February 2018


Cam and Jaiden

Off we go on our second adventure

Father and son plan to help others

Cam and Jaiden back on the road for second time

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FORMER childcare worker-turned caravanner Cam Dubin has hit the road for the second time with his young Asperger's son Jaiden.

The sole dad, who is in his early 30s, has already completed an 18-month adventure which began when Jaiden was just three years old and successfully helped him overcome many of the problems associated with his mild form of austism.

Cam quit his job in 2012, sold all his possessions and turned an ageing 14ft poptop caravan into their $13,000 comfortable home on the road.

For their second trip Cam and Jaiden, now aged nine, are travelling in a 1989 Coromal Lowline, dual-axle caravan boasting independent suspension, alloy frame, electric brakes, triple bunks and a double bed.

"Our entire setup including all upgrades owes us just under $18,000, so certainly a budget arrangement," Cam said.

Jaiden at work
Jaiden ... dab hand at soldering
Caravanning News caught up with the intrepid and happy travellers and posed the following questions.

Why are you doing this a second time?

"Our first lot of travels was to help Jaiden step out of his comfort zone and help him desensitise to the world around him.

"He overcame many of his social, emotional and sensory issues because we had the time to take things one step at a time.

"It was often a struggle just to get him to leave the caravan to experience new things or interact with children.

"This time around he wants to explore, he wants to learn and wants to meet new people.

"Simply put, this time is more about seeing and doing the things we both want, rather than focusing on his development."

Have you any plans on what youíll be doing and where you will be going on this trip?

"Because of the progress Jaiden made during our last travels, this time I wanted to be able to give something back to others.

"We purposely bought a family caravan that would allow us to loan it out to other families with children on the Autism spectrum, the idea being we can give families a free holiday in our caravan and give them a chance to use nature as a form of therapy just as I did in the past with Jaiden.

"So some of our travels will be based around travelling to places where there are families that we'd like to loan the caravan to at times when we can afford to do so.

"As far as things we want to see, the main things we both want to do is the Dinosaur Trail, the Bathurst 1000 and a few rally and drift events.

"I would like to make it to NT and WA this time around, but that will all be budget dependent!

"If we manage to pick up the odd house-sit, I think we should be able to save enough money to get make it happen."

Have you had to overcome much red tape to keep Aiden from school in favour of educating him during your travels?

Jaiden behind curtains
Jaiden's curtain into his bedroom
"Jaiden has never been to school, so homeschooling is not new to us.

"As far as red tape goes, in Queensland full time travel is frowned upon by HEU (Home Education Unit) due to the fact the education system is state run.

"Technically, if you are in another state you need to be registered in that state, which is all a bit silly.

"HEU in Queensland recently changed its stance and now allow families to travel as long as they are planning to return to Queensland and have a fixed address in the state.

"The actual process in enrolling for home education can be somewhat daunting, but is not really that difficult.

"It involves creating a plan covering the learning areas that would be covered at school.

"Your plan needs to be aligned not just to the national curriculum, but also your individual child's needs.

"At the end of every year you are required to submit a report and six work samples to show the progress your child has made throughout the year.

"At that time you also submit a plan for the following year.

"It's a bit of paper work and 'hoop jumping' but even if it takes 10 hours, thatís still far less time than the average parent spends driving their kids to school over the course of a year ... and to be able to live this lifestyle, it's totally worth it."

Cam at work
One day to go and still working on
the solar system
What do you think the most difficult part of this new road-trip will be?

Finances! Last time I left with about $20k saved after we sold everything. This time we will be leaving with no savings and $10k of debt for our caravan!

"It means we need to watch our money far more and be very picky with where we go and what attractions we do.

"Many families spend $900-$1200 a week when travelling whereas we have just over $500 a week after our caravan loan is paid!"

How did you prepare the latest caravan for your adventures?

"It sure has been a lot of work. The caravan had no 12v setup so I wired it from scratch, added LED lighting, 12v plugs, a 150ah battery, 260w of solar, 30amp controller, 1000w inverter and fuse panels etc etc.

"Because we plan on free camping as much as possible, we also added an extra two water tanks and removed the tool box on the drawbar to enable us to carry two gas bottles as well as giving us space for a weight distribution hitch.

"I also added a temperature-controlled fan setup to help draw some of the hot air from behind the fridge ... so far it's working a treat.

"Next on the 'wish list' for the caravan is some Airlift airbag lifters for the poptop to make setup a little easier by myself. With the solar panel on the roof it can be hard work lifting it alone!

All set up ready to camp
Settled in for the night
"We've also been busy preparing the car. We decided to keep our current one and set it up to do what we needed.

"It's an AU V8 Falcon wagon so it's more than up to the task.

"I've upgraded the brakes all round, replaced all front bushes, front suspension and had the rear leaf springs reset higher with an extra leaf.

"I've added a heavy duty radiator, large trans cooler, cooler thermostat, heavy duty tow kit and extractors to help it breathe a little better.

"It's on petrol and LPG and so far seems to tow very well on both.

"Iíve copped a bit of crap for not buying a 4WD, but quite simply we can't afford to buy one ... not to maintain it.

"With the availability and price of parts for Falcons, it was a logical choice for us to once again use a Falcon."


 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved

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