Saturday, 28 September 2013

Removing the old fridge

Friday 27 September 2013

On Sunday afternoon I finally had some spare time – we had spent Saturday helping to move one of our daughters and her family into their first Australian home, all the family came to assist which is the way we do it and by sundown the move was complete, but the sort out has just begun, I’m happy to report that at the time of writing this they are 90% sorted out and feel sure that all will be sorted in the next few days.

Back to Sunday afternoon, I decided to have a go at removing the fridge from the caravan in preparation for the new Waeco, little did I know that this would not be a five minuet exercise. After removing the six screws from the mounting frame, I could hardly move it, actually only the bottom moved a few mm. After looking at it from every which way I decided that it was time to consult the instructions, yes I actually went home and sat and read through them- imagine that! Believe it or not I had done all necessary and it should have just slid out.

Ready for the new fridge
Back at the caravan I decided that perhaps some mod had been made by the manufacturer and so decided to remove the outside air vents and see if anything could be seen, finding out how to remove them was a mission but I finally did and low and behold there was a metal shield at the top affixed to the top of the fridge about 15 cm from the rear at about 30° and fixed to the side of the caravan in some way preventing it had been being removed. It looked as if silicon sealant had been used so out with my trusty ‘mac gyver’ (Swiss army knife) a present my eldest had given to me in 1990 (purchased with her first pay cheque) and was able to just reach and cut through the silicon. Once this was done the fridge slid out easy as, the caravan manufacturer had installed the fridge while building the van and thought it a good idea to insert the metal shield to help deflect the heat from the fridge heat ex-changer out the vent, a good idea but not easy to remove. It was now late afternoon by this and so after a clean-up I decided to leave the installation of the Waeco for next weekend.

As for the planning of our trip I have actually made a start, I have decided to use a spread sheet (example below) and then add, where to stay, cost and things to see and do each day, using Google, Trip Advisor, etc.

Total K


Tailem Bend
Visit old Tailem town

Until next time..........keep smiling

Monday, 23 September 2013

Our "new" caravan

Friday 20 September 2013

This is going to be an account of our preparation and then a day by day account of our journey from Tarneit (Melbourne) to Darwin, Perth and back to Tarneit next year from 1st August to 30th September. As we only have approximately 60 days as at 64, I still (unfortunately) have to work, although my boss Mike has given us his blessing and generously allowed me to take as much (unpaid) leave as I need and should it become necessary we will extend the time frame.

We took possession of our “new” Snowy Pop Top caravan about three weeks ago, it is a well-built sturdy 13’ 6” 1000Kg van built by a local Werribee firm May West two years ago and only been used as an office at the Werribee Mansion equestrian event twice,  we feel  that it is well suited to our needs. As it is our fourth caravan since arriving in Australia from New Zealand in 2001 I thought that we have all the extras necessary, however this is not the case and a few extras and modifications and/or changes are required. The first being custom made awning sides – so we can have a complete side tent when required – this has been ordered and we hope to collect it about the middle of October.

Jan Juc Caravan Park
Last weekend we did a ‘shakedown’ run to Jan Juc Caravan Park, Torquay about 100Km from home. Our Terracan CRDi had no problem with towing the Snowy and I was pleasantly surprised with how stable it was. The park has only a few powered sites as it is basically for permanent weekenders, however it has lots of shade with play areas and a summer pool, the sites are drive-through and the ablutions are spotless and close by. It was our sons 35th birthday on Saturday and we were blessed to have all our children and most of the grand children down for the day, a good time was had by all and as he is a Star Track fan  his sister made a theme cake with the following inscription ‘Resistance is Futile you are 35!’, it sure was delicious and did not take long to be consumed. We then went to Torquay beach and although the weather was not the best we spent a most enjoyable time building sand castles, some paddling in the shallows and some even braved the temperature to play in the surf. Before we knew it, it was time for them to return home and we were all of a sudden in quietness with no one around. We had a feed of sausage, potato and salad (yummy) the watched part two (watched part 1 on Friday night) of The Thorn Birds on my PC as I had forgotten to pack the TV!

On Sunday morning I treated my good lady to a lovely breakfast in Torquay then we walked around the morning market, one of the better ones I’ve had the pleasure to visit, then back to camp, pack up, which was quite easy and did not take long at all although with the mods we intend it will be even quicker in the future, then back on the road and home in just over an hour, most enjoyable weekend.

We have two major modifications, the first is the fridge, the current one works fine and if not careful will freeze everything, but as it is a three-way the interior capacity is too small for our needs so I have ordered and received a Waeco CR-110, it has the same external dimensions but has 28% more internal capacity, so I’ll be fitting it in the next few weeks in time for our Cup weekend away. After that I will be fitting a 12/240V hot water system, and with some luck the Snowy will be just what the Dr ordered.

Until next time ………..
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