First day out looking…

Normally, Saturday mornings are spent having lazy coffees on the deck reading the newspaper. NOT TODAY! Up and at it, google maps in hand we ventured into the land of camper trailers!

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First off the rank was Mars Campers. The sign very appropriately says it all!!! Like two little kids in a lolly shop, off we ventured inside to see what was happening on Mars! Now I just have to say, we spent a good 40 minutes in here talking to the fella and looking at options and had a feeling that today was going to be one of those days where our heads would explode by the afternoon with options! WE WERE RIGHT!

Since we made the decision to go, we have been swaying up our options for hard floors or soft floors, rear or front folds. They all look amazing on the computer but the whole idea of today was to get out and actually jump into them to see what fits us best. If we have to spend a year living in it, then it needs to be comfortable. It doesn’t have to have all the creature comforts but there are some things that we need to make our lives livable. For Phil, its two spare tyres and for me, its a shower and toilet.:-)

The first thing we walked into was the hardfloor rear fold and knew right away, that it’s not what we wanted. Not that there is anything seriously wrong with it but it seems a better fit with small monthly trips away than long extended times like we are planning. Space wise, we needed something a little more.

The other version on our hit list is the step up ( forward or rear fold). Look at me! I sound all knowing already! I LOVE THIS STYLE….just saying. The step up gives you ample space n the bedroom but also gives you the option of a dining area, lounge area type of function. The whole annex set up is included and provides for a huge footprint outside for the kitchen and all the sliding little doors and storage.

Not a bad price either at under $$20k…. this was a little beauty…

With a hi-ho and firm handshake we were off to the next stop Ezytrail Campers

Sooooo…..I didn’t take any photos here. I was a little excited and super impressed with this model. The Stirling Off Road Forward-Folding Camper is bloody fantastic. They had one set up with the full annex including the ensuite ( YES!) and we could both really picture ourselves being very cosy in this one. Like Phil said, its a little heavier and bigger but the comforts it offers is pretty damn good.

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Images courtesy of Ezytrail Campers website

We were both a little awe struck with this baby. Did I mention we really liked it?  You can check it out for yourself via the 3D view

If we had to buy one right away…. we both agree it would be this one but we couldn’t stop looking just in the case the next best things was just around the corner…which it actually was! Not the next best thing but Cub Campers.

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t that impressed with Cub Campers. The lady was really great and actually took the time to show us how to actually put one up but in comparison to the Blue Baby, I didn’t think it matched it. It was bit more expensive yet you didn’t get the comforts and additional extras that the other two offered. The one good thing was a five year warranty on both the camper and the canvas. Learning what things matter when you are going to be on the road out near whoop whoop and the canvas rips or the suspension breaks – who you gonna call?

They weren’t our cup of tea but I can see how their campers fit most families needing a bit more room and space. They are very spacious and amazingly easy to put up in less than 10 minutes!

So, we ventured on and found ourselves out Rocklea way checking out Swag campers. These guys had a huge assortment of campers from the very basic through to a huge fancy one with all kinds of things that popped out, popped up and went Whiz Bang! The fella also told us they are working on a new model of camper trailer that can be erected in less than 15 seconds!

The days of packing two trailers, 3 tents, 1 fridge, generator, bags, pots and pans, pop up kitchen sicks, 44 gallon drum fire kit, hammocks, chairs, tables, toilet, shower, tarps and more tarps, poles and more poles – are long gone! The massive variety of campers does actually bamboozle you….well, it did me!

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The Voyager Deluxe was probably the closest to the blue baby  and it was a pretty decent price. Standard set up, layout and lots of little extras including the ensuite which Phil tested for size!

Even though he looks like he is on the telephone, you can see how good the ensuite set up is.

Though, if you are one of those people that doesn’t like to shower where you poo, that might be a problem!!

 

The one thing that impressed me with all the camper trailers we saw today was the space you have to actually move around. In the main cabin, there is more than enough height so you don’t feel closed in. The amount of light that you can get into the space is great and having so many windows and clear panels provides you with the feeling of openness.

Having a separate cabin to the main annex is also a better option. The cabin provides you with a sitting and sleeping area if you are only staying overnight and a short set up and pack down time. If you are planning on staying longer, that it gives you the freedom to set up house with everything you need around you.

We still want to look at some more options in the coming weeks and Phil has been searching online for secondhand options. There is something to be said for camper trailers that have a bit of age to them. There are also some that have had the tweaks and work done on them which could be a good thing though we have already started talking about what we could do with the vans to make them more livable!

A great day out on the road! It makes it a little more real now and I truly can’t wait to get trekking! So much so, we have our little countdown to remind us!!!

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#philandnadinegapyear

 

wikicamps wonder…

In searching for things to read ( of which there is oodles and oodles) and things we should see and places we should go, we happened across this deadly little ap called wikicamps

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I am not very well known to be good with technology. Actually, I pretty much suck at it but this ap is incredibly user friendly and is a wealth of information. If you are into camping or are interested in getting off the beaten track, this is the ap for you!!

Avid travelers have entered information about camping spots, points of interest, caravan parks etc across the whole country and it can be updated by members which is awesome!

You can create checklists – and you know I loves me a good checklist – check satellite locations and other groovy little things! Even if you are not keen on the open road  right now, this ap will suck you in to making travel maps for parts of this country you have never seen!

We are using this to track our first leg so will be sure to let you know what that is!!!

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Planning planning planning….

Next weekends hit list:

Mars Campers

Ezytrail Camper Trailers

MDC Camper Trailers

Cub Campers

Lifestyle Camper Trailers

EMU Campers

Insert coffee breaks and food stops…actually, should start practicing and pack a hamper!!

This is what we are planning on bargaining for…

 

swag deluxe

Check out the Swag Camper Voyager II Deluxe…all these terms… I can’t keep up! Deluxe… Voyager… Dominator…Patriot…Gammon… hahaha kidding!

#philandnadinegapyear even has an email now!!

If you have any ideas for us to check out, travel tips, places to see, smart inventions or tricks for surviving the camper life please email us at philandnadine@hotmail.com

 

 

Getting out there…

Today was one of those beautiful Autumn mornings in Wynnum Manly town…

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The sun was shining, the bird life by the bay was gently going about their morning rituals, people were smiling, the breeze was calmly blowing and sitting by the sands with Chessie, I got a taste of what the Gap Year will be like….and I can’t wait!

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So off I popped to the shops to invest in my new passion.

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Yep – I am now one of those people! 🙂

Having spent the past two nights filling my mind map, now I need to actually start looking at the nitty gritty that will get us off the couch and onto the wide open road. There is so much research to be done. It takes me back to the endless weekends Phil and I spent trolling houses, looking for the right one to buy. I think it took us about 6-8 months of searching until we found this one and even though I know we both don’t want to take that long… it is going to mean hours of wandering 4WD and Camper trailer yards! The first list I have drawn up for us to venture to is 10… there might be some serious coffee investment coming up in the next couple of months!

But we have no idea what we are looking for so in order for us to hit the Caravanning and Camping Expo in June and get ‘That Deal’ we have to have done our research so we know the UT203 Multimeter from our ROc-SOLID FSP’s. ( cheat and google – I did!)

This magazine is really quite interesting and exciting! Thinking of all the places we can go is a bit overwhelming though the one thing I keep reading over and over again is that the first thing we need to do is pick a date to leave. Make a commitment and lock it in Eddie! Otherwise it could be next month, next year, after the grand final, after the cows moo…

So, the goal is to have a departure date by the end of the month. TICK

The other thing I read which I found interesting was the following:

‘  A trip like this is probably not financially wise, may set you back on the corporate ladder, or cost you a place in your social network during absense. it might be all of those things and more.

What it will be though is enjoying a cup of coffee for the taste rather than the caffeine hit you need to get you through a morning meeting, and it will be the best time you have had since you got three months of holidaying after you finished grade 12. Don’t worry about what a trip like this might be. Focus on what it will be and get out there and enjoy it.’

words by Brendan Batty, Article Australian 4WD Camping Guide 2016

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It’s all about the planning

Where do we even begin? Since we began even thinking about our gap year, we have had endless questions and concerns about how we are actually going to do this.

We know where we want to be but now begins the process of nutting out how the hell we get there.

So tonight I have started to mind map. … normally I am a sucker for an awesome excel spreadsheet but I want to bring a bit of colour and happiness to this endless ‘programming’ so thought the best way was to mind map with a bit of colour!!!

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Mind mapping and scotch. …what can go wrong???

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Hammakas – Send them to me!!!

Katie Walters….you are a gem!

One of the best things about your friends is that they know you so bloody well!

I can just imagine Chessie and I….I mean Phil and I hanging out in the back of our van with these babies! Happy hour on the back deck so to speak!!! Talk about luxury!!!

You can grab some of these little Hammakas for yourselves!

 

When the signs are there

When the world is telling you make a change… just do it. Don’t listen to those who present you with their reason. Are you living YOUR life or theirs? Screw that….

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I turned this card tonight…

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Phil and Nadine’s gap year

Well, there is no time like the present to take a gap year. We both had to wait for our ‘mid years’ to have one but what the hell. We have to find out what we have missing hey?

Lately, we have been thinking less about working and more about living. I don’t think it’s about work life balance… I think its just about life. You only get one so why spend most of your ‘living’ working for other people and falling in and out of love with what you do. ( My own personal experience – not anyone else!)

Yes – you still have bills to pay and you have to live, I agree. But really, do you need 21 spoons? 3 televisions for 2 sets of eyes? A 4 bedroom house for 2 people? A wardrobe for all seasons? No. I don’t think you do. These are all things that can be replaced but memories are to be made for a lifetime and we want to build up those reserves!

We don’t want to get to our 60’s and think ah bugger – shoulda done that! Plus we want to be able to climb, walk, crawl, stagger and see what we can before our knees go – along with our minds! Mind you, we will still have to watch the old joints but they still bounce back a little quicker now so we had better strike while the iron is hot!

We are really at the starting point and there are so many lists of things to do that I almost think you need a ‘to do list’ for the’ to do lists!’ Where to start? Serious big questions need to be answered in the coming month for us to even begin to think of taking off but at least we have committed to it and started a folder! ( Now its official!)

This blog won’t just be about our glorious photos to make you jealous ( hehehe) but i guess a fools guide to taking a trip around the country because if we can do it, anyone can! We have to survive the ‘to do lists’ before we even start the engine and start cruising so the next few months are going to be interesting.

Throw in some major pool renovations, work commitments and life in general, the coming months will no doubt test our ability to plan, make decisions, patience ( of which I have low low levels) and our desire to get going!

The big plan is to take off around Australia for 9 month and then look to do 3 months in Europe – hopefully in their summer! Off track, off road and out of here for 12 whole months will be amazing! And it won’t just be Phil and I as Chessie joins us on our Australian adventure as well!

While that might restrict us a little, we couldn’t leave her behind. She is in her twilight years as well and is important to us. Plus, she loves the bush and beach and there are stacks of places in this big wide country of ours that allow dogs!!

So, this is the beginning…..

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