We came across Sutics Great AdVANture over on Instagram when they introduced us to Dim Sims on the barbie! Something that we had never done before…we asked them about their caravanning story and like many families they were tired of living in Groundhog Day and decided NOW was the best time to do their lap of oz…we can’t wait to follow along with their adventures!
A bit about ourselves, myself, Racheal and hubby Jayson are both 28 years young with 2 beautiful girls. Tilly who is 4.5 years old, 5 in March and Mia, who is 2 years old. We also had our beautiful boxer Ruby coming along for the ride as well.
We were just your average family, we had just moved into our ‘dream home’ that we designed and built in Feb 2018. That was going to be it, our forever home! We were also running an electrical company with Jayson being the work horse & myself doing all the boring behind the scene stuff as well as working part time with another company doing more admin work.
Tilly was doing her year in kindergarten, and was even preparing to start school this year.
But we had had enough! We were over doing the same thing day in and day out… work, pay bills, pay mortgage, work some more. Sure it was amazing having our own beautiful home, but it just didn’t do so amazing on our mental health with Jayson working long hours with his business and myself running the household. And for what?
Then in around July / August I made the call! Lets sell everything, get a caravan and travel around Australia! We were always planning to do it eventually! So why not now? The kids are at a great age. We would have no financial commitments and we would be free to do as we please! Of course Jayson was on board straight away…but when I say something, I mean it!
THE PLANNING PROCESS…
The following week I had made sure to get 3 real estate agents in to value our house. I had done up a budget list as well as our debts that needed to be paid off.
It was POSSIBLE. We could do this & do it comfortably for a year!
We set a budget for a caravan, made a list of the modifications to the car which needed to be done and a rough idea of everything we wanted to sell.
The only downfall was we needed to finish our landscaping before we could get our place on the market!
Over the next month we made some serious progress and got the front and backyard ready for photographs so we could get the place up online.
Boy we put in some serious man hours and money getting that all done! We had a huge amount of help from a group of Jayson’s mates with a fair few sausage sizzles and slabs to show our appreciation.
PREPPING THE CAR…
One bonus was we already had a vehicle we could use to travel around Aus.. our Prado was going to get a few upgrades but she would be the tow vehicle taking us around.
We booked it in for a bulbar, spotlights, suspension upgrade, clearview mirrors, a UHF radio a ARB Roof rack and awning and other minor touches once this was all completed, she was ready to tow.
FINDING A VAN…
Once we knew the Prado was going to be our tow vehicle, I knew I needed to find a van in the suitable weight limit. That was proving to be a task in itself! Because we knew we wanted the full set up with bunks, ensuite ect to allow us to go off grid & free camp as much as possible I was finding that a lot of the main caravan companies were quite heavy!!
I almost gave up, but then I came across the essential family cruiser from a dealer in Traralgon, Ian Grants Caravans.
We knew their vans were top quality as we already had a couple of family friends who had purchased from there, but we never looked at purchasing a brand new van!
Once we went down and had a look we knew it was the van for us! It was the perfect size, weight and had the all important separate area for the girls to sleep with the divider door!
We put down our deposit and set an end of October pick up date to ensure we had enough time before we set off to settle in and give it a test run.
With the car and caravan ticked off the list, now was just the waiting game for the house to sell!
ALL COMING TOGETHER…
It was the grand final long weekend when we finally got the news we were after! The offer we were looking for! It wasn’t the settlement date we needed so the purchaser was happy enough to release the deposit allowing us to pick up our van for when we anticipated it to be ready!!
I had already begun selling the little household items, wow what a task! So…much…stuff!!! And don’t even get me started on the facebook marketplace stuff arounds!! It was enough to send me crazy, well even more so!
Of course we also copped quite a few bumps in the road, as most families do!
There was delays on the house going unconditional meaning we couldn’t get our deposit and pick up our caravan, or new home I should say! Plus a few other minor stresses keeping us on our toes!
But we got there in the end!
We finally picked up our van on 5th December! Just 2 weeks prior to setting off arghhhh
We got everything sorted in the van within the week
Then we did our final goodbyes, early Christmas celebrations & crazy running around with the final bits that needed to be stored before we set off all the weekend prior to leaving.
OFF WE GO…
Tuesday December 18th…. We finally got hooked up and on our way to our first destination BROULEE
This is our Christmas holiday location for the past 10 years, so it was only fitting we had to make the trip start off here! We were able to switch off, relax and let the kids run free for 2 weeks before beginning the true Caravanning with Kids lifestyle.
We hope you enjoy watching our memories as much as we cant wait to make them…we hope to run into as may other travelling families as we can so if you see us, made sure you come say hi and join us for happy hour.
Pop over to Instagram to follow their trip of a lifetime…
Meet Tilly and her NEW Travel Journal – the perfect way to capture her families memorable moments as they lap our gorgeou country! You can get your own Travel Journal here…