Category: Trip Preparation

We are ready!

GoExploreOz.com.au-bigIan&ClaudiaOzTrip02

After more than 18 months of preparation, we are proud to say that we are almost ready for this big adventure of ours! We have created this website and also our Facebook Page ‘Go Explore Oz‘ to share our journey with all of you and also hope to keep encourage others to do the same!

However, things weren’t that straight forward at the beginning. When we first had the idea of travelling around Australia (a.k.a The Big Lap), it was early 2014, when we first got married. We started preparing for the trip and got real excited. We have tried to read a lot of past and existing stories, following forums and Facebook pages, we went to purchase a lot of camping gear like tent, sleeping bags, self-inflating mattresses, cooking equipment, books, maps & atlas, GPS, etc. We thought we were going very well until when we have made the decision on the purchase of the camper trailer.

When we were deciding on which main type of accommodation to take with us on the trip, we have gone for the camper trailer option. There were a few reasons behind the decision, first of all, it was the amount of living and storage space it can offer, when you are travelling on the road full time for a year or so, have the extra storage space for some extra clothing seemed like a good idea (especially for the missus!). Secondly, not needing to sleep on the ground was a pretty darn important for first time campers like ourselves, not needing to worry about creepy crawlies at night would certainly give us a peace of mind for a better night sleep. Not to mention, the camper trailer would withstand different kind of weather better than a normal tent, or so we thought. Finally, towing a camper trailer would certainly be easier than towing a caravan with our humble 4 cylinder Toyota Prado, and would be easier to reach certainly places than a caravan.

Everything were well prepared at that point, and we’d thought we had done enough research on which type camper trailers we wanted. We saw an advertising for an off-road hard floor camper trailer for sale, we checked it out at a store. We liked the setting of the camper and the extra standard features it offered, where as other brands would have them as optioned. Not to mention, the price was a real winner (so we thought at the time)! Therefore, we have decided to purchase that camper, and that has led to our downfall…

It turned out when something seems too good to be true, it generally is. We have found out the hard way that what we have purchased was not a real ‘off-road’ camper, and was not built for our purpose along with a few other defects. We had to replace the camper for a more reputable and reliable camper. It was because of this incident that has caused a delay for 18 months and we were most frustrated by this experience, however, also a valuable lesson learned! After such dramatic event, we have now gathered ourselves, and are now prepared for departure take two in Feb 2016!

Back – First Aid Training  |  Next – Kosciuszko National Park

First Aid Training

First Aid Training

As part of our trip preparation, we have decided to attend a first aid training to prepare ourselves in cases of emergency.

We have never attended this kind of training before, so we were both quite excited and looking forward to learning something new and practical.

It was an intensive training course, which we had to first completed some homework as part of the foundation.
We learned about the followings:

  • The meaning of First Aid, our duty and responsibility as a First Aid Officer.
  • The effect of Epipen, and how to give it to the patients when required.
  • What is “DRSABCD”, how this is important at the first response.
  • What is a recovery position.
  • What is CPR and how to effectively apply to adults, children and infants
  • What is a Defibrillator and how to use it in an emergency situation.
  • Allergies, anaphylaxis and asthma
  • Wounds and Snake bites
  • Some basic bandaging and dressing

It was very eye opening, and has given us a lot of new knowledge and skills. We now feel more equipped to be out there tackling on our trip.
These are certainly the type of skills and knowledge you’d hope to learn, but never needed to use them.

Back – Vehicle Maintenance  |  Next – We are ready

Vehicle Maintenance

Vehicle Maintenance

Regular maintenance to your vehicle is very important. It allows the vehicle to be performing at a better condition on a daily basis.

As we travel around Australia on a road trip will cause extra workload to our vehicle, and hence, regular vehicle maintenance will become vital to ensure we can have a safe and smooth trip.

We have never considered ourselves as a handy/mechanical person. Thanks to the wonderful people from the Toyota Landcruiser Club Victoria (TLCCV), they have shown us some basic skills in servicing our own vehicles and learning how to check your vehicles before a trip.

We have learned the followings:

  • Changing engine oil
  • Changing automatic fluid
  • Changing transfer case gear oil
  • Changing front and rear diff oil
  • Changing oil, fuel and air filters
  • Changing fan & water pump belts
  • Procedures on changing brake fluid
  • Check for power steering fluid and coolant level
  • Check for brake pads wear
  • Check for oil leakage in engine bay and vehicle surrounds
  • Check for radial cracks on rubber bushes

We have certainly learned a lot and we have now felt closer to our vehicle by knowing more about it.

I am sure this will be very handy to understand more about your vehicles, and saving some money by doing regular maintenance yourselves.

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A full table of parts and tools to start the day!

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Some of the oil and fluid needed and jack stands for the vehicle.

Drip pans and funnels are essential.

Drip pans and funnels are essential.

An overview of a diesel Prado engine bay.

An overview of a diesel Prado engine bay.

Vehicle on jack stand

Wheels removed after the vehicle is secured on the jack stands

Oil dripping into the drip pan.

Oil dripping into the drip pan.

Checking the thickness of the existing brake pads.

Checking the thickness of the existing brake pads.

Checking the general condition of the brakes.

Checking the general condition of the brakes.

Refilling necessary oil and fluid.

Refilling necessary oil and fluid.

Changing oil filter after every oil change.

Changing oil filter after every oil change.

Putting the wheels back on after the service.

Putting the wheels back on after the service.

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