Monday 23rd - to Mitchell Falls Campground - the rooftent mishap

Wild Carol does Australia
John and Fiona Fraser
Mon 23 Jul 2018 14:00
We arrived at the campground around 14:30 and started to set up camp. We pulled over the rooftent as normal and, certainly not as normal, the left side of the tent lifted off the roof rack with a screech of bolts against metal. On inspection we found that the tent was now only fastened to the rack by about 2 threads of one bolt! The other 3 nuts had been rattled off and we were lucky the whole thing hadn’t fallen off along the road. What to do? We had a decent toolkit that I’d bought in Perth (but no drill...) but no spares of any kind. I tried fellow campers but failed to come up with suitable bolts. The problem was that the nuts were supposed to be captive in a rail on the roof rack but the whole setup was really not fit-for-purpose. No locking nuts for example.

In this remotest of campsites I tried the nearby heliport (by nearby I mean 100m) to see if they could help. There was a very nice German girl there who kindly called on the radio to the ranger camp (‘they usually help’) and 30 minutes later a fellow who looked exactly like kiosk Keith from ‘I’m a Celebrity’ showed up in a 4x6 buggy.

I explained the problem and with a ‘I’ll see if I can find some bolts’ he was off.

Another 30 minutes and he was back with a selection of bolts, nuts and washers, non of which would do the job without drilling some new holes in the floor of the tent and in the roof rack. So of he went again and returned with a drill which he lent to me saying he’d be back to get it after he’d cleaned the toilets.

By this point Fiona was a little agitated as it was fast approaching dusk and nothing upsets her more than when her bed is not right!

Anyway, we managed to get 2 bolts in which was enough to stop us falling off the roof in the middle of the night. The rest could wait until next day.......

(After our walk to the Falls)