By Alan Pam
After a staff meeting at GoSees Head Office in Canberra in December 2013, it was decided that our marketing direction go back to grass roots and GoSeeAustralia would go back on the road as did MD Graham Wallace when the website www.GoSeeAustralia.com.au was first setup on March 4, 2003.
Now into our 12th year, the successful GoSeeAustralia and parent Company ContACT Internet Solutions, a web design, build and hosting company in Canberra employs nine staff, has over 12,000 Travel Smart Club members, a large contingent of Social Media followers, more than 13,000 forum users postings, and hundreds of advertising caravan parks, tours and attractions and Industry businesses a huge free resource for our users who source over 9,000 pages of information per day from our website.
Agnes (Melbourne Sales Executive) and husband Nick went on the road in March this year with a three week working trip around Tasmania in a Tassie Motor Shacks sponsored Hi-Top Campervan. http://www.goseeaustralia.com.au/products_services_details/tas/hire_and_rental_-_campervans/6959/tassie_motor_shacks_camper_rentals/
Alans Ranger set-up
They had a wonderful experience whilst proving that you can successfully work and travel anywhere around Australia providing you have good internet connection. Read some of their stories on GoSee by searching Tasmania/information articles in the home page Multi-search box.
Alan (Sales Manager) and Pam also decided to go on the road, initially thinking for three months but after considering things such as:
- What do you do with your home for that time?
Will 3 months allow travelling and work time?
Can we continue to work on the road?
Further discussions regarding working on the road and the decision was made to go indefinitely on the road with no time limit, no restrictions, no ties. That meant selling, sortingand packing up a three bedroom home and Pam resigning from her employment as an office manager.
This proved quite difficult. We have sold and packed up a number of times over the years but this was so different.
We had to make the decision as to what to keep, where to keep it and what we didnt need anymore. We were not moving, we were leaving!
We were not sure as to how long we would be travelling as indefinitely is not necessarily permanent.
We didnt really know if we wanted or needed to keep anything, but in the end we did need to know that we could set up house somewhere with some of our stuff if the spirit moved us, so a small storage shed was leased indefinitely and the basics moved there.
Much of our contents were sold via a garage sale and a joining local Facebook For Sale group where items were posted online with a picture, description and price and the purchasers expressed their interest in buying.
An agreed pickup time was arranged. It was immediate. In some cases items were sold withinfive minutes of posting the picture and description. This negated the need for sales commissions, postage and delivery costs resulting in a better buy price for the purchaser. In the end, what was left with nowhere to put it, was donated to charities.
GSA Ranger and Bluesky caravan
Other items to consider were our Residential address.
Many people use a family members address and we will probably do this too, however we decided to keep our Post Office Box and have a friend send mail to us every few weeks when we know where we will be for a week or more. Issues involving residential addresses are required for Medicare, Vic Roads, Electoral Commission and possibly more will be resolved soon.
With Australian Tax office, we have had our address change to our Accountants physical address. Most general accounts can be emailed and payments made via Internet Banking or similar.
Insurance was another issue to sort out. This is complicated. We needed cover for our vehicle being used for Business purposes, our caravan, tools of trade computers, printer, cameras, phones, WiFi etc at no fixed address, and then additional contents cover for personal items at any location in Australia.
Use a broker who actually understands what you are really doing! We use Grampians Insurance Brokers in Ararat Victoria; they are also a sponsor of GoSeeAustralia and provide Insurance for all of GoSeeAustralias needs. http://www.goseeaustralia.com.au/products_services_details/vic/insurance/1746/grampians_insurance_brokers/
We also made sure we had a visit with our family GP prior to leaving, making sure we have the maximum scripts available and had our medical records uploaded to EHealth http://www.ehealth.gov.au so that our records could be accessed by other GPs on our travels. Same with dental.
We are travelling in our 21 foot Blue Sky caravan with queen bed and full ensuite, solar power and 2 x 95 litre water tanks. We have had this van for some 18 months and are very happy with it so hope it will serve us as our home as well.
We are towing with a 4x2 2014 Ford Ranger XLT HI Rider Super Cab with 3.2lt diesel motor and six-speed automatic. It has sufficient room to carry all our possessions and is a capable towing vehicle. The Supercab was chosen because it allowed an extra 298 mm of load space along with 28kg extra load carrying capacity.
We do not need the standard four door model but the Supercab model did provide sufficient room for Chloe, GoSees guard dog.
Guard dog Chloe.
The 4x2 is a rear-wheel drive Ranger. This brought a significant cost saving over a 4x4 version of about $8000. After careful consideration we decided we used 4x4 infrequently and the Ranger fitted our needs in 4x2 form.
We have installed a Dometic Truma E2400 LPG heater in the caravan but as yet have not used it as we have been staying in Caravan Parks on powered sites and use the vans Ibis Air Conditioner or a thermostatically controlled fan heater with a trip switch in case it is tipped over to keep warm in this currently cold Victorian winter.
As we are both working on the road we have our mobile phones on contract with Telstra along with an 8 gig mobile 4G Broadband device for all our computer work.
Consider becoming a member of your local library and download their app so you can download borrow, read and return books electronically using Wi-Fi from anywhere. There may be an option of using the librarys Wi-Fi as well.
Stay tuned for our next article Jack is born.
Editors Note: Ford says the Gross Combined Mass (GMC) for the Ranger XLT Super P/U HR 3.2 litre diesel is 6000kg. The Super Cab Rangers payload is 1176kg.
Care should be taken by buyers in establishing the actual GCM of the Ranger chosen. There are four GCM variations across diesel and petrol models in the 4x2 Specifications and Options supplied by Ford.
They range from a GCM of 5125kg to 6000kg. Ford says: When loading vehicles, it is the operators responsibility to ensure: Weight of fully loaded vehicle does not exceed Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM). Front and rear individual axle load limits are not individually exceeded.
The combined weight of the fully loaded vehicle (including tow ball download when towing) and trailer does not exceed the Gross Combined Mass (GCM).
Payload is the combined value of occupants, luggage, cargo, additional options, accessories, added structures and tow ball download (when towing).
GSA has long used 4WDs for towing. The reasons include:
Traditionally 4WDs are popular towing vehicles because they are heavier than the load they tow.
Their gearing anddrive train also suits towing.
The design profile of many 4WDs places the towbar close to the rear axle which helps stability.
Many 4WDs have light truck suspensions and axle load limits.
So while the choice of the Ranger 4x2 is a step away from the GSA comfort zone the decision is based in extensive towing experience.
Super Cab boosts tray space.
Key towing numbers
Slide-out fridge and storage.