We spent a lot of time picking out a caravan that would best suit our current and foreseeable future needs. Once we found the right Make (Jayco) Layout (east to west) and Size (24ft) we customised for our needs. We upgraded the chassis for off-road, added a second water tank, a grey water holding tank, an extra solar panel and a third battery for the solar storage system and pushbike racks.
We waited until the yearly Brisbane camping and caravan show before haggling with the salesman and putting a deposit down.
The caravan was made to order and we took delivery of it a few weeks ago. I’ve barely seen MM(My Man) since. I have no idea what he’s doing out there but he’s been wandering between the van and his work-shed with one tool or another in his hand as he makes adjustments to his new toy. Why do guys do that? Buy something new and then start fiddling with it.
I’ve packed the van so it’s ready at a moments notice and we can just throw the perishable items in, hook it up and go. It was quite a costly affair, setting up a second home. Food, cleaning items, kitchen items, linen, our personal care items and the dog Chi’s necessities.
Everyone has asked us the same question. “Where’s your first trip to?” We answer everyone the same way. We stare at each-other, raise our eyebrows and shrug our shoulders. We’ve got to this point but have not looked beyond. Of course we have a general idea of all the places we would love to spend some time in but that’s it.
We have tentatively planned a short (1 week) getaway in May to a little caravan park on the Sunshine Coast. It’s only an hour up the road from our place but will serve well as a training ground while we get to know the caravan. It is here where we will take some time out, crack open a cold one and plan the next few years holidays.
I feel like a kid in a candy store. There are just so many places I want to see, how the hell can I categorise them. The choices are so vast I find it hard to approach this logically.
The rock, now that has to be up there in the first top 5. The Great Ocean Road – although I’ve done it, I must do it again. Tasmania, Perth, Darwin, Cape Tribulation. I’ve travelled from the top to bottom and from the east to west coasts of NZ. I think I should do the same here in Australia.
And then reality slaps me in the face. “You need money fool!” As much as the van is set up for free camping, we still need food, fuel and other supplies. We will see. I’m sure we can trade along the way to keep costs down. MM is a mechanic. Who doesn’t need a mechanic on the road? I can pour beers, reconcile your book-work and do everything in between. I’ve cleaned toilets before and I’d do it again. That’s nothing gloves and 10 litres of bleach won’t sort out.
In the meantime, my front yard looks like a construction site. We hired a bob-cat over the weekend to level the front yard and prepare the ground to put in a second driveway to house the van on. It’s a monster and just fits in my boundary.
We were thinking of putting a roof over it but decided to buy a cover instead. The composite of the van is reasonably hail proof and the all-weather cover will protect it from the sun etc. We may change our minds later on but for now we have enough work on our plate.