Travels in the Sherwood: planning our next trip

We feel that we have settled back into ‘normal life’, going to choirs, having Matt to tea, getting administrative work done. I’ve been working on cleaning up the rear of the Sherwood, but still have a way to go. I’ve tried all sorts of different cleaners, they all work a bit, but it’s still hard work and will be done in stages. We don’t have a plan for actually getting a new storage box on the back, but we don’t need it yet.

We went back to the inspection centre the day after the box was removed and passed. However we had to wait for our certificate due to the non standard fuel tank. At least he was able to tell us the size of our fuel tank, 120 to 130 litres and that it was to give the Hilux greater range. The certificate arrived by email late in the afternoon and we made a mad dash down to the Department of Transport office in Cannington.

Stephen hadn’t worked out that we would pick up our new licence plates right away and it fell to me to get our old plates off. Didn’t help that one required a Philips head screwdriver, which I had with us, and the other needed an allen key. I thought they were only used when assembling IKEA furniture! Anyway a nearby AutoBahn service centre came to the rescue and removed it for me. We got a set of Allen keys from the AutoBahn store, also near the DoT office and were able to get both new plates on.

The next item was to get our solar working. We booked in at a local auto electrician and found out another wiring error. The DCtoDC charger was wired using too light a cable and was actually dangerous. The rewiring means that now we will get the full charge from our DCtoDC charger whilst driving, plus it was relocated to a cooler spot in the engine bay.

The solar just needed a wire resetting on the solar controller, but we also decided on having new solar panels as we have lots of space on the roof. We now have 440w of solar, two 120w panels and a 200w panel. We are still waiting on the return of our second battery from Port Hedland. The inverter doesn’t work, we thought it might, so I don’t know if it’s because it’s damaged or because it isn’t wired in. We’ve decided to wait until we have our full battery power before getting it checked.

And the last thing is that today we have had new All Terrain tyres fitted. The other tyres were the original ones on the Sherwood and somewhat worn due to not being inflated enough at the rear. We’ve gone for much better tyres that will allow us to feel safer going off bitumen.

We’ve pretty much completely unpacked the Sherwood and I’m now working on gradually putting things back for our next trip. We are going to the Nanga Music Camp in Dwellingup this weekend. We usually pack quite lightly for a short trip, but still need a lot of the same things, whether for a short trip or a long one. Still, it’s much easier as we tend to know exactly what we will need, e.g. 6 wheatbix, our various types of tea bags, coffee, etc. Plus we don’t need much in the way of clothes, though it looks like the nights will be pretty cold.

We feel a bit bad about going away so soon after arriving home, but we will have Matt to tea on the Monday night after the weekend as I didn’t want him to have to wait until the following week. Us as well, we are really appreciating being able to have him home with us instead of just on Facetime. There are a couple more weekends away before Christmas and we might have to miss one week next month.