One of the most regular questions we get asked is
How do you survive?
So let me explain.
When we first arrive into Perth, Western Australia one of our priorities was to find the perfect vehicle to travel and live in.
We discovered the Landcruiser Troopcarrier to be our favourite from viewing many vehicles over a month.
It was spacious, two fuel tanks and being a 4 wheel drive meant we could literally go anywhere.
We spent the first 7 weeks converting and building a set up with basic tools and various free or cheap material sourced locally. Cutoffs and the freebie section on Gumtree is great for bargains.
We didn’t have a fixed budget in mind but wanted to try keep it low as possible. We found stores like SuperCheap Auto, BCF, Repco, JayCar , Kmart , 4WD Supercenter always have great value products.
We spent our days, stripping the car completely, sanding, cleaning, and repainting areas. The car had some rust so we did our best to fix the issue areas. Markus being an engineer drew our plans how the set up would be.
We used a second hand ikea shelf which was free as our main structure. It gave us storage compartments, and the main part to sleep on. We build a chest and storage unit which all connected and fitted perfectly in the vehicle forming a L shape.
Giving us plenty of storage space, and a decent sitting area which also sourced as our sleeping area. We purchased a basic foam mattress from Clark Rubber for $150 which we attached to the shelf. This part was pretty time consuming and long. Cutting the fabric and holding it together by pushing pins into the wood. *Painful*
Markus build a small unit with switches for the LED lights, USB ports and a voltage gauge. We wanted the vehicle to be practical and not just a basic setup. So a lot of sauntering and fiddling around happened.
We used the backdoor as our kitchen area, with a strong cutoff of plywood ( later changed into checkerplate for easier cleaning ) that folded down to a table, this supports our double gas stove along with other cooking accessories.
We purchased 4 new tyres, whilst in Perth. This wasn’t cheap, $1200 , but having a decent set is the best investment for a trip around Australia,espeacially if you plan to go off the normal roads and into remote areas.
In terms of essentials
We invested in
120 Watt solar panel
42 litre Engel fridge/freezer (second hand)
Air compressor (deflating and inflating tyres)
Camping table and chairs
2 stove gas cooker
4kg gas bottle
Sony car radio with USB
Kettle, pots, pans, cups plates, tea towels, pegs etc
2 plastic boxes 12 volt magnetic light
Roof rack ($300 second hand)
Awning Homemade construction
25 litre Water tanks *2
We have been fortunate over the months to meet some friendly and incredible travelers. Especially through the Troopcarriers of Australia Facebook page. Who have helped us out with various things whilst on the road.
In terms of maintenance to the car, we always changed the oil and filter around the 5,000 km mark. Replaced the batteries once, the timing belt, a brake pad and the diff oil.
We met up with a group of troopy travellers whilst in Tasmania. And managed to score ourselves a shower tent which honestly was a great accessory. Saving us $70.
Living on the road we learnt what we really needed to survive. That living simply is the best, you truly appreciate all the small things. Especially the constant change of view we woke up.
Having solar meant we could keep everything charged, including laptop ,phones, camera etc.
A 4kg gas bottle kept us going for several months at a time for our cooking. Public parks in Australia usually have BBQ stoves so we tried to use them as often as possible to save our gas.
Two fuel tanks filled with diesel meant we could travel atleast 1200km.
We always carried at least 60plus litres of water. Most public areas, fuel stations, libraries offer drinking taps to restock.
Having a 42 litre fridge meant we could keep fresh veg, meat and other items cool. We always stocked up on staples such as tins and dry food.
Most of the time we would do a weekly shop to stock up on food.
We used laundry places to do our washing. Rather than paying $$$ for a campsite, we would pay around $12 for a couple of loads and find a free camp.
The same applies with showering if we found free public showers we always took full advantage. Other side if we found ourselves camping longer than a day or so we set up our showering tent with our bucket and 12 volt shower.
Whilst on the road getting workouts completed was always part of the routine, so where ever we parked up, a workout would happen.
In General we kept our living costs low, using Wiki camps as our main source when it comes to finding camps and places to visit. It has truly saved us lots of $$ and also got us to experience camping with the locals.
Over the course of nearly two years we have experienced and seen some amazing places in all the state’s and territories. Covering around 50,000 km so far.