Monday 29th October 2007, Launceston.
Wondering what we have been doing with ourselves lately? We, or I, have been spending quite some time preparing to get the new vehicle, Tilly, ready for towing, the trailer brakes have been wired, Power to the trailer socket has been provided, I have built a box arrangement for the tray of the vehicle so when we do get to load it we will be able to take a greater advantage of utilising space, I have partly pre built a small box for switching electrics to trailer and power sockets etc. Letâ€™s not forget though we are waiting for the canopy to be fitted to Tilly before we can even think about fully fitting most of the above ready for travel, and I am getting to a stage where I really canâ€™t wait for all this to happen, because I am now becoming very convinced that the vehicle is going to live up to all of my expectations. I have also spent today fitting a new car radio to the caravan to replace the old mini stereo that was on its last legs. We have also spent some time catching up with some friends and rellies and have several more to catch up with, out for tea tomorrow night and an ex work mate and his wife are coming round for lunch on Wednesday. For now it is just wait for things to take their course, and hopefully we will find some time to get to do some touring in Tassie before we head back to Melbourne.
Wednesday 24th October 2007, Launceston.
Things are now coming together with â€œTilly Truckâ€™, with the trailer socket and brakes having been wired. I have built a box arrangement for the rear tray compartment to maximise storage space and canâ€™t believe how well it turned out. It was difficult to come up with precise measurements for the box because of the shape of the tray and the grooves in the flooring of the tray, so all I could do was use timber sizes as sold and fit them into grooves as close to possible as to what I thought was a good measurement and was surprised how things seem to fit. All areas of the boxing seem to fit articles to be stored almost exactly, couldnâ€™t have worked out better. Of course I canâ€™t load everything at the moment as it all has to come out because we donâ€™t have the canopy fitted yet, but a couple of weeks and we will be able to load up and put the â€˜Truckâ€™ to a full test.
I today learned of a problem a lot of travellers must be having with their mobile phone bills. Most people I know that are using Telstra have the free hour, as we do, and it is this area where the problem exists. When one buys a new mobile they are then allocated a home base area, that is usually the place they bought the phones. In our case our home base was the Sunshine Coast. Now we are in Tasmania and in a different daylight saving time zone and even though the new time zone appears on the phone display all calls are charged for the appropriate time zone at ones home base, so all calls we thought we were getting for free, between 5 and 6PM, were actually charged as if we made the calls between 4 and 5PM and were not free. After making enquiries I learned that all I had to do was call Telstra and have our home base changed to the area we are presently at and all will be ok, and remember to do the same whenever we travel into a different time zone. It is a pity this is not more readily advertised as there must be a lot of travellers moving between states with different times that must be having the same problems.
Wednesday 17th October 2007, Launceston.
I canâ€™t remember the last time we were so busy. The container is empty, and even gone to its new owner. This doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s all over though, as we still have some things we want to take to Melbourne to store that have yet to be packed.
I am now also flat out organising things to be done to â€˜Tilly Truckâ€™ the new vehicle.
I have to get the trailer brakes wired, as well as the CB radio fitted. We will also be waiting a few weeks for the canopy to be fitted and the old roof racks from the panel-van, these will be done at the same time. I have done a few hundred kilometres in Tilly Truck already and am liking what I have seen so far. It seems like it is going to do the towing job I am hoping it will, so I canâ€™t wait till we can hook up the caravan and give it a test, but that will have to wait a few weeks yet.
Monday 15th October 2007, Launceston.
We can now see the end to cleaning out the container, with one load to the auctioneers tomorrow and it will be empty. It is amazing how much nonsense stuff we kept. We will end up with a vehicle full of what we want to keep and take it to Melbourne for storage.
We have also taken a big plunge, by buying a new car. The panel-van was getting rather long in the tooth and had developed rust, so it was time to go. It is a pity actually as it had done such a good job up until now and is still what I call mechanically sound considering the work it has done. I always said that I would never own a diesel engine vehicle, and also never one of those high off the ground. We actually bought one of those exact vehicles, a Ford Ranger XLT, 4WD diesel turbo. All indications are that it should be a lot more powerful than the panel-van and should be more fuel economical, even though the Panel-van was running gas. Then gas was only cheaper to run when in Victoria or any capital city which was probably only 30% of our running. The ultimate test though will be towing, the only time to find out. I am impressed with its performance so far, and do hope that it does live up to my expectations. I did think of inserting a photo, but it was dark when I thought of it, so one will follow later.
Friday 12th October 2007, Launceston.
Linda has now joined me and is starting to regret all the work we have to do. I thought I was exhausted the other day, but things just havenâ€™t eased and we are both feeling that way right now. We are well under way with emptying the container, with a final day of arranging things tomorrow, and delivery trips to the auctioneers on Monday. The container has been sold, or it will be when the cheque arrives in the mail. The deal was done over the phone and I never did meet the buyer. So considering that he lives in Deloraine, and Australia Post is so slow, the cheque still hasnâ€™t arrived so hopefully it will be here on Monday. We are both looking forward to completing the container and resting for a few days.
The weather here is different than we have been used to. The days have been reasonably good being mostly sunny, but the nights: they have been getting down to 3 or 4 degrees, which we do occasionally experience in winter further north, but it seems so much colder than the cooler nights at those temperatures elsewhere.