We LOVED our Tasmanian Caravanning Adventure and often commented that we could have mini lapped our most southern state for months and months! The Statton Family are from Tassie and are heading to to the Mainland for their Lap of a Lifetime…with 4 kids in tow! We can’t wait to follow along… Meet The Stattons:
Hi there, we are the Statton family from Tasmania. We are Josh and Helen, both in our mid thirties and our four daughters. Our eldest in 9 year old Ruby, followed by 7 year old Violet, 5 year old Ivy and last but definitely not least our almost 3 year old Elsie. We are starting our big lap in February 2019 (it was meant to be January, but was delayed by Josh who very recently suffered from a burst appendix!!). We love our little island, but cannot wait to explore the ‘mainland’ as we Tasmanians call it.
Josh has been working as a Diesel Mechanic for the last 18 years, self employed for the last 3 years. I have been a Registered Nurse for the 13 years, working in between having babies! We will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary, soon after starting our trip. Life with our four girls is always a bit hectic, messy, noisy and full of surprises. Girls all have quite different personalities. Ruby is the always on the go and the self appointed leader, Violet is quite the thinker and a sensitive soul, Ivy is our wild child who loves an audience and just hilarious and Elsie is fearless, and what she lacks in size she makes up for in volume.
Travelling internationally never really interested us a couple, and even less as a family. But seeing Australia has always been something that we would like to do, but we didn’t have any firm plans. We have only ever been occasional campers. After near disaster in a cheap dome tent and having our first baby we upgraded to a soft floor camper trailer. After a few years we sold it to finish renovating our first home. So we are definitely caravan novices, on a steep learning curve.
After being inspired by some amazing photos that the girls Auntie had taken during a trip up north and down through the red centre, we started to think that we could do the same thing ( with four kids in tow). As a couple we thought that now was an ideal time to travel, while the girls are young enough, we are all healthy, willing and able. As a family we felt that it would be an invaluable experience that will stay with us for a lifetime. It has been 18 months between seriously thinking that we should travel with the girls in a caravan for 12+ months and actually leaving. We sold a lovely home that we built 5 years earlier. We decided that it was the right time to sell for us.
Safety while travelling and caravanning has been our first priority. With this in mind, we chose ‘our rig’. However, they were not easy or simple decisions to make!! We spent countless hours researching all things relating to four wheel drives, towing and caravans. We had decided early on that we definitely wanted a caravan, but finding a caravan large enough for us, without too many compromises and within our budget was challenging. We knew it was going to be a BIG caravan, so we decided to find a tow vehicle first. Most of the researching was left to Josh as this was his ‘department’.
Our chosen tow vehicle is an Iveco Daily 4×4 dual cab. For us it became fairly obvious that a light truck was the way to go. Firstly, we all fit in it, the girls are all in child restraints and still fit. Secondly, the payload is great. Thirdly, it also doubles as a work truck for Josh. And lastly, it a very capable 4WD!! Josh would gladly list more benefits, but there are some disadvantages too (eg. it is long way up in the air), although we felt that there was more pros than cons.
Our new home is a 2015 Jayco Basestation. Josh had eyed these off years ago, being a mad keen dirt biker. However we dismissed them due to there size, 23’4 ft long and 3.3 Tonne. After going around in circles for way too long, we decided that it was the most practical choice, what finally convinced us was the payload of 700kg (The basestation is a ‘toy hauler’, but a this stage NO toys have made their way into the girls bedroom)!! We did have to compromise on a few things, such as a fabulous ensuite, and are now the proud owners of a combined toilet/shower/sink. But the girls have their own bunk room with a SOLID door that we can shut. This is our first caravan, and it is big one, but so far we are very happy with our decision.
For now we are on our final (but slightly altered) countdown to our departure date. Madly trying to finish off the truck and caravan modifications, organising and Josh packing up his workshop. The girls are super excited to start their distance education through the Tasmanian Eschool (buying pretty new stationary always helps). Hopefully their excitement isn’t short lived.
After turning our lives upside down to start this adventure, and make it a reality, we just want it to start already!! We look forward to meeting fellow travelling families, and sharing our adventures.
The Statton Family – AKA StatVan Adventures.
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