Holiday Road Rig (The Gauntlet)

gaunt-let

Noun

  1. a medieval glove, as of mail or plate, worn by a knight in armor to protect the hand.
  2. a glove with an extended cuff for the wrist.
  3. the cuff itself.

Idioms.

Take up the Gauntlet

  1. to accept a challenge to fight.
  2. to show ones defiance.

Throw down the Gauntlet

  1. to challenge.
  2. to defy.

We’re proud of the name we chose for our 1984 Austral Tourmaster.  Our bus started it’s life being built in Brisbane Qld and then made an appearance at the Sydney bus show back in the mid eighties where we were told it was one of the first buses fitted with a television in Australia. The bus was optioned up with every thing like the alloy wheels, the air con shroud, 7 speed box, fog lights etc, it even has a sign on the back that is lit at night. This must have been a pretty plush coach back in it’s day.


We are the third owners after buying it from “Brunswick Valley Coaches” in Billinudgel, NSW. BVC owned it for 12 years or so and looked after it very well.  It was originally owned by “Forest” coaches in Sydney and hauled people to and from Sydney for trips to the snow, also some outback tours etc.

The 6V92TA Detroit diesel coupled with a seven speed Spicer (crash box) gearbox pushes everything along nicely and will sit on 100 klm/h all day long, more if needed. It gives us a very quiet ride on the inside but on the outside it’s a real screamer. To keep Detroit 2 stroke diesels happy the revs need to be high and not lugged around.
Exhaust brakes are really good when driving down the really steep hills and going up is never a challenge. Airbag suspension gives us a really comfortable and smooth ride. We opted to leave the factory A/C in as well for them hot days on the road.

Our bus was delivered to our driveway and reversed up and parked for the fun of fitting it out.

It took us around a year to complete the build to suit our then family of 8. Over the years it has morphed as our family grew to 14. After our eldest daughter stepped off the bus and into her own career and life we now have 13 on board as of 2018. Needless to say we removed cupboards and a computer desk as well as half our luggage space underneath to build in more bedding. Seating was never a problem as we already had spares and later on eventually fitting seat belts to our custom made lounge.

We have everything we need for a comfortable life on the road. At present we have 4 televisions, 1 up the front for general viewing and driving. Another in the rear main bedroom for Mum and Dad. One in the middle for the kids sleeping area and the last down in the lower bedroom, all are fitted with blu ray dvd players.

Our kitchen is small but functional. A convection oven and dishwasher were fitted as well as a standard house fridge/freezer. We also opted for a 3 burner gas hot plate.

2 standard split Air conditioners were fitted to keep us cool, we’ve since upgraded to inverter air cons for extra energy efficiency. We have 1 up the front and another at the rear. We opted for 2 separate systems instead of a duel head in case of a break down. And it paid off in the past when one stops working/breaks we still have cooling inside for a good nights sleep.

A Rinnai infinity instantaneous gas hot water system was installed and has been one of our best investments, we’ve never run out of hot water and it has never failed. The deluxe controller was a great additional extra for the bathroom where we fitted a 1300mm corner spa bath. Having a bath in hindsight was possibly the best thing we ever fitted inside. Our bath also doubles as a shower base with sliding curtain.

The best product we installed by far was our Honda eu30is generator for our power supply on the road. We thrash our genie and it’s usually on 24 hours a day except for when re fueling or when we plug into the grid. We have always intended on fitting a solar set up but we’re always up North and our Air Cons are always on. We’ve not yet seen a solar system that will achieve this on a daily 24 hour basis but we are still patiently waiting for further improvements for solar to evolve into the future, as well as set up costs. Our generator has been going over 13 years strong and it’s a credit to Honda for building such a fine piece of equipment. To date we’ve never had a noise complaint either from neighbors close by.

Our bus can be divided into four separate rooms with wall cavity sliding doors. This gives great privacy for all when needed as well as blocking sounds from loud kids or conflicting television noises.

We fitted a stainless water tank of around 900 litres, and grey water holding tank of about 300 litres. Our toilet is a Sealand vac flush (as on boats) with a holding capacity to last us about 1 month between dump points.

Holiday Port Hedland

We needed a carto take with us so one option was to drive behind but we decided to build a car trailer. Our great friend Johnny Walker built a great trailer to suit our purposes equipped with 6 tonne suspension but limited to 4.5 tonne at the tow bar. This gives us breathing room of 1.5 tonne over kill. A few years later we enclosed the trailer completely and it now doubles as a work shop for Dad and a toy/hobby room for the kids whenever we get the car out. Perfect for them rainy days. The trailer may be a bit of a burden sometimes especially trying to turn around but it’s a permanent fixture to the bus and we only usually take it off every now and again to grease the tow ball.

holidayroad@y7mail.comHoliday Road Rig (The Gauntlet)

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  1. Betty

    Love ready all about your travels & being able to share your experiences. Your children will know so much more than most about Australia & have so many life experiences they would never get in a school room.

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