Early Adventures in the Robbiebago

First trip

For our first adventure we spent a week in January 2009 at Dalmeny down the south coast of NSW, trying the van out. I even managed to blow up the glass cover of the cook top on the very first night of cooking. How was I to know that the off is adjacent to the high on the gas burner. Logically speaking you would expect it to go from high to low to off - it does on an electric hot plate! Oh well I know otherwise now!

South Australia: the real try out

In April we went for a longer 4 week trip to SA to give the caravan it first real workout. We went via a 3 night stay with friends in Nagambie, Vic. (Hi Ken & Heather).

We then proceeded to Robe on the lovely Limestone Coast and met up with Bob’s brother, Eric & his lovely wife, Marion. We had a terrific time travelling around seeing this part of God’s marvellous country.

The coastline & countryside around Mt Gambier are delightful. I really enjoyed the fossil caves at Narracoorte. The walking tracks & driving trips around Flinders Ranges are 2 superb highlights for me.

Things were a bit wet over on at Port Ellicot and so we soon moved up to the elegant city of Adelaide and thoroughly enjoyed the Adelaide Botanical Gardens there and a bit of shopping also filled a couple of hours in the wet weather. We really didn't visit much of Adelaide. We will have to come back another time, this trip was more about seeing the natural beauties of the eastern half of South Australia.

Photo Source: Harndorf Streetscape
I can recommend a day trip to the Lutheran German village of Hahndorf with it's culture driven shops and hotels. The crafts there had Marion and I in ruptures.

Afterwards we continued into the absolutely beautiful surrounds of the Adelaide Hills enjoying the scenic drive and the beauty of the foliage and flowers that surrounded us everywhere.
The day was completed with a lovely time of fellowship & a lovely dinner with our past minister, Fred & Helen V.
After a few days we moved on towards Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges with a few stops along the way. I was surprised at the surrounds here. I had expected the mountains to be higher and such, but after a few walks I was certainly glad it wasn't more rugged and steep. I just enough engergy and fitness to handle what was there. Eric and I left Rob and Marion behind on some of the longer walks. It was here that we parted company to each make our own way home, even though we live within 60 minutes of each other.

Building our caravan

We started building our own caravan last year when we discovered that we couldn’t get what we felt we needed. Both Rob & myself have bad backs and we can't sit in camp chairs or the boxy type of seats that most caravans have for any length of time. We needed to have proper chairs that support our backs properly. We found them long before we started to approach caravan builders. However none of the major caravan builders would allow for the boxy seats to be replaced with chairs. The boxy seats are "part of the structural strength of a caravan".

We built the trailer (axle shown upside down on top of another trailer that we used as a bench).

Once the idea idea of a custom made caravan was deemed feasible we started dreaming and planning what we wanted in a caravan of our dreams. Of course there were a few cost restraints as we tried to be reasonable and reconcile practicality finances and desires along with Rob's considerable building talents. Some of our desires included higher kitchen bench, shower & toilet, single beds that slide together for times of intimacy, higher beds to utilize great storage spaces under them and as much storage space as we could muster in all sorts of places.

All aluminum framework - looking into the bedroom here

Many, many, months and new skills acquired along the way, our van has taken shape. There were some real challenges for Rob but with perseverance he overcame all obstacles. So now we have this wonderful custom built slide on - slide out caravan with the lounge and chairs for comfort, higher kitchen benches and other features that we particularly desired.

The chairs that inspired the caravan

We have named the caravan, "Robbiebago" – Robbie built it and it is a bay that goes. It is our unique version of the famous Winni…And this blog will help document the adventures we will have. Come and join us from the comfort of your computer or even better come and join us on the road ahead.

We even built 2 slide outs - one each side opposite each other.