Prepare for a long road trip

135ah Deep Cycle Battery
135ah Deep Cycle Battery – helps keep food fresh

It dawned upon me the other day that there is only 5 weeks before I leave on my big trip across to Perth in Western Australia. I knew that I had to prepare for a long road trip and over the last three months I have been working hard on  setting up the 12 volt charging system and ensuring that all of the wiring is nice and neat! I do not want no light at night or warm beer.

Preparing for a major trip is a big task, which also includes what I call pre trip preparation.

This trip will take me around 20 days to get there, and remember it is only 300 kilometres a day that I usually travel!

Long distance driving, towing a camper trailer requires many things, perhaps some of these could be:

  • packing clothes, supplies, and camping gear!
  • organising your money so you have access to cash and card.
  • servicing your car
  • and don’t forget the laptop, camera, phone, modem for internet

But wait, there’s more!

Doing those things you have been delaying

When embarking on a major road trip you need to consider all possibilities, including the little issues that you have with your camper trailer or car. You know the things that “I will get to one day!”

When on your last camping weekend away and you had a problem with the kitchen sink leaking whilst washing the dishes. Yes it is a problem but not a biggie, but now you are going to be away for up to 3 months and the thought of putting up with that issue has suddenly become a problem.

Now you have thought of that little issue others issues have begun buzzing around inside your head, you know the:

  • awning clip that broke
  • water tank has a small leak from a hose
  • one of the latches holding down the roof cover is a bit stiff

and then you think about the car, especially when you realise that you didn’t fix the slightly loose clamp holding down the light bar, and more problems arise, just like these:

  • the front right brake pads are rattling
  • the clutch has a small leak (could fail anytime)
  • the back window latch keeps vibrating, so does the passenger window wind deflector
  • and yes, there is more …

All of these are little things, which when driving for a long time will become annoying , very annoying in fact.

How can one person get all of this done?

Even if I was not working I could not these things done, so prioritising has become a necessity, and quickly.

This process started last week, when I left the car with a mechanic for a week, he got these things done however there was a “but”, he:

  • machined front discs (ie he cleaned them up), replaced pads etc
  • re-adjusted the handbrake
  • fixed the clutch issue with new parts, no more leaks
  • replaced hoses on the gas system, and found a problem …

The problem being that the gas air mixer needed replacing. More money but he got it done!

However, the big BUT was that all the work done on the front brakes caused the master cylinder to “let go” and he didn’t have time to do it!

Planning the actual trip

Planning the actual trip is one of the most time consuming things to do, because there is no point in waking up one morning and driving as far as one can for the day, then setting up a campsite.

How are you going to know where the most interesting things to see are located? In fact, you may have driven past a number of great locations in the first day without knowing.

camping coward springs
camping coward springs on Oodnadatta Track

One thing that I have always liked to do is to investigate interesting places along the way, which quite often means a side trip of 30 or 40 kilometres down a “dirt track” and frequently disappointment is the result. Why? Nothing was planned, that has changed for this trip.

I have consulted Google, Wikicamps, Camps 9 etc etc and found lots of places to look at during this trip, as well as some great places to stay on the way. In addition, I have scoured Facebook groups for interesting places and placed a question mark against some places due to lots of negative comments.

Having planned this trip for a while now, I am rather excited to be embarking on this journey, but before I do I will be going away for a week of camping to test my set up, you can read how that went in this post.

The best part is that a friend wants a “lift” across to Perth to visit family. Now I have company for this trip! yay!

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