We have the Cart

After months of internet browsing, asking questions of E-bay vendors, and going for the occasional long drive for a viewing, we have finally bought a cart to go with the horse.

Our new travelling home for most of next year is a Coromal Corvair PC546 pop-top. It’s got bunk beds for the children and a large double island bed for Mike and me. The facilities are great, with air conditioning, a small kitchen, fridge, stove, grill and a microwave. There is a small dining table (which can also convert to extra sleeping space) with enough seating for the 4 of us. There is a large amount of cupboards and storage space. Most importantly, it is ‘off-road’, and has the same sized wheel/tyre as the Beast. Family ‘off road’ vans are difficult to come by, but we took our time and found the (almost) perfect van.

The van doesn’t have partitioning for the kids, but Oma is going to help out by making some curtains for the bunks. There is no TV, but I am thinking this might be an advantage. It doesn’t have a battery system, but Mike is planning on installing a dual battery system in the truck for lighting and a second fridge.

Speaking of which, Mike has been having a great time of late doing a few modifications to the truck, and learning all about 4 wheel driving. Last weekend, I watched nervously for an hour as he drilled a couple of very large holes in the side of the truck to install a snorkel. ‘Unnecessary!’ I said, but he really wanted one so we went ahead and did it. We now are able to drive across deeper water crossings, should we ever need to. Yay!

Drilling for snorkel

We have slowly been buying essentials for the Patrol / trip. Mike got hold of some great, custom made storage draws for the rear of the Patrol. We also now have a brake controller for the caravan, towing mirrors and a set of mud tyres (again, not really necessary, but great fun when you are off-road).

Mike has been out a few times with the local 4WD club, learning the ins and outs of driving the Patrol. A few weeks ago he did the Border track along the Victorian/South Australian border, through Big Desert Wilderness area. He is planning on doing a few more trips before we head off in March, to gain experience on different surfaces and situations.

So we will be picking up the caravan in the next couple of weeks. The next job is to start planning what to take, and start packing up the van. The leaving day is still over 4 months away, but we need some time to prepare. Considering we will be living in a space smaller than our current bedroom, and with less storage, for over a year, we had better be sure about what is essential.

One thing that has concerned us about doing this trip is the children missing out on interaction with other children. So we have decided to address this by visiting different Playgroups as we travel around this vast country. We have started a new page on our Blog, to talk about our adventures with Playgroup Australia. You can read our first entry here.

So join us next time as departure gets ever closer, and the serious preparations get going.

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