About Blue Snoopy

Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.



13 – 16 April 2012 – Wantabadgery NSW

As “He” has virtually run out of annual leave to take in multiples of weeks, “He” has been taking either single or half days annual leave as it accrues to allow us to continue with our weekend getaways.

As we have previously written, we have been attending CMCA Chapter Meetings of the Hilltops Rangers, a small group based in south western NSW with the majority of members residing in the Young, Temora area of the state. Whilst the distances we are travelling for weekends are a little further than we like, a departure on Friday, be it early in the morning or at lunchtime, has made the weekends easier and has actually given us a full Saturday away.  We are enjoying the meetings of the Chapter and have added a lot more people to our group of friends.

The April Chapter meeting was scheduled to be held at Wantabadgery, a location on the map between Gundagai and Wagga Wagga on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.  There was some doubt about the fitness of the location as this area of NSW was underwater in March following a massive down poor that flooded a large part of inland NSW.  It was that rain that caused Warragamba Dam to overflow for the first time in many years.  In the weeks prior to the meeting, the site had been checked and our meeting was to proceed as planned.

Wantabadgery is a little over 420k’s from our house and this is higher than the distance we would normally travel on a daily basis when we are on holidays.  Fortunately the majority of the trip would be on the Hume Highway and travelling at an average of around the 80k mark would see us complete the trip somewhere between 6 to 7 hours allowing for stops.

Following on from our mishap at Kiama when we almost lost our awning in a wind gust, we had made arrangements to visit Barnes Caravans, a Dometic agent located at Lansvale in south western Sydney.  Our observation of the awning had revealed damage to one of the rafters where it jointed the motorhome.  Our trip to Wantabadgery gave us the perfect opportunity to stop at Barnes Caravans for the repair and still be on the road by 9:00am for an arrival at our destination around 3:00pm in the afternoon.

We departed home just after 7:10am (10 minutes behind our intended departure time) but due to relatively light traffic (school holidays), our trip to Lansvale was relatively quick.  We managed to drive past Barnes Caravans and realised we had missed the turn when we arrived at Warwick Farm.  We eventually found Barnes Caravans and it was not long before one of the employees was looking at the awning.

It quickly became apparent that the damage was more than we anticipated but fortunately, very easy to fix.  Both of the rafters were shortened by about 3cm, redrilled and new rivets installed.  A minor adjustment was made to the rail that hold the awning and $100 later, we were on our way.

Our plan to arrive at our final destination included a stop of an hour to get the awning fixed and we had also allowed a good hour for stops for morning tea, lunch, fuel and afternoon tea before arriving at our destination.  It did not take us long to get back to the Hume Highway and we were soon heading south in light traffic with the trip computer confirming an average speed of just under 90k’s.  Our intended 3:00pm arrival would be achieved.

And that was when we saw the smoke!

Details relating to the cause of the smoke were adequate covered in one of the local newspaper that reported;

“A MAN escaped injury after his truck caught fire on the Hume Highway near Bargo on Friday morning.
Police said the truck became engulfed in flames after the driver stopped the vehicle in the south bound breakdown lane, just south of the Bargo exit, at about 9.30am.
Roads and Maritime Services personnel and police attended, while Rural Fire Service crews from Bargo, Yanderra and Alpine extinguished the blaze within 10 minutes of arriving on the scene.
The fire destroyed the truck’s cabin and the first of two trailers, which was carrying a load of sugar.
Camden police Inspector Fryer said one south bound lane was of the highway was closed to traffic for about 1.5 hours, until the truck was towed from the scene.
While traffic was constantly moving, vehicles were backed up for about 6km north of the scene.
Insp Fryer said the driver tested negative to blood alcohol.”
We were delayed for just short of 1 hour.  By the time we passed the truck, the fire had been extinguished and one lane was open.  Some of the delays were caused by vehicles who had tried to by-pass the incident but they did not realise that the road they used to return to the highway was actually 100 metres short of the incident.  Had they stayed on the highway, the traffic flow would have been far better.

We continued on to Suttons Forest where we stopped at Macca’s for coffee.  Now trying to make up time, we confined lunch to 15 minutes and had a short break when we refuelled.

Our fuel stop just before Gundagai was planned to ensure we arrived back in Sydney with a near empty fuel tank.  We had a 20 cents per litre Coles voucher and wanted to maximise the benefit.

We elected to follow the route on the GPS to Wantabadgery rather than the main road we noticed on a map.  For once the GPS was right as the main road was apparently windy and suffering from the recent rain.

We arrived at Wantabadgery just before 3:30pm.  We found our group and then decided to look for a flat spot to camp.  As fate would have it, we ended up staying where we first stopped.

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The camp site at Wantabadgery (Sandy Beach) was dry with only a short water crossing required to enter the sight.  There was evidence of the recent floods and we noticed evidence that the water had been just over 2 metres above the camp site.  The ground was exceptionally dusty as a result of the flood.

The weekend meeting was a joint gathering with members from the Wagga Wagga Wanders. We were also joined by members of the Highway Wanderers and also from the Wide Bay Wanderers (Maryborough QLD). (On Sunday, a count of 26 motor homes was taken – not bad for a chapter meeting).

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We had an extended happy hour before heading back to the motorhome for hamburgers and an early night to bed.  It had been a very long day.  Indication was that the temperature was dropping (8c was expected) so it would be a good night to sleep.

The weather on Saturday was overcast but warm.  Part of Saturday was spent playing disc bowls (“He” is now in love with the game) and we managed to beat the team from Wagga Wagga.

We enjoyed an excellent community campfire meal on Saturday night followed by a massive choice of sweet dishes.  We returned to the motorhome around 9:00pm and then spent time reading.

Sunday was a magnificent autumn day with a clear sky and a mild temperature.  For breakfast we feasted on bacon, eggs, sausages and hash browns before attending a club meeting.

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After saying our “goodbyes” we were on the road heading north just before 10:30am and arrived home just before 4:30pm.  That included a stop for lunch, a visit to a caravan park at Goulburn to dump our toilet and a stop at Concord to refuel.

Fuel consumption was around the 14 litres per 100k’s makr for the entire trip so we were happy with that result.  We were lucky that the trip south on Friday was assisted by a very gentle tail wind whilst Sunday it was dead still.  We actually arrived back in Sydney with more fuel than we had planned but cannot be disappointed as the consumption was less than anticipated.

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