April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

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emjan
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April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » November 10th, 2012, 7:25 am

April 2013 we (my partner, me & the 2 dogs) are planning on taking off on our very very extended trip (no time frame, 2 yrs or so) around & about Aus leaving SW Vic probably make our way eventually up to Cairns, after a visit to Cape York, & then over to Darwin as daughters live both places, eventually heading over to southern WA when the humidity gets too much. Not in a hurry, we're going to take our time....looking forward to warmer climes. Car in for mods from next week, doing it all over a couple of months. Will be taking a camper trailer.

Anyone interested in joining us at any stage is more than welcome.
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » November 15th, 2012, 11:35 am

Stage II complete: Arb Canopy & snorkel fitted. Thought it was going to be an ARB safari snorkel but turns out to be an ugly one from Nissen, wish I'd been more thorough there, oh well, as long as it does the job. Stage III mid Jan, ARB bullbar & a winch, a Warn's been recommended but if the Tigerz11 Grande is as good might get that instead. Along with lightforce driving lights, OME suspension & 3in lift, auxillary brake for the camper trailer elec brakes, anderson plug, dc battery....guess we won't get to use the Nav much that month. Just wish there was a home/bush mechanics course near us...nothing. I can do basics & am mechanically minded but nothing major. Just have get Wayne stirred up to do some of the work, he's going to have to learn real fast on the road. Glad we've got a very good 4WD workshop here in town, a real godsend. I wonder if he'd show us a few things? All being well, it looks like we'll be hitting the road about April 20.
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » January 8th, 2013, 4:02 pm

Well, I've officially retired as of the end of last month & have booked the Nav in for mods starting around the 17th of Jan. Discussed with Greg Iguanti of Viper Installations the mods he'll start with, he thinks he'll get a 10cm lift with the OME all round, be interesting to see. Front & rear air lockers as well. Then the ST Maxx's 245/75R16's are going on, usual alignment to follow, then back to Greg for the electrics with the electric brake controller, anderson plug, & electrics rigged up, ready & waiting for the fridge, 2nd battery, & other things we want to install like tyre pressure monitoring system, reversing camera, etc.

In the meantime, the Budget Camping book has arrived & I really like the way it's set out with the stops from departure to destination. My only complaint is it doesn't routinely list whether sites are dog friendly or not, but is certainly helpful otherwise. Think I'll still invest in a Camps 7 when it's released next month. We don't want to have to pay for stops unless it's absolutely necessary.

Not sure if we'll be heading off April at this stage as it looks like Wayne might have some work which we'll take advantage of for a bit longer, still looking as though we'll head north & do the Cape, then over to Humpty Doo to spend time with family who live on 5 acres. We can leave the dogs there & do the Litchfield/Gregory NP's, the Kimberleys & Kakadu. Guess that'll keep us out of mischief for a bit.
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » January 23rd, 2013, 11:26 pm

Been quite a week. Monday Nav went in for the electrics & bullbar. We also drove up to Campbellfield to Cub Campers for a 2hr orientation. I thought I'd be brain dead after but was buzzing with excitement. This camper keeps getting better the more we learn about it.

Yesterday evening we picked up the Nav after Stage 2 was finished: 2 anderson plugs - 1 internal, 1 external & all the wiring, electric brake controller, UHF radio (not the GME unit I wanted...he put in a Uniden...) & antenna, new am/fm radio, bullbar with fog lights. He'll let me know when the suspension kit & lift, lockers, & winch are in & that'll be next, along with the air compressor.

Today I got out the Oz map & started marking all the free/cheap camps & rest stops in NSW & Vic. Don't think Wayne could see the point til I finished & he saw how many there were & where. Would love to do that desert run up through Broken Hill.

Have found some very cheap IPF lights on ebay, about 1/2 retail, they're next, & am negotiating with roo systems to buy a chip exhaust package, awning, & drop down fridge slide.
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » January 26th, 2013, 8:44 pm

I picked up from my local newsagency today a great mag today. Sorry, not 4WD Action this time which we all know & love. It's On The Road's 'Guide to Free Campsites 2013-14'. Makes my map marking obsolete with some of the marked maps inside. It lists GPS & contact details where applicable, whether pets are allowed, facilities present, whether permits are required. Cost me just under $20 & it's one hard copy coming along for the trip.

Yesterday I purchased an RS chip & exhaust system, side awning, jack & shovel mounts, & recovery kit. Got a great deal through these boys & no, this not an advertorial. A 2nd spare tyre for the Nav arrived via an ebay seller on the doorstep too. Also ordered a set of sandgrabber mats for the front off ebay & a name sticker for the windscreen from the US, lol, will take a piccy when it's in place. Decent sheepskin car seat covers, where can you get them? All the ones I've seen have faux fur sides & skirt & cost a small fortune, I wonder how they wear?

We said good bye to our chooks today when I gave them to a workmate who is going to spoil them along with her pampered brood, so the yard is very quiet now. Miss them already, guess I'll have to do a visit there each week with a bucket load of house scraps.

I've made contact with the local 4wd club & we'll hopefully be joining them for an Easter weekend trip to Robe SA. Meeting the crew Monday week at their 1st meeting for the year.
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Peter Aawen
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by Peter Aawen » January 26th, 2013, 10:10 pm

It's all coming together, have you got a calendar hanging up somewhere with the dates being marked off it yet?? Or can you just tell us off the top of your head how many days, hours, & minutes left to departure time!? If you haven't already got on, get hold of a workshop manual for your vehicle, and make sure it's in the vehicle when you leave! Even if Wayne hasn't done too much of the prep work, a Gregory's or Haynes can make life a whole lot easier if things go wrong when you least want them to... so it is really worthwhile taking that along as a hard copy too!

Just a note on the Tyre Pressure Monitoring system, if you are getting one, make sure that you get one with sensors that mount INSIDE the tyres - yeah, I know that the valve cap jobbies are cheaper, but they don't work or last as well, the inside the tyre jobbies are soooo much better it isn't funny, and their temperature info is good value as well as the tyre pressure info. And yes, you can get sensors for the spares as well and the remote head will display their info too. :D

Which way are you planning on going from the Cape across to Darwin? The Gulf Savannah is a looong drive, but the stops are pretty good! :D And while Lawn Hill is a 'Must See' spot if you are anywhere near, it's probably a lot nicer to stay at Adel's Grove just up the road a bit - no NPWS crap to worry about, and you can still be at Lawn Hill in time to get a canoe! Check out all the Dino bones as well if you go that way. Oh, and sadly the "Best Barra & Chips in Aus" found in Ash's Cafe at Karumba Point has changed managers since I was there last, so you'll hafta go and check it out for yourself! ;)

I hope you have started taking pics of your preparation for the Trip Report, we really don't mind if you start early... ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » January 27th, 2013, 1:00 pm

LOL!! Thanks Peter! Yes it is all coming together. We have a big planner on the wall & we mark everything off it. We're planning on leaving around April 20, give or take a day. The manual is a great idea, was going to get a CD & install it on the laptop but I think a hard copy is the way to go in case of computer malfunction, etc. Wayne is going to spend some time at the 4wd workshop with them with the next round of mods being done so he can see first hand what needs to be done in an 4by emergency. Way different to working on tractors!

We have to forgo a TPMS unfortunately as it is a ute which creates all sorts of hassles getting the sensor antennae over the back wheels so we will just have to be vigilant with daily am checks & making sure they're at the right pressures for the driving conditions. I checked out the wiring configuration over the internet & thought damn! It's one continuous antenna that goes from front to back tyres. Problem with utes, we'll know better for the next time we buy a 4x4 & get a LWB.

We think we might go via Mildura - Broken Hill - Milparinka - Birdsville, then head up towards Cairns.....if one of my girls is still living there....before doing the Cape. We're looking for a bit of remoteness to chill out & take our time, we're in no hurry. We're pretty lucky we're comfortable with hot conditions, wide open spaces & not much around except for the magnificent starkness & beauty we'll experience in the outback. We'll just cruise like a pair of oldies & take in the scene.

Great advice about the Savannah & Lawn Hill, on the bucket list now. The whole trip is not about the destination but the journey, however long it takes. I'm looking forward to using my skills as a nurse & working with Aborigines, Wayne's hoping to get anything, anything workwise...farm work, fruit picking, etc. You can be assured every stop he'll be whipping out the Minelab & doing some prospecting...organising miner's rights for various states at the moment.

I just have to work out now how to post photos...will check out the forums.
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Smell
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by Smell » January 30th, 2013, 5:13 am

I can second Peter's suggestion of Lawn Hill NP - absolutely magical spot. Adels Grove also has added bonus of dog minding service and, although you are restricted to camp in a certain section, your pooches are welcome to walk with you everywhere except the toilet block and restaurant. If you're out near the Winton area a visit to Larks Quarry (dinasour stampeed) is mandatory and we camped at Old Cork Station - approx 67k's from Lark Quarry, great spot right on the river and not too populated.

When we visited Milprinka we camped at Mt Browns Station - dogs are welcome there as well.

Have fun and fill us in on your trip reports! Wish I was out there living the dream!

emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » February 1st, 2013, 5:53 pm

It's on the list, Smell, a dog minding service sounds great...we may never come back (only joking, couldn't leave the boys).
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » February 1st, 2013, 6:12 pm

This morning we headed up to Melbourne to check out some drawers for the ute. We wanted to drop in to one factory that makes them in Hallam but when we ph'd we were looking at 2500 to 3500...right out of our budget. So we stopped in at Ironman 4x4 in South Dandenong. The new showroom is phenominal, really well set out. We bought up big with a set of drawers that Wayne'll install & make the side bits to go with it. Looks really well put together & couldn't justify the extra 1000 or so for one of its competitors, we've looked at most of them. It's not fancy schmancy like BW, but will do the job with change left over thank you very much.

We also got a fridge...ohhhhhh...I know I was deciding on an Engel or CFX Waeco, but when I saw the Ironman 65L F/F with twin lids for less than 1000, well, the sold sticker went on it pretty quickly. It's got a great warranty & there are plenty of Ironman shops around so we'll see how it goes. It cooled/froze pretty well on 240v, 12v may be another matter.

I'd been needing a new coat, didn't want to have to take away the coat that my son wore on a yr 7 15 years ago, so bought a Drizabone style there, plus a couple of hard armed chairs. Paul who looked after us there tossed in some great extras & was very helpful, which we appreciated, would certainly do business with them again.

Tomorrow is the ARB Ballarat open day, so am looking at getting the canopy roof rack & fitting kit, a high lift jack....& that's about it folks. We just have to wait for Greg to let us know when the HID's & OME's have been delivered to him & Li'l Smokey will go in for her next operation.

We didn't get time to stop in to Scott's Old Car Rubber in Oakleigh looking for some grommets & seals for the tub, maybe another trip up there in a couple of weeks. Mmmm getting close to camper trailer pick up time!
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belliesheraz
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by belliesheraz » February 2nd, 2013, 2:53 pm

I hope you are planning on keeping us up to date on your trip... wish it was me. I am very envious. Did you end up getting a tigerz winch? If so how does it rate as I am think along the same line. look forward to your next installment.

emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » February 2nd, 2013, 5:22 pm

Still haven't got the winch belliesheraz. My local 4wd modifier thinks for reliability you can't beat a Warn, but they're soooo pricey, esp if we want the one with the dynamica rope rather than the hefty, weighty wire winch. So the jury's till out there. I like the Ironman winch which has a motor breather that can be fed up to the engine bay, but have to have a good look at it to see if the housing etc can be pulled apart for servicing. I contacted VRS (a division of Warn, a cheaper winch) & was told I should pull it apart & regrease it every month. I mean, can you imagine having to do that? Constant water crossings maybe, otherwise I would've thought 6-12 monthly would be adequate.

We came away with some goodies at the ARB Ballarat open day....masses of people & 4wds there....I ordered the canopy rack & fitting kit plus a vent for the canopy, 11000 snatch strap, high lift jack, quick tyre pressure reducer, a wheel step, not much on special but at least 10% off made a diff.

They had one of those traction tracks set up, looked pretty torrid, demonstrated before & afters of using air lockers. At one stage I thought it was going to tip over the incline was so great but the girl driving the hilux did very well.

Then we went on to Maryborough to Coiltek, the owner is a friend of Wayne's, & put a deposit on a MInelab 4500. He's booked in for an all day lesson next Friday so we'll go back again, pay off the detector & he'll head off for the day to do a bit of gold detecting.

On the way home this afternoon, we had a call from Dave at Cub Campers. The Supavan Stockman is in would we like to pick it up this coming Wed? Would we?! Guess I'd better get that bank chq organised this Monday.
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » February 10th, 2013, 5:31 am

Been a busy week. Wayne's been working on the drawer system assembly. Pretty difficult with just the online instructions & no manual in the box. He's got it ready to install in the back of the ute but it's a matter of fitting the carpet first then the floor rails for the drawer frame to be fitted to, then he found the plates for securing the drawer frame to the rails were only 2mm bigger. Don't think they'd stay secure for too long with all the movement off road. Another call to the company & they have put 4 x 35mm plates in the post for us. I'll do a template of the tub bed & fit the carpet & the rails today.

Wednesday we picked up the camper trailer. When we got there at the arranged time the manager was in the process of educating/despatching another purchaser with a camper trailer before they left, so we waited...and waited. Just over an hr later I said we would need to get going soon or would catch the peak hour traffic heading out of Melbourne. That was ok, he went through the camper trailer again about 15 mins later, then when I backed the Navara in to hitch up Wayne found that not only had the tow ball fused & was immovable, so was the hitch in it's housing. No matter, after another hour of Wayne lying under the rear of the car & cursing everything Nissen, he managed to shift a mountain of dried mud from it then took to the towball with the angle grinder (something that should've been done at home folks & I'm NOT going to say I told you so) & installed the trigg hitch.

By the time we got on the road it was 4pm & yep bumper to bumper traffic, so we took a very long detour home up the Hume Highway thanks to the tomtom & hema 6 going beserk & constantly telling us to go back to Melb. We went via Kilmore, Lancefield, Romsey, Gisborne, Bacchus Marsh & Ballarat til we were finally on the home stretch. A long hilly drive on a very hot day but the Navara performed like a dream & the camper towed likewise.

Next afternoon we set it up in the driveway but found it very difficult to get it up without any sagging at the head end. Emailed the manager who was in East Gippsland promoting the camper trailers. He called me the next day & gave me a few ideas...yes, that was a bit better. Yesterday afternoon we set it up again to start seasoning it (I ask why this cannot be done BEFORE camper trailers are despatched from the factory??? It's not like it's a $200 tent), there was still a considerable amount of head sag & water poured in through the zippers in this area onto the new mattress. Wayne yelling madly to stop hosing, mopping up the pouring water. By this time he is totally p***** off & cursing. We're both crapped off with each other, having a snipe, not great for a relationship. Another email to the manager....he has a free hour on Tuesday at 9am, getting ready for another show in Adelaide & leaving the next day, which isn't suitable for us as the Navara is booked for a 3 day stint from tomorrow for modding. So what do we do? Looks like we might end up going up to Sydney to sort it if we can't see him before we head up to Braidwood for the 4 wd course in 2 weeks & pray it damn well doesn't rain while we're there.

We sat down with a well earned beer last night & I said to Wayne, he's running off to all these shows to promote the campers, but there's no one left at the showroom to offer support for a $50,000 camper trailer that's been purchased, except for an hour on a Tuesday morning in that week. Go figure. I know it's probably something that either we're not doing correctly, if at all, but the support should be there.

The new mattress while absolutely luxurious is so soft & high that when I get on it I'm stuck like a beached whale...lol...have to get Wayne to pull me up. Not much leg room beside or at the foot end for me to move. Damn these knees that won't work properly! Hopefully it'll be better with bedding on it

The upside this week was we had a garage sale yesterday, the first of 3, masses of people turned up, we sold heaps, put the rest on ebay, made around $350 in 4hrs, met some interesting & lovely people in the process.

Tomorrow the Navara goes in for suspension & lift, air lockers, reversing camera for the hema6, the massive driving lights & an LED light, air compressor, digital ark pack & battery as a 2nd battery, fix the cruise control which hasn't worked since the last lot of electricals was done...could be a coincidence, recovery points front & rear, then it'll go in for new tyres & alignment on Thursday. Then hopefully apart from the chip, 3" exhaust, & 4x breathers, roof rack & canopy vent fitting on the 26/2 that should be about it,...then a major 4by service & she'll be sweet.

Looking forward to a quiet day today.
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » February 10th, 2013, 9:43 am

Ok, things are getting better here. Put the camper up this morning, bit of shrinkage had helped from yesterday's hosing. We're getting better at setting up the poles & expanding it out. It remained watertight with the second hosing. No further deluges, panic attacks, or arguments. Relationship salvaged. Camper fantastic, I'm getting better at getting on & off bed, we'll finish off the seasoning the next couple of days & pack it up for a trip to Maryborough for a bit of prospecting next weekend. I'm very pleased the camper trailer manager had more faith in his product than we did up to a few hours ago. I'm once again in love with our new home :)
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emjan
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » February 15th, 2013, 7:47 pm

This week we finished seasoning the camper trailer & have got the curtains up & bed made, starting to look like home.

We put the Navara in for mods last Monday & finally picked it up 9pm last night. I felt sorry for the mechanic, Nissen sent the wrong diff seal......twice....you'd have to be an idiot. He had to send his apprentice to Geelong to pick up the right part. I really wonder sometimes why they made so many Navaras in the same year span to different specifications/countries, & didn't think very carefully about what they did at that. The lack of space under the bonnet...the dual mass flywheel clutch...the lack of a factory manual....limited & often difficult to obtain after market parts for each model. Still, she is a grand old girl & hope she continues to serve us well. (I would include a photo but can't manage to download them).

She goes in for new tyres on Monday & back to Viper on Wed for the installation of the DC chip & 3in exhaust which we found on the front verandah today. The chip is going to have to be mounted under the front passenger seat as room under the bonnet is now non existent.

Today we drove up to Maryborough (Vic) to collect the Minelab gold detector for Wayne & for him to do the day course with Coiltek. Harder than it looks...heat...ants...thunderstorms...flies...still, he got the hang of it.

This weekend Wayne will finish installing the drawer system, dropdown fridge slide & connect up & position the Ark Pack with its deep cycle battery.

I received an email from Great Divide Tours where we're going next weekend for the 4wd off road CT course, final payment now made & we're packing up the CT so we can leave next Thursday for Braidwood.

Wayne has advertised his Statesman locally today, a very sad decision, what a wonderful car, but we can't take it with us when we go on the big trip & we can't leave it on blocks for a couple of years. Like 80% of what we own here, it's gotta go :(

Well, time for some sleep.
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

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