Beatit on the road - Day 2

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 19:36

Member - Beatit (QLD)

We had a great start today, the weather was superb again and we found the loo in the adjoining park. I’ve come to the conclusion that we take our home toilet for granted! No one left before sunrise and the majority did not hit the road till 8, this was our planned time for departure but Lis was dragging the chain she doesn’t know I included this hahahaha. Road works were the theme today with so many happening it is almost unbelievable. As I sit here watching the news we learned that a detour at Maryborough was as a result of a tanker catching fire forcing a road closure. This detour cost us a lot of time as we were sent around via Harvey Bay to re-join the Bruce Highway at Torbon Lea – oh well we enjoyed the scenery! We stopped for lunch at Bororen which had a lovely rest stop and loos. The stop highlighted to benefit of a van as we sat in comfort with all our facilities at hand – it was just so easy.
Fellow travellers have been most friendly with most waving as you pass and all happy to provide help when you camp for the evening. We were to late the previous night for “happy hour” and there was none in the van park we are currently enjoying an overnight stay. The park seems to be mainly inhabited by workers and maybe this is just another result of the mining boom.

There certainly has been a lot of road kill along the way and fortunately we have not added to the carnage. Interestingly black kites seem to have taken over the scavenging jobs normally reserved for crows.
A short note about the rig, firstly our fuel usage is quite high and in fact I am no doubt that we are now on the Saudi Christmas card list. This was expected, but with slow filling the only option it takes us probably nearly half an hour to fill the tank – which is a little frustrating for everyone parked behind us at the bowser. Our past lack of use of our van meant that a lot of things were still a mystery for us and getting things to work has been interesting. Our heater refused to work this morning just when we wanted it most; there it was giving us an error code by blinking. After finding the manual I worked out that we were suffering from low voltage – not a clue why as our batteries were showing a full charge. Whilst on power tonight I tried it again and it worked just fine so that is another problem to solve. The sat tv works just fine now that we have a clear view to the sky, Lis is watch Master Chef so she is happy!
Our rig is no light weight being close to 8 tonne combined and apart from the fuel; speed has also reduced as it takes a lot more effort to get the rig rolling. Our stop and go experiences today highlighted this as it also happened to be hilly country. What this means is that we are not travelling at the same speed we might have done with a camper trailer or nothing at all. This then translates to daily distance and even though we had an extraordinary situation in the way of the sheer number of road works encountered we had expected to be further than Rockhampton which is where we are tonight.
The van is exclusively 12 volt powered and although there are 240 volt points and appliances these can only be used when 240 is available. The van was not fitted with an inverter so this means we have to be on power or run the generator. We have always been aware of this but the issue was highlighted last night where our close proximity parking to others meant that it was just not possible to run the generator, our 3X120 amp batteries meant this was not a major issue except for those 240 appliances that we could just not use.
We are still buggered from the trip preparations and our prior trip to Berrima so this has meant that we have been happy to pull over rather than push on. Our goal tomorrow is to get to Mackay which is just 320k away but we hope to get to Townsville. We are in no hurry and it feels just great to not have to set distance targets.
A new way of life is emerging.
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