This year was my first Bash and first real desert journey up from Melbourne. I spent forever setting up my Prado 120 and even had my injectors done and EGR cleaned out just before departure. I had all my goodies and thought I’m ready for anything. The trip up to the Bash was awesome coming up through places like Cradock, Copley, Leigh Creek and Farina, Marree before hitting the Birdsville Track, Mungerannie Hotel and then onto Birdsville. All these were iconic to me and was glad to finally travel this way.
The Bash was awesome, the thought of 4 days with no wifi or phone connection was just what the doctor ordered. The music was brilliant and the fun around the campfires was very therapeutic away from work.
Our troubles started late on exit day when travelling to Innamincka via Walkers Crossing track when we hit a rather deep washout which took out our front right steering heading into sunset.
This left us stranded pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Bugger! What to do? We were going nowhere fast and after getting under the car and doing some initial troubleshooting (with no success) we needed to settle in, get a fire going and set up camp for the night and put down a few beers with my travelling buddies.
Club 4×4 to the rescue!
Lucky, being a Friday and just before close of business before the weekend our claim was taken over the phone and our recovery was set in place and I was put at ease knowing our predicament. Lucky for my friends phone booster in his vehicle and being in close proximity to the Moomba Gas fields which gave us a bar or two of 3G. They quickly arranged a tow from the nearest town, over 500 kms away down in Copley with an ETA of night time the next day. A prior call to RACV Total Assist prior to Club 4×4 did not help us with anything and had costed a tow from the same place but at our cost of $4,500. Bloody hell! Meltdown had begun!
Back to Club 4×4 they assured me that this tow was part of their cover and I would be assisted the whole way. This was not just to a holding year in Copley but also another 300 kms to Port Augusta where the vehicle could be fixed. And no the $4,500 did not cover this further tow but was by Club 4×4.
After hanging around in Port Augusta, frustratingly for 5 days while parts were ordered from Melbourne and the car was repaired, Club 4×4 covered the cost of our accommodation.
Whilst our trip home was to take us through the Flinders Ranges after the Bash we were glad to get home in one piece a week after leaving the Bash.
Two things I’d like to point out, I am so glad that I have had the Club 4×4 insurance coverage. Their assistance through this time was great and I can thoroughly recommend them for people doing the same thing as what we did. I was nervous during the process thinking that maybe somewhere along the line my coverage would be denied, but all good.
Secondly, our little mishap put a few things into perspective for me. Our country is large and unforgiving and you can be all alone, a long way from anywhere and in trouble. These are the times you realize you are along way from help. Despite everything you plan for in the lead up there are just somethings that can’t plan for which can leave you stranded and very much alone.
Consider a phone booster in your vehicle and maybe more importantly consider a Sat phone, especially if travelling alone. Make sure you leave home knowing what your Insurance company can do for you.
Well done Club 4×4.