A Young Aussie Family's Journey Across Three States In a Hired Caravan
In the middle of 2016, Jonathan and Melissa Harris decided they wanted to take their two young children Everett (2 and a half) and Scarlett (11 months) on an adventure.
The family planned to head down to South West Victoria from Tieri, a small mining town in Central Queensland, to spend Christmas with Melissa’s family and then travel back up the East Coast on the way back home.
They had bought a camper trailer earlier that year as they were planning on doing a Cape trip but that fell through and will be something they will do again when the kids are a bit older. They proceeded to book in sites at caravan parks instead. They booked Echuca on the Murray River, then Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Alex Beach and finally Agnes Waters - spending three or four nights at each spot.
"Failing to plan is planning to fail"
After doing a trial run with the camper trailer in Yeppoon, they decided that it was going to tougher than what they initially thought. Jonathan realised the set up and pack up times as well as the amount of stuff needed for two young children was ridiculous. And it was around November when Melissa started to panic.
“We decided that it was going to be too hard and that we needed something easier if we were going to be travelling so far and stopping for short amounts of time. So we called around every rental place for caravans and of course everything was booked out, we even contemplated buying a caravan,” she said.
However, after some time, they stumbled across the Camplify
system. They had never heard of it before and, like many others, they became very intrigued.
“The concept of Camplify is brilliant. People that own caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes or camper vans are able to put them up for hire
instead of letting them sit unused in their sheds or on their driveways. Why not earn some money back on the investment? If we ever buy a caravan, we wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to list it with Camplify”, Melissa said.
Excited by the idea of hiring someone else's RV, Jonathan and Melissa began searching for a caravan that was going to suit the family's needs. After a quick search, they found Rob's Golf Savannah Maxxi 501
, which they deemed "perfect for what they needed." After doing some further research on Camplify and finding out that they were covered by NRMA roadside assistance and full insurance, Jonathan and Melissa simply messaged the owner of the caravan to see if it was available for their trp. Luckily for them, it was! They began to form a relationship with Rob, the owner, and worked out the finer details of being able to hire the caravan through the system.
The comforts of a modern caravan made camping a breeze for the Harris family.
“It has a toilet, shower and separate room where Scarlett could sleep and not be disturbed. It also has an awesome reverse-cycle air-conditioner and an outdoor kitchen with an inbuilt Waeco fridge. This system was perfect for us, as after the kids went to bed, Jonathan and I were still able to cook and access food or “drinks” from the fridge -- and we all know about parents with kids that young needing a drink or two after getting the kids down to bed!” Melissa said.
“We were able to contact the owner through the website and discuss our plans further, which was great. We would definitely recommend Camplify to all our friends and family,” she said.
Melissa, Everett and Scarlett flew down to Melbourne on December 16 2016, where Melissa’s sister Jessica met with them to help with the children and the luggage.
Melissa and the kids made their way down to her parent’s property in a small place called Nirranda, which is just a stone’s throw from Warrnambool, Timboon and the famous 12 Apostles. While Melissa was busy with the kids, Jonathan picked up the caravan from Brisbane and towed it all the way down to Victoria -- by himself. Now that's a good husband!
Jonathan, Melissa and the kids spent the New Year in Echuca with the extended family, then continued on their journey up the East Coast towards home.
And what a journey they had.
“We enjoyed all the parks we stayed at, but probably the highlight of the trip was staying at Agnes Waters caravan park, which was so quiet, right on the beach and perfect for families,” Melissa said.
Jonathan and Melissa both agreed that the trip was amazing and that having the caravan was such a relief.
“It was so easy to set up and pack up, and it worked so well for us and the children. The layout of this van is perfect for little kids and having air conditioning and heating is a must if you want to get a good night’s rest. The trip was very enjoyable and the experience with Camplify was a great one, it was so easy and we will be recommending them to everyone.”
So, what now for Harris family?
...Back to reality, sadly.
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