I met a really nice guy called Shane this morning. He works as a tow truck operator. I know what you are thinking - 'Oh dear Dominic's smashed Peter and Vini's jeep.'
But no. It wasn't that.
We arrived last night after closing time at the Caravan Park in Ashgrove, Brisbane. We are parked at site six. I disconnected the campervan and then turned the jeep around to give us headlights to set up the campervan. When I went to pull the jeep in beside the campervan the jeep had no grunt, couldn't get up the minor slope. A light was on on the indicator panel saying 'Check gauges.' A check revealed no oil pressure. I rang the NRMA/RACQ. The bloke came out - a nice guy who explained that the oil was not getting to the engine.
If I had been driving on the freeway at 100km/h with no oil then the engines bearings would have been torn out. Fortunately the oil pressure had only just died - what are the chances of that! Miraculous I think!
Anyway the RACQ guy advised going to a garage, getting an oil pressure check. And not driving to the garage but getting towed.
This morning I booked us in to Ashgrove Car Care, called the RACQ again for a two. The reciprocal arrangement with the NRMA means all this attention is free.
We were able to drive the 4WD onto the back of a big tow truck driven by a nice guy called Shane. He had just finished a week and a half of two truck driving training. And we were his first job on his own.
He drove Abraham and me up to the Car Care place where we checked in.
As we were working out how to get back to the caravan park - a service guy approached us - he was just checking under the bonnet and the back up fan had snapped off the engine (He had never seen this before). It apparently had only just happened as well - but what a relief to discover this just before we drove around the desert.
Why could I drive onto the back of the truck when there was a problem with the oil pressure? It is intermittent problem that needs to be fixed before it reoccurs and would be a big problem even if it happend in the few km's drive to the garage - but it was safe to drive onto the back of the tow truck.
And just so you don't think it's all roses. When Abraham and I got back to the campervan Cathie was in tears. She had just been involved with two unpleasant altercations with the mid twenties caravan park manager. I was the culprit. My sins were:
1. I should have checked with the office before allowing the tow truck into the caravan park.
2. I had inadvertently parked the campervan on the grass instead of on the concrete.
Poor Cathie had to bear the young manager's displeasure on both counts as I was dealing with the tow truck when my offences were uncovered.
The manager told Cath that 'Anyone with any common sense would know that you park on the concrete and live on the grass.'
My defence? 'Well yes. Except that is not the way it was at any of the parks we have been so far. And in fact we are now experts on parking campervans in all sorts of different caravan parks. In most of the other ones we have been to the campsite is either all grass (and it's park anywhere on the grass) or a mixture of cement and grass (and you put the caravan on the grass and put the annex (which we don't have) on the cement. And this is the first caravan park we have been to where you park on the cement and have grass beside you.' (But it is Queensland!)
Gold Coast Caravan Park
The caravan park manager wanted Cathie to move our campervan. Cathie stalled him till I came back. As it turned out the campervan's wheel lock was on and the now famous stabliser legs were downand the stabliser winder is in the jeep (which is at the repairers) - so he wouldn't have been able to do it. I've been in to the office and apologised and told them that 'I am happy to move the caravan if they drive me down to the repair shop to pick up the stabiliser winder.' So that should slow them down a bit :)