This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2016 Travels March 15


There did not remain much packing to do this morning. Only the last-minute fridge items, and the things like laptops and camera that we do not like to leave overnight in Bus when we are not in it. I made some wraps to take for our lunch.

John backed Bus out of onto our narrow road and then pulled into the side so we could hitch up the car. It is not the easiest place to get Bus out of. In the process, he ran the front off side along the  drainage grate at the edge of our nature strip.

Terios hitched, house closed up, dog on board – and we were away, at 10.30am.

Straight away, I noticed an unusual noise – kind of whup-whup-whup – that seemed to change as our speed changed. Then the TPMS gadget started its loud beeping noise, indicating a flat tyre on passenger side front wheel of Bus. But it was not driving like we had a problem. Had to go a couple of kms before there was a place we could park Bus on level ground, out of the way of traffic – in a park carpark area. By the time we got there, the display was indicating the driver’s side front tyre also had a problem.

The issue on the passenger side was immediately obvious – the TPMS cap monitor was gone. John thought that maybe his encounter with the grate had knocked it off. We unhitched the Terios and he drove that back home to search the street for it – those units are expensive!

While he was gone, I had a good look round Bus but could not see anything wrong that might account for the repetitive noise we’d heard. I also took dog for a good long walk. It was quite hot and she was more interested in finding water to drink, than walking.

Eventually John was back. He could not find the missing cap. Then, he noticed that the top had sheared off the driver’s side one. That had been nowhere near the grate, so he was not impressed. He put the old, standard valve caps back on the two front wheels. Then he drove Bus around the flat area, while I watched and listened to try to pick up the noise source. No use.

We discussed me taking car and dog back home and him taking Bus to Toyota or truck tyre place to try to get a fix, but then he decided to drive up the road a way, to see if he could work it out. Came back and said he thought it might be the TPMS monitors on the long inner back wheel valve extensions, flexing and hitting the wheel rim. So he replaced those with the standard caps and went for another test drive. No more noise. Whilst that was a relief, it was annoying that we had the problem at all. I did not judge it a good idea to remind John that I’d previously told him that forum advice had been to get rigid metal valve extensions on the back wheels, for TPMS!

Hitched up car and set off again, after a delay of nearly two hours.

The TPMS system was still doing readouts for the Terios’ wheels, at least, and the two outer back wheels of Bus. Need to get it all sorted when we were home again.

Took Eastlink and then the Monash freeway, and proceeded to Pakenham, KooWeeRup, Foster, to Toora. It was very windy – the worst winds we had yet encountered in Bus, so was hard work for the driver. Would have been really nasty towing a van.

The urban spread of Melbourne seems relentless, gobbling up what was farm land to the south east. Vegie growing country.  I wondered when planners would start to realize that, whilst a rapidly growing city needs houses, it also needs food – and a lot of the most productive land was going under. The same was happening to Melbourne’s south west too.

Approaching KooWeeRup, saw a sign to that town, and took that turn, though the GPS had remained silent. It looked right on my paper map, which was not all that old, but turned out to pre-date the bypass that now goes straight to the South Gippsland Highway. Wonder how long that had been there? We took the long way round, for sure.

Predictably, M and C had arrived at the Toora Caravan Park a couple of hours before us, and texted that it was windy! We knew that already. As we approached Toora, saw wind farm towers on the hills behind – that figured!

We had been allocated a drive-through en-suite site that was quite roomy. It cost us $40 a night. The en-suite was clean and a good size. I liked that there was a glass screen instead of the dreaded clingy shower curtain. But it only extended down one side, so water did splash out and wet a lot of the floor. A mop was provided!

Very nice site at Toora

The park was on a hill side, so we had some views across in the direction of the Prom. The park was very well equipped for a family holiday – heated indoor pool and spa, tennis court, jumping pillow, several BBQ areas. It was certainly a place we would be happy to stay at again.

M and C were likewise quite happy with their cabin.

After setting up, had a very late lunch, and relaxed for the little of the afternoon that was left.

John took dog for a walk across the highway and down some streets. Clearly, she was not impressed by the traffic encountered because, for the rest of the stay, she refused to go anywhere near the front gate, but would happily walk around the rest of the park. On my late afternoon walk with her, there were some rabbits grazing at the back of the park – which dog resolutely ignored. However, she made a great effort to reach a fallen pine cone, which she then carried for the rest of the walk. Strange creature.

The four of us enjoyed a pleasant happy hour at the Bus.

Our tea was pre-cooked chicken marylands. Quite enough, by themselves, after the late lunch.

Through the night could hear some noise from the wind turbines on the hill behind the park, but it was not unpleasant or intrusive.