Tuesday 18th June part 2, (Ingham).

Now the tyre saga: as previously mentioned, it may at the time have not meant much, but remember the tyre I changed before leaving Townsville, well as just mentioned the dread of a blow out happened anyway. Not just a blow out, but the entire tread separated from the rest of the tyre, and now I have two tyres that have suddenly decided to self destruct, I ask the question why. After arriving at the present location and placing my destructed tyre on the ground, the inquisitive nature of fellow campers caused them to stop and chat about what had happened. During these conversations one camper proceeded to relate a similar situation that had happened to her; to keep the story short, the result of her drama was a story that tyres made for use in southern states, such as Tassie and Victoria, are made from a softer compound rubber and, according to her tyre expert, will not handle the extreme in temperatures in the northern states. On the other hand tyres made for use in the northern states are made of harder compound rubber to handle the temperatures. Other travellers, one being an old truckie, also offered advice and all concurred that the brand and type of tyre in question was of an inferior quality and all have had bad experiences with them. The tyres in question are Dunlop light truck tyres. This all seemed to make logical sense to me so I decided to arm myself with these questions and put them to the tyre people I intended seeing while seeking replacements. Hopefully, if nothing else, they may be able to give me a reason why these tyres decided to self-destruct, because as far as I am concerned I did nothing outside the margins of restrictions of these tyres, in fact I consider that I was well within the limits.

That was yesterday, which was just all too much and I ended up almost totally exhausted and did nothing but settle down and relax for the rest of the day and evening. Today I took the tyres and sought information as what to do in the best interests of finding suitable replacements. When I put my questions and situation the Beaurepaires people there immediate response was “are they Dunlop tyres? They have a reputation of this behaviour”. This in itself, I believe, was the answer to my situation, considering similar stories from fellow travellers.

After further discussions the salesman informed me that he would almost guarantee the statement of different compound tyres would be false as he said that all tyres in Australia are made in Melbourne and are all of the same construction. So I am really none the wiser as to whether that statement is true or not, at least I am not going to indicate it to be the case to anybody else. I then further listened to the advise from the salesman and when he said he would be able to get me a warranty claim for the damaged tyres I agreed with his suggestions and even selected a tyre choice of a little heavier load rating that suggested. In fact the ones selected were the size the spec plates on the caravan stipulates should be used and in fact the ones supplied were of a slightly smaller size. The salesman convinced me that this difference should not have been the reason for the self-destruction so I decided to leave it at that rather than pursue the manufacturers for possible reimbursement.

As it turned out this was a just decision as when I returned to pick up my tyres the salesman informed me of the warranty deal he had obtained for me and I could not have gotten any better anywhere. The blow out tyre, had done only about 2,000k’s, was replaced with my choice at no charge and the one that I caught early, had done possibly 20,000k’s, was replaced again with my choice for a cost of $20.00, and a third, which was to replace the one I damaged before even leaving Tassie, if you can remember back that far, was supplied at a 10% discount. The tyre price quoted was $119.00; even this price was about 2/3’s what I had expected to pay. Ultimately then, I have had three faulty tyres replaced with another brand of my choice for basically the cost of only one, being $129.00; at least I think I have today had a big win.

Tomorrow I intend doing what I we stopped at Ingham to do, further modify the new shade cloths for the annexe. This will complete our intended three day stay so the following day we will study what is on offer to see in the area and decide what we will see now and what we will leave to see later on a return visit. Ingham is on the main highway on the trip to Cairns so we will no doubt be returning here on several occasions in the future.

We have also read in a caravan book a couple of ads about satellite TV reception designed for the traveller. Knowing the cost will be high I do intend to find out more information about it because who knows I may even be able to obtain Internet access via satellite as well and if that were the case I would give it serious consideration. It would be extremely nice to have continuous good TV reception no matter where we are, and fast access to the Internet and it would overcome the problems I am having at present with my mobile access.