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Not the average bus drivers

Thursday, 20th March, 2008

Kevin Boyd and David Fricke aren't your typical bus drivers. While most people with the travel bug are happy to pull a caravan or drive a motorhome in retirement, Mr Boyde and Mr Fricke prefer something a little larger.

Try a 40-feet long coach converted into a mobile home complete with bedroom and en suite. The men and their wives (and dogs) are in Broken Hill this week for the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia's (CMCA) anniversary rally.

Mr Fricke knows Broken Hill well, having been through the city four times previously, and is particularly fond of the western parts of NSW and Queensland.

Speaking at the racecourse yesterday, Mr Fricke said the majority of the club's members lived on the east coast so this rally offered them something very different in terms of scenery.

"They can enjoy the desert without getting out in it," said Mr Fricke, who lives at Bright in Victoria when he's not in his bus. "The colours are magnificent.

"When you look out into the bush it's like looking at an (Albert) Namatjira painting." Like Mr Fricke, Kevin Boyd spent several years and tens of thousands of dollars (he's not sure how much) transforming something that began its life as a Dening coach.

The conversion involved lifting the bus's roof and replacing the front and back with that of a later model. It has also been completely re-skinned and the front door was moved to the middle of the coach. Inside has also had a complete make-over and now boasts a timber kitchen and every convenience including solar-powered electric appliances.

Both men said they preferred converted coaches over caravans or motorhomes for the same reasons: comfort and security.

"We just like them because they are comfortable. There's plenty of space," said David, who used to run a farming school in central Victoria.

The conversion involved lifting the bus's roof and replacing the front and back with that of a later model. It has also been completely re-skinned and the front door was moved to the middle of the coach. Inside has also had a complete make-over and now boasts a timber kitchen and every convenience including solar-powered electric appliances.

Both men said they preferred converted coaches over caravans or motorhomes for the same reasons: comfort and security.

"We just like them because they are comfortable. There's plenty of space," said David, who used to run a farming school in central Victoria.

He and Kevin and their wives are members of a sub-group within the CMCA known as the "Big Rig Clan".

Despite already travelled through much of Australia over the years, Kevin and David say they will never run out of places to visit.

"There's always a different road to travel," Kevin said.

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