Seeing outback Australia aboard Explore by GemLife’s new and luxurious Jayco Conquest DX motorhome was a joy for experienced travellers, Patrick and Jennifer Mackenzie.
The GemLife Highfields couple are used to towing a caravan to some of Australia’s top, and sometimes very remote, travel destinations but this was the first time they had set out in a motorhome.
“We really didn’t know what to expect but I can tell you we would do it again in a heartbeat. It was absolutely fantastic,” said Patrick, following their 15-day, 2500km adventure to outback Queensland, including Cunnamulla, Eulo, Noccundra and back via Eromanga, Quilpie, Muckadilla and Roma.
“We were able to do everything we wanted and were also really pleased with the fuel economy which was extremely good for such a big vehicle. We kept a steady pace and sat on about 80 kilometres per hour throughout the entire trip.”
Creature comforts such as the motorhome’s double bed and inside toilet were appreciated more than words could say, according to Patrick and Jennifer who were also delighted with just how quick and easy it was to park the vehicle and prepare for an overnight or extended stay.
“When we pulled up, it didn’t take long to get into the swing of things we needed to do to set up. We just had to push a button for the slide-out bed, which was really comfortable, put the back stabilisers down and hook up to power and water if they were available. Alternatively, the motorhome carried a full tank of water.”
Patrick said that having all the facilities onboard was great because they did not have to go far for anything and appreciated not having to wander out of the van at night for basic necessities.
“It got a bit cool one night while we were away, so we switched on the heater, and it soon took the chill away. We really didn’t want for anything at all,” he said.
The motorhome proved to be a great talking point wherever the couple travelled due to its eye-catching, colourful illustration of the Great Ocean Road.
“It looked pretty flashy and generated a lot of chatter at each of our stopovers, which we didn’t mind because we loved to tell people all about it,” said Patrick, a former semi-trailer driver.
The couple said they tried to limit their daily motoring to less than 200km a day.
“We only did 120km on the first day to ensure we had enough time when we reached our destination to do everything that the introductory video and onboard user manual told us to do. But after a few days it all became almost automatic.
“There was only one time,” Patrick admitted, “when we forgot to lower the TV antenna before setting off but remembered pretty quickly, stopped and rectified it immediately.”
The experienced travellers have some advice for anyone setting out for the first time including the need to watch out for kangaroos, emus and other wildlife.
Patrick said the motorhome was extremely well-equipped, but as a seasoned traveller, he also took along a broom and a wheel-leveler.
Asked what was the best thing about the trip in the new Explore by GemLife motorhome, Patrick said: “Everything! Having never gone away in a motorhome before, I was a little anxious on the first day, but it wasn’t long before we felt secure and had full trust in the vehicle. All we had to do after that was take advantage of all the great facilities onboard and revel in the peace and quiet of being away from civilisation. We are already planning our next trip!”