Roland & Cora

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Grey nomads and campervan trael
Roland and Cora love their free camping

Brisbanites Roland H, 75, & wife Cora, 74 (aka corolly) take trips ranging from three days to three months. And they just love the campervan they travel in

What do you travel in?
A 1986 Nissan Civilian which we fitted it out to our require­ments. It has a 60ltr fridge/freezer, shower, toilet, plenty of cupboard space, 172ltrs of general water storage and 55ltr of filtered drinking water, a 2kva generator, and 120 watt solar panel. It is small enough to go most places including the majority of shopping cen­tre car parks, but it has virtu­ally all the comforts of home.

Where do you camp?
We generally free camp, and rarely use caravan parks because of the cost and the proximity to other vans. On a recent month-long trip to north Queensland, we stayed at one park because we wanted to and three because we had no other choice. Had we stayed only at van parks, our costs would have increased – based on the average costs of overnight stays – by about $1,000!

Favourite meal?
The delicious stew done in the thermal cooker which tanta­lises the sense of smell as its escaping aromas waft through the rig as it cooks whilst you drive along the road.

Hobbies on road?
Video and photographic recording to put to DVD when we get home so we can relive the memories. Coral does lots of jigsaws on the iPad.

Scariest experience?
When Cora got badly scalded by water from an overheated radiator as I removed the cap. It was a hard lesson learned. I performed this topping up the radiator operation many times before without incident, but this time an airlock in the head caused a sudden rush of water to gush up to the ceiling and drop onto my wife. Fortu­nately, we were close to medi­cal attention at the Tennant Creek Hospital. The expert attention we received there and at Katherine and Darwin saw her free of dressings in 10 days. You should never have anyone in the passenger seat of an RV of this type whilst performing this task!

Advice for other nomads
It’s no fun staring at the back of the vehicle in front of you on the highway. If there is another less travelled route, take it. We have sometimes travelled roads where we have seen one car in about 100 kilometres and then we reckon that was one too many. Some say we travel too far in a day, 300 kilometres or more some­times. However, as it is often necessary to traverse the same roads, what we miss is there to be seen on later journeys.

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