Jim & Jean

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Finally ... after 41 attempts, Jim and Jean have found their perfect caravan, a '95 Coromal Capri 22'

Jim & Jean (72 & 64) aka ‘kiwijims’ have travelled in both Australia and New Zealand … and have gone through 41 caravans along the way!

What rig do you travel in?
95 Coromal Capri 22’

Why does your current rig suit your lifestyle?
After buying 41 caravans in our life time, we have finally found the caravan that, now has everything we have ever wanted in a caravan. I have just built-in a shower and fitted a new HWS, battery back-up, generator and extra tanks for Fresh and Grey water,   the van has a separate toilet room. And I have fitted a small washing machine where the extra freezer was in the kitchen area.

How long have you been into caravanning?
Most of my working life, We had a C/V yard in N.Z .back in 82 before coming back to Aussie we’ve owned 41 caravans in our lifetime.

Have you done much caravanning in New Zealand?
We found you only required two things to tow a caravan over there, they were good steering and very good brakes, not a place for the faint hearted on some of those mountain roads.

Where do you like to camp ?
We like to free camp as much as possible. We have met a great deal of very friendly people while stopping in many of the out of the way bush camps. We found a different type of camper in caravan parks. They seem to stick together in their own group , not at all friendly to  those with smaller / cheaper vans,

What is your favourite thing about the grey nomad lifestyle?
 The freedom of going where and when you like, at your own speed with no boss to breath down your neck (except SWMBO)

Is there anything you don’t like about life on the road?
Yes, we try to keep well off the main roads where possible, love finding the little villages in the back country, people there are living the slow life, are more friendly and easy going.

Has your outlook changed since taking your first trip?
Yes a great deal, our first trip cost heaps in fuel because we must have taken three of everything, now we only take what we actually used last trip.

Favourite on-the-road meal?  
This is a hard one, mainly because we love so much, I would say it would be fresh Scallops done in batter and cooked on an open fire in a good heavy fry pan with fresh mushrooms chucked in just to add a bit of flavour.

Do you have any on the-road hobbies?
Yes, I love reading those cheap Paperback Westerns, Jean likes to do puzzles and also reads a lot.

Anything you bring with you that you wouldn’t be without?
Yes the laptop computer and a very close second would be the Navigator along with the Camps book

Favourite place in Australia?
Our favourite place would have to be Tasmania, what a great mob of friendly people live there. Plenty of free camp sites and many with free BBQ;s etc,  we spent four months down there and would go back  tomorrow ( if it was a lot cheaper to get there )

What is your scariest experience as a grey nomad?
This would have to be in N.Z. we had travelled down the South Island and saw the Glaciers, from there we wanted to go over the mountains and on further South to Queenstown, the road we took was almost straight up, we climbed 11.000 ft in 20 km the road was only one way and as we neared the top a coach came around the corner, having no-where to go and knowing that if I stopped the weight of our van would drag us backwards, I kept the foot down we were in first gear as it was,  luckily for us the coach driver must have realized our predicament because he waved us on and drove the bus hard into the side of the mountain, we just managed to scrape past and kept going until we got to the top of the hill, stopping there we boiled the kettle with very shaking hands, that cup of coffee never tasted so good.

Any advice for other grey nomads?
I would say, don’t take extra stuff with you that you don’t require, it only adds to weight and to poor fuel consumption,  take your time and see all you can, it’s a mighty big country out there, enjoy it

Advice to wannabe grey nomads?
M
aybe if one isn’t sure that they will like the life style, then hire or borrow a caravan and try it out for a few weeks, if you still like it after this, Don’t think any longer, do it, get out there and enjoy yourselves.

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