This page used to be called the Bluey Page but now it's the PJ page, short for Pride & Joy, the name I've given to my Ford Courier-Freeway slide-on camper combo. More about that later.


Bluey was the name I gave to a Nissan Nomad I intended to use as transport for the Odyssey. It was an 8-seater coach but the idea was to convert it into a camper. I bought it for $350 in January 2009, unregistered and a bit of a mess. Here's an album of Bluey's rust - before and after. My current car at the time was a 1971 HQ Holden (Tough Titties). I'd had it 7 years with very few problems but decided I didn't want to travel Oz towing a caravan - I wanted something self contained. As it happened, the Nissan cost far more in repairs than I'd expected, and even after all that expense it was still an 8-seater coach. Nonetheless, I persisted for a while with the idea of turning Bluey into my dream machine. Here's an album of Bluey on a hoist - and in the backyard the morning I sold Tough Titties to a bloke from Queensland, and here's another at the auto wash.

In April 2011, I spotted a Toyota campervan for sale at Tamworth. $3,500 seemed like a bargain, so I rented a car from Hertz and drove there. I was sadly disappointed with what I found but it was too late to change my mind. I'd already paid for it. Initially, I wanted to sell it but then decided the devil you know may be better than the devil you don't. I got a quote to fix the rust... $6000. Whoa! Here's an album of the Toyota, using the pics posted by the previous owner on e-Bay as well as a few of my own. I sold it in November 2011 for $2000.

So what now? Well, my current wheels are attached to a 1993 Ford XG ute. I plan to get a slide-on camper at some stage. The ute cost $2000 plus about a grand for new tires and some mechanical work to get it ready for registration. Hopefully, I've made the right choice this time. Actually, she's not a bad old bus... a/c, power steering, central locking, CD/radio, 4-speed auto and electonic fuel injection. Click here for the album.

****UPDATE!**** May 2012. Yes, folks! The dream is almost fulfilled! I got me a slide-on camper. One small problem... the Ute is a tub type and I need a trayback (flat tray) to carry the camper. So that's the next step. Stay tooned. Check out the photo album of the camper.

****UPDATE!**** December 24, 2012. Did I say I need a tray back ute? It's Christmas eve today and I took delivery of my little truck this morning. It's a 1994 Ford Courier.


OCTOBER 30, 2013. It's been a busy few months. First, Stan the Lawn Man decided to help me with loading PJ onto the Courier - at a price. But at least it was a step in the right direction. The camper had been sitting on blocks for over a year! Below is a pic of PJ after being loaded. Looks a bit top heavy, some said. I was terrified when I drove it for the first time, fully expecting the rig to become horizontal at any moment. Then I took it for a drive to Port Macquarie for an appointment with the oncologist. PJ behaved reasonably well on the highway without any dramas but it certainly wasn't a pleasure to drive. So I made the decision to remove the lower storage box.


Below is PJ at Sowter's Engineering for the "bumectomy".


And back in the front yard...

There have been quite a few other issues attended to as well - all electrics, house battery, inverter, gas, fridge, rear view camera, stereo, etc. So, recently (early October 2013), I took PJ on a shakedown trip to Wingham Brush. You can check out the photo album here

Yesterday (December 19, 2013) I had Jason at Sowter Engineering do some more jobs on PJ, including two tool boxes under the tray (saddlebags), a grab handle near the door, an awning-saver wheel mounted at the top corner of the door, a piano hinge attached to the vent flap at the back of the fridge, and chains to turn the side drop downs into useful benches when opened. Click here for the photos.

But before all those things could be undertaken, I had the job of clearing a stack of overgrowth that accumulated during PJ's "storage" period at the side of the garage. It was preventing PJ from being moved. At first, during 2012, she was waiting for my flat tray ute to arrive, and then, during 2013, waiting for many more months for someone to help me put the two components of the rig together. It was well over a year's wait in total. But at last Stan the Lawn Man came to the rescue.


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