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Ready for take-off? Make sure you have gone through the important list of haves and have nots
Words and Images by: Sue and John Turner T75656

As we rounded a bend I heard something crash behind me. I turned around to see the fridge door swinging wildly, the precious pears we had just purchased rolling around the floor. I was sure I had latched the fridge door.

Every time we set out we go through the check list. It feels like we are an airline crew. Windows closed – check; hatches down – check; door knobs in, soap and shampoo out of the shower, rubbish bin, dish-washing liquid in the bucket and into the sink, curtains tied back, (you can’t see through the back window if they are flying free), water pump off, gas shut off – check, check, check.

We have travelled with a hatch up. Who hasn’t? We have forgotten to turn the gas off. We are probably not the only ones who forget that. We have seen others take off with their TV aerial sailing high. Our TV aerial never causes us a problem. We don’t have one. Chocks away, check the ground behind to make sure nothing has been left as we leave. I think my view through the outside mirror could be a bit restricted for that one.

I like to take a walk around the camper before we leave a spot and do an outside check just in case, but we always seem to miss something. We have even missed locking the door. We usually need a place to pull up just after setting out so I can push in a few buttons or latch a door. We rarely manage to set off without something to stop for.

Recently we had just arrived at our destination for the night, when John asked me where the doormat was. Outside the door was my reply. No, no doormat. We must have left it where we stayed the previous night, either there or maybe that day’s lunch stop. We were with a group so anything could have happened.

Curtains tied back to take in the scenery

Last night’s stop was only a kilometre away. It’s a long story.

We had walked into Montezuma Falls, near Rosebery in Tasmania’s west that day, one of the best walks we have ever done, 4km each way to Tasmania’s highest waterfall; spectacular, easy walking, beautiful scenery and I didn’t see any leeches.

Checking the gas is off

So, after tea, we walked back to our previous camping spot just to check. I liked that doormat. There was no doormat, but nearby I spied another one, all on its own, a lost doormat. Maybe someone had swapped it for ours. At least now we had a doormat. We returned home a few days later with the new (much older than ours) doormat, and lo and behold! What’s that on the garage floor? Our doormat! Sitting on the floor in the shed where we had left it. If anyone is missing an oldish greeny-coloured mat left behind at Tullah, in Tasmania, you can claim it from our place. I think we should add the doormat to the check list.

The doormat in the garage at home

Another one to add to the check list is to look out for the welfare of other motorhomers. We had a good example recently. We were approaching an intersection on the Lake Leake Road in the midlands of Tasmania when a beautiful pink-striped Avida went past. We followed them, keeping pace for quite a while. The mobile rang, so we stopped to talk. The Avida sailed off into the distance.

On starting off again an ambulance went past in the opposite direction. We pulled into Campbell Town overnight stop a while later to be greeted by the people from the beautiful Avida. When we disappeared from view, they had become concerned for our welfare, especially when the ambulance went haring past in the opposite direction. It was so nice of total strangers to be concerned for others, just another example of the wonderful people we have met through free camping and a good one to add to the check list.

A few weeks ago John installed an electric step – another thing to remember. I can’t imagine the damage it could do if we took off down the road with it sticking out the side of the camper. The old manual one that was on the camper when we got it had been reshaped by the previous owner and was never the same afterwards. I like the push button variety. Add it to the check list.

Chocks up at Lilydale Falls Reserve

What to take with you when you go away needs a check list all of its own. How often do we get down the road and discover what has been left at home? John made up a list of things to go through before we set out each time. The problem is I don’t know where he has put it.

Tags: Check List Travel TV Fridge Clocks Locks Campervan Motorhome Caravan Travel
Category: Features
Written: Thu 01 Sep 2016
Printed: September, 2016
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