Burton's Perth to Cape York Day -49 10 Feb 12 Preparation

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 at 08:48

Mike & Amanda

Things never go according to plan. Hooked the AORC Oddy up to the Cruiser and headed up to Belmont to visit Ken Peachey Caravan Repairs with a list-of-things-to-do. The main jobs were to replace the old Pedders Foam Cell Shocks, wheel bearings and seals. A couple of small stress cracks had appeared in the front storage box mitres, probably from overloading and lots of corrugations! The gas pressure to the stove seems to have diminished over time, causing us to be creative with wind shields, tea towels, bread boards etc whenever there is a decent gust. Here in WA that is often, so when we are in proximity of the great unwashed onroaders, it causes some hilarity! Apparently the gas can dissolve the rubber in flexible gas lines which migrates to the regulator and eventually blocks it. This is unusual in AORC campertrailers as the regulator is fitted higher than the bottles – we’ll see. I hate it when it takes 10 minutes to cook toast!

The traffic on Leach Highway was horrendous now the kids are back at school. They say congestion is measured by the average delay per kilometre. Sydney is one minute for every kilometre travelled with Perth being 45 seconds. Well, it seems like more and with having to wait for two traffic light changes…grrrr! The smiley part is I’m in the Cruiser, trailer in tow…I can almost imagine it is loaded and we are on the way to Wiluna.

Ken Peachey is the new service agent for AORC having taken over from Pedders who apparently weren’t living up to expectations. The guy who helped me, Mike seemed very professional and I left the trailer feeling confident. Received a phone call at lunchtime to say all was not going according to plan. Mike advised that the right hand brake drum was found to be cracked. The hub also had the wrong studs fitted which were rubbing on the brake magnets. When we bought the trailer we had AORC match the hubs with Landcruiser types so that we can interchange all wheels. Last year before we headed to Tassie, Pedders broke a brake drum during their service. They replaced it with a Trailer Parts version. When I checked it out I found it had different size wheel nuts on it and they were just open nuts with the stud thread protruding through by about 10 mm. This worried me as we would need a different size wheel brace and the stud ends could be damaged without the protection of a domed nut. After much ‘debate’ Pedders agreed to fix it all again and it reappeared with what appeared to be the right studs. Mike from Peachey’s advised that it was a completely different drum to the other side which was a more robust looking Melbourne Trailers unit – what a nightmare! Not wanting any complications, Mike suggested we obtain an original Melbourne Trailers unit, which will take 4 days to get here by road freight.

Next issue – Peacheys had trouble replacing the shocks. It appeared the trailer had been assembled around the suspension, effectively blocking access to the shocky bolts. They had to ‘grind’ some trailer away to access the bolts…..shudder! Hate to think what I would have done on the Gunbarrel if encountering this! A grinder is one tool I don’t take! I only hope the dust proofing is not compromised… I’m sure they have thought of this and have done a good job….I’ll check it out when the Oddy eventually comes home.

The second last challenge is the new tyres. I telephoned Clint at Kal Tire in Belmont to delay our appointment. We intended to fit 3 new BFG muddies to the Crusier + the unused spare to give us new all round. The trailer has the original Coopers on which whilst not overly worn are 3 years old. We wanted to migrate the older muddies to the trailer. The only issue is the muddies are 285 and the Coopers 265…..mmm will they fit? If they don’t how will this affect our interchangeability? I guess we can always fit the smaller tyres to the Cruiser which is what you want in an emergency. Let’s hope they fit..I’d like the beefy muddies on the trailer – those KM2s are awesome tyres and seem to go anywhere…

The lady from the Indigenous Land Council phoned today to say our Permit application for the old Gunbarrel has NOT been approved! Apparently we need to be travelling in a convoy of MORE than 5 vehicles. We told her that HEMA maps and all web sites say 2 to 5 vehicles! We then had to supplement our application with an email specifying all our safety equipment, food, water, modifications etc….hopefully it will get approved. You can’t have more communications and emergency equipment than we have!

I see that all of these things are last minute challenges to test our resilience and to ensure we have a great trip! ;-).
Mike & Amanda
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