This is the first time we have towed our Bushtracker with our new Ute and the experience has been most enjoyable and effortless. We left home just before lunchtime and drove to the Yelgum rest area just north of Brunswick Heads on the NSW north Coast. We have stayed here before when we are on our way to the Sunshine Coast and to the Bushtracker factory which is where we were going again.
We are having our VAST satellite decoder converted from 240 to 12 volt and upgrading our internet aerial. We also have a minor issue with our door that needs rectifying.
Of the many accessories we fitted to the Ute, one was a ScangaugeII. These compact unit's serve as a scan tool, digital gauges and trip computer, providing real time feedback whilst simultaneously tracking the data. With the new ScanGaugeII, it is now possible to add up to 25 additional gauges to the 12 that are currently available to most vehicles.
I have set up some XGAUGE's to use while we are away travelling. For instance I can now report the following for today's drive:
Distance driven today: 262 kilometres
Time driven today: 4.1 hours
Average speed today: 63 kilometres per hour
Average fuel economy: 16.4 litres per/100k's
Fuel cost today: $66.60
Fuel used today: 43.2 litres
The most surprising figure of all is the fuel usage. Our Patrol which was fitted with the Chev V8 diesel engine was very heavy on fuel averaging just over 23 litres per/100k.
Wednesday 2nd May:
We picked the van up from the factory later than expected and with the chance of more heavy rain we decided to spend the night at the caravan park at Forest Glen. Not long after we set up, the couple who were at the Bushtracker factory having a handover of their new van arrived at the park and parked in the site next to us. Mark and Julie had driven from Perth to pick up their new 20 footer.
Thursday 3rd May:
After the past several days of rain, we woke to a beautiful day. We left late in the morning and headed out through Landsborough, Beerwah and onto Kilcoy. We stopped for morning tea at Moore before tackling the Blackbutt Range where work is still being carried out after all the land slips they encountered with the rain over twelve months ago.
I had never been through Oakey before but we had a special reason to visit. Outside the council chambers is a statue of Bernborough who just like Black Caviar is doing today thrilled the public back in the years just after the 2nd World War and who was trained by my grandfather. Our plan for tonight's camp was Yarramalong Weir but with the mixture of threatening looking skies and black soil we thought the showgrounds at Millmerran were the safer bet.
Friday, Saturday 4&5th May:
A very short drive today totalling 125 kilometres and we are camped at Texas just outside town on the Dumaresq River. Lovely days with cold nights with the first morning down to 6 degrees. Thank goodness for the diesel heater!! Unfortunately the town with a population of 900 looks to be in the first stages of decline with many of the businesses closing in the main street. We did what we could by buying groceries and magazines.
Today's drive of 224 kilometres sees us passing through Bonshaw, Ashford and Inverell before camping at Guyra at "mother of ducks lagoon".
It was a very cold night with just 4 degrees in the van at 6am so we cranked up the heater yet again.
Another short day's drive today of 189 kilometres mostly downhill passing through Ebor and Dorrigo before reaching flat country at Bellingen until we arrived home which is a further 34 kilometres away.
Our average fuel consumption for the week away has been 16.5 litres per/100k and when considering some of the hilly country we have traversed we are over the moon with this figure.