Thursday, 18 January 2018

Seam's water-tight?!

When we returned from Yowah in early October, we traveled 920km over two days - in solid rain.

Once home again we discovered the large storage box was not waterproof. Drat!

We use a tub for washing up and that was half-full of water! Amazing! 

During our transit period when we lived in a small van, it was easy to see where the roof leaked - because we could watch the drips forming along the ceiling.   It's a bit trickier to be sure about the storage box leaks.  The box roof is made from two panels and it may be that water accessed the box via that seam.  There was some sealant evident but Nick added another layer today.  Fingers crossed that works!

Out with the old ...

Our camper trailer was built to suit the needs of it's previous owner and while our requirements are similar, we don't use gas as a fuel source.

We did consider leaving the gas bottle holders in place but none of our re-purposing ideas worked, so Nick removed the rings (and the upright spare tyre mount) today.

After taking off the surplus mounts, Nick measured the space between the jerry can holders. We looked online at ready-made metal tool boxes and heavy-duty cargo crates.  None fit the space though and it seemed a bit silly to pay $100.00 or more for something that wasn't right.

While I was pondering other options, Nick went back downstairs and retrieved the smaller wooden box which he had made in preparation for our 2010 Yowah trip.

It was slightly too long for the gap but fit well otherwise. Nick cut one end off and then re-fixed the panel, shortening the length.  The box now rests snugly in the available area.

There's a bit more work to be done but our two Cobb Cookers fit into the box nicely - hooray!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

We gave him a lift!

Unlike our first Fudd truck, Elmer the Gold was a standard 1996 Landcruiser when we bought him. The previous owner had not made any modifications.

In contrast Elmer the Blue was already fitted with a 2" lift.  Not only did that make him taller, it strengthened his rear suspension for towing.

The difference between the two Elmers was quite obvious when we bought our camper trailer.  The top pic shows it hooked up the day we brought it home.  (It was empty at the time).  The middle and second photos were taken after the  heavier suspension was fitted - much better, eh?!

The rear end sagging was more obvious when we had an overnight trip in August (top pic of second collage) and then drove fully loaded out to Yowah in September (middle and bottom pics of second collage).

It wasn't possible to organise Elmer the Gold's lift kit before heading out to Yowah.  The best available option was to book him into the mechanic the day after we returned. 

He's now as tall as his predecessor and after miscalculating our exits a few times in early October (ie Erin and I both almost fell out, rather than dismounting gracefully), we are used to his increased height. 

For the record, Elmer the Gold is too tall for the 2.3m height-limit of most underground parking stations! Best we remember that!

Monday, 2 October 2017

Wet wanderings ...

It was still wet when we woke and started thinking about breakfast. Our first choice was cereal but that was packed in the trailer, whereas bread and eggs were in the cabin so we opted for boiled eggs on toast instead!

There wasn't much to pack up and we were back on the road a bit after 10:00am.  As we looked at all the huge sheets of water along the way, we were very pleased we'd slept in a cabin!

The distance from St George to home is 470km - and it rained heavily most of the way.  We saw many soggy emus and roos but not much else, although we did make a quick detour to Thallon for a glimpse of their painted silos.

It was raining and cold at Thallon.  Bandit was not at all impressed to be called out for a compulsory walk!

We rolled into Goondiwindi for a late lunch, opting for some very good takeaway.  Given all the rain, we ate in the car but crossed into NSW to do so - just for fun!

The trip home was uneventful - lots of water, some wildlife and a few loo stops.

We stretched our legs at Milmerran (during a break in the rain), gave Mr Dog a walk - and admired the lovely bottle trees.

There was another stop at Toowoomba, to buy lunch items cos Vaughan would go back to school in the morning.  Elmer the Gold also had a morning appoint-ment, to be fitted with improved suspension - which would make him taller and more like his predecessor!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

St George stop-over

We delayed our original departure date so as to attend the Grand Final spit roast night. It was a lot of fun - even though we aren't football fans!

No one likes packing up and there had been a lot of rain overnight, which made conditions very soggy/more difficult.

Nick tarped the bed before folding up the camper trailer and we did our best with various other gear.

Suitcases rode on the roof-racks, contained within gear bags.  I didn't give a lot of thought to extra water-proofing and a library book arrived home sodden.  We replaced the book and will research upgrades to our roof-rack bags. 

Eventually we were ready to roll out.  I remembered to take a quick photo of Vaughan near Eulo, for the now/then archives.  (In 2010 his head was barely higher than the flood marker)!

We stopped for late lunch at Cunnamulla around 3:30pm.  It rained heavily the rest of the day.

We planned to free camp on the way home but the thought of setting up our wet gear in the rain didn't appeal - and it seemed Erin in her swag might float away during the night!

Given the long weekend and our desire for a pet-friendly cabin, I wasn't sure how successful we'd be.

We reached St George at 7:30pm.  Erin made some calls while we re-fueled at the 24-hour pump.

We just about cheered when we found a Bandit-friendly cabin at a tourist park around the corner!

It was great to be out of the car - and out of the rain. We were hugely relieved not to be camping in the amazingly wet conditions!

The cabin tariff was $100.00 and felt like the best $100.00 we've ever spent!

(Yowah to St George = 450km or almost half-way home).

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Bore-ed at Thargomindah!

Visiting the Hydro Power Plant at Thargomindah had been on our wish list for a long time. We lucked out in 2010 due to summer closure (and maintenance).

Our next visit in March 2014 was also unsuccessful - and though we hoped to return before May of that year (when the bore was capped), we didn't manage to make the drive.

We finally saw the Hydro Power Plant this trip - not quite seven years since our first attempted visit!  Good thing we're patient, eh?!

Was it worth the wait?  Vaughan wasn't impressed.  In fact, he seemed ... bored?!  

In fairness it was quite hot and we were all pleased to be travelling back to Yowah in Elmer's air-conditioning.

Sunday, 24 September 2017


Those Roma nets and buckets proved a great investment!

Fun was had dip-netting the Yowah bore drain for the "bullshit-fast" fish that lived in the water.  Vaughan took us all "fishing" and he discovered a turtle also.

What else did we get up to?  There was rock-stacking on the Bluff, lizard catching and identification, some fossicking, a bit of strolling around town - and generally lots of mooching about, watching the cows and emus go by.

It had been more than three years since our last visit, so we thoroughly enjoyed catching up with friends and checking a few favourite places.

We camped in a friend's backyard but were able to use an inside kitchen and bathroom also, which we definitely appreciated.

The school had closed since Vaughan attended in 2014 but the craft ladies still met on Tuesdays.

Erin and I joined them for a pleasant morning of chatting and crafting.  I sold another owl brooch while there, which would have covered my small attendance fee if I hadn't also bought some leather labels for my stash! Even so, I was only $1.00 behind at the end of the day!

While we were crafting, the boys went yabbying.  They had fun catching (and releasing) a few.

Nick checked on "his" diggings in the fossicking area and tried his luck again along Blackgate Road.  No joy this trip but that's OK.

I was pleased to see the bower still standing in the fossicking area, though we didn't see the bower bird.

We spotted other birds during our stay though and ticked a few more off our Yowah bird list.

We dined on the Bluff a couple of nights - once using the wood BBQ for a sausage sizzle, eating at the picnic table provided.

Another time we took our camping chairs and table to set up closer to the plateau edge. Our thermal-cooked curry and rice was very well received!

Vaughan caught geckoes in the twilight after dinner and we spotted for spiders on the way home also.

Simple stuff.  It was wonderful to kick back, enjoying life at a much slower pace.