It was always an ambitious plan: heading off on a four-week trip with a brand new camper trailer and no dry run to test it all out. The first night and following morning left us wondering if it was such a good idea.
Southern Cross was our first quick overnight stop. Having rained the whole way we knew it would not be fun setting up at dusk in the rain. This was complicated by the fact that Mr Jayco had not only got the bed flys (awning style covers that sit over the slide out bed-ends, for those who don’t know the terminology) on the wrong ends, but had also provided one bed fly that was way too small… Fortunately it was for the rear bed – but finding this out in the rain and dark on Night 1, wasn’t such a great start.
Despite all this we slept well with rain most of the night. And then for the next problem – this time more serious. As we started to pack up in the morning, The (poor) Dog touched his nose to the step into the camper and yelped in fear. We couldn’t work out the problem and he wouldn’t go near it again. Hesitantly, The Driver removes his shoes, stands outside and touches the step. ZAP! Yep, the steps and entire camper chassis are all live – clearly an electrical problem that cannot be dismissed.
Fast forward four hours, add one very helpful local electrician (the only one in Southern Cross) who spent an hour unsuccessfully trying to locate the problem, multiple phone calls to Jayco and some deep deliberation. The options were to drive back to Perth to Jayco and leave the camper with them to fix (not an option) or press on using only 12 volt and gas and wait until we get back home to have Jayco fix the problem properly.
We have chosen Option Two. With a three-way fridge that runs from the car battery in transit and on gas while camped, we are confident we can make do without power for a month.
A few other minor teething problems with the Jayco but nothing show-stopping. And so we continue…