This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

Leave a comment

2002 Travels April 24


The solar man turned up, as promised, not long after breakfast. He installed the two new panels on the poptop roof, and linked up all the wiring.

He discovered that there was a quite deep hollow on the poptop roof, under one of the panels put in by J. It looked like someone had kneeled or stood on it, carelessly. What was worse was that at the bottom of the indentation was the hole where the lead from the panels goes into the roof. Thus, there was a funnel effect. AND there was no sealing at all around the entry point! No wonder we had a massive leak in the rain.

He put silicone sealing around the lead at the entry point – as should have been done in the first place. He could not do anything, though, about the hollow. We would just have to hope that the silicone sealing is good, and holds.

That work cost us $1700. That is probably all we can do, for now, about the power set up. Will just have to see how it functions, out in the bush.

So we would not now worry about trying to get help from Bushtracker, and thus could make plans to head back out west, when our booked time here was up. We had already extended to Sunday, so John could play bowls on Saturday! That would also see us going through the city areas on a Sunday – always preferable.

Out extended three nights had cost $18.45 a night.

We might also fit in some “tourist” things, around Brisbane.

Now that we were so far east, I was very tempted to head back west via the Carnarvon Gorge National Park. We had not been there before and it is supposed to be well worth visiting. From what I had been reading, the campground there would still be open, but in the future, National Parks intends to severely limit its opening, or maybe close it altogether. So I thought it would be advisable to go there while we could camp in the Park. That would also try out the power system again!

I was concerned that the two extra panels would make the roof too heavy for me to be able to raise by myself, so tried it out. It certainly was harder, but I still could do it – a form of weight lifting exercise!

I phoned the National Parks booking service and managed to book us into the Carnarvon Gorge camp ground, for five nights – they said we would have a site that allowed for sun on the roof panels, and one that was suitable for a caravan. I was really pleased that we were able to get in!

Leave a comment

2002 Travels April 22


At dawn, heavy rain set in, teeming down, as it does in these parts.

To our horror, water started pouring down through the seam across the van ceiling, just along from our bed. And I mean pouring! It certainly got us out of bed fast. There was much mopping up with towels. We dropped one end of the poptop roof, to try to encourage the water to run over the roof, not soak down into it, wherever it was doing so.

As the van had never leaked before, we could only assume that this was something else associated with J’s work! It was like single-handedly, he’d ruined our van for travel!

The rain eventually ceased and things dried out. The ceiling leak subsided to a few drips, then nothing.

The solar man turned up, as promised, at 11am. His judgement was that we should have had 2 120W panels installed, not the 2 60W panels that J had put in. We arranged that he would come on Wednesday and add 2 80W panels – that would make 4 up on the roof!

He was also not certain that our two batteries hold enough capacity. In any case, he said they were cheap Korean copies of good ones. I was pretty certain that we’d paid J “good one” prices for them, though!

We were, despite ourselves, fairly favourably impressed by this man, and hoped our faith was not misplaced, this time.

We went for a walk around the streets, later in the afternoon, for some exercise.