Martin and Michelle Hameeteman
Marty 68 ‘Retired’ and Shelley ‘Retired’
Current Vehicles and Camping equipment. Toyota Troop Carrier HDJ78RV, Toyota Prado 120, Toyota Coaster Bus Camper 1999 1HZ, Oztent RV4, Hardshell roof top tent and soon a Trailblazers Offroad Hybrid Poptop Caravan.
Marty did his first offroad 4wd adventure when he was 18 in the area which is now flooded by the Thomson Dam and fell in love with the idea, however it was not until he met Shelley and bought a worn-out Toyota FJ55 Station Wagon in 1994 that the adventure really began. Over the years we have tried many different styles of vehicles from a short wheelbase Toyota FJ40 (1971) purchased about a year after the FJ55, to Toyota FJ60, FJ62 and HJ60 variants to Landrover Discoveries Tdi and V8, before settling on the Troop Carrier we have now 15 years ago. A couple of years ago the Prado we have, was purchased. This was mainly purchased for the day trips we do to the High Country and such, as it was fitted out with all the essentials required for the serious stuff.
In 1999 we took a 6 week trip to Dalhousie Springs then to Kakadu on to Lichfield National Park and all the sights along the way. This we did in a Toyota FJ60 with a boat on the roof and a camper trailer. In 2005 we crossed the Simpson Desert in a Toyota HJ60 Landcruiser.
After the Troopy was purchased, we spent a couple of years setting it all up and started taking yearly trips to different destinations mostly up north in the warmer environments during the southern winters. Some of these were off road, some were based mainly on fishing locations and some wholly and solely for the sightseeing advantages.
In 2009 we again crossed the Simpson and, on this trip, we made our first and second recovery. The first was a Ford Courier which did not have a snorkel and ended up with a gut full of sand and refused to go anymore around Lake Poepell on the French line. The Eyre Creek was impassable this year so we also had to do the bypass which involves following the Eyre Creek north for 30 odd kilometers, cross the creek and then back down the other side to end up about 5 kilometers closer to Birdsville on the WAA line. We towed the Courier to Little red (We could not get over the hill at that time) went to Birdsville, dropped off Shelley, went and filled up with fuel and headed back in to the end of the bypass where the Pajero had spun its clutch with a driver. We stayed overnight and then the next day towed it over little red and went back over the dune and successfully got the Courier over. (During the night the sand had shifted and allowed us to get a better line so we did not lose momentum.)
What we have learnt is that you don’t take a vehicle that is in any way compromised, into these sorts of environments. In sandy areas a snorkel is a must even if you have heaps of ground clearance as well as regular checks of the car each night.
These events make a trip memorable and to some extent fun, however it is not fun, when it cuts your intended trip short.
Over the years we have had several setups from large tents to an RV4 Oztent (Which we still use these days) to Camper Trailers to Caravans and so on. We are avid in our endeavor to enjoy our retirement with our Toyota Coaster Camper, (Set up fully for free camping) Our Troopy (Which is set up for totally off grid and outback adventures) Our Prado (Set up for High Country use, has front and rear diff locks, winch etc) and soon our offroad Hybrid Camper.
We have lots of experiences and do not mind sharing them, however, what has worked for us and what we do may not be suitable for others.
You can follow a lot of our adventures and setups on All Terrain Action releases as we explore this amazing country with our different styles of camping and offroad adventures.