This entry is for those who like the details. On arrival at Mt. Isa we had
- traveled for 11 days
- covered 2,671 km
- used 431 litres of fuel
- travelled at and average speed of 70 kph
- taken 38.3 hours of driving.
Caravan interior at Mt. Isa with Julie working on blog for Lark Quarry and Gary using camera on self timer in the caravan cupboard.
Our van is a 14 “foot” Avan poptop (Madison 2) and a current model FG Ford G6 E with a 6-cylinder engine and 6-speed auto gearbox tows it. It is much smaller than the extreme wide-angle photo shows, but very comfortable for two.
In open country highways we generally try to cruise about 90 kph. Our longest drive was 470 km from Winton to Mt Isa. After a day in which you pack up a van and set it up again at the end of the trip, that is a very tiring effort. A drive of 300 km is good, leaving you some energy to look around after you are set up.
The famous northern road trains – generally triple trailers about 55 metres long and traveling at 120 kph on the flat (and very slow up hills!) are pretty scary whether they are passing or overtaking. They push a lot of air in front of them. The highways here are a fairly narrow two lanes but very straight and generally flat. A problem with a caravan’s limited rear vision is that you can’t see someone is overtaking you until they are alongside the van.
We have found it necessary to be flexible in our planning. Our original plan was to travel from Winton To Hughenden, to check out some more of the famous dinosaur trail. However problems with our electricity (continually tripping circuit breakers), no working gas supply (no stove and refrigerator) meant the need for an early departure for Mt. Isa and an appointment with a mechanic. The only other source of caravan repairs between here and Perth (more than 10.000 km) is Darwin so we can’t afford to not get fixed now.
A young mechanic actually made a “house-call” to our van in the Park, fixed the gas and gave us some advise about the power problem, which was probably caused by dodgy electrics in the van park in Winton, rather than our van.
So we have 3 more nights in Mt. Isa, to look around and rest up before we trek on further.