Friday 23rd September, (Brisbane).

A lucky break yesterday when I went to Camec, a mega caravan spare parts store, to find some details of replacing a broken window on the van. After asking the appropriate questions their answer was that they don’t do replacements but recommended a mobile maintenance company, Action caravans. I called them and they have been out and replaced the broken window, and maintained the axle, wheel bearings and such. Now I can head off on our travels with the knowledge that all is ok with the wheels. All that is now left to work out is if the tyres are now going to last without destroying themselves.

Sunday 25th September, (Brisbane).

We had a trip to the northern Moreton Bay area yesterday to have a look around Redcliffe and Sandgate area. It is quite a nice area down that way with the exception that there is not much in the way of beaches. We had a look at several caravan parks while there and weren’t really impressed with what we saw. It seems that not many tourists visit that area, especially Victorians and such coming to stay for winter, because all the parks seemed to be filled mostly with permanents. There was one park up on the tip at Redcliffe that we would maybe consider, but it didn’t seem to offer much in the way of security, but it maybe ok for a short visit. There seems to be a fair bit to do to occupy ones-self in the area, as there are plenty of walking/bike tracks around the coastline. We will keep it in mind for the future.

I have gotten myself into a bit of a dilemma with electrical faults that a fellow camper is having. We met this couple on the day we moved in but have not seen much of them since because they have spent most of their time at the church convention that Matt and Lou were going to come up for. Now that the conference is over we have had a bit of a get together and out of it mainly came a list of problems they are having with their van. After some conversation and looking I have decided that the main problem is that they have all these new fangled charging systems and solar panels and they really have no idea of how it is all supposed to work. On the other hand they were never instructed on how it all should work.

One of the main so-called problems was when they had a new battery installed, replacing a Marine battery with a deep cycle one, and they had the impression that not much worked since. It turns out that the problem with the solar not providing any charge is a result of the battery charger they have installed takes over charge while 240V in connected due to it maintaining the battery at a voltage that prevent the solar regulator switching to charge mode. He must have only monitored after the 240V was connected. Maybe with the old battery the level was down sufficiently to still apply a charge for a short while after the 240V was connected? I disconnected the battery charger this morning and after a short while the solar system did take over charging, so obviously there is nothing wrong.

One other major problem was with the power inverter they have fitted to the van. There is a large switch installed in the van that I could only assume, from ill-advised information I received from them, was to change over from exterior mains to inverter mains. When I threw the switch to see what happened the exterior 240V was then connected to the output of the inverter and it obviously doesn’t have any protection for this situation, so consequently a large bang was heard from the direction of the inverter and when I went to look a large cloud of smoke was emanating from the inverter. I guess this meant the end of one inverter, I now feel as I should discuss with him as to whether he would intend that I should replace the unit, but I feel that I should try to convince him that somebody was going to do exactly what I did one other day and have the same results. I guess we will have to see what happens.

Another problem was that since the battery was changed the water pump for his tank water hasn’t worked. When I went in to see how to operate the pump, in their absence, I pushed the lever on the tap I consider to be the one for tank water and water came out of it. One can only assume that considering water doesn’t run uphill that the pump must be working, assuming that was the tank water tap? They will be home from church soon so I will have another talk to them and try to sort that one out.