Trip Update for fellow boggers

Submitted: Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:51
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Dear fellow boggers, Just a quick update of our trip. We are currently at Yulara (stone's throw from Uluru). We are staying here for 3 nights before heading to Kings Canyon, the MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs and then north to Darwin via Katherine etc. Have met a few boggers. We are travelling with Gadget1. Having heaps of fun. Photos will be put on the web once we reach Alice and when we get a more reliable (faster) internet connection. Any boggers happen to read this and in the same area as us, welcome to join. Cheers, Mike, Mel & Jas.
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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:53

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:53
Hi Mike, Mel & Jas, Good to hear from you all. Sounds like you are having great travels. Heard you might not be able to make Copeton. That's a shame but I am sure you will have lots of other wonderful adventures of your own to tell us about around a campfire when we meet. Just a little bit closer to Darwin and you might have run into the Fox's and the Swifts. But I think they will have left that area by the time you get there. Angie 61 sleeps to go.
AnswerID: 562383

Reply By: Rockgoc - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:54

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:54
G'day Mike, Mel, and Jas Hope you enjoyed your time at the Rock, and didn't choke too much on the high cost of everything. Do make sure you give the attractions around the place a good looking at. In particular, don't miss Rainbow Valley on the way to Alice. The turnoff is near Maryvale Station, and it will be accesible to you with BT's even though the sign may state otherwise. The best time to see it is on sunrise or sunset as the light is best for the spectacular sandstone then. Also, don't miss going out to visit Glen Helen on the Western Macs road or the Wildlife park on the same road. Actually if you have time, a week in Alice will do you well. There's so much to see and do, hot air balloon flights, the winter time is the best time of year for all the activities....there's also a really worthwhile Transport Museum as well as the Connellan Air transport Museum near the Araluen Cultural centre. Just be careful if you are out at night....especially near the river....not a place to be on your own if you get what I mean. Happy travels, see you at Copeton? Cheers from Jan O (ex Ayers Rock)
AnswerID: 562384

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:55

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:55
Just back from 4 days in the semi cold (Orange, Oberon, Kanagra Walls). Great trip (FireWise Conference with side trips for fun). Some thoughts on dealing with the cold. Webasto rules! With 5-10mm of frost every morning, it was a good prelim test prior to going to the Snow. Ran for 12 - 15 hrs per day. Got 3 + days out of the standard tank at about 250ml per hour. Think that qualifies as reason to look at second tank, to give longer dwell time on site without refuelling (but only if real cold weather stays contemplated). Great performance with thermostat set at about 12 o'clock. However, at this setting, the unit NEVER dropped off full speed operation. This means two things: 1- as the full output of Webasto is about 2 kW of heat, and it was not keeping up with heat loss, the van was loosing more than 2kW of thermal energy at these near and sub-zero temperatures; and, 2- at start-up it draws about 5 amps, but settles down to 2 amps (half that when on lower power outputs), and therefore, at the long running times employed contributed to not insignificant power drain at a time when the solar input was also down (even when full sun all day). From the above I would have loved to have had Anthony there with his heat gun wandering around inside the van to see where the cold was comming from or even , standing around for an hour or so outide seeing where the heat was escaping (Sounds fun, huh?). As I didn't have thermal night vision or IR imaging gear, the following seem starting places for extra work on insulation:- 'Galaxy' Windows - cold air tumbling down at the bottom of the cutains. Double 'glazed' windows seem a good idea here. 'Camec' Door - cold. Double insulated varieties available? Table Pedestal - absolutely freezing cold - possibly due to cold transferring up the through bolts - very good conductors those. Bushings? Plastic washers? End caps? Cargo Hatch Doors - 2 very large heat sinks to ensure inside of cargo bay freezes real fast. You're sleeping on that. Insulate with silver-backed insulation foam? 4 seasons hatch - close all bar one vent and have the last one on 'Rain'. I'd like to recommend closing it and the vent in the bottom of the door completely and hermetically seal the place, but, as you know, if you did that and someone farted, everyone would die. Griff the FR-fr-fr-fr-fr-fr-Moderately Cool
AnswerID: 562385

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:56

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:56
Some good info there Griff !! As Ernie is installing a Webasto in his BT he would be interested in the fuel economy ....only to keep their toes warm !! [smile] We can work out a fee structure for on-site testing of surface temps ... Infra-red gun thermometer @ 45 cents per day ... Middle aged, overweight guy to squeeze trigger and write result on scraps of paper @ $245.00 per 6.5 hr day .... [treadMillGrin] Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 562386

Reply By: Turist - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:57

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:57
Griff, Just stand near the Camec door with bare tootsies when the heater is operating, you will soon know where the thermal energy loss is.
Cold air is drawn in at a rapid rate as the warm air escapes via the 4 seasons hatch, even when it is closed.

Put a bit of foam between screen door and vent and see the remarkable difference.
There still seems to be sufficient ventilation to keep the van "airy"

And a strip of carpet up the center also makes a significant difference in the winter.
Have a look at the WalkerTek range at your local carpet store.
You can take it out and wash it when required, excellent product.

And no campfire stew and red wine and the other problem is solved.

"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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AnswerID: 562387

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:58

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:58
Couple of other things:- can confirm Webasto auto shut-off works perfectly (kids kicked the blanket off which covered outlet). Good to know. Anthony- thanks mate. Very reasonable rates you quote for midnight to 6:30 am (when we would expect to get the best readings - given maximum temperature differential at that time of day). I'll even get up at 6:30 and make you a cup of coffee! When can I book you in? Turist- Thanks for the practical tips. Getting the best out of our Beast is going to be a never ending quest, I'm sure. Vent blocking & carpet - great to know. I still suspect that I'll need to ziplock my used socks, but we'll give it a go. Providing it doesn't get too toxic, it will be much warmer down our end of the van. On the question of giving up the red, some cures are simply not worth the pain. In fact, on the contrary, if I up the dose, the temporary comatose state induced would solve both problems - neither cold nor unfortunate odors would register on the patient. Frostbite may become an issue if the dosage isn't just right, but that would seem to be the only drawback. Thanks for the insight. Griff
AnswerID: 562388

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:59

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 08:59
Griff, I can tell you from experience doing huge oil-tanker discharges round the clock (in winter) when working for the "company" ...the coldest time to check the pipeline for leaks is 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the dawn !! Sitting on a cold wharf and whipping the gloves off to place hydrometers and thermometers in fuel samples was not fun. I remember the "special dog cream" Cindy used to rub into the cracks on my fingers !! To this day I cock my leg to pee from that cream !!! [uridylicAcidGrin] But my hands came good !!! If you would drag ya bones up to sunny, warm Qld for a week ...we could do some serious testing ...of the red !! I can see the next SAEWM bogger requirement .... a 1/2 inch hydraulic, dry brake, line connecting the tank of tow vehicle to the Webasto ....Hey ! Wait a minute ..have you got the internal wall friction co-efficient of hydraulic line verses diameter verses flow rate ... flick, flick, flick .... I'm sure it was here amongst my morning papers !!! [30ftHydraulicClubGrin] Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 562389

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 09:00

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 09:00
Anthony, at 250ml per hr, hose wall friction loss isn't too much of a concern as we would have a laminar flow situation - especially if the Webasto pump is a positive displacement type as opposed to centrifugal (must check). Of greater concern will be orifice, baffle, negative pressure and sphincter restriction problems. You talk to Pirtek, I'll talk to Enzed and we'll design it up on the back of a beer coaster. Understand the Dog Cream problem. The Cind didn't like her nylons getting snagged, eh? Glad to hear your little problem cleared up. Will be up for the Red in due course Griff
AnswerID: 562390

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