AWOL Around Australia… An enforced break.

So we’ve just spent exactly a month at home. Whilst we waited on various specialist medical appointments to find out what was wrong the the co-pilot. Anyway, all seems to be sorted now, she responded well to the medication that was prescribed.

We always intended to be come home for a bit, I had kind of planned for it to be in February, normally the hottest month. However, obviously events overtook us, and as it happens it might be fortuitous timing. As during that time we have had some record breaking hot weather, not really much fun camping when it’s 45 degrees plus… What weather will February bring? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. (In fact now I come to think of it we originally planned to be in Tasmania for January, and they’ve had shocking bushfires. So maybe this was the right month to be home after all…)

Despite keeping up with the maintenance of the Land Cruiser whilst on the road I took advantage of the time here to do as much preventative maintenance as possible:

Transfer case fluid change.

After ‘only’ 40k km, the oil is basically clear when new. I’ve noticed Penrite oils come out really black after the first few changes, I’m presuming this is a good thing!

Auto gearbox fluid drain and refill – this only changes about 1/3 of the fluid, as opposed to a full flush. We did a full flush a while ago and the fluid was still nice and pink. I think I’ll just do one of these drain/refill changes in line with engine oil changes till we come back.

Power steering fluid change.

Exhaust leak – a witness mark on the manifold exhaust shield led me to this substantial crack around the flanges of one of the downpipes. So The Captain welded it back up for me.


Another victim of the Red Centre roads was this inner guard shield, the alternator sits on the other side so I was keen to get something in there (a new one is ex-Japan and at least a month away).

Not pretty, but should work ok.

New auxiliary drive belts – this model Toyota runs two single belts for the main drive belt, why? Because Land Cruiser. Check the idler pulley for wear. Old belts go into the spares box.


I also took the time to research and invest in a sat phone. As we are now heading west and then north, this will just give us another avenue for communication if required. Whereas before we just had the PLB.

A new set of KO2’s. The previous ones are only about half worn, which is when they start to suffer off road in terms of traction and puncture resistance. Still fine as road tyres, on the other set of wheels.

We also gave the OzTent a bit of maintenance. Both awning corners were looking a bit average. So one got resown and the other reinforced and a new eyelet put in.

So we did a quick ‘shakedown’ trip to Yorke Peninsula for a couple of nights. Yorke’s is not the greatest destination for 4×4 touring, more of a ‘tinny’ destination. However it served the purpose of checking all was well with the truck and our gear.


Still, it has its moments.


So we’re ready to hit the road again. Intending to head west, first we have to drive to Brisbane to pick up a new (old) dog. So we’ll just meander back from there. Cheers.


2 thoughts on “AWOL Around Australia… An enforced break.

  1. Something about these posts make me miss home. Not sure if it’s because you are traveling with a comfort level that I also have in the US/Baja or what, but good stuff.
    Lots of maint, but thankfully nothing too serious. Weird about the oil turning black maybe. Last times I drianed the diff/case fluid it still looked a lot like the amber color it went in as, but like you said maybe that oil is cleaning up stuff.

    1. Yeah I’m pretty happy with our set up. A few years on fine tuning have definitely paid off. We seem to be pretty much as comfortable as most other comparable solutions, just ours all fits inside.

      Nice name change by the way…

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