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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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11 November 2010 – Sydney to Albury

Last year we went to the Winnebago RV Club Victorian Christmas Party due to family and work commitments not allowing us to attend the NSW Christmas Party (was held near Coffs Harbour). As fate would have it, the same applies this year as we are due to attend a wedding on the Gold Coast on the weekend of the NSW party.

In 2009, we ran into very high temperatures during our visit to Victoria for the Christmas Party and at the time, we had discussed NOT going back in that direction in November as we both hate the heat. Nevertheless, with our inability to attend the NSW Christmas Party, the decision to head south was very easy to make.

Over recent times, the eastern side of Australia has received rainfall and this has resulted in NSW now being totally drought free. Sydney has already received its November quota of rainfall in the first two weeks of the month.

We have been very conscious of the weather forecast for the Nagambie Victoria region hoping that the temperatures we experienced last year would not be repeated. We discovered early in the week prior to our intended departure that moderate temperatures (approaching 30c) were forecast for the Nagambie region for the time of our visit but what was of concern was the forecast of storms and 150 to 200mm of rainfall over the weekend from a front that was slowing moving across Australia. We actually had a discussion on Tuesday (9 Nov) about forfeiting our attendance payment when considering the cost of fuel to travel to and from the event if the weather was “as predicted”. However, the ability to “get away” far exceeded any concerns about the weather so the discussion about not going was of a very short duration.

We had prepared Blue Snoopy for the trip on the previous weekend (between rain showers in Sydney) and with the exception of checking the tyres and filling the water tank, the motor home was ready to go. On Tuesday night, “He” checked the tyres only to find that a rear outer tyre (drivers side) was flat and the rear inner tyres could not be checked as neither of our NEW metal valve extenders would couple with the air pump.

“He” was booked for a minor medical procedure on Wednesday and after the procedure was completed and the effects of the procedure had passed, Blue Snoopy was taken to a truck tyre specialist where the rear flat was repaired (a small nail was removed) and the value extenders were fitted correctly.

Our plan was to depart Sydney at 7:00am to try to avoid “peak hour” however, it became obvious that we had further tyres issues with another rear tyre (on the opposite side to the previous flat) appearing to be under inflated.

So, instead of heading to the freeway for our trip south, we found ourselves back at Silverwater for another visit with the truck tyre specialist (Bridgestone on Silverwater Road). Fortunately they were open when we arrived and were able to look at our problem. We were informed that there was not a problem with the rear outer tyre but the rear inner was flat. What we had seen when leaving our drive was the effect of all the rear weight sitting on a single tyre. The tyre specialist concluded that the problem with the inner was caused by the valve extender so we made a quick decision to remove both of the valve extenders.

We were finally on our way south by 9:00am almost two hours behind our intended departure time.

Fortunately we had missed the majority of the peak hour traffic and we were soon travelling south in ideal driving conditions (relatively cool and no wind). Rather than face issues with low fuel as we approached Albury (as was the case last year), we stopped for lunch at Goulburn and refuelled at the same time.

There was very little traffic heading south and the only disruptions were at several places where roadwork was being undertaken. All that was required was a reduction in speed at each roadwork site.

There was evidence of recent flooding in several areas we passed through and Lake Hume was visible on the left as we approached Albury. It has been a long time since we have seen this amount of water. We arrived at Albury at 4:15pm and headed to the Albury Motor Village Tourist Park (Top Tourist Parks).

This was the third time that we have stayed at this small park and we were allocated our “usual” site. Whilst this park is small, we find it perfect to stay at when travelling to Victoria.

After doing our normal setup (and connection to mains pressure water), we decided to extend and clean our awning as we cannot do that at home. As expected, the recent rain in Sydney combined with the dirt from the Opal Safari had resulted in the awning requiring some major attention. We spent about 20 minutes cleaning the awning before “he” noticed water dripping from the area adjacent to the entry step into the motor home. A quick inspection confirmed that the water was coming from inside the motor home and further investigation revealed that water was dripping from the cold water inlet on the tap on our sink. There was a fair amount of water inside the cupboard and on both shelves. We made a quick call to the local Winnebago dealer and made arrangements to see them at 8:30am on the following morning. They had indicated we would be the first customer they would deal with.

The inability to use water was not a problem as the caravan park had a camp kitchen and nice showers.

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