The Shake-Down Trip

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

After marveling at our new baby and getting positive reactions to the wrap, it was time to get to know her for real. We spent about 2 hours with Anthony going over first the outside workings, and, second the inside workings. That included everything from how the 3 different types of water tanks are connected and filled, various gizmos in the outside lockers, to the control panel and workings in the house. Anthony knew we’d be ready for lunch after and dropped us off at ‘Sunriver Brewery Company’ for a meal and to think of any questions we might have. After lunch, Jeremy took us for a learning trip in Molly, to teach us all about driving a Fuso truck.

At 5pm Molly and we were ready to take her on the mandatory shake-down trip. Mandatory, yes. The folks at EarthCruiser require new owners to take their vehicle for a 2 day / 2 night trip (lots of BLM – Bureau of Land Management – land around Bend). The thinking behind this is that they wanted us to go drive Molly and try and test all possible systems on board, to make sure that they worked (which they did), but more importantly, to make sure we knew how to work everything. We’d done food shopping in the afternoon, so we were more than keen to take our Molly on her maiden voyage. You couldn’t have imagined 2 more excited and eager puppies!!!!

By 6:45pm we’d found a suitable spot for our first night in Molly. Photos and some drone footage were taken. That’s another thing we have to learn: flying ‘Destiny’ our drone. Lots of fun stuff to learn 🙂

When it got dark we comfortably ensconced ourselves for the evening in Molly. First up was more or less organizing all the stuff we’d brought in those duffels and bags: bedding, kitchen wares, tools, clothes, and our food. Caroline immediately took to cooking on the Webasto (thanks Anthony for the clear instructions). It takes about 10-ish minutes to get up to temperature, perfect for meanwhile preparing the food, and, enjoy an aperitif.

After dinner we went through most of the on-board systems, during which the manual was consulted a few times.

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018.

The next morning we enjoyed a very nice cup of coffee; specially Caroline, who doesn’t function all that well before being caffeinated. The Nespresso machine was much appreciated. We spent the day testing and trying out just about all the systems in the house and outside, before going for a bit of a drive. We even engaged the 4×4. Caroline also had a go at driving. Parked earlier than the previous night gave us time to relax, read about more of the systems, enjoy a lovely dinner and marvel at Molly.

The next morning we got up early as we’d arranged to be back at EC-HQ at 10am. Once there the team looked over our list of little things that needed adjusting and they gave Molly a final thorough look-over.

Before we started on our journey south there was one more, important, thing to be done: ‘the sticker ceremony’. See next post.

Start of Molly’s shake-down trip. You’d think Stephen is very happy and keen!!
As it was getting late (6:45pm), we didn’t drive around too long looking for a spot as we wanted to take some photos and drone footage in the last of the evening light. Found a suitable spot.
Celebratory drinks on our first ever night in Molly 🙂
Very happy and easy cooking in the galley on the Webasto diesel stove top. We bought good quality pots: ‘Magma 10 piece nesting set’.
The ginormous EarthCruiser manual was consulted several times during the shake-down trip.
Happy Caroline with a yummy morning coffee.
Our coffee set-up: Nespresso Essenza Mini and Aeroccino. Yes, morning coffee is that important.
Yep, Caroline had a go at driving Molly. Not yet on the road mind you; but the gravel track was perfect.
Around where we stayed the second night. We drove about a mile further on a narrower track.
Dinner number 2: chicken curry with quinoa/cucumber salad and a decent NZ Sauvignon Blanc.
And since Caroline does the cooking (happily), Stephen does the dishes (happily).
Waking up on morning 2.