Retro Van Number 2
The Avondale Seasider Deluxe. Sounds very grand doesn’t it? Well this was caravan number 2 for us, we were looking for an upgrade on the 1973 Viscount Ambassador and in 2008 we found this divine orange number and a newer model, being manufactured in 1975. The fading orange stripe on the side of the van gave no hint as to the inside of this baby.
Sunglasses on and you can go inside! We soon learnt that the bright orange interior was not good after a big night out. The curtains which were bright orange too, almost glowed when the sun shone through the van and gave the effect of waking up inside a volcano.
It wasn’t too long before the curtains had to go and were replaced with cream, block out, lined curtains. Much easier on the eye.
Bigger than our last van at 20 foot or there about, it was extremely roomy inside, had a huge kitchen area with an oven, a slightly bigger fridge than the last van and a separate dining and lounge area to the bedroom. The bonus with this van was that it had a HUGE annexe that had an area that could be sectioned off as a bedroom for the kids. Perfect for a growing family.
The very first shake down trip we did with this van was to the Clare Valley in South Australia and all was going well until we thought we were settled on site until the van started slowly moving away from us. OK so we learnt very quickly that the brake on the van wasn’t up to scratch. Chocks wedged in tightly we survived our first weekend without rolling away.
The annexe area with its divider made the rear section a bedroom for our kids (and the dog) and that left room at the front of the annexe to store other bits and pieces like an Engel fridge, fishing rods, a small table and more.
Of course as the kids got bigger so did the pursuits on holidays. We owned this van from 2008 to 2013 so the children were turning into teens and young adults. Next thing you know we are also carrying a kayak, fishing rods, and snorkeling gear. But it’s good to see that you’re never too old to just enjoy the simple pleasure of digging a hole on a beach and building sandcastles.
The holidays with friends grew bigger and bigger to the point where we couldn’t remember where all the kids told us they were going when they would venture off. So the brilliant invention of a whiteboard to check in and check out on, was erected. Find your name, write down where you are going so that at any time we were looking for someone we could check the board and know where they were.
They were also old enough now to organize for themselves a night out away from the parents to enjoy a pizza restaurant dinner together. Of course that meant that the adults could also get a night out and leave them all in charge of the dogs and the campsites on another night.
Jack the kelpie was still with us but getting very old, he began to need help to get up steps from the beach and eventually he was diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye and the kindest thing for him was to have the eye removed to spare him any more pain. Once the fur on his face grew back after the operation, people at first couldn’t even notice that he only had one eye and it certainly didn’t stop him from doing all his favourite things. From here on he was known as the pirate dog. Sadly though he had his last holiday and went to play Frisbee on the big beach in the sky early in 2013.
By the middle of that year (2013) we had also traded up to another (second hand) van. More to come on the next installment of our vans through the years.