A Travellerspoint blog

April 2016

Hobart to Devonport

Monday 4 April 2016

As we are booked on a night crossing with a day sailing scheduled for the same day, the Ferry was not due to depart until 9:00 pm. We had lunch before heading off to pick up the caravan from the storage area at Barilla Bay Caravan Park at Cambridge. It took us about half an hour to hitch up the van, check the trailer lights and be on our way by about 1:30 pm.

We stopped for an afternoon coffee at Zeps at Campbelltown before continuing on our way. We stopped for fuel at Perth, the Caltex servo is now a United Station so we were able to get our 8 cents per litre RACT discount, bringing the price down to 109.9 cents per litre. We arrived on the Esplanade at East Devonport and heated up some soup for tea - dinner on the ferry on a 9:00 pm sailing is far too late. While check-in opened at 6:00 pm we did not bother lining up until about 7:00 pm, but once again it was a case of hurry up and wait, We were one of the last caravans to be loaded on to Truck Deck 5 which meant we would be late off in the morning - but more on that tomorrow.

The weather forecast was NW/NE winds at 5 to 15 knots with a one metre swell - hardly a ripple. After a couple of glasses of red wine we settled down for a quiet night.

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Posted by TwoAces 23:46 Comments (0)

2016 Trip Planning

Our Itinerary

For 2016 we are planning the usual 4 month trip to warmer climes - but this time it will include 3 months at Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast as we need a rest from the long distances that we have done in recent years. As we are taking our van back to Trailblazers in Melbourne for some repairs, minor modifications and a service we booked ourselves on the Spirit of Tasmania leaving on 4 April 2016. This will give Phil and the boys at Trailblazers about 5 weeks to get the work done before we return on 23 May to pick the van up and head North - hope the work does not take 5 weeks though!! They will store the van until we return.

When we return in May we plan one night in Melbourne at Ashley Gardens Big4 Caravan Park, as it is next door to a Safeway Supermarket with a BWS, so we can re-stock the van. Then its a quick trip up the Newell and New England Highways via Jerilderie, Forbes, Coonabarabran, and Glen Innes, before we arrive at Tallebudgera Creek on 28 May 2016. We plan to leave the Gold Coast at the end of August and return home travelling around the Coast via the Pacific and Princess Highways, with stops at Nambucca Heads, Seal Rocks, Lane Cove, Kiama, Narooma, Mallacoota, Bairnsdale, and back to Ashley Gardens in Melbourne, with about 3 nights at each place on the way. We are booked to return to Tassie on the Spirit of Tasmania on 25 September.

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Posted by TwoAces 23:45 Comments (0)

2016 Preparations

Getting the Navara and the Van ready

This year is a bit unusual as we will not be packing the van with clothes and food before we go as it will sit in Melbourne at the factory for 5 weeks before we return to pick it up. As far as the van was concerned it was a case of checking the tyre pressures, 50 psi, and checking the wheel nuts with the torque wrench, 100 ft/lbs. All other servicing will be done in Melbourne.

The Navara was due for a 160,000 km service, at a quoted cost of $950 as it is a major service. Final cost turned out to be a bit more than that at $1,500 as we needed new front brake pads, and a replacement heater/coolant pipe on the engine. The 160,00 service also included a replacement fuel filter as once again the Navara was struggling under heavy load when the engine got to about 3,000 rpm - not getting enough fuel! However this time we knew what the problem was as it has happened before.

The fuel filter replacement cycle for diesel engines is every 40,000 km but ours have had to be replaced more frequently than that. A few years ago we did consider a secondary fuel filter with a glass bowl but found that there is nowhere in the engine compartment to mount one. As a back up we always carry a spare fuel filter in case we get caught out in the outback somewhere.

Preparation of the Navara included replacing the fifth-wheel hitch in the back of the ute, pumping up the tyres to 40 psi at the front and 44 psi in the back. The air-bag suspension was pumped up to 45 psi, which makes us look a bit odd until the van is attached. The air-bags help carry the 500 kg pin weight of the fiver.

Posted by TwoAces 23:43 Comments (0)

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