A quick update: Although we chose a Toyota Prado before our trip, from our experience our recommendation to anyone considering doing a similar trip is: DONT. For more info on why see this post Warning: Don’t buy a Toyota Prado to travel in remote Australia
Otherwise our home for the next year or so will be a Kedron Compact CP5 caravan or “the little Keddie”. Thanks to the guys at Kedron in Brisbane http://www.kedroncaravans.com for setting us up at short notice. After the manufacturers of our originally ordered caravan went bankrupt, we were in a bit of a pickle trying to find a compact off-road caravan under the 3 tonne towing limit of our car that ticked most of the boxes we needed, so we are grateful that they could help us. Here are some pictures we took at the factory. picking up “keddie” at the factory
The Kedron website provides details of the CP5, but in short, the main things we were after were a reputable off-road capable unit with the key features that allow free camping in luxury: plenty of solar panels; a good-sized lithium battery with inverter; a decent amount of water storage and a full en suite with separate shower and toilet (the idea of showering in the toilet just seems a bit wrong).
To pull our home around (and get us to some of the more remote parts of our journey), we bought a new Toyota Prado GX. Maddy thinks it’s a bit ugly, but Steve doesn’t share that view. Let us know what you think.
We gave the Prado a suspension upgrade to handle the additional load it will be carrying (+/- 250kg on the tow ball, plus a whole lot of other stuff) and additional clearance. We’ve also had it kitted out with a dual battery system to power the car fridge, a storage drawer system and bullbar. A last-minute addition was a winch – we will see if it will ever be used, but if we have it, we hopefully won’t need it (like the satellite phone).
In case you are wondering, yes the caravan has a fridge too. However there will be some places where the caravan just won’t be able to go so it will be nice to have cold fresh food on those 2 or 3 day camping sorties. Also, keeping the weight of the caravan down below the legal limit is a challenge – especially when loaded with 220 litres in the water tanks, so we will be keeping drinks and heavier food items in the car fridge.
We also have a little fold up porta boat with 5hp outboard to explore some creeks and waterways. This boat folds up to the size of a stand-up paddle board. The boat goes on the Prado’s roof rack together with a trunk containing the outboard motor, anchor, fuel and a few other boat related things). Steve conjured an interesting crane arrangement to get it all up there without the need to call on 2 or 3 blokes to help (hopefully we can post a video one day of the crane being used).