Wow, we’ve just passed 6 weeks of living in a motorhome! Yes, it definitely feels like home now! I didn’t really realise this till we spent those two nights in a room at Kings Canyon – it felt ‘normal’ to be back in the motorhome the next night.
It is still a small area for a whole family to be living, and that is most obvious when it comes to the two boys. Going to bed is the main issue – they talk, argue, carry on and complain for ages. Especially Daniel, who complains about any noise Jonathan makes – anything from talking, sniffing to just plain breathing…. Daniel used to get more sleep than Jonathan, so he is probably still getting used to living with a little less sleep than previously. One thing I should do is rig up a curtain just in front of their bed (the rear one), so that if Nicole or I have any lights on it doesn’t affect them as much (our bed has a curtain to close it off). But generally they are pretty good, and we all get along fine.
Practically, everything has been going well (aside from that split turbo hose). Fridge, food, water supplies, toilet, diesel – all seem to be settled down into a routine and working fine. The motorhome still desperately needs a wash, with MacDonnell range mud still splashed onto it! We’ve packed all the cold weather gear away – blankets, jumpers etc – jammed into the seats below the mid table. Hopefully we won’t need them again!
I haven’t done any fuel consumption calculations since we left, so will have to do that soon. Actually I’ll leave that for Jonathan – sounds like a good project for learning to use Excel! I suspect fuel consumption is higher than the 13.5L/100km obtained in practise trips, as I tend to sit on around 105km/hr on the open hwy (vs 95-100 km/hr previously).
Seems that highways in the NT generally have higher speed limits – usually 130km/hr (most common), open (no speed limit) and then some at 110km/hr. Though I don’t really get to take advantage of them, the higher speed limits seem to work fine. Everyone is pretty cautious overtaking – pretty natural I guess when another vehicle could be coming towards you at 200km/hr! Most drivers seem more relaxed anyway though, so see no need to take risks. Trucks and motorhomes/caravans make up most of the traffic. Oh, and by the way the top speed of the motorhome is around 135km/hr! It is still perfectly safe, stable and easy to drive at that speed, just runs out of engine grunt!
Mobile network coverage is poorer in the NT, especially Optus. The occasional small town along the Stuart highway has Telstra, but most of the time there is nothing. Can drive well over 100km’s on the Stuart Hwy without Telstra or Optus. Only the big towns in the NT (eg. Katherine, Alice Springs etc) seem to have optus. Fortunately we can get internet via either (thanks to the tablet with Telstra sim), and use VOIP to make calls from either. Can only receive calls to our mobile numbers, and receive text messages, via Optus though. Not sure why you can’t check for text messages via the online login (should be easy nowadays), but no, can’t do it…
Lack of 4wd capability has been a small inconvenience to date, but is becoming more relevant now in Kakadu – can’t get to many of the nice falls/places that you see pictured in postcards. I suspect this will continue through the top end in WA also. We’ll have to pick a place to hire a 4WD and go exploring!
So we’ve got around 8,600km’s under the belt, and are at Kakadu NP. Headed in from the south via Kakadu Hwy, then will head out towards Darwin via Arnhem Hwy. Then it will be on to Darwin where a replacement Kogan Inverter should be awaiting, and I’ll get the motorhome serviced. Then we’ll visit Litchfield NP, before turning south to Katherine again in order to head west into WA!