‘We’ve certainly made mistakes, but we finally have our perfect caravan!’

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Thomas and Anita (inset) have been caravanning for years

The search for the rig that’s the perfect ‘fit’ can be a long one for many grey nomads. In some cases, it can take several years and several hundred thousand kilometres to truly understand what it is that is really, really important … and what’s not!

And, of course, budget comes into the equation.

Having cut their teeth on a 17’6 poptop caravan, and having spent many years travelling in a 20’ caravan, Thomas Jacobsen and wife Anita had always regretted not getting a 21’ van.

In 2004, after selling their property they suddenly had the funds to correct the ‘error’ and buy their dream caravan … now lovingly dubbed ‘Bliss on Wheels’.

They had the vehicle made by Boroma and carefully thought through every aspect of their purchase, including its colouring, upholstery and interior finish.

“With the extra foot of length, we added nine inches to the bathroom, one inch to the dinette area, and two inches to the bedroom,” said Thomas. “We also reversed the shower and toilet from shower on kerbside, to the other side and toilet to the kerbside.”

The couple used the extra nine inches in the kerbside toilet area to include a floor to ceiling pantry which protruded into the toilet space and which they say has proven to be a master stroke. They also opted for a 190-litre 12-volt fridge compared to the 130-litre fridge in the previous van.

“The Gypsy bed on our current caravan finished up 7’4” long and 50” wide, so a real asset which has been used a great deal,” said Thomas. “We also wired the roof for an Oyster Satellite system which we fitted about one year later, as well as a Webasto Diesel Heater around the same time.”

About five years ago, the couple met a man who was a wizard on low voltage and solar installation and they seized the chance to tweak their dream home on the road.

“We had him to remove the original solar panels which Page 2 were very inefficient and we now have 680 watts of solar and upgraded to 150 amp batteries,” said Thomas. “This allows us to be self-sufficient for power most of the time, meaning we do not often go to caravan parks.”

The couple also carry a 2.4 KVA Yamaha generator which they usually only use for the microwave, and they have a 300 watt inverter for all other appliances including a photocopier.

So, is their beloved caravan now about as close to perfect for them as it can get?

“Well, we called it ‘Bliss on Wheels’ for a reason,” said Thomas.

• What features would you choose if you could specify the perfect rig? Email us here to share your thoughts.

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