So… While Chelle and the kids spent the last few days unwinding after the long days on the road and exploring Adelaide, Blu and I had some unfinished business. Despite the long days preparing in the lead-up to leaving, there were some things I hadn’t had time to complete, as well as some “shake-down” niggles that had become apparent during the initial stint on the road.
The first order of business was returning a snorkel that had come from Adelaide and didn’t fit due to minor year model differences, so on Thursday it was off to the other side of an unknown city to 4wd Systems. These guys have been amazing and provided my front diff locker as well, so it was good to finally meet them in person! While there, we started discussing Big Blu and I mentioned that, despite the GVM upgrade, he was riding low and soft in the back due to the position of the bikes hanging off the rear (Prior to leaving we had lowered the front down to compensate). They suggested a couple of extra leafs in the rear springs to compensate. Due to the short stay in Adelaide and the list of things I had to get through, they even re-shuffled their day to fit me in immediately and gave me a loan ute to run the rest of my errands for the afternoon!
With the keys to Big Blue handed over, I headed off driving an unfamiliar vehicle in a strange city. We made it to pick up my new water tank without drama. I had ordered the tank from ARB in Elizabeth several months ago after much searching for the shape I wanted. However, shipping was too expensive and I knew Adelaide was an early stop on the trip so I decided to fit the tank here. It was then off to Jaycar and Bunnings for the electrical and plumbing components I needed for the project, before picking up Big Blu (Who had grown 35mm taller in 4hrs…glad the kids don’t grow quite that fast!) and heading home for the night.
Although my boss had organised a friend of his workshop to be available for me if I needed it, my Uncle John was keen to help and had his own garage workshop, with a seemingly endless variety of tools and bits and pieces! So Thursday night we unpacked everything out of Big Blu and completely stripped his canopy so we could begin work the next day.
For the next 2 days, Uncle John and I planned and worked on Big Blu, then drove to pick up parts, worked some more, went back for more parts…and so on. I am so grateful for his help, input and patience as we worked through problems and solutions on the fly. It would have taken me far longer and the final product would not have been as finessed without him. Thank you Uncle John!
The end result of the plumbing means that we can have 10L/minute running water off the tank and pump (which switches itself on and off with the Tap) or bypass the tank and pump and run off mains water when it is available. The tank is also filled from the mains inlet, and the mains inlet acts as an external tap when it is not connected to anything…See the diagram below if you are interested in the finer details…feel free to skip it if you are not :p
After 2 long days, the end result works better than I could have hoped and fits the space in the tray perfectly.
We also installed the rear-view camera (Wired up permanently, not just for reversing due to the canopy blocking all rear view), some extra 12v & USB sockets in the cab and the kitchen , replaced the worn out LED strip in the Canopy and added a new one over the kitchen…Big Blu is finally at the point I have been working towards for the last 4 years!
I wearily went to bed at 2am on Sunday (Uncle John had retired a few hours earlier) with the knowledge that all the major projects on Big Blu are finished and I can relax and just enjoy family time for the rest of the trip.