My husband Hans and I have been Members of CMCA for many years and I must say I love The Wanderer magazine, it always gives us plenty of good tips and ideas for places to go, etc. We went around Australia some years ago with our caravan and a 4WD vehicle, and we completed the big lap, as they say! At the time, having a caravan suited us well but I always knew I wanted a motorhome. We are now retired and moved into an over 50’s resort, near the Coomera River, on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Thinking our travelling days were over, we sold the caravan and purchased a smaller car, a little Pomeranian dog, Fritzi, and have now been here for five years.
Well the travel bug has bitten me once again and I do not want to grow old sitting here stagnating. Hans has Parkinson’s but he is still well enough to do small trips to some of the many great places close by.
My motorhoming dream had come alive again and I could not put down the many editions of The Wanderer magazine we had collected over the years. I had always thought about what vehicle I would choose if I did get a motorhome; I do all the driving so I wouldn’t want anything too big, and with a budget around $50,000 I started to look at the for sale ads. I could soon see that I would not be able to get what I wanted on my budget; most vehicles were too old with big mileage, many of the layouts just would not suit, or they were simply too far away for me to look at.
I was thinking about the size of a transit van, but with Hans being 6’2” I needed to ask my mechanic if he knew what the internal height etc. was. Luckily a company had just opened up around the corner that he had been doing a bit of work for. Well, that really was my lucky day!
Around I went. I could not believe my luck and so close to home as well. The company had moved down from Brisbane and had been in the business for many years. I needed an automatic with three seats in the front, as we needed a seat for Fritzi the dog, and they offered to help me find a van that would suit.
True to their word, they rang me a few weeks later; the owner even took a trip up to Brisbane to have a look at one for me, measure it up and make sure I would get everything into it that I wanted. It was a Renault Master 2008 model.
My good friend next door drove me up to have a look and we took it for a drive, we liked it and I bought it! I drove around over Christmas to get used to it. I love her; I call her a she and have named her Schatzi - that is German for treasure.
I had a firm price for the fit out, paid a deposit and Schatzi went off to get her new interior. The guys were great and could not have been more helpful. They found the van, went up to look at it, offered to come with me and drive it back, even offered to store it over Christmas at their property if needed. They didn’t even charge me for all this help.
I was able to pick all my colours and do my own layout. I put in a longer bed for Hans, a bigger fridge higher up with draws underneath so I wouldn’t have to get down on my knees to get something out of it. I don’t intend to do a lot of cooking, so I had a slide out gas burner put in to enable me to cook outside under the awning if I want to. The microwave oven sits on top of the fridge and solar panels will keep us going when we’re not on power. We had a shower and toilet fitted so that we can be self-contained and last but not least, air conditioning; I feel we will need it.
To sum it all up, we were getting a custom made motorhome in a second hand vehicle all for my original budget price and we could not be happier. Then we just had to wait until she was ready, approximately four weeks.
Then the big day finally came! I am still so thrilled with the results; I would not change a thing. I decided on a lime green and grey in the deck outside, which looks so fresh. I feel so lucky to have picked the right people; they did a great job and were extremely helpful, making me feel like a part of the family.
So, if you see us around the Gold Coast please come up and say hello. You will not miss us with Schatzi written on the top and the back.
Tags: Travel RV Motorhome Caravan Campervan Lucky The Wanderer 4WD Tips Members GOld Coast Renault Master Ford Transit
Written: Sat 01 Jun 2013
Printed: June, 2013