Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 04:33
ThreadID: 122724 Views:4341 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Hi All,

Just arrived back on the blacktop after 3000km on the brown stuff, and finishing this stage of our figure 8 through Aust at the Finke desert races. We camped at the Finke river and thoroughly enjoyed the two-day spectacle. Would recommend this to any petrol head or people like us just interested in motor sports.

Anyone heading to Dalhousie Springs at present, be prepared for a nasty road from Pedrica to Dalhousie. The worst corrugations we’ve ever encountered. We lost both plugs to our van, and had to hardwire the brake circuit to the van. (New plugs at Alice)
Travelled from Dahousie to Mt. Dare and on to Old Andado Station in the Simpson Desert, then to Finke and took the BT to see the Lambert Centre which is the geographical centre of Aust. Beast of a winding track, and did a lot of unintentional pruning with the BT on the way.

Steve you’ve done a great job with the BT. No dramas and the only dust we’ve got in the van is from an open door when we’ve been stopped. You should have seen the bulldust at Finke!

We’re at Eurdunda (not enjoying being back in Jayco country) on the way to Uluru and Alice via the Mereene loop, then the Tanami Track to the Kimberleys

Enjoying the trip

Neil & Pat
A Bushtracker (or BT) is a "Boys Toy"

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Reply By: Pixellator - Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 10:35

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 10:35
Hi Neil and Pat
I hope that you appreciated the track clearing and tree pruning that we did for you between Mt Dare and Old Andado in early May.
Definitely agree about the RS road from Hamilton to Dalhousie... we felt it got worse as you entered the National Park. Since then we have travelled the Buchanan Highway and Gibb River Road without encountering a worse surface. We had the tyre pressures down to 20psi front and 30psi rear and on BT, on the advice of Adam Platte at the Pink Roadhouse. No tyre problems.
There were four other BTs, plus the two in our party, at Dalhousie Springs... a new rally site???
What is your secret with the dust? We have dust coming in through the rear window. We have taped right around the outside of the frame, as well as plastic taped over the inside, over the screen. Foam in the four seasons hatch, and against the door held in by the waterproof door. Do you have a rear dust deflector?
We're now in Broome for eight days.
Bob and Lyn
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 17:02

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 17:02
Hello Bob and Lyn,
Have a look at your rear window, the inner frame at the top, is there a gap there? This is a common problem per TIP # 33, and here is a copy for your benefit in case you are not familiar with the cause and the fix...

TIP # 33 from the Lone Ranger: LIKE BULLDUST? This is in the interests of you not ruining the seal on your rear window…And other tips to keep out the Bulldust... PROPER MAINTENANCE is the key....

In the Bulldust the back hinge on the rear window binds up with dust…It gets in there, then gets wet, and packs up into a hard clay like material…. You have to wash it out with a hose and nozzle.. If you are standing looking up at it, on the hinge section of the window, you have to hose out the dust out of the round extruded hinge section… You can try to blow it out with air, or brush it out each time you run in the Bulldust before you open the window with a soft brush is better than nothing, but water and a nozzle under pressure is best..… But if you open the window with the dust in there, it packs the dust even more. If this is ignored, packed hard, gotten wet and set hard, and you cannot blow it out; then a major service has to be done. This involves actually taking the Hopper part of the window apart to clean the hardened clay of the bulldust out of the curved extrusion of the fixed frame itself…

It is always a problem in the Bulldust, and it needs to be cleaned before the window is opened… If not, when you go to close it, it will only close so far then jamb up.. DO NOT force the window closed, or it will spring the window out of shape. If you give a push assist from the outside, all that will happen is the top mitred frame part of the window will break loose at the mitre and spring out... Then the rest of the Perspex frame will not close tight against the fixed frame part of the window on the caravan… And you will have a leak of bulldust into the caravan… This is the primary Culprit of all vans that complain about Bulldust, and you need to be aware of what causes it so you don’t join the Bulldust Club….

It can happen to any window, but the rear window is the worst. Several per year ruin their rear window by doing this. Then of course it is our fault, the window must be defective, and some people get very upset when we have to tell them that they ruined the window. But if we be polite, and let them win in the interest of Customer Relations, it will backfire on both Parties as it only happens again. So, we have to warn people, and it is in the Owners Manual: Clean the hinge on the rear window before opening it when in the Bulldust… Per the Owners Manual, and per the Delivery Day Instructions… OK? Or maybe an alternative is to leave it closed when travelling in the bulldust, if you cannot hose it out.... There is no easy answer.

Pressure Hatch??? Now some think the answer is an open hatch to the wind to pressurize the van... Pressure Hatch is a sales gimmick to combat this problem of bull dust that is down to the size of particles of cigarette smoke... Now we can put one in for you, but they are just a bit of a gimmick as they actually scoop dust up as they travel along... Have you ever been on a bull dust track where the dust hangs in the air for few kilometres? Well the hatch just vacuums that up... And you aren't going to get out and close it every time a car passes you either way on a windless day when the bull dust hangs in the air...?? Not sure this is the answer.

OTHER THINGS OF IMPORTANCE IN THE DUST BATTLE: Bushtracker is the most Dust Free of any van built. Anyone that says different has not tried the alternatives...We get to hear all the Horror stories from those who have tried others, and come to us for a Bushtracker. But in saying that, you have to take care of things like the rear window seal, and if you do not you will be joining the dust brigade... And yes, we also put a foam strip in our van over the top of the watertight door when closed in the Bulldust tracks... And yes, we have constantly improved the engineering over the years to combat the dust... BUT ON OLDER VANS, you need to look at the sealants around pipes and such underneath that get worn by the gravel shower and such in the Outback... This is MAINTENANCE... And part of the responsibility of ownership. With proper maintenance, my own van has only ever suffered a trace of dust with a damp paper towel, on the rear window sill. DUST DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PROBLEM WITH PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE... CLEANING THE DUST IS MORE WORK THAN DOING THE PROPER MAINTENANCE... Things wear, sealants and such exposed to the constant gravel shower and flexing in an older van need a little attention... So does every vehicle traveling in the Outback, and if you do not, then you will have problems...

Some people have reported that if they tape over the window hinge when in the bulldust, it is not a problem… But we have not verified that with our own tests… Maybe give it a try… Tracy and I have never had a problem, but him with four kids and me with three, we always have rear bunks and the short long windows that are only 280mm high.. They have not been a problem, it seems to be more of an issue with the taller windows of the 565mm high, where you have quite a bit of leverage on the window as you try and push it closed… So, take care...

Cheers from the Ranger, trying to do the right thing…. And be of a help....
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Boystoy - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 08:57

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 08:57
Hi Rob & Lyn,

We have no magic for keeping the dust out.We were advised by Tracy when we first got our BT to tape-up the hinge on the rear window with duct tape. This has been on since day-one and have never had dust problems here. We put a foam pad over the vent in the door & close the hatch over this for dirt roads.

We have never had a dust problem through our 4 seasons hatch, which has never seen a foam pad! We tow with a Landcruiser 100TD, with no roof rack or boat on top. We do have a Toyota plastic dust deflector on back. Maybe this has some influence?
We had a Tornado dust deflector fitted to the BT at Copeton last year, keeps the back relatively clean, but had no internal dust problems prior to this addition.
Just a great van.

Neil & Pat
A Bushtracker (or BT) is a "Boys Toy"

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 08:46

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 08:46
If you intend having a Dust Deflector fitted, MAKE sure that there is a reasonable gap between rear of last Solar Panel and the deflector.

I had a 4th panel fitted at BTi last Christmas and they fitted it directly in front of the left side of the Dust Deflector. I now have 3/4 of the rear clean and dust where the solar panel is obstructing the wind flow.

We also have had our rear window hinge covered with tape from new to prevent dust getting in and turning to mud when wet, then damaging the hinge when opened. Haven't had any dust problems unless you forget to close a window.
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 19:11

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 19:11
Yea, we stuffed up again Brian?... With all the stuff you have added to the roof, WE SHOULD HAVE PUT ON A LARGER ROOF, instead of just the fourth panel. Ha!
Lone Ranger
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Reply By: Jaunty Jordans - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:50

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:50
Hi All,
Another one who has used duct tape since Day 1. We replace the tape every so often and have never had a problem. We travel to Adelaide each year in June/July via the Oodnadatta Track and have never had enough dust in the van to worry about.
As Steve says, a van of good quality should stand up to the dust test.
I remember spending days cleaning absolutely everything after being on a gravel road in a popular XXX van, not my best "holiday"!!!
AnswerID: 568682

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