GSA1, one of two company Jeep Laredo 4x4 5-speed diesels returned 8.57 lts/100kms in a 1885km round trip to Adelaide via the Western, Southern Ports, B1 and A1 Highways over the past four days. The weather for a significant part of the trip ranged from poor to dangerously extreme.
Road conditions matched the weather on the Southern Ports to Princes Hwy return run.
GSA1 ran into a major low which started on the Western Hwy with fog at Ararat. It was not heavy enough to require use of our fog lights. But strong headwinds rose to cyclonic levels after Bordertown SA and rain bucketted down to cut visibility to four car lengths in the Adelaide Hills.
On the return run on the Southern Ports Hwy via Kingston (excellent mixed grill lunch at theRoyal MailHotel) strong winds and rain squalls persisted. 'Larry' Laredo met Larry the Lobster before we made the short trip off the main drag to the woodfired comfort of a combustion heater at the Royal Mail hotel.
Sure-footer Jeep builds driver confidence
The meal came a close second to an amazing spread GSA faced in Junee. That mixed grill was so impressive it needed a tug boat to bring it to the table. The Royal Mail effort rated a big trawler.
GSA shared backside space in front of a glowing Royal Mail Hotel red gum fired combustion heater with a Kingston S.E. local who said his family were fairly local.
Like most country people he is given to understatement. We came as indentured shepherds in 1834, he said.
The Royal Mail Hotel in Kingston S.E. about 297km from Adelaide is also a genuine local. Kingston people are proud of their town. They said S.E. (South East) can also be translated as 'Sensational Experience'.
Certainly the Royal Mail Hotel's current mixed grill is. The extension on its name is to distinguish Kingston in the South East (of South Australia) from another 'Kingston' in the state which is now officially named Kingston-On-Murray.
The hotel was the terminus for the coach service which ran between Adelaide and Port MacDonnell. The circuit judge used the commercial travellers room to hold court cases in until a courthouse was built in 1869/70.
It is thought that the hotel was built about 1858.
Sir George Kingston, politician, surveyor and architect founded the town which bears his name in 1858 and Kingston was declared a port in 1865. Larry the Lobster is the basis of a thriving industry and Kingston is a service centre for the farming community.
Lacepede Bay attracts anglers and Kingston is a popular holiday and retirement town with its cooler coastal climate. There is a four-lane boat ramp and a jetty which makes a good base for spending fishing time. The jetty has a history of catches of whiting, garfish, tommy ruffs, salmon trout, squid, trevally and at times BIG mulloway have been landed at night.
Kingston's white sand beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. There are extensive shallows which help keep supervised children safe and for that reason attract families in holiday periods.
Sir George Strickland Kingston ( born August 1807 in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland died 1880 at sea) arrived in South Australia on the Cygnet in 1836. He was the Deputy Surveyor to William Light, engaged to survey the new colony of South Australia. In 1858 he was part of the team who surveyed the namesake town of Kingston, later renamed Kingston SE as a part of a private real estate development. Kingston was knighted in 1870. He died in 1880 aboard the RMS Malwa on his way to India and was buried at sea.
From Murray Bridge in South Australia to Geelong, Victoria via Mt Gambier the land is saturated and road surfaces slippery.
Your correspondent unintentionally tested the Jeep's stability on the B1 on fair bitumen on a wet surface near Mt Gambier.
The Jeep was running easily in cruise control at 100 kmh and hit surface water running across the highway in a depression at the bottom of a hill.
The four big Michelin tyres gulped too much water for the tread to spit it out, drowned in the flood and lost grip on the slippery bitumen. Larry the Jeep Laredo is no sportscar, but four-wheel drifting in a Chrysler Valiant Pacer I once owned and often pushed too hard came to mind.
In defence ofmature drivers it was that experience, aided by the automatic intervention of the Jeep's Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which brought the show back into line.
Sunlight, reflecting off a road surface can make excitement like this hard to spot. Sunlight through trees and trees shading sections of road which are wet or icy should always be kept in mind.
Cruise control running can be lethal in wet going, particularly in vehicles which are seriously powerful like the Jeep (550Nm).
The cruise control will try and hold the road speed regardless of the surface conditions. It is possible to become a raceboat and hydroplane on a wet surface. This time the Jeep's designers were there for me when it really mattered.
Double rainbow near Policemans Point SA
As an aid to fuel savings the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo uses its auto adjusting suspension to present its best aerodynamic profile to windforces at all times.
Massive braking, sure (not sports)handling, automatic multi-speed rain-sensing wipers, auto heating and demisting, and auto headlights with auto sensor dip switch are significant safety aids in challenging driving conditions.
The auto heating extends to the external mirrors when the window demistersare turned on. The only negative we found in the night driving safety armoury is the auto sensor headlights dip can be caught out in tighter road curves to the left.
Exceptional seating and steering adjustment options cut stress as they fit all popular sized drivers.
At nightsoft, effectivebacklighting for all instruments, controls, door fittings and bins adds to the driver's confidence;
and the rear-view mirror automatically adjusts to prevent glare from vehicles coming from behind.
GSA1 at Adelaide Caravan Park cabin
Editors Note: Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia reports that The Big Lobster in Kingston SE, South Australia known locally as 'Larry the Lobster,' stands 17 metres tall, and is regarded as one of the most impressive of Australia's Big Things.
Designed and built by Paul Kelly for Ian Backler and Rob Moyse, it is made of steel and fibreglass.
It was intended to attract attention to the restaurant and visitor centre at which it is situated.
The Big Lobster was opened on 15 December 1979 after six months of construction.
The Big Lobster is 17 metres high, 15.2 metres long and is 13.7 metres wide, and weighs about 4 tonnes. The Southern Ports Highway is a 117 kilometre highway in South Australia that connects Kingston SE with Millicent via Rendelsham, Southend, Beachport and Robe.
GSA1 is a 5-speed auto 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo purchased from Bayside Jeep, Frankston, Victoria in March.
These Information Articles links belowfrom the GoSee Free library also relate to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. GoSeeAustralia has two Grand Cherokee Laredo 5-speed auto 4x4 3L diesels among its tow tugs.
Additional features fitted to the two GSA Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredos are:
Leather seating x 1 Jeep (the other has cloth); Off road Adventure Group ll - Fuel tank, transfer case, underbody and front suspension skid plates, Quadra Drive ll 4WD system, rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), 3.45 axle ratio, 230mm rear axle.
The first GSA Jeep uses 265 / 60 R18 All-season tyres, and GSA1 our latest tug has Michelin P265/60 R18 boots on 18 x8-inch polished aluminium wheels.
GSA1 is fitted with a sunroof .
Both GSA Jeeps have Quadra lift Air Suspension. This raises the vehicle up to 104mm higher for a maximum ground clearance of 271mm or lowers the vehicle 38mm for easier entry, exit and loading.
The system also automatically raises the vehicle from back to front toadjust the aerodynamic profile of the Jeep, aid fuel efficiencyand keep headlights safely focused downward at the road ahead.
These GSAsponsor supported free Information Articles from the GoSee library report on Jeep experiences. Bayside Jeep is among our valued sponsors who help keep the GoSee websites for Australia and New Zealand free to users.