Thought I’d start with info about the motorhome we bought. It is an Avida Esperance model C7934 SL. That means it was made by Avida, the makers of Australian Winnebago. It is a 26′ long Esperance ‘C’ class with a slide out. ‘C’ class just means it has a bed over the cab. ‘B’ class can have the same layout but without the bed over the cab. ‘A’ class are those ones that look buses.
After finding an ad for it on the Members Market on the CMCA website we gave the owner a call and he agreed to send us some photos so we could have a really good look. Here’s what he sent.
You can see why we were interested. It looked like brand new. It was only 2 1/5 years old and had done 33,000km. The owners had bought it new. They were only selling because, after 7 years motorhoming since they retired, they now wanted to do some 4×4 travel to places like the Gibb River Road and the Kimberly so they’d bought a 4×4 and had ordered an off-road van.
Lucky us! That meant they had to sell the motorhome. It still had 6 months warranty.
They also sent some pics of the outside so we could check out all the storage.
So we agreed to purchase and paid a deposit on the proviso that if all was not as per the photos they would give us our money back.
On Thursday 21 January 2016 we left home in Griffith early to make the 9 hour drive to Terrigal to view the motorhome and hopefully take it home with us. Our daughter, Laura kindly volunteered to come with us so she could bring the car home and we could bring the motorhome.
We arrived at the owner’s house around 2pm and we were very pleased to see that the motorhome was exactly as described. It had been well looked after and really looked like a new one. The owner spent the next hour showing us how it all worked but I’m sure not a lot of that sank in. Luckily he also had all the books and documents so if we couldn’t work it out we could at least look it up.
We paid the owners and had a cuppa while we waited for the banks to do that magical funds transfer then it was time to head home in our new motorhome.
Laura set off first in my Jeep and we thanked her very much for doing that for us. As we were not far from Richard’s cousins house we gave them a call to see if we could call in. Turns out their house was only 10 minutes away so we tentatively drove around to visit. We hadn’t seen them for ages so we spent a good hour catching up. It was lovely to see them.
We decided to head up to Newcastle and stay on Richard’s brother Bruce’s front lawn for our first night. Bruce was anxiously waiting for us when we finally arrived as, what should have been a short 40 minute trip took over an hour and a half due to the pouring rain. It was pelting down and we could hardly see in front of us. What a great first drive!
Bruce had kindly made a bed for us but we really wanted to sleep in the motorhome so after a scrumptious dinner cooked by Bruce we headed off to bed. The mattress is one of those memory foam ones and it is super comfy. I remembered to turn the gas hot water on before we went to bed so we could have showers in the morning.
We slept like logs with the sound of the rain on the roof. We awoke to another gloomy day and I went to have a shower. What!!! No hot water! We couldn’t think what we had done wrong but I had a shower anyway. Rich decided he would have a hot shower in Bruce’s house. Wimp!
We did a short drive around to see where Bruce’s new development (he’s a building developer) was happening and then, after dropping him back home and saying farewell, we headed over to Australian Motorhomes at Bennett’s Green. We picked up a few things for the motorhome here and at the huge BCF around the corner. Now we had a shiny red kettle so we could make a cuppa. We also asked the sales guy why our hot water didn’t heat the water. He asked if we had removed the pilot light cover on the outside. Oh yeah, we’d forgotten about that. No wonder it didn’t work. We won’t forget that again.
We left Newcastle around noon and we planned to travel slowly along but hoped to make it as far as Yass and maybe camp at Lake Burrenjuck. Neither of us had been there for a very long time. It was still raining and as we got closer to Sydney it got heavier. By the time we made the M2 it was bucketing down. The M2 and M7 was like being in a carpark. Traffic was so slow and it was dangerous driving conditions. It ended up taking us 5 hours to drive from Bennett’s Green to Campbelltown. On a good day that should only have been about 2-3 hours.
We were very relieved to finally have the city behind us and get onto the Hume Highway. By 7.30pm we’d had enough driving for one day and as we were close to Gunning we made the decision to pull in there and camp at a great little free camp provided by the forward thinking council. When we arrived there were already four vans, two campers and a motorhome all set up for the night. We had a quick bite to eat and fell into bed. It had been a long drive.
The next morning we ran out of water! We had remembered the cover on the gas pilot light but now had no water. Drats. So we had to drive the motorhome down to where the tap was, fill up with water, then park the motorhome so we could make breakfast. Oh well, I’m sure we will get better at this.
I drove from Gunning to Griffith and she cruised along at 90kmh. This was a comfortable speed and you get a great view sitting up so high. It was an uneventful trip and we were pleased to get home. Now to plan our first trip away.