Choosing Our Home On Wheels

Having evolved from a cheap Kmart tent

Over the last 12 years or so, through various set-ups and renovating an older model Jayco Starcraft a few years back, we knew EXACTLY what we wanted in the caravan that would be our home for at least 2 years exploring the country.  

It HAD to be set up to be fully self - sufficient off grid, and be sturdy enough for us to make it to some of the more remote destinations like Honeymoon Bay (WA) - across some heavily corrugated roads.

For us, the AusRV Byfield XT Triple bunk family caravan provided the goods and they were able to address the modifications we wanted.

Why did you pick an AusRV family caravan?

[Wayne]: Because they are Australian made and would allow us to customise the caravan to fit our needs - a lot of other companies only have their standard options and don’t offer the type of mods or input on build that I wanted to have. I liked the newer innovation of using composite panels for the caravan meaning less {dust} leaks, lighter weight, insulation and no timber framing that could potentially shrink or rot.

Knowing there would be potential repairs and maintenance that would have to be done when living in our caravan full time, I liked the fact that all pipe work and electrical wiring was inside the cabinetry for easy access and I was reassured by the well- known branded appliances that AusRV were running throughout the van.

[Katie] I was impressed with the layout and storage space for a family of 5 - most other vans had very limited storage for the kids when it was a triple bunk.. and our kids were older and I worried about fitting their larger clothing and personal items including schooling devices and books into such limited space. I loved the interior finishes and the option of choosing our own colours.

[Wayne] I really liked the idea of the slide out kitchen - I love to cook outside and had renovated our old van to have an outside kitchen - AusRv’s addition of a workable sink added so much more functionality to it. 

We thought the Byfields were great value for money too. Some of their standard inclusions would be extras with other branded caravans - ours came equipped with Dometic for all kitchen appliances / windows / fridge / toilet / aircon etc; DO35 Cruisemaster Off-Road Hitch; ALKO Electric Stabiliser Controller; Redarc Manager 30 System; Fusion Wireless Stereo; Stainless Steel Slide out Kitchen amongst other items. And the location of the factory made a difference as well - being half hour from home we could go in and view the van in the making.

Sound ON for a short clip of the boys checking out their living quarters 😍💙 Who thinks they could sleep in those bunks as an adult?? 🤔 #koolkampers #bunk #headbanger

What modifications have you done to your caravan and why?

We upgraded the suspension to the ATX Cruisemaster Airbag Suspension.

Being the leading company in off road suspension, we wanted extra smoothness for the van to travel off road, thinking it would also increase longevity of everything inside the van (less jolting). It assists in easily levelling the caravan on uneven ground to increase comfort, and is easily upgraded to 4.5T towing capacity down the track if we decide we love the gypsy life and want to upgrade our tow vehicle again;

We added on extra water tanks for a combined 300L capacity with one designated drinking water tank and filter tap to increase our sufficiency and time able to stay ‘off-grid’;

We chose to go with 300amp lithium batteries- for reducing overall tare weights and increase life of battery power;

We had a Dometic diesel heater installed - for those colder climates;

We combined roof top solar (400w ) plus portable 200w for when we’re parked in shady spots totalling 600w combined soloar power;

We opted to increased interior storage and add saloon style doors for privacy when kids are sleeping;

Personalised Sirocco fans were installed in all sleeping areas;

Caravan hubs were selected to match the 4wd wheels allowing interchangeable spares;

Our drawbar was extended to cater for sharp corners or slim caravan site scenarios;

A 2000w Redarc Inverter was installed to run the microwave allowing rapid reheating of meals…. since young children are not the most patient species when it comes to waiting for their dinner.

RV wifi was a necessary addition to full-time van life - in order to keep up our blogging, videography, photography and communication with friends and family whilst gallivanting around the country-side.

For security purposes, a WITI caravan alarm was installed adding peace of mind when we need to unhitch and travel some distance from ‘camp’.

A peek inside our AusRV Byfield that will be our home as we travel Oz - interior decked out and personalised with bright, fun coloured decor.

Anything you HAVEN’T done to your caravan that you’d still like to?

[Wayne] The only thing would be to swap from a tank hot water system to an instant hot water system…... I had wanted this as a modification from the beginning, however the composite panels were pre-fabricated… but it is something I may add myself down the track.