Monday, September 03, 2012

Starting Out as a Grey Nomad

Having retired from the workforce, this week Christina and I head off to Geelong in Victoria to pick up our new Blue Sky Caravan on 14 Sep 12.

It will look similar to that shown in the photo at left and promises to be an interesting experience. Neither of us has had much to do with caravans. We have a lot to learn about life on the road with our fellow "Grey Nomads" of whom there are apparently almost 70,000. That is, at any one time, 70,000 people are travelling here and there in caravans. Fortunately Australia is a large country with plenty of room and roads.

The caravan weighs just over 2,000 kg and is within the 3,000 kg towing capacity of our Toyota Prado turbo-diesel 4 wheel drive. We have to learn the art of carrying only what we need and not what we think we need so that we don't overload the caravan or the car. We have a collection of plastic and melamine plates, cups and wine glasses etc. Now I have to learn all about gross vehicle mass, ball weight and how to drive safely pulling a caravan. Given that so many other people can do it and they can't all be professional truck drivers, I'm sure I'll get there.

Reversing into caravan parks and maintaining the caravan are also skills that we will both need to learn. And then of course, we have to learn to live together 24/7 in such a small place. A tad smaller than our house!

Our first touring stint will be around the southern parts of New South Wales and in Victoria as we check out all the equipment, fittings etc of the van. We want to remain close to Geelong just in case we have to return to have warranty matters repaired. It's a long way to Geelong from Alice Springs.

We plan to return home in mid-November and take off for Western Australia in May next year.

I will be posting updates on where we are and what we are doing and hopefully some interesting commentary about parts of Victoria and neighbour state New South Wales. Keep your eye on our blog if you are interested in learning about our travels.


1 comment:

nzm said...

While you're around those parts, keep an eye out for my Aussie photographer friend Malcolm and his Russian wife, Maya.

They live permanently in a caravan and 4WD setup similar to yours, and move around Vic and NSW.

Have fun!