A Travellerspoint blog

January 2017

Big Lap Planning

2 weeks till lift off

overcast 31 °C

Follow us (Garry & Deb) as we set out on an 11 month big lap around Australia commencing on 30.01.2017. We will be setting off from our home on Victoria's Surf Coast and travelling in a clockwise direction through SA, WA, NT, QLD and NSW. We won't be visiting our home state or Tasmania on this trip due to time constraints and won't be visiting Central Australia as we did that in 2015.

When we reach Darwin in mid July we will be taking a short break from camping and flying to Bali for 2 weeks to catch up with some friends and take some time out to relax, surf and enjoy the luxury of having our own shower and toilet.

Our means of transport is a 2004 turbo diesel Nissan Patrol which is equipped with a 2" Old Man Emu suspension upgrade, 33" Cooper ST Maxx tyres, 9000 lb winch, steel bull bar, Snorkel, roof rack, 3" stainless exhaust, Unichip, front Harrop e-locker, dual batteries, Led light bar on roof rack, HID spotties, cargo barrier, rear drawer system, drop down fridge slide with 65 litre Waeco fridge/freezer and UHF radio. With just 2 weeks left till departure we still need to install a Waeco CDF 11 compressor fridge to replace the centre console, a dashcam, a set of shelves in the rear above the drawers and an inverter to charge a laptop, batteries etc.

Our home away from home for the next 11 months is a 2002 Kakadu Kimberely Kamper which is a full offroad camper trailer. I have replaced the shock absorbers and wheel bearings for this trip just to be on the safe side. I have upgraded the wheels from 15" to 16" to match the patrol and also put on new Cooper ST Maxx tyres. This gives us 2 spares which are interchangeable between car and camper. For power in the camper we have a single battery which is charged via the car when travelling and via 140W solar panels when camped.

A couple of years of planning have gone into this trip, with recent short trips in 2015 and 2016 to Central Australia, Fraser Island and South coast NSW good shake down trips to fine tune our setup. With less than 2 weeks till departure the stress levels are high and the list of jobs to complete before leaving keeps multiplying as fast as others get ticked off. We had a major setback 2 weeks before christmas when the patrol cracked a head and holed a piston. Of course no one could repair it till the new year and we are hoping it will be ready with a rebuilt engine by the end of this week, which only leaves a week to do the final mods, fit new tyres, get the unichip retuned etc. The one good thing about it is that the failure happened before the trip and not during it, but it wasn't an extra cost we needed right now.

So its head down and bum up for the next 2 weeks and hopefully we will get away on time and start the winding down process as we switch over to the travelling lifestyle.


Posted by OzJourney 13:16 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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