Ken and Sheena - Living the Dream! travel blog

Not a good day! Everything was packed up and Ken was backing the car up to hitch up the van. I told him to stop a moment as I could see the van needed to be raised slightly to allow the tow ball to slide underneath so I started winding the jockey wheel up when - CRASH - the jockey wheel slipped out of its bracket and the caravan bar fell to the ground. Not good! We looked on in horror thinking 'OK now what do we do'. We thought about putting the caravan jack under the bar to raise it but it wouldn't fit so Ken then suggested the car jack which is lower. After having just packed the car all up we now had to unpack the boot so we could get the spare wheel out and then the jack. Ken put it under the bar and, yay, it worked, up went the van again so we could refit the jockey wheel. Before doing so though Ken asked me to go inside the van to get a black marker to mark the bump on the jockey wheel so that we could see it more clearly when fitting it to the bar and thus prevent it from slipping again. I stepped in the van and - CRASH - it happened again, this time trapping the car jack underneath! Not good! Shaking our heads in disbelief we then decided to go and ask the park owner if he had a jack we could borrow to try again. The owner came over and a moment later 2 of his workers also turned up and - can you believe it - they picked up the front of the van and placed it straight onto the tow ball of the car. We were both flabergasted that they were able to lift all that weight but very relieved the van was now safely on the car. With nerves very raw Ken then had to run the gauntlet of getting safely out of Melbourne - not an easy feat at any time given we do not know the roads but even harder with a van. We were very relieved to finally arrive safely in Bendigo but when we went to park up in the caravan park the site had a big drain running the length of the roadway and quite a pronounced tamber in the road. This meant that the back of the car was quite low and when we went to take the sway bars off one of them jambed into the ground and we couldn't get it off. Shaking our heads in disbelief yet again we tried a couple of things but none of them worked. Ken then suggested the car jack again this time to take the tension off the sway bar enough for us to be able to release the chain which would then release the bar. So out comes all the stuff from the boot again! It worked but by this time I am totally spooked and worried that the jockey wheel was going to slip again so insisted that we also put the caravan jack underneath as well as the jockey wheel as an added support. I have not liked that jockey wheel from the moment we bought it so I have decided this is all happening as a sign that we need to get a new one. The fact that there is a Jayco supplier just down the road only adds to my feeling so tomorrow we will go buy a new one. I would not like to get stuck on the Nullabour with a faulty jockey wheel!

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