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Dear Southern Cross,

It's been just over two years since we left the Southern Cross factory with our Expedition 7700 and wandered blindly into the unknown.

We had never been in a caravan in our lives, and had never towed anything larger than a 6x4 trailer, so to say we were green is understating the facts.

However, this did not stop us, terrifying as it was, innocently launching ourselves onto the Gateway Motorway and other parts of Brisbane with only a few mishaps, (involving only one street tree, and a Keep Left sign), and we began a new, exciting lifestyle.

It took us a matter of weeks to settle into the mindset of wherever the van is parked, that's home. This surprised and pleased us, because we had never done anything like this before, and it was a great risk. We had sold up everything – land and house, and thirty-five years worth of gathered stuff, and the hardest thing of all: my shed full of wood and metal working tools, and, of course, more stuff.

It all seems so long ago. We now travel slowly, 80–85 km/h, usually no more than 150 km, then we prop. Well, what's the hurry? We still consider ourselves new at this lifestyle, and still have a lot to learn about moving around the country, but we wouldn't have reached this far with a lesser rig than what we have. We, with the help of Southern Cross staff, designed the layout ourselves, and are so happy with it, we show everyone and anyone who'll listen over the van. The usual comment is 'but you have so much space!', and we have done this in 7.7 metres, or a total rig size of 12.4 m.

And there's the other thing, the Mazda BT-50 which tows the rig. Its GCM (gross combination mass) allowance is 5.5 tonnes. With the van weighing 2.7 t tare, that puts us up there close to the limit, but the BT-50 is 4WD with two ranges, and we haven't had to use it on low range at all. She burns 16–19 litres per hundred, and seems to be quite happy at 2000 rpm all day at that.

Home is where we happen to park it.

The Days.