I am on the mend, I think. Still coughing a bit and I get out of breath quite easily but at least I have been able to get some more things done with the help of Lesley and my youngest daughter Heather and her boyfriend Lyle.
The week I was out of hospital I managed to persuade Lesley that even though I was still sick, I could still drive. So we went shopping for a few things.
One of them was a small pop-up tent. The one we wanted was the Oztent Malamoo Xtra and is only stocked by 4×4 Mega World. They had been out of stock for a while and had only got some into the country at the end of November. After a lot of research I found that these ones offer the largest inside space. Or so I thought. It is advertised as 300 cm, but that is the overall length. The inside length is a little less than 200 cm which only just fits our blow-up double mattress, and my feet hang over the edge of the mattress when I lay straight. But we should be okay though Lesley has her doubts. What I like about this tent is you just take it out of the bag and throw it into the air and when it lands it is practically open. You can peg it down if you want and there are some guy ropes if you need them. I was a bit worried about packing it up again but we followed the instructions and had it folded and packed away in less than a minute. Now that I like.
Another thing we picked up was a new dual battery. I opted for a Delco one this time. I had got a good deal on the new Varta cranking battery for the Colt from Current Automation so I went back to them for the second battery. I also got some bits and pieces that I needed to move the second battery into the engine bay.
This past week I have been on leave so I have managed to get some more done now that I am feeling better. First thing was the battery move. The vehicle battery has now been moved to next to the firewall and the second battery is now in it’s place. Everything was a tight fit and some things had to be moved. Somebody on the 4×4 community forum had documented his move quite thoroughly with a lot of photos so I had a good reference. The only thing I had to do is build a bracket to hold the crank battery. Buying one was too expensive and it was easy to weld one up with the scraps I had lying around. This is now almost complete (just need to tie it up neatly) and I am really happy with how it turned out.
The next thing we had to do was turn the roof top tent around. The reason for this is that the snorkel fits on the driver’s side of the car and will come up next to the roof rack. Therefore the awning needed to be mounted on the passenger side of the roof rack. Only problem was the roof top tent opens on that side of the car, hence the change. This is where the family came in. Within a hour and a half we had taken the tent off, drilled new holes and mounted it again, plus we managed to mount the Eezi-awn awning to the roof rack as well. A job well done. Thanks, guys and girls.
I forgot to mention I found another roof rack on Gumtree which is now mounted on the Colt. It is slightly longer and fits the brackets correctly and it has a high surround so that I could drill straight into the roof rack to mount the awning. As the awning is two and a half metres long the extra length of the roof rack helps with the support of the awning. The awning does not touch and is not connected in any way to the canopy.
I am picking up the snorkel tomorrow so there will be more work to be done. Hopefully that will be the end of the major stuff. I now need to sort out and change the mounting of the jerry can holder. With putting on the new roof rack and moving the tent further backwards when we rotated it the holder now is too close to the tent so I have to move it forwards.
Also after much deliberation about how much fuel to carry I have decided to supplement the two 20 litre jerry cans with a plastic 25 litre can. That will give us a total of 160 litres which with a conservative consumption of 7 km/litre should give us at least 1120 km range. We feel that this is adequate for the few times we might have to stretch our fuel stops. I need to now devise a bracket for this new can so that it is secure from theft of itself and fuel.