A drink with Sheila – Meet our caravan

We have a guest on the blog today – Sheila, our trusty caravan, would like to make you a drink and tell you a little about herself.


A few nights ago on the Yorke Peninsular – Tickera North

A little while ago, Tara, from In The Taratory, suggested I do a post about travelling this beautiful country in a caravan; what works and what doesn’t.  I thought to myself, who better to interview for this post than Sheila, herself.  She’s asked me to offer you a cuppa or to mix you a martini, if you like.  Sheila has a very generous soul.

Full name:  Sheila Matilda Bartlett

Family:  I’m a Jayco Heritage – first domiciled in Canberra, Australia

Age:  9, but I’ve only been on the road since July 2013.  Before that, I was a backyard caravan.  I think that makes me more youthful.

Occupation:  Full-time travelling home

Length:  In old terms my body is 21.6 feet long; with my A frame, I’m nearly 8 metres.

Likes:  Sunsets over the ocean, baking and rocking to good tunes.

Dislikes:  Mice, really dusty and bumpy dirt roads, road trains and fuel stations that don’t have room for me to enter and exit gracefully.

Describe yourself:  Well, I have an awning on the outside, which I flip out when we’re somewhere nice for a couple of days.  It’s a great spot for my owners to sit and cook on the Weber.  On the inside, up front, I have a kitchen with a decent size fridge (I don’t know how other caravan’s get by with those mini-bar fridges), a stove, oven, sink and cupboards.  My kitchen looks out of a big window, which I think is pretty neat.  Then there is an L shaped lounge/dining area and an extra couch on the other wall.  Beyond that is a queen size bed and then the en-suite with separate toilet and shower.  To keep things cool, I have three sky-lights and an air-conditioner.

Best qualities:  My owners think that my best quality is that I’m self-sufficient.  I provide for my owners without having to rely on anyone else for long stretches of time.  My udder (sometimes crudely called water tanks) holds 120 litres.  This can last my owners up to 8 or 9 days if they are careful.  I can hold on to my toilet waste for 3-4 days too.
Oh and I have this mega long antenna which means my owners get internet almost everywhere!  Phone reception isn’t as reliable though, unfortunately.

What lights you up:  My solar system.  I don’t believe in noisy generators, so I have my rooftop covered in solar panels.  I have 640 watts in total and my batteries are 240 amp hours.  Some said it was overkill, but my owners are power-hungry.  Between the laptops and TV, it seems my owners are always plugging something into my 12 volt or inverter.  I have never run out of enough power to keep my owners happy.  Even when it’s overcast, I can deliver.
My air-conditioner and microwave are the only things which require my owners to plug into a 240 volt source.  They don’t use the microwave really, so it’s just on really hot days that they look for a powered site.  Well, they can’t iron or blend things on their system either.  But, they can use a sewing machine and mixing beaters, so that keeps them pretty satisfied.

Worst thing about travelling Australia:  Ummmmm really the whole trip has been awesome.  But, the worst days were those when we had a mouse stowaway.  It’s happened twice now – thanks South Australia.  The first time was very distressing, but eventually the mouse left.  None of us got much sleep that time.  The second time wasn’t too bad, as a trap got the mouse on the first night.  My owners have cleaned everything down and sealed every conceivable hole now.  Mice seem to really like chewing that non-slip matting – so they got rid of all that too.  They even put the plugs in my drains every night now.  I have my wheels crossed that it doesn’t happen again.
It wasn’t real fun when Mr Owner was keeping his stand-up paddle board on my bed when travelling, either.  That thing is huge.  I’m so relieved he finally got roof racks on top of Tonka, the Pajero, for that.

Best thing about travelling Australia:  Pulling up to some of the most spectacular views and being able to camp there.


This is where we are at the moment – Lincoln National Park

Wishes:  Sometimes I wish I was as cute on the outside and inside as those spunky vintage vans I see around.  But, I’m not ugly.  Just a bit plain-jane.  What I lack in super cuteness though, I make up for with buckets of function.  I’m hoping that maybe Mr Owner will let Mrs Owner reupholster my lounges and maybe get some new curtains for my windows.  Oh, and maybe wallpaper my fridge with some funky out there design – that would be pretty cool.

It’s been lovely meeting you.  We’ll have to do this again some time.

Sheila xo

1 Did you like this?


  1. peta herrling says:

    Dear Sheila, Thankyou for your history, you are quickly making up for your stagnated prep years in a back yard. You are such a lucky girl now traveling around the country side. Are your parents putting on stickers where you have been? Sweetheart that would make you look a little retro. I know you are putting on weight, just how much food do you gobble up each week? Lincoln National park looks beautiful, a bit like wine glass bay. Not to mention the the amazing sunsets you encounter along the way! Great cuppa Cheers. LMX :) :)

    • Hi Oma, No, I don’t have any stickers on my rump. They could look cute, I agree. I’m always a bit hungry – this is true. I make Tonka gobble up quite a bit of fuel (especially if there is a head wind). But, it’s worth it :)
      xx Love Sheila.

  2. She sounds great. She gets you where you want to go, keeps you warm and dry, and lets you sleep in a real bed while taking in all of that awesome scenery. What more could you ask for? (I guess a pimped out fridge.)

  3. thatsummerfeeling1 says:

    I love you Sheila. I’m sorry you’ve had mouse issues, I have had them too. Best wishes for the rest of your journey.
    Lone Wolf aka (the That Summer Feeling Tent)

    • HiYa Lone Wolf, Thanks for commenting. Mice are the pits. We have another one today. This is the third of the trip. I think it’s all the barley and grain they grow in SA. It’s driving my owners bonkers. There must be another way in. More sealing will be required. *sigh*
      Hope to meet you out in the mice-free wilderness some day :)
      Love Sheila.

  4. Brilliant! Thanks so much for doing this.

    • No worries :)

    • I didn’t get to write a proper comment at the time.
      I had no idea just how big she was. I love that there’s a queen sized bed & how much fuel (and waste) she can hold. I’ve always wondered how you get internet reception (would love to hear even more about that actually!). And the power is amazing! What a difference that must make. I love just how functional she is :)

      • Yes, well, I am too much of a princess to not do it in such style Tara!
        The internet has been really stable, all things considered. We had a giant aerial attached to the pre-existing wind-up TV aerial, which plugs into a telstra 4G device. The aerial means we get coverage in many more places than we thought we would. There has only been a couple of very remote areas we’ve struggled to get signal in. It may get more difficult the further inland and west we go. But I think if we stick close to the main highways, we should be fairly ok.
        Yeah, Sheila is pretty rad. It’s amazing how you can ‘travel’ nowadays. No good reason to not take a travelling sabbatical now, is there?! :)

  5. Sheila sounds like the best travelling companion you could ask for xx

  6. This is great :-). It’s nice to know what other have or use!!!!

    • Thanks! It is always good to see what others’ are travelling in. We were lucky to score Sheila from the relatively small Canberra 2nd-hand market. She was in incredibly good condition for her age. x

  7. cat@thatbettiething says:

    Dear Sheila,
    You sound like a girl after my own heart. I may be a lowly backyard chicken, but I long life on the wing. Many a day I gayly gaze at the sparrows freely flitter this way and that. Not content to just sit and scratch like my friend Middle Chook, I like to rock to music too. Give me a bit of Midnight Oil and I’ll do the funky chicken.
    It’s a shame we didn’t catch up for a cider or 3 while you were in the region. Maybe one day I’ll live my life on the wing and I’ll keep an eye out for you as I glide through the wide blue yonder…..
    All the best,
    Scuzzy Chook.

  8. Sheila, I think I love you. Do you have your very own Instagram account? You totally SHOULD! Brilliant, witty interview.

    • Thanks Annette. You’re pretty rad too. I don’t have my own Instagram account, yet. I get featured on Mrs Owner’s IG sometimes though. I’ll see if I can talk my Owners into extending my social media presence 😀

  9. Oh so lovely getting to know Sheila a little better! Beautiful photo at the Yorke Peninsula!

  10. I think I’m in love. Does Sheila date?

I'd love to know what you think...