Sunday, 2 September 2018

Day 1 – Preparation

Dear reader, if you are reading this then it will be obvious we survived the trip…. and it proved to be the adventure we’d anticipated!  I plan to update the blog by writing about each day over the next two weeks.   Hopefully you will find it interesting.

Before attempting a trip like this you need to be thoroughly prepared.  If something were to go wrong with the vehicle or trailer there’d be no recovery as the cost would be just too high.  From a people perspective injury and illness would be the major concerns.  For example; Australia does have the six most deadly snakes in the world!

I’d been planning the trip whilst we were living on Waiouru and with our return to Australia it meant moving into the preparation stage.  Buying a suitable 4x4 was an important decision and I think I got it right.  The Isuzu was slightly modified with my installation of a secondary diesel fuel filter, oil catch can, two way radio, trailer wiring and rear fridge.  I also changed the stock wheels from a 18” alloy rim to a 16” steel rim with larger diameter tyres that had an off-road tread.  Our Chinese trailer hadn’t arrived in time for the trip, however the dealer kindly loaned me one of theirs.  Whilst I was disappointed about not being able to fit-out and use our trailer, using theirs might provide an opportunity to test the basic design and identify what I might do differently.

Another step was to assemble all the equipment.  Four jerricans for additional diesel and containers for a further 100 litres of water to supplement the 80 litres carried in the two integral trailer tanks.  I produced an itinerary calculating distances and also estimated fuel consumption along with a food plan (meals) which enabled Jan to purchase the necessary food.  The food was a mixture of frozen, dry and canned.

Obviously safety was a major consideration.  Initially I decided to hire an emergency beacon which could be activated if something serious was to go wrong.  However that meant I wouldn’t be able to explain the nature of the problem and I therefore opted to hire a satellite phone at a higher rate.  The satellite phone would be returned when we reached Ayers Rock.  Being isolated for several days also meant I needed to compile a comprehensive first aid kit.

The Isuzu 4x4 was given a thorough service and a final check to ensure everything was tight (check all the bolts) and then we collected the trailer.  It quickly became apparent we would need to make temporary modifications to the trailer in order to ensure everything remained secure during the trip.


Carlin carefully stows the equipment


My food storage boxes were a success


All the weight on the top of the trailer meant the gas struts couldn’t hold the lid load.  We resorted to using the pick handle as a prop.

Our first day will be a long one travelling north from Perth to Meekatharra.  All of it will be on bitumen.   


Jenny said...

So pleased you made it safely back! We look forward to reading all about your trip, trials, tribulations, and good times too!

Robin and Jenny, Romany Rambler

Tom and Jan said...

Jenny it was certainly interesting