Saturday, December 27, 2008

the joys of packing

i have been clearing out our clothes.... i started with various boxes; one to take, one for storage with family (mostly maternity clothes), one for winter clothes to store on the truck, and one for the garage sale. In the end i had one box for storage, two boxes worth for the garage sale, one box to store in the truck, and two boxes worth for in the van with several items that i'd add in to the van if there was room.
Then i started on the kids wardrobes and did the same.

Then i had another look at how much storage room we actually have in the van!!!!!

ok. Slight problem. I need to condense the wardrobes of four people into this much space.

Two thirds of the stuff i wanted to put in the van for me has gone back into the garage sale box and winter clothes have been reduced to bare minimums. Same with Jordy; out of a bedroom where he had three large drawers and hanging space Jordy now has one little drawer for ALL his clothes! Wow! Darcy has one little drawer. Singlets that the boys are sharing and everybodies pyjamas goes into another drawer. Cloth nappies & wipes will go into the other main van drawer.

Then inside the robe doors i have a stack of four plastic drawers. I have one for warmish clothes and one for regular clothes. I suppose i had best leave two for Tim. Everything else has to hang. I've triple-hung my clothes so that each hanger has three items on it.

I'm yet to pack my swimmers or socks or undies.... or shoes!!! i wonder where we will put our shoes... ?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ideas for van modifications

Amazingly enough there is a Yahoo! group just for people who have Expanda vans! I've been having a read through old posts and i've seen a few things that other travellers have done to make their Expandas more comfy including fitting washing machines and dryers in the wardrobe, dishwasher under the breaky bar, complete home entertainment systems in the cabinets etc!! and i think WOW! While that's not something we need i've also seen some other little alterations that look handy. Although i admit the washing machine in the wardrobe is tempting but i think we need the clothes space.
  • Removing the table leg and making it a drop-down table with a much smaller support.
  • Putting slideout baskets in the wardrobe.
  • Door mounted baskets inside the sink cabinet.
  • Stainless steel splashback behind the sink.
  • External PVC pipe storage containers for tent poles and bed flys etc.
  • Hanging racks in the shower cubicle.
  • An elbow on the shower to turn it sideways near the taps (have to see if that suits our model).
  • Towel airers mounted on the external body of the van.
  • Sludge hose carriers under the van (no idea how this works! but i'll pass it on to the sludge expert!)
  • Little wheels under the rear of the van to help with reversing up curbs.

a whole world of great little ideas to make life easier on the road.

packing, packing, packing...

there is so much packing! we are boxing up the past. We have hoarded so much rubbish and stuff over the years that it is liberating to just clear it all out. A little sad sometimes but this is a big change for us so a few tears as i clear out baby clothes is to be expected.
Our house goes on the market early January and we hope to partially move out once it is listed. We'll live in the van but still use the laundry, clothes line, back yard and pool etc but i would go insane trying to keep the kids happy while keeping the house looking like a display home.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting the ball rolling.... things to do.

  1. Sell our house. We have lots of tidying up to do; fix the garden, clean the pool yard, pressure clean the deck and the windows, throw everything out that's in the garage!!
  2. Sort our belongings into three catagories; coming with us, stick in the garage sale, store for later.
  3. Have a massive garage sale!
  4. Set the truck up properly for travelling; optimise storage areas, a canopy at the front.
  5. Organise storage in the caravan; make some shelves or drawers, get some crates etc.
  6. Full service and check, and make repairs to caravan.
  7. Decide on the best products to buy to make life practical v's keeping weight to a minimum.
  8. Dr check-ups and selective vaccinations.
  9. Caravan and contents insurance.
  10. Fishing license
  11. National Parks Pass
  12. Mailbox or Mail Forwarding
  13. Get a copy of Tim's eye prescription.
  14. Get a copy of our medical histories
  15. Tim to get a forklift ticket and other things to help find work on the road.
  16. Decide on phone, internet, satellite tv providers
  17. Register with ICV

The little things...

  1. Make some fitted tablecloth covers
  2. Get a collection of recipes together that are suitable for on the road

Things we'll need to buy

  1. COBB cooker or DreamPot
  2. Melamine crockery
  3. Small bread-size camp oven
  4. Thermos
  5. Pastry matt and roller
  6. Whistling stove top kettle


  1. Bed Protectors or underlays
  2. Mozzie Nets
  3. Safety bar or netting to stop Darcy rolling out of bed
  4. Clothes Line
  5. Non-slip floor mat for in bathroom
  6. Fabric foot-drying bath mat for outside bathroom
  7. Washing Machine

Furniture/ Storage

  1. Clothes Line
  2. Dining Table and Chairs for outside or in annexe
  3. Non-slip matting for crockery
  4. Cutlery insert and drawers/ shelving for cupboards
  5. Hanging bathroom rack

Caravan/ Truck setup

  1. tv antenna or satellite
  2. Gell Cell battery
  3. invertor
  4. solar for trickle charging
  5. Car Seat covers
  6. knockabout motorbike or scooter
  7. Outdoor foam floor matting
  8. First Aid Kit
  9. Good foot-cleaning door mat
  10. Hand vacuum unit


  1. Good sneakers or boots
  2. Protective gloves for Jordy
  3. Rain gear
  4. Good broad-brim hats

Other Stuff

  1. Drink backpack

Thursday, December 11, 2008

a big decision

We have always known we would travel. But it was always something we would do after the next baby, when we had paid off the house, when work permitted, when the children were older..... and then one day amongst the looming recession, stock market doom and gloom, and an increase of financial pressures we looked at our life and looked at our boys and then looked at each other and said "Why not? Let's just go."

And so we are going.

It feels wonderfully liberating to have made the decision. But the task ahead of us is not a simple one. There is just so much to be done to sell the house, set up our caravan and prepare for our future. Some of it is wonderfully exciting to plan! Flipping though caravanning magazines, our Camps 4 bible, imagining where we will be in six months or next year... and some of it is downright daunting; insurance, budgets, opportunities for work, buying the right gear.

I can't wait for the journey to begin. And i can't wait to share it with you. If you are thinking about travelling with children, or wondering if you could possibly live in a caravan for a couple of years then i hope we can share a few tips or offer a little inspiration.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hawkesbury River Tourist Park

Hawkesbury River Tourist Park, Windsor.
Nice feeling to the park, would happily stay there again. Perfect if you have a boat. Only simple facilities available but if you want a place to chill out then this is it.
Our rating- 3 stars

Location- 5/10 Out of town but a lovely spot on the river (direct access). About 10min drive to Windsor which is a nice town.

Sites- 6/10 Decent size. Nice and shady.

Bathrooms- 5/10 A little old but nice and clean.

Laundry- 5/10 Two washing machines and one dryer (i think they were $2 a load?) And clothes line area.

Shop- no. A convenience store about 10min drive

Pool- 4/10 regular inground pool.

BBQ area- 5/10. Small shelter with single BBQ overlooking river.

Playground- 3/10. kids slide. Also has a beach volley ball net.
(backdated post- this is where we were staying when we pretty much made the decision to travel.)