Shakedown trip in The Hilton #1309
#1
The Shakedown Trip
Hi everyone, 
We thought we would share our first adventure in "The Hilton" which occurred in late January. 

In our 4 day old Hilux SR5 Extra Cab with 3450kg upgrade and BP51 adjustable shockers we ferried over to Melbourne and collected 'The Hilton' from Kellie at Melbourne Campers. Then followed our successful shakedown circuit over the Victorian Alps, south to north, and back to Hobart. Here is our story, with pictures. 

(Collecting The Hilton)     
       

Our first setup was at Golden Beach, on the coast near Bairnsdale, Gippsland where we free camped in the dunes for a couple of nights. Ideal spot to not embarrass ourselves.  A big thank you to Kellie for correcting our set up procedures. We now correctly use the guide ropes, right way up!
(our first setup)     

Then we were off, traversing the Alpine Way. Beautiful country and the Hilux loved the load. We free camped at Hinnemunjie Bridge campground near Omeo. Free, flat, grassy and only 2 other campers in 1km of riverbank. Campfire, swimming, fish jumping. It was lovely. Drop toilet there also. 
(Hinnemunjie Bridge)         

The next day we drove over Mt. Hotham and down the other side. The weather change from temperate coastal sea breeze to tropical humid was dramatic. Bright was sweltering and over-populated so we pushed on to Beechworth. 2 nights at the Lake Sambell Caravan Park was, more than, very nice. We camped unpowered amongst the pines and beside the creek. The advantage of being off-grid was starkly in our favour. We were on shaded, elevated, flat land beside the creek with a cooling breeze flowing. Down on the flat on the powered sites were the plebs in their Winnebago's and Jayco's, parked up like fleas on a dogs back. There was no air movement or shade for them and it was stifling. We got the better end of the stick and our solar panel worked, even under the trees.
This was our spot at Beechworth    

King Valley (a regular favourite destination for us) was next. We free camped at Edi Cutting and deployed the rig free standing for the first time, so that we could have the freedom to explore and go off wine tasting. It was quite strange but pleasurable while camped at that site to have people pull up and ask about our rig and setup. This now seems a regular thing.

While camped at Edi quite a few storms came through. On our first evening a tree came down in the forest near us, with a huge thump - makes us mindful of what we park beneath. We wallowed and cooled down in the river beside us and on another day swam properly at McCormick's Hole further upstream at Cheshunt. Wine tasting at Pizzini and Dalzotto were excellent, as always. The coffee and antipasta at Pizzini were a lifeline out of Covid depression. On our third day a huge storm came through, 4 trees came down, bringing power lines down and blocking the road in. Our fuel tank was almost on empty and the petrol station couldn't pump (no electricity) so we were stranded. Not wanting to get our canvas wet, as we knew we were going to have it closed up for the following 3 or more days, we did the unthinkable and stayed the night in a cabin in Whitfield. The power came back on at 3am and in the morning we were able to refuel and head over the hills to Mansfield and then Melbourne. 
If you ever come into the King Valley we highly recommend detouring to Powers Lookout. It was a rocky bushranger hideout, high in the hills overlooking Cheshunt Valley. it is remarkable. 
(Powers Lookout - photo doesn't do it justice)    

The Langham got a hit up for a few nights and then we ferried home to Hobart. A nice shakedown trip.

Particular things of note for us are:

The pride we feel when people take note of our Trayon.
The mattress with Froli is super comfortable. Froli slides around a bit so we might secure it at tie points as others have suggested.
Need for us to fit extra ties to the fly - stop the fluttering.
Incredibly good fuel economy of the new Hilux with the Trayon loaded. We are averaging 10.3 - 10.6 L/100km laden. I don't know how this compares with other Trayoneers rigs but we are impressed.
I have now fitted a red gel filter to the exterior light on the Trayon - reduces attraction of bugs to the door area of the Trayon.  The gel is leftover from our Dark Mofo shop decorations we do every year. It was simple to cut out a round, flick out the light cover and insert.    

Cheers, Kim and Cheryl
Tassie2
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#2
Great write up #1309.

The King Valley is one of our favourites being winos. Not overcrowded. Not towing and energy independence is certainly a virtue.
The new flys have eyelets for extra tie downs. If not, use 'search' to find topics on 'flapping'.
The mileage sounds very good assuming you calculate actual fuel used and kms travelled rather than vehicle's trip meter. We get around 12/100 in auto Ranger 3.2L.
See you on the road.

Cheers, Chrisso.
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#3
Crikey Chrisso,
Do you have an alarm on your computer alerting you to when there is a post up?
Yeah, we are super happy with the fuel economy and as our rig is new, we can secure additional tie downs.
Cheers Kim
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#4
In a few days I will do a post about our 2nd trip in "The Hilton" - Tassie West Coast where we crossed tracks with another 4 Trayoneers in 5 days. One rig of 2 Qld ladies in an 2018 Hilux said to us that they were getting 17L/100km which I found remarkable. In fact, I did remark... "that the dry weight of the Trayon does not account for 2 travelling ladies shoe inventories. (ala Imelda)".
I am now thinking that they may also use the handbrake lever as a handbag hook, but I didn't say that to them.
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