TOURING TOWARDS TEX
Thirty two years ago I had a plan to leave Sydney and drive to Western Australia in the Holden V8, but my good lady Viv convinced me to put the car on the Indian Pacific, book a sleeper carriage and enjoy the trip in a different way. A few years after that, when airfares were skyrocketing and I was studying part time as well as doing home renovations as an owner builder, Viv and our two year old son, Jay, went back to Sydney for a month or so and so they took the bus trip-arrgh! Then, as the years went by, we have had to make many quick trips back for family reasons, so the planes have certainly come into their own. So for all my travels around the country, I am yet to drive the Nullarbor, but that is changing as of tomorrow.
Eight years ago I purchased a Mitsubishi Canter truck with a slide on camper and drove from Kununurra to Toowoomba to collect it, a round trip of about 6000kms. The slide on camper had originally come from Montana USA, back in 1995 and was then customised to fit the Canter in Qld. For this reason, she was affectionately known as ‘Monty’. Monty has been shaken, rattled and bounced along some amazing tracks in WA, showing some serious signs of wear and tear and so has now been put out to pasture and housed on our block. Ah, but there has been a new one in the planning and because it is originally made in Texas, by Northern Lite Campers, it has been named ‘Tex’. Tex arrived by ship in Brisbane back in October and was then freighted to Garry Davis of Truck Campers Australia, in Nelson’s Bay, to be fitted out and rebadged as the original Aussie Base Station. As the prototype, I have been providing Garry with numerous ideas to make this unique ultra light, slide on truck camper a life time investment for our business travels and beyond. Truck Campers Australia will soon be providing the whole package, including fully fitted out truck and camper, for those with the budget and sense of adventure. For us, being able to enjoy the comforts of a motorhome which is detachable whenever required, then have the 4 wheel drive truck for daily use or short camping trips to more difficult locations and also tow a decent boat around the country and launch and retrieve it wherever I choose, is just perfect. Also, many caravans are travelling overloaded these days and mobile Dep’t of Transport weighbridges are being set up on primary roads, with the consequences often very inconvenient, not to mention the dangers of driving overweight. No problems with my new rig as the truck has a gross vehicle mass
( GVM ) of 6000kg and another 3200kg gross combined mass ( GCM 9200kg ) permitted to be towed behind, well within my requirements even once fueled up, water containers, gas bottles and jerry cans filled, etc, etc.
So tomorrow I am finally heading off across the Nullarbor, with my son Jay, who is licensed to drive the truck as well, to collect Tex. We will be roughing it a bit on the way over, sleeping in swags on the back of the truck and heating up our pre-cooked meals wherever possible, but the trip back with Tex will be much more comfortable. Besides the excitement of the new truck camper, what better way to spend some time with your son then to do a road trip of over 8000kms, where I’m sure we will both find out more about each other.