The Vans Travels

 
Six months before departing on my trips to the mainland I give the van a complete service and tune up. Careful recording of performance is matched against previous history to determine fuel requirements etc.
Two months later I remove the front and both front guards. The guards are then replaced with an old pair which have been modified to allow additional air flow as well as the latest modification to allow for larger tires. The front is replaced with the original and a bulbar with driving lights and winch.
Five roof bars are fitted to support the full size roof rack. The sun roof is replaced with a fiberglass one that contains additional air vents (to increase air pressure inside the van in an attempt to keep out as much dust as possible). A byproduct of this is that the vent produces a jet of cold air capable of keeping an ice cream from melting in 25 degrees.
This sunless roof also contains all the wiring (on/off, pan, tilt, focus, zoom, etc) going to a camera box mounted on the front of the roof rack All wiring is then checked operationally. The side skirts are removed and a pair of bars are fitted to the bulbar and two points on the sub frame. Any cosmetic only paneling or items are removed.
About two-four weeks before departure a plate is fitted to the underside of the van secured from below the radiator to the rear axle on various mounting points that stay fitted at all times. A stone screen is also fitted to protect the windscreen.
  Both the hot water tube and the fishing rod tube can be see along with the Video Camera box  
During the last week the camera box, a spares box, spare wheels and tires, additional fuel tanks, water tubes and containers and the rear Jerry Can rack complete with a pair of jacks and base plates are fitted.
  4 X 20 lt Jerry Cans, 2 X base plates and one jack is visible (blueish) at end of rack.
White PVC tube on roof rack is for fishing rods whilst the black tube above it is for heating water.
Whilst all this has been going on I pack into separate containers all the cloths, food, cooking and washing, including a sealed bucket for washing cloths (rough roads make good agitators so I can wash my cloths as I drive along), spare car parts (alternator, starter motor, as well as the usual pipes, wheel bearings, plugs and points) ready for immediate packing or transfer to their respective containers. During the last couple of days all controls are rechecked including fitting the video camera and running some test footage.
Roof rack layout. From left:  
Spares Box
Spare wheels
2 X 25ltr water carriers
2X60ltr fuel tanks and cooler complete with ID from the air.
Spare tire cases with exhaust breather pipe 3 fuel Jerry Cans
From and including my 1988 trip I have hired a HF radio from the Royal Flying Doctors at Broken Hill. On returning the hole process is repeated in reverse however this generally only takes about one week and the van is back to its normal self.
  (Extended Trips over 10000KMs)  
  1983 Travels
1983 Aust. Travels
  1985 Travels
1985 Aust. Travels
  1988 Travels
1988 Aust. Travels
1990 Travels
1990 Aust. Travels
1997 Travels
1997 Aust. Travels
2003 Travels
2003 Aust. Travels
2012 Travels
2012 Aust. Travels
  2012 Travels
2013 Aust. Travels
 

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