Once we arrived in Sydney we took a few days to explore. However, high up on our priorities list was the matter of finding a suitable van to travel the country in. For weeks ahead of time we were members of various Facebook buy and sell groups, watching the van turnover with bated breath. We could plainly see that vans go quickly and that if we saw one we like we would have to jump on it.
Our first test drive was a van painted bright orange, registered to Western Australia. It came with a bed which seemed comfy enough and some storage space. On the test drive there were some odd noises, which the previous owners explained as being something minor they just had not fixed. We also noted that it was not necessarily kept the cleanest. We walked away from it both not feeling completely convinced that it was the one for us. Luckily, we did not love it as the next test drivers made an offer and purchased it an hour later.
Our second vehicle was a plain white Mitsubishi. The owners were quite desperate to sell as this was the one thing preventing them from moving back home. The van appeared quite tidy and well maintained. It had plenty of underneath storage and a decent amount of mileage. In addition, there was also nothing notable wrong with it. It was a definite maybe. But, we had another test drive scheduled for later that day.
Next, we went to visit a 1998 Mitsubishi Express. The van had some decals and an unfinished octopus. Instead of a regular bed, it had wooden slats which fold into themselves to create a futon. There was also some storage space underneath. It had two dressers in the back, one facing in and one facing out for extra storage. The owners explained that they found it in Tasmania and brought it over and re-registered it. They loved the van but had upgraded to a newer one as they both live in Sydney permanently. There were a few things wrong. Including a broken muffler, a weird trick to lock the doors, and a squeaky clutch. However, unlike the other two vans, we walked away loving it. We loved that we could have a couch and would not be limited to only lying down if the weather was bad. We loved the decals.
After the third test drive we stopped into a nearby bar to debate the pros and cons for each van. We tried to make ourselves love the second van as it was a bit more sound, newer, and cleaner. We made an offer on both the second and the third vehicles. Both were accepted promptly. However, we went for the van that needed a bit of love. It just felt like the one. Plus, the things needing repairs were not significant.
And now we can freely explore Australia.