142. Sunday 27th June 2010. Where were we? a leak and a visit from friends…

Last week I got the bright idea I should re-visit where we were this time last year. In fact I should have been doing the re-visiting thing since about March.

This week I will re-visit where we were at this time in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

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In 2005 we were slowly working our way home from Cooktown, stopping at Granite Gorge in the Atherton district. We also visited Mungalli Dairy, also in the Atherton District. While at the dairy we tasted Quark, a soft cheese made from water buffalo milk. A couple of weeks ago while watching an episode of the Italian Food Safari, they visited Mungalli Dairy where they are now making a silky smooth Mozarella cheese. It was quite exciting to see the cheese making room exactly as we saw it 5 years ago but now churning out a popular and sought after cheese. We continued down the Great Dividing Range staying one night at Henrietta Falls above Innisfail and another night at Murray Falls near Cardwell. That was our first big trip in our first motorhome, a converted Toyota Coaster bus.

In 2006 we camped at the Proserpine Rally and even now my recollection is one of disappointment. Not so much about the location or the people attending or the cameraderie. It was just disappointment it was done with few helpers, no financial assistance, and little in the way of organised activities.

In 2008 we camped on the banks of Marion Creek a 40 minute drive south of Sarina With a turn off at Ilbilbie which is nothing more than a petrol station and a railway siding. This location will feature a little further in this entry.

2009 was at O’Connell River and we had many people, members of the CMCA, turn up and somehow Sandra, the then Chapter president fed 68 people for $5 each.

Now we have to talk about “the leak” in WWWGO. On the last weekend away Donnis found our pantry had water in the shelves. Huh! Where did that come from? Perhaps somehow it came from the TV aerial handle which leaked a couple of months ago. I had placed a plastic bag over the handle to catch any leaks. Nope! It was dry. I thought perhaps it was a bottle of mineral water which had leaked but neither of us could recall taking a half empty bottle of mineral water out of the pantry?

Hmmm? I checked all the obvious places and checked for leaks and water trails and damp timber. Nothing.

So when we came home and parked I thought that was that.

It wasn’t!

It rained Wednesday night and Donnis went to WWWGO Thursday morning and found our bed was wet! Water was still dripping from the top of the pantry shelf, over the edge down the pantry wall onto an official Winnebago clock, around the outside of the clock face, dripped off the bottom onto the blade of our Caframo fan where it splashed and dripped onto the bed. WTF!.

As near as she could tell it was coming from under the panelling which stores our clothes in an overhead locker. I checked it that night by CSI style torchlight. Yep it is coming from there alright but the locker is dry as is the partition on the inside of the locker. I did find a piece of timber framework which appeared damp. On the roof is a plate which the TV cable runs into and down to the connection inside. That seemed to be where the water was coming from. Further investigation would have to wait until daylight on Saturday.

OK. Daylight Saturday revealed what I expected. Where the TV cable enters a plate into the roof, the silicon sealant had broken away from the roof and was allowing water to find its way in. Well… at least that is my verdict for now. I climbed up on the roof and liberally sealed all around the cable with silicon. A few hours later I poured water on and around the sealant. No leak so far.

I also decided, on Saturday to raise the rear mud flaps by a bit more than an inch. Reversing on uneven ground the mud flaps can run under the wheels and cause damage. See my report from  (131. Sunday 11th April 2010. Grumble, moan, rant…)

So when I crawled under WWWGO and started to take off the bolts I learnt my first lesson. The mud flaps on the drivers side are held in place with stainless steel bolts while those on the passenger side are held in place with rivets. WTF.

The second lesson was the stainless steel bolts instead of being selected for correct size were originally much longer and had been cut to length with a pair of bolt cutters or similar. That makes it a bit difficult to thread the nut!

The sheared off with bolt cutters bolt is on the left. You can see just how difficult it would be threading the nut onto the shaft compared to the new bolt on the right. Why oh why do "tradesmen" do "professional jobs like this? Do they just hand over to the apprentice and hope nobody will notice? Do they think they are saving money? How much harder is it to shear off a bolt and struggle to fit a nut than to use a properly sized bolt?

So, at about this point I feel a rant coming on… How does a supposedly professional outfit, such as Winnebago or whoever worked on the mudflaps including the jerks I employed at Big Wheels in Mackay, how do they justify using inapropriate materials to carry out a “professional” installation or repair job?  In an aside rant it galls me to see “professional” builders who use their electrical screw drivers to instal screws. Looking closely the screws are all put in on an angle and do not fit snugly into the recessed hole in say the hinges. Anyway back to my mudflaps.

I spent a good part of Saturday and Sunday under WWWGO. For the sake of less than $3.00 I bought 8 stainless steel bolts and nuts and washers and re-installed the mudflaps so they now sit almost 3 inches off the ground. Crawling around underneath to drill holes and insert bolts was no fun and I have a stiff neck as a result. I do feel good about the finished job.

Finally, friends Geoff & Margaret were due to arrive this weekend. They asked me if I knew any good freedom campsites between St.Lawrence and Mackay. I mentioned if the road was open, Notch Point might be worth having a look. We have never been to Notch Point so it was a bit of a guess. We received a Skype call from Geoff Saturday morning. “Thanks for the tip Matey. We are at Notch Point and could not have asked for a better campsite so will stay a few days – up to a week.” With the good sunny weather they are in heaven especially as they left southern New South Wales to escape the cold, wind and rain.

The turn off to Notch Point is at Ilbilbie and follows the same gravel road we travel to reach the campsite at Marion Creek. The Notch Point property is about 1Klm further on from our campsite.

We will now catch up with them next weekend.

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