Rob Gray :: ontheroad :: wothahellizat :: wot1 :: diaries :: issue-035


5 Apr 2001

"Wothehellizat" makes it's TV debut. Paul Clitheroe and his team from the "Money" show arrived and interviewed us about our impending life on the road.

Fig 1 Paul talks to camera for the wind-up piece.

When channel Nine first approached me about appearing I said "What's the gist of the show, how to blow your life savings on a motor home?". They assured me that it would be about the lifestyle and the fact that we had dropped careers, houses and just about everything else to hit the road in our mid forties.

Paul seemed impressed with the open look of the motor home, commenting that if he was blindfolded and lead to the lounge room he would think he was in a beach house.

Right from day one Chris said that she didn't want the truck to look or feel like a normal motor home. I guess we succeeded in that respect :-)

The crew filmed for over two hours while we opened and closed everything and chatted with Paul. When I said that the whole lot opens in a couple of minutes they decided to show this but I don't think they really believed me, saying that if I opened the shutters and raised the pop-top they would do a time lapse to speed it up.

The pop-top went up so fast that they said a time lapse would not be required.

We spent rest of the rally as we usually do, catching up with old friends and making new ones. While having a chat with Laurie (the CMCA webmistress) and others we noticed the council was removing the porta-loos.

Someone commented that they had better not have any occupants and before we'd finished laughing Roger Risk was inside one with his pants at half mast pretending to be in the aforementioned unfortunate position.

Fig 2. Roger Risk misbehaving as usual.

The majority of the rally site were the usual middle-of-a-showground type but some areas were nicer. This coaster had a lovely canal-side spot...

Fig 3. Probably the best spot at the rally.

While many rigs were parked on a small rise that afforded views over the commoners. This was quickly named "Nob Hill".

Fig 4. One of the big rigs on "Nob Hill".

Meanwhile over at the rear of the showground, among the sheds, were the three WORTs (Weird Off Road Trucks), named Baby Bear, Moma Bear and Papa bear by Adrian (owner of Moma Bear, in the middle).

Fig 5. Three WORTs in a row.

It was certainly great that we three could park together and we chatted 'till the wee hours about off-road truck things and living full-time on the road.

Baby Bear (Steve and Jill's Bedford in the front of the above photo) was up for sale and actually sold to Andy and Heather who had flown/driven all the way from Carnarvon in WA. Welcome to our small WORT fraternity Andy and Heather.

Our rig (Papa Bear, aka Wothehellizat) was parked right next to a shed and when standing on the deck we actually looked down on its roof.

Fig 6. Chris relaxing on the deck.

7 Apr 2001

Open day. On the Saturday of these rallies the public is let in to view those rigs that are open and generally talk to CMCA members about motor homing.

It was utter bedlam around the WORTs with queues lined up outside ours and probably the others for all I know, I was too busy.

We must have shown hundreds of people around the rig and at 2:30 Chris closed the door so we could have lunch. Unfortunately our open plan design worked against us as people could see us in the lounge room and still ask questions, so we moved across the road and sat with our fellow WORT owners, pretending the truck wasn't ours.

For the record...

  • Yes I built it myself
  • It took about three years
  • It was an Army truck then fire brigade
  • The motor is a Perkins 6354 turbo
  • I stretched the chassis

There, that should nip most of the questions in the bud. Not that I'm complaining, actually I enjoy it, you don't build something like this if you aren't willing to handle the attention. I thoroughly enjoyed the day but was ready for a few beers when the crowd dwindled at about 6pm.

Later a friend told me that he overheard some people talking about the "weird purple thing over the other side", apparently the owner is a pretty rough looking fellow but his wife is nothing like him, quite nice. There must have been another purple motor home at the rally, guess I missed it.

We both really enjoyed the rally and, as always, found it a little sad when the rigs started moving out.