Jason and Janice Edwards have always been outdoors people. As Venturer Scout leaders, they love to spend time in the bush and, having used tents since they were teenagers, went on to purchase a camper trailer.
“We had a softfloor for about five years, which we bought off eBay and bolted onto the top of our old box trailer, but as Jason has a bad back and we found setup/pull down too hard,” Janice said.
The couple also became tired of dealing with the canvas and wanted more facility as it didn’t have a kitchen or fridge.
So when it came time to treat themselves to an upgrade, Jason and Janice looked at all sorts of rigs including hardfloor campers, caravans and hybrids.
“We were impressed with Echo 4x4 Kavango at the 4WD Adventure Show in Sydney a couple of years ago. We loved its features, including go just-about-anyway capability, easy setup, the fact it has room for four, the shower, the slide-out kitchen and fridge and the flexible layout inside.
“Setup can be as quick as five minutes or 15 minutes with the awning,” explained Janice.
Although pleased with their decision, the pair said they’d like more storage.
“It has a boot at the front, but it’s a bit small,” Janice admitted.
In the past 18 months, Jason and Janice reckon they’ve spent more than 60 days at camp.
“We are away about a weekend a month on average. Last trip was to Point Plomer in Limeburners Creek NP with some friends from Queensland. We went in through Port Macquarie, over the ferry on the Hastings River and north along the beach. The sand was so soft and we couldn’t quite make it off the beach. Nothing a shovel, four TREDS and a winch couldn’t fix.”
Camping has allowed the couple to stay in touch with nature and indulge in their other passion: photography.
“We spent a beautiful hour on Racecourse Head on the long weekend watching humpbacks play near crescent head.
“Normally we steer well clear on popular spots. The Kavango and our 4WD allow us to get to spots others might not be interested in.”
Next year, the couple intends to embark on an extended trip with their two boys Justin (22) and Jacob (18), Jason’s parents and family friends.
“We’re planning to visit Coober Pedy, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, The Alice, West MacDonnell Ranges and back via Oodnadatta Track, with lots of exploring in between.
“Although we are both working full-time, we make every effort to escape the big smoke.
“Most of the time, the boys can’t keep up with our travel plans,” Janice said.
WHO ARE THEY?
Names: Jason and Janice Edwards
Where’s home: St Clair, Sydney
Home on the road: 2012 Echo 4x4 Kavango
Camper mods: Not a great deal. “We installed a fan for those hot summer nights, some recovery points on the rear of the van and a very solid ARK 4WD jockey wheel.”
Tow vehicle: “Our trusty 2002 diesel NP Pajero. It will soon be retired to 4WD adventures and a new Ford Ranger XLT dual cab will arrive for touring duties.”
Vehicle mods: Front bar, winch, MT tyres, roof rack, fridge, rear locker, 2in lift, airbags and roof rack.
Scariest moment: Coming around Hook Point on Fraser Island in July. “We missed the change in tide by two hours and decided to run the gauntlet. The beach narrowed quickly, sand became softer and deeper. There was a big sand bank on one side and the waves on the other. The car struggled even on low range. This went on for about 3km, while the car engine started to get hot. We were very relieved to see the line of cars waiting for the ferry as we came around the last bend.
Lessons learnt: Some tracks just aren’t meant for trailers. “We had a few scary moments climbing some hills in the Brindabella Ranges NP 2016.”
Check out the full feature in issue #110 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.