Thursday 5th September, (Mackay).

Only the one evening was spent at Bowen and we are now at Mackay.

We are at present rather disappointed with the book we bought to show us camping sites around the country called Camps Australia wide. It seems that just about every free camp area we visit lately has signs erected saying ‘NO CAMPING’, or the site either does not exist, as far as we could find anyway, or is too close to the highway and would be too noisy to sleep at with all the trucks passing during the night. As a consequence we have decided that we will in future plan to travel to a town and select a caravan park to stay at, then on the way if we see a camp site that would be suitable for staying at we will camp there instead. We will now just have to take things as they come. I am actually that disappointed with not finding freebies that I think I have convinced Linda that I would prefer at this stage to just make several long trips south to give us more time to spend in a few places that we would like to visit, and intended to, on the way down to Brisbane. So after a couple of nights here, Mackay, we intend to ‘plan?’ on moving on to Rockhampton and if we find a suitable camp spot, a couple we have heard do actually exist in this spell, we will stop at them for an evening. It would be a pity to have this equipment installed in the caravan to make it possible to camp out and not use it.

Speaking of camping equipment: I have made another rearrangement, as an experiment with the battery system, and have found that it works quite suitably. In the past I have been running a large battery system in the caravan and have found that it loses a fair bit of charge during travel, obviously not receiving much charge from the car. My thoughts on this have been Thus. I have inserted a diode arrangement in the wiring between the car and van to segregate device usage depending on the current flow direction. They in fact prevent charging from the car until a sufficient voltage difference occurs to turn the diodes on. The voltage drop in the lead the length of the car, from car battery, and the large battery system installed in the van prevented the required voltage difference occurring for some time, until van battery discharged greatly. My theory of a solution was to re-place one of the batteries from the van into the rear of the car, as the wiring and associated work has already been done to cater for this. Then the voltage applied to the van from the car would be higher, and the smaller capacity of the battery in the van, would allow the voltage difference to occur a lot earlier. The travel over the past couple of days has proven my theory to be correct. I still run the fridge in the van and the one in the car during travel and when we have arrived at our destination both batteries have only taken about 30 minutes to fully charge from the solar panels where previously, when both were in the van, they could take up to several hours to charge. Anyway rather than relate to battery charging while travelling, the correct term should probably be; allow the car to adequately provide the power. We will see how thing perform in the future.