Owen found a 4×4 Toyota Coaster in Queensland that he quite liked and spend months emailing backwards and forwards with the owner, who was now living in New Zealand.
At $34,000 it looked and sounded like a GREAT deal for a 4×4 converted coaster. Included in the deal was having all the rust removed, a full body repaint and the bus passenger seats removed. The bus had a reconditioned 6L Hino motor in it and had recently had $1000’s spent on it fixing things like the fuel injector pump, etc.
After more than 12 weeks of emails and Skype calls back and forth, in October it was time to go and get it.
…Little did we know what we were in for…
Tuesday, 19th October 2010
Caught taxi to airport and then flew to Brisbane on the EARLY flight (6am’ish). Got Hire car from Avis and set out to go to see the Coaster. The coaster was situated in Tanawah about 90km north of Brisbane. Arrived and had a look at it after meeting friends of the owner who were looking after the sale while the owner lives in NZ. The Coaster was not ready (we were supposed to pick it up the next day and begin driving it home). After seeing the coaster the first time we were ready to leave then and there as it was not what we were lead to believe and was not in the condition we were lead to believe. Owen was pretty pissed and dejected and was ready to go home, so we left and headed off to the motel – Pacific Paradise Motel at 612 David Low Way, Pacific Paradise, Queensland, 4564, motel was nice, basic but nice, had free WiFi (which came in handy), was close to a few restaurants (also handy) and had a break and thought about things, overnight, and Owen realised he had to look at the big picture and ignore ALL of the little things that were wrong, so we decided to stay another day and still purchase it. As there was no way the coaster was going to be ready today we had to organise to stay another day at the motel and extend hire of car another day.
Wednesday, 20th October 2010
Spent nearly all day at the coaster (after we went for a tour of the Buderim Ginger factory in the morning – 10am tour), helping out and trying to get things ready so that we could at least take it for a test drive, which we hadn’t been able to do. Finally got to take it for a test drive late in the afternoon to find out it was so gutless I could have walked up a hill faster (and I have mobility issues). It was AWFUL, it only went at about 20km up a hill and it was dead empty, except for Owen and I and 2 spare wheels. Imagine what it would have been like when it was fitted out. That was the final straw, we were done with it. We left, returned to the hotel, rang the owner and told him what we thought of it, all that was wrong with it and that we were NOT going to buy it. We then used the WiFi at the hotel to book flights home for the next day (with only one days notice we could not get cheap flights home), organised to return the hire car back to the airport the next day (we had organised to drop it off at Maroochydore as it was closer to where the coaster was).
Thursday, 21st October 2010
Left QLD and returned home. By now Owen was over the whole motorhome things and the whole thing was off. (It took him more than 2 months before he decided to keep looking but in a different direction and that is when he found out about expedition vehicles and he liked what he saw and the more he read about them, the more he liked).
…So our expedition vehicle experience began…