Shake Down Trip

DSCF0521Quite some time ago, we booked a few days off in November. The idea was to do a mini trip to make sure that the trailer was packed and ready for the impending big trip.  We thought about heading down towards Lakes Entrance area for somewhere different, but in the end it was just easier to head back to our favourite spot on the Murray.

After sleeping in, we had a late start and probably our most disorganised departure ever. Throwing some clothes in a bag we chucked them in the car along with the dog and pulled out of the driveway.

Hitched up and ready to go


Not even to the end of the street, Emma thought that maybe she had forgotten to pack her kindle. We went back inside, couldn’t find it.  Stuff it!  We left again.  Stopped at the supermarket to buy some food.  Normally we would have a shopping list based on a meal plan and how many days we were away, but this time we just winged it.  Totally out of character.  We collected the trailer (which was already packed) and headed off.

Not far up the road we realised we needed fuel. We pulled in at the next servo and tried to fill up, but the pump we had stopped at had no diesel left and all we could get out of the bowser was foam.  Off we went again.  30km down the road we stopped again and filled up the tank.

We finally had everything and managed not to stop again until we pulled into camp at about 2pm. It was stinking hot.  We parked the trailer and 15 minutes later had the basic set up done.  Seeking cover of the shade awning on the car, we took our time setting up the rest of our camp, waiting until about 6pm when temperatures had cooled a bit before putting on the annex.

The next few days we were blessed with beautiful weather. Taking a swim in the river when it got too hot, we lazed about camp reading (it turned out Emma had packed her kindle), eating, drinking and watching the koalas.  Despite the disorganised departure, it seemed the only things we had forgotten was the aeroguard and a tin of potatoes.

Craig and Buster cooling off in the river
Watching the Koala
Three koalas sitting in a tree


This is the life


We had just cooked on the gas cooker the first two nights and could have done again for the rest of the time, but as it was cooler than the previous couple of days we decided to have a fire. The chainsaw chose to be a git and refused to start.  Craig spent a lot of time swearing and stuffing about with it.  He ended up draining the fuel and putting new petrol in.  It eventually started but didn’t sound particularly healthy.  We managed to get some firewood for our third night, and cooked a casserole in the camp oven over the fire.

Gas cooker (& playing with settings on camera)
Finally got the chainsaw going
Finally got the chainsaw going

An hour or so after finishing our dinner the weather turned. At first there were just a few drops of rain and we thought that it was just a passing shower as the forecast had predicted before we got to camp (we had not been able to check for updated weather as there is no signal at the campsite).  After about fifteen to twenty minutes of the drops getting heavier we realised that it was in fact a bit heavier than a shower and packed our stuff away for the night and went to bed.

About 4 hours later it was still raining heavily. We got up and checked the tent.  There were a few small dribbles of water coming in through the seam by the bed so we put a towel there.  There was also an AWEFUL LOT of water pooling on the tent roof.  We pushed that off and moved the spreader bars to reduce the pooling.  Then went outside to tighten the guy ropes.  This seemed to do the trick.  The rain kept on and on, but we didn’t have any more leaks.  All up it rained solidly for nine hours.

The next morning was bright enough to dry out the tent before packing up. We discovered that the kitchen is not sealed on the back and that water had seeped wetting everything stored there including the tea towels and paper towel.

Generally speaking we were pretty happy at how organised we were and had a lovely relaxing long weekend, but we’ve got a couple more tasks to go on the ‘to do’ list.

  • Get the chainsaw serviced
  • Craig to silicon the back of the kitchen unit to stop water getting in
  • Get some more wax to seal along the tent seams

We are going to have to revisit our budget as this trip we ended up using around 17Ltrs per 100km travelled, which is a bit higher than the 14Ltrs/100km that we had estimated.  This increase is due to the additional weight of carrying the second spare on the roof and the addition of the bullbar and winch.

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