Rob’s new hobby – a little history first

The Fuso just made it across 4,380km (2,730 miles)
Rob has bought himself a bus to convert to a motorhome. It is a 7m long Fuso. He has wanted to convert a bus into a motorhome since way before we started to build the caravan. The original idea was  for a full size bus. However, I put the brakes on that idea after many discussions, due mainly to the expense of buying a bus and let alone the cost of the subsequent conversion. Horrible person that I am. My thinking was that a person only takes a few weeks holidays in a year, so why spend so much money for something that depreciates, it would be just as cheap to drive and book motel rooms each year! Which was what we were going to do for holidays from now on. Yeah Right!

First a little bit of our history

I never envisioned spending more than a few weeks at a time in a RV. Rob had this dream of a big trip travelling around Australia. He proceeded to make our caravan which was a much cheaper option than a big bus, with my blessings. We were looking at retirement in 5 or 10 years and I really don't like holidays in a hotel even resorts. I was used to people actually talking to me and being outgoing and friendly. We weren't the pub or clubbing sort. So after a few holidays in resorts, admittedly in some marvellous locations, I knew that holidays in an RV of some sort was more suited to our personalities.

Caravaning is 'our thing'

We couldn't get a caravan made just the way we wanted, mainly to remove the boxy dinettes and replace them with recliner chairs. Even the major companies wouldn't touch it as the dinettes "are part of the structural strength of  a caravan."
So the concept of the wonderful Robbiebago was conceived. After a long 'pregnacy" of 10 months our big baby was born and we took it out for a trial run. First was a trial run on a weekend trip to a mate’s yard at the beautiful seaside town of Dalmeny on the South Coast of NSW, where I proceeded to blowup the cook top on my first meal and then 4 week trip to South Australia. You can read about our adventures and my misadventure in this early post!

I could handle 4 weeks no problem. Rob had made our caravan with 2 slide outs opposite each other in the lounge room/dinning room and there was no chance of getting cabin fever. However I wasn't so sure about 6 months in a caravan, even with the marvelous slide outs, but it is something Rob has always wanted to do and I am game to try anything at least once. As I said before I can't have it my way all the time. (Shh... don't tell him that I admitted that though!)

The Robbiebago Caravan

The trip  of a lifetime

Northern Territory

March 2010  was the start of the "big" trip. We quickly went across to Port Augusta, had a short trip down Spencer Gulf before heading up the Centre of Australia, taking in such places as Uluru, Katherine Gorge, Alice Springs, Darwin, Kakadu and our epic trip across the Aboriginal land Arnhem Land etc. We started our trip north with some volunteer work at Roxby Downs

Western Australia

Going west from NT for most of us travellers means going through Kununarra. There are just too many places to mention all of them here. However what I consider to be the highlights include the driving and walking around the Bungle Bungles, flying & jet boating over the The Horizontal Waterfalls, walking the picturesque Karajini National Park, swimming at  Ningaloo Reef, handling a sea hare at Monkey Mia, the magnificence of the famous Western Australia Wildflowers, seeing my first rodeo at Meekatharra  and the Pinnacles. We hadn't even started on Perth or south western WA let alone made our way back home and we had already been on the road for 9 months and we weren't ready to stay home just yet. We still had other places to see such as the food & wine heaven Margaret River area, Kalgoorlie and the Nullabour which were to take up another 3 months after a flight back home for Christmas and then flying back to continue our trip.

We loved being on the road

All up, it ended up being 15 months instead of the 6 month trip we had expected. We loved it all; the lifestyle, the travelling, the people we met everywhere and the volunteer work we did. Our wonderful Robbiebago caravan made it all possible. Not only did we have our our accommodation with us everywhere, but with the slide outs, it was roomy and we certainly never suffered from cabin fever even when confined indoors! With such extremely comfortable recliner lounge & chairs inside, we had to make ourselves get out to socialize with the other travellers, since this is a huge part of the attraction of caravaning for us.

Now you understand

Somewhere along the way, we became addicted to seeing our marvellous country and meeting the people along the way. We were going to keep travelling as long as our health and budget allowed us. We were no longer likely to just disappear into the blue yonder for just a couple of weeks in a year.
Hence when on our recent trip around Queensland, Rob got to talking and admiring some of the motorhomes we saw and the seed of an idea started to germinate once again. Hence we ended up buying a bus to do up. So come follow this new project as we rip the chairs out, gut it and start to convert a humble bus into a motorhome suited to our dream of travelling around Australia.

10 comments:

  1. Come on Rob get moving! I've caught up now the next bit. Ps photos as well as you get on with it!!Jane

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    1. Everything takes time Jane... Actually it is me, taking my time doing the writing bit. I have a draft done, just waiting Rob's time & OK on the technical side of things!

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  2. very descriptive - well done. We will catch up soon --Neil K

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    1. Come around one day soon Neil,and see the bus for yourself. You are welcome on just about any day off you have, with the exception of Mondays. Otherwise we will make it a formal invite soon.

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  3. I am very interested in this conversion as I have been thinking of doing up a bus too, but a larger one at this stage.
    What criteria did you use for shoosing your bus? What made to select this particular bus? Will you be publishing your costs and suppliers too?

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  4. Thanks for your inquiry Jono. Our first preference was for a wide boady Hino. As with a lot of people we had a dream and then reality hit and budget played into it a fair bit. There is really too much to post here in a reply. Come back in the new year and I will write up a post answering your question in more detail. See you then.

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  5. I will be back from time to time following your conversion.

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    1. Thank you Eric for your encouragement regarding our bus to motorhome conversion.

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Thank you so much for popping by, I appreciate your comments!
Michelle