#1 30-09-2016 10:59:06

From: basecamp
Registered: 29-04-2016
Posts: 53

Outback odyssey

Getting to the Kimberley and Pilbara was on our wish list for some years and the rigours of outback travel a key reason for choosing a Pioneer CT.

This winter we got there.

It involved nine weeks and 17,000 kms including about 2,500 kms of dirt.  We did the Tanami and the Newhaven road off it, the Gibb and several roads off it.  The corrugations on the Mitchell Plateau and Kalumburu tracks were something else. The Argyle SE was well and truly up to the job.  The wheel arches literally got sandblasted from the front and one rivet popped inside.  Those were the only problems - apart that is from deficient battery charging.

Over a number of trips we were finding that even driving days at a time the two AGMs didn't get a proper charge - despite having the circuit from the alternator professionally fitted with it delivering 19 amps at the hitch Anderson and 13.7 v at the batteries.  I gave the Alice Springs auto sparky a blank cheque to diagnose and fix it.  The batteries were fine.  His judgement was that the Redarc smart isolator changes the current wave form inhibiting a proper charge.  Installing a DC-DC charger fixed the problem.

Our most challenging time came when trying to make Newhaven wildlife refuge in the Tanami during and after rain.  It's about 400 kms from Alice.  The closer we got the longer and deeper the ponds in the road were to the point where we were risking getting stuck in one.  So we barrelled out and up the bank with a view to sitting out the weather.   We got stuck anyway but at least it was out of the water. Two days later we were able to return to Alice to fix the waterlogged tug brakes.

At Exmouth I got the Argyle's wheel bearings regreased.  There'd been no water effects.

I forgot to fit the rear window protector on the tug and it turned out the the downward slanted rhino-coated front of the CT did what it was designed to.

Once back I ordered a couple of the stainless steel wheel arch protectors which I'm yet to fit.







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