We decided to have a week on the west coast of Tasmania with our friends Ros and Ike in our caravans. Had a great camp for our first night at Bradys Lake. No facilities but no charge either. Could have stayed there for several days but owing to only having a week we moved on to Ocean Beach, just out of Strahan. Good campsite. It was then on to Corinna.
The ferry across the Pieman River can take a maximum nine metres front to rear wheels, luckily our car and van just fitted. Next morning we went for a cruise on the Pieman River. Absolutely fantastic four and a half hours. The boat is a piece of history being constructed of huon pine before WW11 and saw service in that war, she is now a very comfortable river cruiser. We then decided to leave Corinna and make camp closer to Arthur River that night. About five kilometres north of Corinna a loud noise came from behind the car. Vicki got to have a look. When she didn’t come back after a couple of minutes I called to her. She came back and said in a strained voice “the back of the car has fallen off”.
We disconnected the van and using some ratchet straps Ike had we lifted the towbar clear off the ground so the car was drivable. Ike and Ros took their van back to Corinna with Ike returning in his ute to help. Because we have a Treg hitch on the van it was not simply a matter of hooking up our van to his car. Whilst we were endeavouring to do this some staff from Corinna Lodge came by. They were fantastic, going back to Corinna to get a ute so that my Treg hitch could be fitted to it. They then towed the van back to Corinna. Absolutely brilliant help!
So we had a car that was drivable, but only just and a caravan we couldn’t tow. Once again Corinna staff came to our aid giving me use of their satellite phone, the only means of communications available in the area. My nephew who lives on the west coast turned up the next morning and towed the van back to his place. Vicki, very carefully, also drove our car to his place. At last all was secure. Thank heavens for Sam, and this isn’t the first time he has got us out of trouble.
This is what the left hand chassis member looked like after we had stripped the tow bar and rear bumper. The right chassis member was similar. It was obvious this was not a sudden failure, some of the cracking was rusted and looked years old. We left the caravan in Sam’s yard and brought the car home to be fixed.
Insurance did not cover the damage as the assessor called it a structural failure which is not covered. The chap I took the car to for repair said he had been in the car repair business for 27 years and had never seen anything like it. Anyway he did a great job fixing it and with the reinforcements he has added it is now much stronger than the original.
I have written to Nissan with some photos of the damage but don’t really expect any sort of response from then. Now however I don’t have much faith in Nissan vehicles!