Jol's Van

Darrell and Jol in the finished van.

Darrell and Jol in the finished van.

Crossing the Finke River.

Crossing the Finke River.

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During his various desert trips Jol has met and become close friends with a number of interesting people.  Allan Whiting who hosts a web site called Outback Travel Australia introduced Jol to Darrell and Linda White.   Darrell’s Trayon Campers were the benchmark in Australia for slide on campers.  After selling the business Linda and Darrell had time to do more trips with Jol and others to remote places. Liz Cuming has been a good firend of Jol’s for years and accompanied him on several trips.

In 2014 Darrell developed an idea that people with disabilities like Jol would buy camper trailers if they were purpose built for wheel chair access.  And why not build one for Jol as a prototype.  During the 2015 trip on the Hay River Track Darrell, Liz, Allan and Jol came up with a plan for a trailer camper on the flat expanse of Lake Caroline.  The design was outlined with screwdrivers stuck into the lake floor and joined with string. Several friends and family pledged the seed money to get the project going.  Liz then stepped in, and with her Mum pledged a significant donation to the project.  Darrell was off building again.  With donations of tyres and other components Jol’s new camper trailer was soon completed in Darrell’s back yard workshop.

The new van was delivered to Alice Springs in early 2016 ready for another trip; this time through the Finke Gorge and down to Ayers Rock, in the rain.  Later in 2016 the new trailer proved the quality and strength of its design and build with Jol’s pioneering trip from Batton Hill Bush Camp on the Hay River across the northern Simpson Desert to Bedourie in Queensland.

Jol commented,”Darrell and Linda, you bloody legends, last August there were scratch marks at Lake Caroline with screw drivers and some string lines that has now ended up with this, truly amazing. Forever grateful to you and never forgetting old mate Liz and her Mum’s donation and fund raising efforts.  Darrell your magic is awesome.”

Clare FlemingJol's stories