In the last post I alluded to the planning of a large trip for 2018. Well, we are going on a trip. But not the one I was planning. To explain I better start from the beginning.
The trip I was organising was to take 1-2 years traveling and working around Australia.
For the last 4 months I had been busy working toward leaving Easter this year. (2018)
I had replaced the Maverick with a new Patrol and was busy decking it out.
I also decided that a caravan would be better for this trip. The camper went up for sale and I started looking around for a caravan.
I had worked out the brand and model I wanted. It was just a matter of finding the correct one.
A lot were over my budget or the wrong configuration. However there was a van that had been advertised for some time and was really cheap. I didn’t give it any consideration at first as it look a bit crummy. But as time went on I decided it was at least worth a look.
It was being sold by dealer and was a trade in.
The interior was good but the outside needed work. Taking a risk I brought the van. At a good price of course.
So I now I was the proud owner of a caravan. It’s not flash but perfect for me and Alec.
I started to plan what was needed to get it into shape for the big trip. It was going to be a big ask with so little time and both the car and caravan needing lots of work.
Work on the caravan started at the end of January. I remove suspension first to give it an overhaul and then starting playing around with the electric’s.
A job I knew had to be done was to re-seal the exterior of the van. Their were signs of water leakage and knowing it is a old van I did expect a little bit of timber rot and water damage.
But it wasn’t till I started pulling the moulding off the bottom section that I realized I had a problem. A big problem. Some major timber rot in the frame. Eight weeks before we were planning to leave I had to make a decision if we would be ready in time. It was a simple question to answer. No, we weren’t going to be ready. I was gutted.
The following week I had to make many phone calls to cancel all the plans that I had spent the previous months organising.
One plan that I couldn’t and didn’t want to cancel, was Alec’s grandparents and my brother meeting me and Alec in Alice springs and visiting Ayres rock together. Flights and accommodation had been booked and paid for. So a little hard to cancel.
A week after I had canceled the big trip I had come up with a new plan and trip.
Last year I had looked into the possibility of including a Simpson desert crossing as part of a larger trip. However it’s not recommended by National parks to tow a trailer across the desert and the tag along companies just won’t let you.
Which creates a logistics problem. Having your caravan or camper on one side of the desert and you the other side once the crossing is completed. I decided back then that it just wasn’t possible with the trip that I had in mind.
But with the current situation I am in now. It’s the perfect time to do the crossing. So the plan now is to set the car up with basic tent, swags etc and spend 7 weeks on the road.
We will be spending Easter long weekend camping with friends down south. Then meet up with the tag along tour I have booked with in Cunnamulla. Do a 12 day tour which includes four days crossing of the Simpson desert. The tour finishing at Alice springs. Then meet up with family to play tourist and visit Ayes rock. Then a relative fast trip home.
Should be a awesome trip and something new for me and Alec. I have never done any desert driving before or explored that part of Australia.
As for the caravan and our big lap. The caravan won’t get touched till after the trip. I will investigate how bad the rot is and the best way to fix it. If all the paneling has to be removed than it could be a good time to change around the interior. With a bit of time I could really make it something awesome. Ready for a big trip in the future.