I’ve just posted a blog about Longreach, but since we were there we’ve travelled much further, to Cloncurry and Mt. Isa and Camooweal. More posts are coming, but in the meantime ….
Two days ago we left Camooweal intending to go the 200 or so km to Adels Grove via Gregory Downs (map at bottom of blog). Here’s Dave’s account of the trip.
(Dave:) This involved about a hundred and twenty-five kms of gravel road to Gregory Downs and then a further 90 kilometres on a four wheel drive road to Adel’s Grove. We were at 42 kilometres into the gravel when we saw a couple with a caravan and truck changing a wheel. We stop to check if they needed help but they said okay so we carried on … about 200 metres on over a slight crest … when the caravan started exhibiting all the throes of a flat tyre. Hastily pulling over to the side of the road I leapt out to inspect the damage, to be greeted by a far worse scenario, the rear right wheel of the caravan was jammed back against the chassis. Checking the damage it appeared the locating pin for the leaf springs had sheared, allowing the springs and the axle to slide backwards.
I was checking the caravan when another couple of caravans stopped to help; one of them luckily had a 21 mm spammer required to undo the U-bolt nuts. Also luckily I had a 6 mm bolt that I’d saved when changing the feet on the stabilisers. I was able to line everything up, insert the 6 mm bolt and bring everything back together again.
We decided to turn around and return to Mt. Isa where I hoped to be able to find a proper high tensile pin for the spring. When we arrived back in Mount Isa we rang the local spring maker who informed us he was on holiday until next Wednesday, and “…. the nearest places where it could be done are Alice Springs, Darwin or Townsville!!!”
I decided to bodge up a fix, kiwi bush mechanics style, found the local bolt supplier, bought a couple of high tensile steel bolts and then found that the holes in the leaf springs were a strange size. Soooooo… I asked around and the guys at Excellent Engineering of Mt. Isa were recommended to turn the bolt down to size, which they did and only charged me $10. With the bolt becoming a pin of the correct size I was able to put everything together quite quickly.
Nancy: another couple of purchases beside THE BOLT were a larger stronger jack, a spanner, and an umbrella to shield the workman.
So tomorrow we will do a short trip and I will check the U-bolts again to see if they are okay. If so we will carry on, if not we will return to Mount Isa and wait for the spring-maker to arrive back from his holiday. I would still like to go to Adels Grove but now we will probably go via Cloncurry as it will be mostly sealed road.
Oh dear, the same thing happened to us too – but we weren’t in the middle of the outback!
We are enjoying reading about your adventures.