The past week or so hasn’t been so good, starting with the failed leg on our Travelhome when we first arrived at Kakadu.
After that we had to leave Edith Falls earlier than we would have liked after hearing back from a job agency in regards to a station job in SA. The agency had checked our references and recommended us to the station for the job. So, we took ourselves back to Katherine to await the phone call. After four days we had still not heard anything.
Whilst in Katherine we found another station job for us both, and this one sounded like it would be a beauty. We phoned the managers, and followed up with our resumes. They wanted someone to start on the 7th August. So, we arranged to arrive at the nearest town no later than today, and to go out to their station for an interview. We then made a mad dash of over a thousand kilometres (for a job interview – crazy, I know), to the NT/QLD border. We were under the impression from the station manager’s that we had a damned good chance, and we liked the sound of the jobs for us both. We figured we could do the job, and it seemed like as long as they thought so too, the job was going to be ours.
We arrived in Camoorweal (the closest town) yesterday, one day earlier than arranged, and contacted the station via email to set up a time for our interview today. Then we set about unhitching the Travelhome. The second leg failed! Result is we can’t risk unhitching from the car until the legs are operational again. It’s almost a 3 Tonne vehicle and to have it supported fully by car jacks, well the mind plays havoc with the disaster that could eventuate. So, we were faced with having to turn up down the dirt station road for our interview with the full rig. Not ideal, but we figured it wouldn’t be too much of a drama.
We went out for a nice dinner at the Camoorweal pub, the one highlight of the past week. On our return we opened our email, and the station managers had saved us the bother of taking the rig out, they had hired someone else that morning, almost two days before we were due to arrive. Needless to say, we weren’t impressed.
So, what to do? We’ve been making enquiries, and getting replacement parts for the Travelhome is proving difficult, although I think Paul has now tracked them down. Dilemma is, Travelhome has stopped using these legs as they were less than ideal. Replacing them with the same seems foolhardy, given the amount of use they’ve had and failed, (less than 12 months use in total).
There’s a lot to be said for having a Jayco (or Junko as Kelv calls them) Being common on the roads, I doubt repairs cause the grief our current needed repairs are causing. But then again, we’ve just met a couple who lost their caravan in unexpected cross winds that flipped their rig over. That’s a lot less likely to happen with a fifth wheeler. Fifth wheelers feel a lot safer to have behind you, so we get back to same with whatever you have – every rig involves some sort of compromise. For us, the fifth wheeler is still the best compromise of all, simply because of that added element of safety.
We’ve decided the best course of action is to go to Newcastle and speak to the manufacturers. We’re hoping they’ll either replace the legs with the type they’re currently using, or else they’ll recommend someone else who can. We have a few other niggles with the Travelhome that we also want looked at, and being in the back of beyond makes that difficult. With normal caravans there’s an easier chance of repairs in out of the way places I should imagine. We’ve tried to phone Travelhome, but that’s also difficult in the back of beyond. We can never get to speak to someone directly, which means they always have to phone us back, by which time we’re either out of range again, or would prefer to be out of range.
We headed into Mount Isa today, and as soon as our phones came in range messages started to come through. We still haven’t heard from the SA job, but the agency contacted us for another couples station job, this time in Kununurra. We were initially interested, but after a couple of hours thought, we decided we don’t really need this twoing and froing across the country, at least not yet. So we phoned him back and said to count us out for this one as we want to continue on with our travels to Newcastle.
It means we can’t unhitch anywhere so it’s going to be a travel only trip without any real chance of getting out and seeing anything. It also means we’ll have to go via the inland country route so as to get big drive through sites which will allow the rig to remain hitched up.
We don’t need to be in a rush to find work, at least not for a long while yet. It’s me rather than Paul who has been researching and following up on jobs, and as Paul said today, why??? and I asked myself the same question. So, we’re going to step back for a while, get the rig sorted out, and then go back to taking time to smell the roses, and seeing this lovely country again.
Thank goodness for Paul’s calm sense of reason. I was becoming a fliberty jibert, and was rocking the apple cart for no good reason. So, much as we’re both peed off to say the least at the managers of Rocklands station, and also the SA station for not even contacting us, perhaps it’s a good thing.
Fingers crossed now that we get some satisfaction from Travelhome. It seems a bit drastic to have to travel almost 4000 kms to get our caravan repaired. Perhaps we’re being more knee jerky than we need to be, but we are probably in one of the most remotest parts of the country and to get to anywhere involves travelling thousands of kms. So, we figure we may as well just go to the people most likely to get our rig sorted properly, the manufacturers.