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Blue Snoopy is a 2012 Nova Vita Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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Blackheath – 16 January 2009

When we were young, Christmas took forever to arrive and the school year seemed to take an eternity to complete.  Now we are older, last Christmas seems like it was yesterday and next Christmas seems like it is tomorrow.  The same can be said for travel in the motorhome.

Our last outing in Blue Snoopy was to the Winnebago Christmas Party in early December and it is hard to believe that it was six weeks ago.  How time flies.  It is also hard to believe that we have now had the Winnebago for five months and our longest trip (other than the Christmas Party) is still an overnighter. 

As part of the purchase of a Winnebago, the first service is complimentary.  Up to now, we have not used all the features of the motorhome so a trip to the Blue Mountains was planned as a final “check” before the service.

Sydney has just experienced several very hot days (temperature  greater than 40c in the West) so we were apprehensive in considering a weekend away when the goal of the weekend would be to attempt to keep cool specially when your normal residence is air conditioned.  Fortunately the weather patterns changed and we left Sydney on Saturday morning to head to Blackheath where the maximum temperature was expected to be 21c.

First small drama took place when the motorhome was started in the driveway with a message being displayed on the console regards poor oil pressure.  The Iveco was stopped, the oil was checked (should be doing this anyway) and the vehicle was restarted without the error appearing again.  We travelled at a leisurely pace of 87kph down the M4 (this is the speed we have determined provides for the best fuel consumption).  The second drama took place just after when had climbed into the Blue Mountains.  Another warning message appeared on the console and made reference to a brake failure and the need for a service.  A warning light appeared on the console as well.  Once again, we stopped the vehicle, shutdown and restarted.  Fortunately we did not get a warning message or a warning light over the remainder of the entire trip. 

We need to ask Iveco about these messages and let them have a look at the Iveco’s computer log.

We stopped for lunch near Linden then left the Great Western Highway at Leura and took the back road into Katoomba.  We stopped near Katoomba Falls, went for a walk and then decided to drive straight through the Blackheath and “veg” for the remainder of the afternoon.

We arrived at the caravan park around 2.30pm and only took a short period of time to setup.  The motorhome was placed on a concrete slab and required no levelling.  If fact, the levels were perfect in all directions.  It took about 6 seconds to align the satellite dish and for once, we had no issues with the approved remote channels (hopefully we will not have issues when we hit the road next month).

Our “veg” period consisted of a burbon and coke for “happy hour”, a travel DVD that covers the area we will be travelling to in Match and finally a bottle of wine prior to and during our evening meal.

The third drama of the day took place when we attempted to connect our BBQ to the outlet on the Winnebago.  “He” had looked at the connection previously and was sure if would simply join with the hose provided with the BBQ but this was not the case.  We had to revert to a small gas bottle to cook tea but the end result was wonderful steaks with an excellent salad.  We have started to use frozen onions pieces and now note that rings are better than the diced version!

During our evening meal, a rental motorhome stopped on the site adjacent to us.  We introduced ourselves to a couple from Belgium who are travelling the southern part of Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Alice springs, Port Augusta, Perth via the Nullarbor, Esperance and then back to Perth) until late March when they are due to depart home.  We spent a considerable amount of time discussing places they should visit and we also shared our experience on how to handle outback travel.

As the weather was cool, sleep was extremely easy and was only disturbed when the alarm went off at 7.30am on Sunday.  We had breakfast, secured the motorhome and were ready to leave at 9.00am.  We spent another half an hour speaking with our neighbours before departing .  The fourth drama of the weekend took place when we left.  Actually, we didn’t realise until we got home that we still had the key to the dump point in the van.  We had paid a $10 deposit so now we have to return the key and ask for the return of the deposit.  Returning of keys needs to be added to checklists!

We stopped in Penrith on the way back to Sydney and managed to obtain the correct adaptor for the BBQ.

With the exception of concern over the errors reported by the Iveco’s computer, we have a restful weekend and made new friends.  Overall consumption was 13.81 litres per 100k’s which confirms that 87kph is a good speed to travel at.

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