the insurance...?? Time to see the broker!

Have organised the mail re-direction. We selected ‘Keeping You Posted’ based here in Perth. You arrange for Australia Post to redirect all mail to ‘Keeping You Posted’, who scan it (ignoring mags, bank statements etc) and post it on a secure web site. An email advises you that ‘you have mail’ and when internet access is available you can log on with your password and read your mail. When the trip is over, they dump all the hard copies into a post bag and send it back to you. How easy is that! Saves messing around and inconveniencing rellos and friends.

Will probably drop into Perth’s Caravan and Camping show on the 15th of March to pick up a few things. We want to pick up a bigger rubbish bag for the spare wheel. Now we’ve fitted the BFG Muddies the AORC tyre cover is a little challenged. The MSA4X4 bag looks like good quality and should do the job. Just the thing for stashing the smelly rubbish in the Cape.

The Cruiser goes into TLC in O’Connor this week for the big one. All fluids changed, spares etc. Hope it goes better than the Trailer!

Mike & Amanda
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