Home Sweet Home
After being on the road for nearly 4 months, Clara and I thought it was about time to give a little tour of our mobile happiness machine, Bluey. He’s not a home away from home, a temporary dwelling, or a reality escape mobile, he is it, our lovely abode, our grand residence, home sweet home.
Starting life as a 1975 FJ40 short wheelbase Toyota Landcruiser, once in our possession, Bluey was chopped and changed to become the ultimate 4×4 touring machine. Longer chassis, ute tray, extra door, roof top tent, deck and wardrobe, easy access kitchen, bike, boat, Burnie, and of course a veggie oil converted turbo diesel engine were all added by us to ensure our Blueprint Adventure would be truly amazing.
Living the gypsy lifestyle for us is all about having the experience of a life time, coupling beautiful locations, exciting adventure and new experiences with home comforts and some of life’s little luxuries. At the top of the list are those two things so very important to all of our health and happiness, and what really makes a house a home, food and sleep.
The kitchen box as we call it, turns out to be a better equipped and a more useable space than that of the kitchen in our previous Melbourne rental, to which we so gladly handed back the keys. The kitchen box opens to expose heart of any home, with everything in its place and easily accessed. 240 volt power is wired in for the blender and stab mixer, and filtered water supplied via a 12 volt pump from the inbuilt 100 ltr stainless steel tank.
Folding down the left ute tray side reveals a small stainless steel bench, suspended by recycled motorcycle chains, and our slide out pantry boxes, 2 of which are used for dry goods, another for fruit and veg, and a smaller box for our most commonly used items. In no time at all, a slightly larger wooden bench is removed from its spot between the body and tray, slotted into its bracket, has its leg added and completes the workspace. The 55 ltr fridge lives just inside the rear left cab door, providing easy access from the kitchen, and cool drinks and snacks when on the road. When we’re not cooking over our pot bellied campfire friend, Burnie, our vintage Coleman petrol stove works brilliantly, burning hot and clean, without the need to carry gas bottles.
Another of our cherished kitchen tools is our Australian made Ausfonte cast iron pan, and our (also Aussie made) Hillbilly spun black steel camp oven. Good quality healthy food should come from good quality healthy cook ware, and both these items give us much pleasure and enjoyment to use and eat the products of. Wherever possible we are stopping ff at local markets for fresh local produce, foraging from the land and sea, and visiting organic farm gates for choice cuts of ethically produced meat.
To keep things perfectly balanced, the tradies box on the drivers side contains the workshop. All of the important tools and the spare parts we hope to never use are contained within, and we are confident theres enough in there to cover any situation that may occur, and keep bluey on the road. If we discover any little (or large) modifications along the way that will make our adventure run more smoothly, they can be built, and fresh projects we dream up on the road can be tackled. The veggie oil cleaning operation, with pump, centrifuge and 3 phase power converter is stashed away in there too, and everything fits nicely and can be accessed without too much hassle.
The upstairs apartment
Having been keen campers for many years, and having slept in all kinds of tents and vehicles, Clara and I both agree that our little bedroom on top of Bluey is the best yet. Instant setup is achieved by climbing the angled ladder to the deck, unlatching 3 clips, allowing the top to hinge up, and hooking the small wings that act as eves to the windows. If wet weather is expected or shade needed, another few minutes can produce the setup of a light weight, arched awning that completely covers the deck and wardrobe box.
Knowing that the foam mattress supplied with the tent was not going to cut it, we now sleep on a 10cm thick latex mattress, and its the most comfortable bed each of us can remember sleeping on. Recently when calling on friends and family as we pass, invitations have been made, and politely declined, to sleep in the spare room or have a bed made up on the couch. You just cant go past your own bed, and ours is no exception. When we first got the tent, we stripped out all the interior linings, so we could add heat insulating lining, slats under the mattress, soft lighting and a star patterned hood lining. A small fan, and a mount for the tablet screen completes our bedroom, and we climb in there every night very content within our little space. Often we have commented to each other how weird it will be when the day eventually comes when we move out of Bluey and into a more conventional home. At the moment at least, we just can’t picture it, home sweet home he sure is.