Blondie is finally at home, minus her name

Things did not go smoothly during the handover yesterday morning, of course. The person handling it was Simon, a much better person to talk us through the ins and outs of our van than Ali our salesman. We found that Ali had made a mistake, the hot water system was not the combi version with van heating. Not that this is a major issue for us. It was more a ‘nice to have’ item than a deal breaker. However, Ali had to give us some sweeteners to make up for his mistake. We would have liked a cash refund, but instead have $250 to spend at their expensive RV shop and will get our first vehicle warranty service, due at 25,000 kms, for free.

The vehicle was serviced before handover, but has over a year of new car warranty to run, something that actually is very important to us.

We had been watching YouTube videos about the operation of various aspects of the van, but seeing them in action was so much better. Simon was patient and thorough, but also said that he didn’t want to overwhelm us with too much information, there was a lot we could work out for ourselves as we use the van.

We ended up using some of our store credit on a waste water hose, which required an extra fitting. Stephen found a small flapping piece of something underneath the van which they also took care of. We bought some toilet liquid. But have some store credit left for later. Ali kept urging us to spend the money on things we didn’t need.

When we arrived home we were very tired and hungry.

I opened a few windows before we went into the house for lunch. It wa a cool day, but the sun was hot. When I went to close them later found that we were too close to the wall to actually get one of them shut again. It has to open fully to release and close. A bit of panic but moving the van slightly forward and away from the wall allowed us to close it.

We had already arranged to meet with Eversley at City Beach for tea. This gave us a chance to go for a drive together. We did our usual two for three ordering at the restaurant which left us a bit hungry and needing deserts. Two for three again. We even shared a pot of tea for two between us. The food was expensive, but location on the beach is wonderful.

We took a walk along the beach path afterwards as the sun was setting. The beach was crowded, the sea quite rough, and it was very beautiful of course.

Having got used to thinking of the van as Blondie, we weren’t quite prepared for George Day Caravans to remove the name. We’re not sure what to do. Do we stick with that name, or come up with something different.

They put a very large sticker of their own on the back of the van, which we plan to remove. We don’t mind the discreet badge near the door, but the sign is too much.

We’ve begun watch a YouTube channel by an English couple who are planning to drive a van much like ours around the world. We are watching their preparation videos at the moment. They will set off early in January. The trip includes shipping the van to Australia from Vladivostok, some travel here, then shipping it to the USA. That’s pretty expensive, but they may get some sponsorships from businesses if their channel becomes very popular. They already have a sponsor for the ferry to Europe.

We don’t plan on doing anything quite that adventurous. It’s very expensive to ship a van to another country, cheaper if you can fit it into a container, but still expensive. But as we set up our van for travelling we are anticipating all the trips we can do in our own state and the rest of Australia.

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