Dramas in Tank
This is mostly the factual stuff – possibly more interesting to men! For the juicy “he said, she said” stuff, skip to the last paragraph!
Tank is a Toyota Coaster, 2004, 4.1l, 6 speed turbo diesel. It had 187k km on the clock when we bought it 18 months ago.
Let’s divide this report into four sections: Mechanical; Electrical, Peripheral, and; Juicy. Peripheral is all the bits that go together to make Tank liveable, like home. For example TV, fridge, hot water, shower etc.
Ten out of ten – so far. Hasn’t missed a beat. Tank had been amazing. Serviced it a couple of weeks ago and got a clean bill of health. Big tick.
A number of dramas here. Had the electrics checked before we left, a new bus battery put in and a globe at the rear replaced. Long story short, wrong voltage globe put in – all others were also replaced in that assembly (four) with wrong voltage. Result, no lights at night on one side at the rear. To get to that rear light assembly, I needed to take the mattress off the bed and disassemble part of the bed. Not a 2 minute task. We got that fixed.
A month into our trip, we found that the fridge was not working on 12v and the bus batteries were running down and never charging. We have both solar panels and a battery charger when connected to mains. Didn’t make sense. Called in another auto electrician. One bus battery dead. Battery charger dead. Lead from solar panels not connected to batteries – no wonder they weren’t charging! We thought that this also explained why the fridge didn’t work at 12v – it didn’t. 6 out of 10. All problems of human error.
The fridge did not appear to work on 12v, although fine on 240v. This was not easy to see as we did not free camp much and our times of driving were not overly long (the only time we had the fridge on 12v). Mostly we are on powered sites.
Another auto electrician appointment! A couple of hundred dollars later, fridge working on both 12v and 240v – yeah! Two weeks later it had stopped working on both 12v and 240v. Nooo! Had to buy a new fridge (more expensive than our fridge at home) and, of course, another auto electrician appointment. I’m thinking of training as an auto electrician – only 3 1/2 years apprenticeship. 🤔
The TV has only worked streaming the phone to it. Couldn’t get any channels when I tried, the once. 😉 The shower only has cold water when free camping. No surprises that the shower is used only as a storage cupboard and porta potty recess.
The 3 way microwave whirrs uncontrollably at times – even when not being used. Fix, turn it off at the mains when not in use.
We have 2 air conditioning units in Tank. One 24v (yes, Tank has 24v, 12v and 240v – are you confused yet?) and one 240v. Neither of them are great. It has got hotter than 45°c inside. Not fun.
Everything else works pretty well. I know that I have mostly focused on the things that haven’t worked well. The water system has been good, bed is good, driver’s and passenger seats are comfortable and we have heaps of storage space. Solar panels and bus batteries (when getting charged) have been good. And we’re are gradually getting used to living in a space about the size of my brother’s en suite! Score: 5 out of 10 – scrape through pass. Jeannie initially gave this a 4 but when I laughed, she upped it to 5!
Now to the juicy bit! I’ve always wanted to get to at least half way up Queensland. Jeannie has said she’s not sure she could travel in Tank for 6 months. Must be the company she keeps! Huston, we have a problem. But we resolved to keep talking about it and see how we go. And we’re still doing that. And by the grace of God we will.
Until next time…