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Published: February 10th 2012
Welcome to our site where we are going to chronicle the adventures we have throughout 2012 on our Big Lap of Australia. We left our home on January 7 and have spent the last few weeks in our camper trailer, ironing out all the bugs (and there have been a few). Thanks to some amazing parents in Toowoomba and Bomaderry we have had plenty of support, as well as warm showers and tasty food to ease us slowly into the camping lifestyle.
These initial weeks have had there challenges as well mind you, with some mechanical problems with the vehicle and the necessity to change a bit of our gear, some that has been faulty and a couple of things which we didn't choose well. Notwithstanding we are now pretty happy with the setup and only a couple of weeks before we set off for real.
There is a pretty important engagement that we have to attend before that set off date and that is our wedding, being held on Saturday March 3 in Coffs Harbour, needless to say we are pretty excited about that! No honeymoon for us, well a 12 month one in reality but with two
kids and a dog in tow lol!
Next week we head to Bargara, near Bundaberg for our final 'shakedown' trip and to view the turtle hatching at Mon Repos beach. We'll be 'on our own' for this trip, so fingers crossed no more gear failures?
Here's a list of the gear we are traveling with:
• 1992 Toyota Landcruiser GXL Turbo Diesel fitted with bullbar and Warn 9000lb winch and driving lights. The vehicle has a 2" suspension and 1" body lift and rolls on 16" alloy rims with BF Goodrich All Terrain tyres. A full length steel roof rack carries our gear and spare wheel is on a rear carrier along with a Jerry can holder and outboard motor carrier. We can carry 145l of fuel in two tanks as well as 50L of water on the vehicle. For recovery purposes we are equipped with ARB air lockers front and rear, which comes with an onboard compressor and tank. 'Betty White'
as we call her, also has a hot water shower set up under the bonnet as well as a dual battery system to look after our electrical requirements. UHF CB radio keeps us upto date with
what is happening on the road and we carry a GPS fitted with off road topographical maps as well as the normal on road system.Everything is kept neat and tidy in the back via a 'Black Widow' cargo drawer system with fridge slide as well and a cargo barrier keeps Brandi safe in the back with her own window.
• For accommodation we purchased a Leisure Matters off road camper trailer and to be honest we haven't been real happy with it, though Leisure Matters have done everything they can to rectify the problems we have encountered. Jen and I both have suspect backs so the first move was to change the mattress to a full support inner spring one, which added a bit of weight but has been well worth the extra load in terms of our support and comfort (we are sleeping on it every night for 12 months). Initially we were running several annexes for rooms for the kids but these proved too heavy and slow to erect and pull down, so we have now put the kids in a couple of 'instant tents' next to the camper, this has lightened the load and made setup and pack down much quicker. Zan and Will are on camp stretchers with foam mattresses and we have all opted for sheets and doonas instead of sleeping bags. The camper has a 70L water tank and built in kitchen, we have a 4 bike carrier on the back of the trailer and a big toolbox and spare tyre up front.
• We are also traveling with our 3.4m Porta-Bote which we have called Origami, she is powered by a 5hp New Concept outboard and sits when traveling on a purpose built carrier on the camper trailer.
• Finally we have a 4kva generator and an 80l fridge, we haven't gone top of the range by any means on these items so will be interested to see how they last. Truth is we have already sent the fridge back after the first week, so we'll see how the second one lasts.
Well that's a brief run down on our set up, will get some pictures of it all up shortly. Steve, Jen, Zan, Will and Brandi
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