Our rig currently for caravanning around Australia is a Toyota Prado and a Vogue Series Pop Top Caravan.
Let us introduce you to our set up and tell you about the changes, updates and major maintenance undertaken since we started travelling Australia in our van in more detail below.
Walter was our first tow vehicle from 2017-2019. He was a 2002 3.5L V6 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed, completely stock standard with no aftermarket modifications. We said a Sad Farewell to Walter when his transmission could no longer handle towing. I still miss Walter, he was old, a little cranky sometimes and used more than his fair share of fuel but he also had character, he loved adventure and had spunk.
Stanley is a comfortable car suitable for our needs. He is what we need for towing our caravan, for general day to day driving and for some adventurous off-road and beach driving.
He is much more introvert than Walter was but Stanley uses less fuel and is also totally up for adventure.
Our home on wheels is our caravan, Josephine. Josephine is an 18 ft, 1994 Viscount Vogue Series pop top caravan. She has decorative aqua green, red and grey decals which are the colours we use in our logo and other branding for our website and blog.
Josephine’s internal lay out is has a kitchen area at the front, tables and chairs in the mid area, an island bed at the far end and no ensuite. There is additional storage under the bed and in a front boot. She also has two fridges (second one put in by previous owner) which we use as a very handy food pantry cupboard. She is also set up for off grid power with a 200w solar panel on the roof, AGM deep cell battery and a 600w inverter.
Buying Our (Used) Caravan To Tour Australia was a journey that took a number of months of researching online and visiting caravan sale yards before we decided to buy Josephine through a private seller. She is the first caravan we have ever owned, she isn’t perfect and just about everyday there is a maintenance task that needs to be done to keep her water tight, road safe and comfortable but we have become rather attached to our little home on wheels. Our plan is to keep travelling Australia with her for the next few years when we plan on selling our entire set up and taking our travels overseas.
Since we have been on the road full time we have made some changes and updates. She has also needed repairs. The most significant of these have been:
It was Christmas Day 2017 in Boat Harbour, Tasmania when another full time travelling couple allowed us to borrow their kayak and we went for a paddle. Being out on the calm crystal clear waters on a sunny day was brilliant and within minutes we knew we had to have our own kayak.
Our needs for buying our kayak was that it had to be second hand to be affordable, it had to be ocean worthy and it had to fit all three of us. It took a number of weeks before we found a used sit on top ocean kayak for sale online that ticked all our boxes.
Our kayak is long, bright yellow, orange and red (impossible to miss) and we love getting out on the water with her as often a we can. We keep thinking she needs a name too but what? We have never been able to decide.
There are also routine servicing and care of both the two vehicle and caravan which includes things like oil changes, replacing filters, brakes, bearings, tyres, wheel alignments. Where possible Daryl does the work himself which saves us significant amounts of money, we still budget for about $2500 each year to cover this expense.
We use the FuelMap App to keep a track of our fuel usage and costs. So far the figures are:
These are the weights we know and have on hand. Caravan was weighed with close to full fuel tanks and about 60 litres of water on board.
Very few additions or changes to our set up have needed to be made to cater for Chika while we travel. The main two are:
Overall our set up is basic, based around having a limited budget however it meets our needs and we have become rather attached to home on wheels. Something that is obvious very quickly when you travel is how no two set ups are the same, each has their pros and cons and budgets. What is most important is that your rig for travelling Australia meets your needs, is safe and within your budget.
We hope to see out there on the road in your set up!