Mar 26, 2011

Jobs Completed

Not a lot to write about, I completed the change over of the Caravan brakes and re-packed the wheel bearings, it was timely that i did it when i did because i had to go down South for a few days whilst we had some floor tiling laid at a Roadhouse we own, it was a chance to take the van and make sure everything was OK, which it was. It also gave me 5 days of reprieve from Vickie's dad who though being a lovely old fella is a pain to look after and drives you around the twist. Poor Vick was left to hold the fort though she did come down with Pop and stayed the Saturday night. We caught up with old friends whom we had not seen for over 10 years.

Once back home i was able to organize having the sand / wind skirt made for the Van, i also got them to make us some shade cloth wall ends for the awning. We are not into fully enclosed annexe's preferring to just use shade cloth for sun, wind & privacy.

Another minor addition to the van is a Wingard Wingman, sounds fancy but it's just a low cost antenna addition that connects to the existing Wingard Antenna to produce a better signal strength. I was very skeptical that a piece of plastic and aluminum could do what it claims but i have been pleasantly surprised. Our HD Digital TV now tunes in 18 digital channels whereas before it would only tune in 5. We already have a Oyster Satellite dish on the roof so we don't do without TV no matter how isolated we get but it's nice to know when we are in a digital service area we can also tune in to local stations.

The only other news is Vickie has had another major eye bleed, her third now, she thought she had a bleed a few weeks ago but a visit to a specialist showed otherwise, it must have been a pre-warning because she did suffer a bleed recently and now has an appointment to see a retina specialist next week, All that plus being diagnosed with severe high blood pressure and high cholesterol means she is now popping pills each day. I am fine i can not afford to have any visits to Dr's they may find something that will stuff up our plans even more.

In just over 3 weeks we are OUTA HERE no matter what.

Our Newcastle mates are presently gold detecting around Ora Banda and we will catch up with them when they get down this way.

Mar 4, 2011

Groundhog Day - Jan-Feb-Mar

Life back at home has been spent doing the rounds of Doctors, Hospitals, Optometrists & Dentists - most of which has been for Vickie's Father, he is 85 and the reason we rushed back in January. He has suffered from bleeding ulcers and a very nasty skin rash, the ulcers nearly killed him for the 2nd time but it's the debilitating rash that has been the most difficult to treat. Three times he has been admitted to hospital to be treated but it continues to give him hell. All we can do is administer creams & medication and take him to the necessary dermatology appointment's.

Hopefully he will be well enough to travel to Melbourne in April where he will be taken care of by Vickie's sister Sue. Then we can escape here and head to Ningaloo and chill out for a couple of months with mates who are travelling over from Newcastle.

Vickie's health has also been a concern with her blood pressure being found to be extremely high 205/100, she has had to go on to medication to bring it back down to a normal level, Dr mentioned that left untouched she could have had a stroke or aneurysm at any time so we are fortunate that was found out. Both of us have been to the dentist and we can expect more $ to be heading their way. Growing older certainly keeps the Medical profession busy.

When i have had time i sorted out the battery draining problem we had on the Ute, the culprit was a combination of the solenoid controller and the winch itself, the fix was to buy a new warn 9.5 controller and have the winch serviced. The new solenoid controller works a lot faster than the old one so it's good to know that it's fixed and ready for action. I do need to run the cable in and out a few times every couple of months to keep the inner workings - working.

Next job to tackle was the Caravan's brakes, the brakes are 12" electric and have travelled in excess of 80,000klms, in that time the bearings have been repacked a few times & later replaced but the linings and magnets were original. Removing one hub assembly showed that they were no longer serviceable so it was time to change out the lot. I choose to use ALKO backing plates this time fitted with the Off Road magnets, it's fiddly & messy but not a difficult job to replace them and works out cheaper to replace the lot than try and have new linings bonded on and the cost of new magnets. Still it's a $700 - $800 exercise taking into account new HT Bolts & nuts and grease.

I am 1/2 way through but have misplaced the oil seals that i have been carting around for 12 months so tomorrow i will be searching the van & shed looking for them, if they don't turn up it's another drive to buy some more, No local bearing business around here.

Other jobs lined up are a vinyl wind & sand skirt for the Van, and some shade cloth ends for the awning. That better be the end of the spending, Ningaloo cannot come fast enough, no shops & nothing to spend money on, yehar!