This is real customer service !!

Submitted: Saturday, Sep 30, 2006 at 08:56
ThreadID: 122963 Views:3875 Replies:2 FollowUps:3
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As we are parked up for a bit, I thought I would check out a couple of minor issues with the factory. The email came straight back with every issue fully explained.

You here so many horror stories about the industry that it pleasing that some people really do care and get it right - consistently.

For other that may 'park-up' and are wondering about whether you should jack the van up - or whatever - here it is from the 'horses' mouth. (sorry Steve - couldn't resist that!)

Steve's comments are inserted into my orginal email in bold/italics ...... sorry that work - the cut and paste removed the formating. My originals questions are prefaced with Q and Steves answers with ANS

"Hello John and Jean, Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker"

Q Now we have parked up for a spell – at least 6 months and maybe longer. I have a couple of queries.

ANS "It will be my pleasure to help you in any way I can. I wish all of our Customers were as nice and as capable and as in touch with living in the Bush as yourselves…. Our jobs would be much easier, I can tell you… Anyway, it will always be a pleasure helping you in any way, I am here just for the asking…."

Q The swivel housing of the AT35 hitch has a grease nipple on the port side (is that the correct terminology for land yachts?) that is nearly impossible to grease without dropping the housing down. It is just shielded by the front of the A Frame. I thought I would whip it out and replace it with a 45 deg nipple. Alas, it appears to be un-removable – just goes round and round.... any suggestions?

ANS "Well the truth is, that hitch was only developed because of us motivating VC, and they originally designed it without a grease nipple at all for the barrel..! It is only because of my urging that they put one on there at all, as I thought it just psychologically needed one, I am a frustrated “grease it” freak. Both of my newer trucks the Mack and the Ford have nearly no grease fittings anywhere! First thing I want to do with a new truck is crawl under with a grease gun and there are only a couple in the front end of the Mack on the CV. Frustrated greaser here… Anyways, back to your problem, the newer ones all have the grease fitting dead top of the barrel. In your vintage there was concern it would could be knocked off… But now they are all on top. I think the choices are to forget about it, maybe disassemble it every two years and rub some Moly grease on the shaft and reassemble. OR, when you are in town pick up a grease fitting a tap, and when you do disassemble it, drill in a new hole, tap the threads, screw in the grease fitting. OR, take it apart once and grease it with the Moly, and just run it a few years, I really do not think it will wear appreciably packed with black moly grease"

Q As we will be parked up for a bit here at Lorna Glen – at least six months and maybe longer. Should I put the Bt up on blocks to protect the bearings and tyres? Any other jobs I should do.... we are still sleeping in it as it is far superior to the 70 year old station cottage!!

ANS "Well, up on blocks is probably the best, but possibly overkill. You could just jack up each a-frame and mark the tyre with chalk so you do not put it down in the same place, and give it a good spin every two- three months. Minor jacking of 50mm to get the load shifted onto the other tyre is a quick nothing job, big spin, and done. A lot easier than leaving it up on blocks and probably safer as well closer to the ground in a storm"

Q The water here has a high loading of calcium, what impact will this have on the plumbing, or in particular the water heater it furs up the kettle in the station kitchen pretty quickly. Should the sacrificial element be replaced?

ANS "It should not be a problem in the plumbing, as it take major evaporation to concentrate the calcium out of solution, and this is a sealed system with plastic plumbing. When you come out of there, put a four litre jug of vinegar in each tank with about 20 litres of water to slosh all around for couple of days, one tank at a time, vinegar will eat it all up to drain/flush out… You could even do the same for the HWS, but I would not bother, it will probably be fine. You do not necessarily need another Anode for the HWS, take it out in a few months and look at it. A white crust will probably just cover it up and need to be scraped off… The anode is sacrificial to electrolysis, to donate metal with any stray current rather than having the metal come out of the hot water tank…. The Calcium has nothing to do with this affect and is just more of coating, where the calcium is just a mineral deposit that accumulated to cover the anode over, two different things there".

Q The station has a satellite TV system. We have ordered a TV for the cottage but until that arrives I though I would see it could be plugged into the TV. We had it pre wired for a satellite set up and have a few wires etc in the overhead locker on the starboard side. I could not find any external socket and don’t even know if there should be one – and it does not fit into the battery box vent plug on the front port side!!

ANS "You will have an external Coax fitting under the front nosecone… Passenger, awning side, to plug in an external antennae". (Bugger!, I thought that was the battery box vent!! - John)

Q The primary water pump does a periodic ‘Bluuurrpp’ for 1-2 seconds to regain pressure – maybe two or three times of an evening. I have not been able to track down any leaks and have double-checked all the fittings. Any suggestions.

ANS "It is a tiny speck of debris on the valving of the pump. Screw of the cover and clean the screen on the filter, then adjust the pump head as follows: First try Phillips screw driver on the 4 stainless screws on the pump head, with a little tweak up maybe a half turn to firm. STAGE TWO IF THIS DOES NOT WORK: You could play with the pressure head, under a screwed on black little cover in the center, there is another screw fitting and you could also give it a QUARTER TURN ONLY, CLOCKWISE… If this does not work, you could go ONE MORE QUARTER TURN, BUT THEN NO MORE, if it clears it by raising the pressure, then back it off at least one of the quarter turns.. If this does not work, the alternate to this is leave it alone, they usually clear themselves in time…."

Q After about 16 months of ownership I am still really impressed with the construction and workmanship built into these great vans.... many people show an interest whenever we park up – if there is any people around!.

ANS "Thank you, you are both really great and capable people and a real pleasure to help. I would ask you to copy this whole email and put it on the BOG for others benefit, who might encounter similar questions… .

So there you have it, this is one of the reasons why we bought a BT - its not just the product but the whole package.

John and Jean

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Sep 30, 2006 at 18:18

Saturday, Sep 30, 2006 at 18:18
John & Jean
After spending several months over in the west, I was like you and thought that the high mineral content of the water would have caused havoc with the HWS anode, but when I replaced it last week was surprised at how little it had been eaten away.
When removing the anode, FIRST release the pressure out of the system or you will wear the contents all over you. Happened to a close friend of Steves once.

When you have the anode out you will then need to insert a hose into the tank, put some water in and pull it out so that it will flush all the bits of debris out. This usually take several times to get it all out.

We have had our van for over 5 years now and it has travelled over 130,000 km with a large amount of that being off bitumen and when it is nice and clean, people just don't believe that a caravan or that age that has travelled that distance could be in such a good condition.
Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

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Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Oct 02, 2006 at 07:16

Monday, Oct 02, 2006 at 07:16

First time I change an anode was for a friend on her newish Phoenix. Undid the anode to watch it fly across annex and hit annexe wall. Only do that once!

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Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Friday, Oct 06, 2006 at 06:19

Friday, Oct 06, 2006 at 06:19
Brian and Matt, Thanks for the tip - without such advice I would definitely be one of the "Watch it fly" types...

Cheers John
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Oct 06, 2006 at 17:51

Friday, Oct 06, 2006 at 17:51
Hello Grumblebum,

It is mentioned in the TIP section under water heaters now.....
The odd things I take for granted, are the ones I might sometimes miss...

It would never even occur to me, that someone might pull the anode out with the water heater hot, or under pressure. But anyways, I have loaded about 40 Maintenance TIPS on the TIP section of this Forum, and this is in there now... That to do the proceedure you also need to have the pumps off, water heater cold, and pressure bled off before removing the anode.. In TIP section under water heaters..

Kind Regards, Ranger
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Monday, Oct 02, 2006 at 19:54

Monday, Oct 02, 2006 at 19:54
Grumblebum and Dragon,

Thank you for the kind words. "I won't go to hell for lack of trying to do the right thing",
but it is very nice to have me efforts appreciated.

Let us know if we can help you in any way out there, I am here just for the asking....

Kind Regards from the Ranger, out there trying.........

"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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