EVENT: TROOPCARRIERS OF AUSTRALIA, NSW
150 Troopies, six tonnes of firewood and the perfect campsite. Bliss for Toyota lovers.
JUST a few years ago a couple of mates were sitting around a campfire pondering the idea of starting an online 4x4 group specifically catering for Landcruiser Troop Carriers. Troopcarriers of Australia was born via Michael Shaw (yep, it’s his missing finger that the Shawry Salute is derived).
The first two Winter Rambles were organised by three fellas: Cal Tomlinson, Ryan Kestle and Dan Smith, and held in 2013 at a reserve just out of Gloucester, NSW. Only three Troopies attended the inaugural event, but in 2014 that number rose to 17.
Looking for a larger venue to cram a couple of extra Troopies into, the guys moved it to Coorongooba Campground (near Glen Davis) in 2015 and attracted 76 vehicles. Fastforward 12 months to this 2016 TOA Winter Ramble, and an incredible 150 Troopies turned up. That is nothing short of astonishing given TOA is a closed group. I reckon that number could easily break the 1000 mark next year, given there is a smidgeon over 3300 online members to date.
The administrators I spoke to at the Ramble all expressed their amazement and thanks to all who helped organise and turn up for this event, and they wanted to note they are not a club, just a group of likeminded people that are always ready to help each other out with info, advice and parts.
This means there is no El President, no fees and no insurance. The only rule is to ‘play nicely’ with one another. All are welcome, and this year there were a handful of families complete with caravans and kids joining in on the fun.
My experience with this mob has been nothing short of fantastic. About one month after purchasing my secondhand Troopy I was sent on a mission to Queensland, where I had a couple of dash lights come on. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the manual or paperwork to know exactly
what one of the lights meant, so I punched a question into the group while parked on the side of the road and had a reassuring answer within 10 minutes. That’s all I needed to know, so I headed on my merry way knowing I could fix the problem at my leisure. Thanks again to those who answered. I’ve seen countless similar experiences with plenty of like-minded, helpful Troopy owners.
The 2016 Winter Ramble also raised $4850 for the Southern Cross Kids Camps charity, which is a not-forprofit mob who take less fortunate kids out camping in the bush – what a brilliant form of healing to be sitting around a campfire with people that care for you. That amount was raised via a few members making, selling and donating profits from beanies, hoodies and various stickers. Plus there was a raffle over the weekend with all prizes donated from a heap of TOA members who run their own businesses. A huge pat on the back to all who helped raise that money and organised the profits to be handed to the selected charity; I reckon those involved deserve an extra frothy around the next camp fire.
Toyota Troop Carriers are the epitome of touring 4x4s. They can be camped in, on top of, or next to, plus they can tow almost any
camper trailer or caravan on the market. They fit the bill perfectly for short- and long-term remote travel, and they have cavernous internal proportions, are reliable, simple and have rugged mechanicals. Plus they can be easily modified, and there’s a huge choice of aftermarket gear.
While we don’t buy them for their on-road cornering prowess, superflexi suspension, or standard stereo systems, the Troopy is the perfect platform for the adventurous. Plus they easily and comfortably double as daily drivers. Sure, they have their problems, as all makes do, but straight out of the box they can be taken almost anywhere on the planet.
There are other Rambles throughout the year during spring and summer, so, if your keen and own a Troopy, check out Troopcarriers of Australia on Facebook and join in the fun. Until next time, legends!
The lucky winner of one of the event’s donated prizes.
We thought the only event rule was to ‘play nicely’?
A massive turn out this year. And it’ll only get bigger and better!