So it begins, the countdown, the preparation, the hard yards, the modifications and the constant parcels in the mail. We were two months out and things were starting to get ‘real’. We had the car, caravan and essentials for camping however very little time to test as we were still working full-time. The month of February felt like a blur, it went way to quick, then next thing we knew it was March and I was on my final week of work. Kurtis finishing up two weeks after and then the official countdown until we left – 27th March 2017 was the D-day! The final two weeks before D-day were spent finalising everything; final checks on the Navara and Coromal caravan, packing the last of our stuff into our storage shed, actually moving into the caravan and having some ‘catch ya later’ drinks with close family and friends.
Winding back the clock 6 months, this is when the serious planning / decision making took place and an exact month was pinned down to our departure. We were so close to buying a house that it wasn’t funny. It was a tough one as our original plan was to buy and renovate a house, build a shed on the block to house our goods, then rent out our house 1 year later while we lived the great Aussie dream. We thought we had it all sussed out, but after speaking to a lot of people about our plan they made us rethink, did we really want to travel with a mortgage? Would we of actually set off on the road if we had a mortgage? What if we found somewhere better to live? So myself and Kurtis sat down and had a really good look at what we wanted. We could own our toys’ (car and caravan) out right, have enough money in the bank to fund ourselves for a good while. Still work on the road so we don’t deplete our savings to much, meet new people and just embrace life on the road without any debt or worries back home.
So that was that, we decided no house and just to go full steam on our great Aussie dream. In November 16’ I was still living at home with my parents (cheap rent – thanks mum & dad xo) and Kurtis was renting a house on the south side. Kurtis’s lease was up in December so he moved into with me and my family. We shared my bedroom for 4 months leading up to the trip, so this was a great test in itself – if we could live in a confined space (my room) together than I was confident we would be fine in a caravan together. We didn’t kill each other or get sick of each other’s company or bad habits, so win win!
After the big decision was made, then next thing was deciding on what vehicle and caravan/camper we were going to use for our big trip. We were initially looking at using Kurtis F-100 as our vehicle but that idea was soon squashed with so many negatives. Not enough power, too rusty, not fuel efficient – it was quite a big list of negatives. Kurtis than started looking into second hand ford rangers as his research suggested these would make a great tow vehicle. Long story short we decided to use my Navara as I owned it outright, it could tow up to 3 tonne and was a diesel.
Meanwhile, while we were deciding on a car we were also deciding what caravan or camper we wanted to take. We attended quite a few caravan and camping shows to get inspiration and ideas. At the end of the day we decided a caravan was the way to go. The main reason being we wanted something with minimal set up time, a small ensuite (so in winter we didn’t have to go outside) and also something we could spend endless rainy days inside. A caravan was the answer. After that decision was made we then had to find one that ticked all our boxes; off-road, lightweight, toilet/shower combo, pop top & tandem axle. They were are only requests and nothing over 17 foot. In September 2016 we found our caravan! It was at a second hand dealership on the north side. We inspected it on the Saturday and made an offer on the Tuesday and that was that.