Rob Gray :: ontheroad :: wothahellizat :: wot2 :: diaries :: issue-022


Sun 5 Oct 2008

Today we declare the interior officially done.

Unofficially there are still quite a few things to do but we have to draw a line and move on or we'll never get out of here.

Tue 9 Oct

Now I have some things to do on the truck itself, firstly I have to reinstall the shock absorbers on the rear axles.

The 6x6 ACCOs didn't have rear shockies but I added them a few years ago to help with the bad tyre wear problems we were having.

 Two of the rear wheels off as I make the shocky mounts.

I built the upper mounts over a year ago but changed the layout to allow the shockies to hang vertically as opposed to pointing outwards as they did on Wothahellizat 1.

That was when I was really keen but now I just want to get it done and get out of here and that earlier decision means I now have to manufacture new lower mounts.

As the travel of the axles is about 320mm and the shockies are only good for 290mm I had planned to make a fancy mount that can be disconnected when we need the extra articulation, but that doesn't seem like a great idea now and I make some simple brackets that convert the old mounts to the new setup.

Another job that needs doing is the spare wheel cover. As the wheels are deeply dished there's a vacant space just begging to be used for storage so we'll probably put the compressor air lines in there.

 The spare wheel cover.

Mon 20 Oct

I'm working on some caulking of the various window frames and shutters today.

 All shutters and the deck open, as you can see about half of the body can be opened for ventilation.

 The bedroom has shutters on three sides and a huge hatch in the roof, it's almost as good as sleeping outside.

Thu 30 Oct

We drive the truck from the workshop and park it across the yard. We are now "unplugged" and for all intents and purposes living on the road.

 Wothahellizat 2 unplugged.

After getting some horrendous quotes to rent a truck to take our stuff back to the block (up to $700 odd) we decide to just use the Landcruiser even if it means a couple of trips and Chris has spent the last day or so packing it to the gunnels.

As it turns out most of the stuff fits, there's still a small amount of gear left in the workshop so we move that into the wash bay and clean up. This means we will only have to do one special trip with the rest of the gear going up with us when we return to the block.

Fri 31 Oct

We're up at 4 AM and on the road by 5 to get up to the block with our load of tools and junk. By 10 we're pulling into the lane that leads to our land, it's great to be back and we both comment on how much we like it here.

It takes and hour or so to unload and pack the gear (read stuff it in the container as best as possible then slam the door before it all falls out) then we're back on the road with another five hours of driving ahead of us. At least the car will perform a little better without it's load.

Another thing the car is without is our lunch, it seems that all the ingredients were in a plastic bag on top of one of the boxes I put in the container, and that's where they still are.

Those bananas should be just about right by the time we get back in a couple of weeks.

Sat 1 Nov

That's it, the truck is now officially finished, exactly 18 months after we officially started although, as with my declaration of the interior being finished the other day, there are still a lot of things to do, but Wothahellizat 2 is fully functional and ready to roll.

I have a function I want to attend in Brisbane next week so we'll stay here for a few more days attending to some small jobs, then we'll head back up to the block for some R & R.

Sun 2 Nov

Friends Merv and Shirley turn up today. They have a 4x4 ACCO that is a very neat unit.


Mon 3 Nov

Today is another red-letter day, we take the truck for its first sea trial.

With Chris in the back keeping an eye on things I gingerly drive along the track that leads from the workshop then out onto the road.

I'm happy to report that apart from the clock falling off a book shelf nothing untoward happened.

Fri 7 Nov

We're supposed to leave today but need to do another test run, this time with the motorbike in place. It's been months since I built the motorbike mounting hardware and although it seemed to work well it was never tested on the road.

Straight away we encounter a problem, one of the bolts that hold the inner floor up out of the way no longer lines up with its corresponding captive nut. I have to cut the nut off and re weld it which is a drama as we are now parked out in the yard and the welding trolley is not exactly designed for off-road travel.

With that done we try again. This time the bike fits as intended and we're ready for a drive.

As before things go well, so in theory we can leave right now. However it's mid afternoon on a Friday and general consensus is that the traffic on the motorway will be horrendous, so we resign ourselves to another day at the workshop.

Sat 8 Nov

We finally leave, after being "technically" on the road a few days ago we are now really on the road. What a relief.

So this is the end of the construction diaries, a sad day? Not bloody likely, good riddance.

Now we return to the GRAYnomad Chronicles, but if I get the time and the will I plan to do some more work on the construction diaries over the next few months, mostly to infill some areas that I didn't cover very well, plus add a lot of photos and/or drawings to help clarify just how this truck functions. For example I'm sure nobody can figure out how the deck/garage/lounge room works from the sketchy description I've provided.

I'll probably do an autopsy on the whole process as well, but for now that's all folks.