First blog

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2014 at 18:36

Member - Jim B8

Well here I am blogging. I had to look up what a blog actually was, to make sure I was on the right track. And I'm not sure, as I write. People with opinions should have an auto filter dropped in from above sometimes ha ha
Well we are packing, we leave Thursday. Wednesday, we panic. And do all the things we should have done a long time ago. Cos we are leaving, but no one panic!!!

We are doing a trial run, a shakedown run, and we haven't argued much about why we are doing it sooooo rough. We own a caravan and a camper trailer, and we are off camping. That didn't cause any angst, honestly. But the camper wont help if it is in a shed in NQ, if we are towing the van in WA! So - we test out the camping gear.

The truck is sorted, we had a month to step thru the issues. And its sorted, what could possibly go wrong? yessss.

Off to the Cape,- Deb and I met, married, bred, and then moved from the cape (Cooktown) but we were so busy working (electrical contractor) that we didn't see the cape really, just followed the work.

But we hate the tourist run. We are not interested in the "done" thing. U don't the Gibb?, U done the Simpson? U done the CSR?

And no, we haven't "done" too many of those, so I guess we will have to suck eggs in the caravan park, slink off to the showers, and silently "tick a few boxes". As long as we don't take it all to seriously.

We have a business in Karratha, WA, and Mirriwinni/Babinda, North Queensland, so we float back and forth between NW WA and FNQ.

The truck and van are, in theory, the slow means of transit between the 2.
So its all good in theory, but we have to make it outside the shed.
And Thursday, we will. Mossman first night, second night, the Coleman.
We are travelling with Dan and Kim, non members, Dan is already up there, feeding back the detail. Deb and I pick up Kim, Dan's wife, and take her up as well.
Dan and I do bird photography at a very keen amateur lever, Deb and Kim have many talents, and both need a break. So off we go. In total, we have (sort of) 5 weeks to blow. Deb has 3, Kim has 4. Both will probably fly out of Weipa, Kim back to FNQ, Deb to Karratha, then a wedding in Geraldton.

My truck is soooo sick of me stalking round it, prepping. I was born in the bush, and have 4wd'd a lot. And I have been stuck prepping this a long time, weather and logistics didn't line up.

At the last minute I added some tanks to the truck, and they leaked (first model), now I have the tanks in place,, second time round, and they seem to be ok. Heavy duty poly tanks,, water 100 litres, and diesel, 150 litres. Must say I was impressed with the response of the manufacturers when the first one's leaked. Totally rebuilt. And looking good. Water is now 100 lts, fuel is 360 lts, total.

The truck is not everyones's cuppa, but I love it. We have a 20 ft Bushtracker, and its heavy, so the trucks gvm is handy. We also own a cruiser ute, v8, and it would have been overloaded, hence the truck.

Anyway, we are off. We have to be back so its not a total "off". Children., business, life, you know what I am talking about. All good.

The Iveco is just ideal for what we are trying to do. The weight of the van, the camping gear, the lot, makes the choices very few, if you bother to study GVM, GCM, ATM, and all the seriously uninteresting acronyms associated with legislation. Too many people think power, and springs. "she can pull it" and "lets get the springs done, and a GVM update"...So many times I have heard it. Look at the GCM, and the ability to alter it - if you tow, then forget the GVM update. Enough, Jim, move on.

I had a lot of trouble with leakage from the 2 new tanks, poly does not seal well. In the end I used locktite liquid sealers (2) to seal the poly tanks to the fittings. Even then, some issues, the Locktite sealed the fittings to the tanks, but the residue didn't set, and made marks all over the fittings. Think I am on the right track now, but it took some swearing and threats. Water tank is filled and flushed, diesel is tomorrow, if it leaks, then a major reassessment is needed.
We are IT junkies, we need good connections to leave both businesses. We have a Sierra/Telstra 4g modem constantly running, so debs laptop, my laptop, my Samsung tablet, the 2 phones are connected if there's a signal
I run Ozi for Android, EOZI, and on the lappy, OZI and a usb gps. Maps are EO200k, and the 100k series from EO. All working good, very impressed.
I have a tyre pressure monitoring system, rear view camera for the truck and van, fuel gauge for the rear tank, UHF, bracket for the Samsung, temp/RH meter, 6 usb chargers, Sat phone, PLB, turn by turn Navman, and a lot more, I just love IT stuff. A sucker, keep me out of an electronics store. Trucks pretty tricked up as well, this trip will test her out I hope

Camping gets us outdoors, and then its setting up the camp, the water, the fire, the lighting, the wood, and the photography. Birds, birds, birds. Obsessions are hard to follow. But Dan and I photograph Australian birds.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jim_bendon_1957/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/77486088@N06/
So looking forward to the trip, Coleman, then the Archer, Weipa ,Wenlock, Portland Roads, slow trip home.
Will have some connection, so I will try to keep in touch

Jim














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