Brisbane Valley Run and the new Van
Well we are on the road again in our new van after a lengthy break. It has been 12 months since we placed the order for the new van. After 5 or so years tripping around in the pop top the time had come for an upgrade. Allthego and Homealone had become some what worn, torn and a little jaded with all the ‘winding up and popping out’ in the Jayco. Not to mention the late night and 3 – 4 am morning dashes to park loos, sometimes in the wet. We had some good fun though in those trips around the country. The new van has an onboard loo and shower and a few mod cons that will make travelling a little easier as we slow up!
The order we placed in July showed up as planned, but a little late towards the end of last February. But, it was rejected by the dealer and subsequently us on quality control issues. It wasn’t up to scratch, basically shoddy construction. So a new order, for a different brand van was placed. The dealer offered us a good deal on a superior van for the same price as the original. We have ended up with more water storage, more carrying capacity and more mod cons. So, apart from the delays, we have ended up with a good setup.
The van arrived a bit over a week ago. After a few days of familiarisation and getting it set up for travelling, we headed off last Tuesday on a short running in trip up the Brisbane Valley, to the near west and north of Brisbane. Formerly a big dairying and timber getting region, it is now predominantly beef grazing, grapes, wine and as you head further north citrus growing. The valley is also the route of an old railway line running from near Ipswich 161 km north to Yarraman. The line has been pulled up and is now a walking, cycling and horse riding route for those who go for that sort of activity. Along the way some of the old railway infrastructure has been preserved, particularly stations and bridges.
Our first night’s stop was at Esk, only a short run of about 80 km to the Esk Caravan Park. Being mid-week it was pretty quiet in Esk. No dramas with the van. The next morning it was a little further north to Nanango and a stop over in the Tipperary free camp on the outskirts of town. Along the way we passed through the old timber town of Blackbutt. Its other less known claim to fame is that it is the birth place of the Australian tennis great Roy Emerson. In early 2017 a cast bronze statue of him was erected and there is a small museum documenting his origins and achievements.
In Nanango we encountered a small electrical issue with the truck-van combo. With the foot on the brake Allthego could turn off the keys, pull them out and still have the truck running. Mmmm. After a little musing it was off to a local auto electrician for investigation. After 30 minutes or so a wiring problem was isolated. Apparently, with the truck brake pedal engaged the van’s battery was giving ignition feedback to the truck… keeping it running…….foot off the brake engine stops. After a of bit of re jigging here and there all was well and we off to Kingaroy for the night. The problem is thought to have been caused because our truck wiring had been done for the van that had been rejected, whereas the replacement van had some slightly different needs. Traps for young players!
The Kingaroy Showgrounds was a pleasant stopover for one night, economical at $18 per night but somewhat spartan ambience wise!
It was cold here too, but Allthego got his first chance to empty the on board loo into the dump point the next morning before heading further north. This task was accomplished without any drama or spillage. Hoping to have a fire and cook some T-Bones at the next stop on the way north before reaching Gayndah.