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
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
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
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 &
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
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
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.