The buzz before
A few snaps of the Flamingo before and after some aleterations.
Its been mentioned to me that perhaps I should write a post with a few extra details about our set up. This post is really only for those who are interested in the details.
First of all our towing vehicle.
Restrained by our budget we weren't going to go and buy a Land cruiser or a Prado so instead we setteled on a 2011 Ford Territory Titanium RWD. It's a diesel. 10.2ltrs per 100kms and now 11.6ltrs towing our camper. So when we fill up the tank at home it used to tell us we would get about 780km but now it says about 680kms which is not bad so Reece tells me. And I think the car is GREAT! Perfect for our family. We took the car to the auto electrician and had an automatic break controlled installed as well as a new anderson plug for charging our battery. Apparently the car and caravan are independantly charging while we drive. But I'll talk more about power later. And If I've explained all of that incorrectly I apologize but that is the extent of my knowledge on the topic. Thanks for your understanding.
We found our camper on Gumtree but we went to several caravan dealers to stand inside them and get a feel for the layout and size first. This made it easier to narrow down our desired camper and look for a better deal. We decided on a Jayco Swan or Flaningo as a priority because they are cheaper than the Coromals.... But we had a few back up models too.
The camper we found (A Jayco Flamingo 2001) was advertised for $12000 but we offered the guy $9500 over Gumtree chat. When we went to take a look at it there were a few dodgy things (that I knew could be fixed on a budget and with my dads help) so we offered $9000 and he accepted. Your not going to get a flash caravan for $9000 and so aesthetics were a low priority.
"Stick to the budget" I reminded myself "I know we can make this caravan a HOME"
First thing that needed fixing was the boot storage. It was absolutely buggered. Next was to think about sleeping arrangements. In a Jayco Flamingo you have 1 pop out queen sized bed and 1 pop out double sized bed at the other end. We have two kids and they CAN NOT sleep together. Plus there's a bit of a fall if our youngest Olive was to roll out. (She's still sleeping in a cot) Again, thanks Dad for building and custom designing a folding divider the turn the one double bed into two small kids beds. My mother cut the double mattress width ways to make two and re-covered them. Now we have two unusual sized beds. Mum also cut and sewed mattress protectors and fitted sheets to fit, as well a making a separating curtian and privacy curtains for the kids. There are a lot of extra little things my parents helped us with like extra water storage, PVC pipes to hold tent poles etc. All things that are making our trip so much EASIER.
As we are partially free camping on our adventure we needed our caravan to be self sufficient. The fridge is 3 way, (240volt, 12volt and gas) so that's a tick. We added a new AGM deep cell battery and an inverter so that we can always run from our battery if we are not at a caravan park. All of this was essential for a trip with young kids.
We purchased brand new bed end fly's and thank goodness we did. We also brought a new portable bbq, a new 12volt TV and antenna, kids fold out chairs, etc.
Reece built this bloody awesome antenna bracket - pic attached.
All together our set up cost for the caravan came to $11236.
Now to packing;
At Olives feet we have two boxes. One hold all the story books and the other has kids cooking / kitchen toys perfect for a rainy day.
At Rivers feet we have two boxes. One holds all of his work books and his pencils and coloring in things. The other has a big bag of match box cars and his Buzz and Woody
Between the kids we have a box with all the DVDs and on top another easy to reach box with spare nappies, wipes, nappy bags and hand sanitizer. This has been VERY HANDY!
In the boot we've packed our pram, a collapsible table, the sports equipment, the medical kit (very well organized medical kit) our fishing bucket and our flexible tub.
In the camper there's;
The office set up
The laundry set up
The tolitires set up / the bath tub
The kitchen set up
The linen set up
The pantry set up
Clothes boxes / shoes. Overflow box. All carefuly thinking about what you need to access the most and in very small storage places.
All minimal. Only what you NEED.
Living with less is great. Its everything we NEED and nothing more.
We are packed to 70%. We have room to add and change but not enough room to collect.
Lessons I've already learnt.
1. Be conservative with towels. They are a mission to wash and dry. One towel, one adult and one child... That will do.
2. Have a felxible plastic tub! You NEED it! Its a washing basket, a bath tub, a rubish bin. The list goes on.
I guess we will know more about how organized we are as we travel and time goes on. Right now we are feeling great. No perfect but great! Happy.