Mobile home makes most of life

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

A Great Southern man has whittled his worldly possessions down to one customised camper bus but the equipment on board the hand-built house on wheels will ensure he does not go without modern creature comforts.

Michael Shanhun, or Mick as he is known, has dedicated the past four-and-a-half years to building his 1988 Austral Tourmaster coach bus from a gutted shell once used by the Australian Army into a completely self-contained and self-sustaining mobile home.

Mr Shanhun grew up on a farm in the Porongurup region and, at age eight, was diagnosed with a benign tumour in his right arm, which doctors thought he may have to have amputated.

In addition, Mr Shanhun had a spinal fusion when he was 20 after an accident while working on a farm, and another fusion about six years ago which has affected his mobility ever since.

“I’ve had the tumour in my arm cut out four times now but it keeps growing back and I was spending 70 hours a week driving road trains and I just had to change,” he said.

“That’s what has made me prioritise what I want to get out of life now.”

Mr Shanhun said he had also worked in the aged care sector and had seen what was “at the end of the road”.

“That made it quite an easy decision really to sell everything up and build the bus and go travelling,” he said.

To describe the bus as a “home on wheels” is no exaggeration as it has a fit-out similar to what you would find in a modern apartment.

There is a lounge area complete with armchairs, television and displays of some of Mr Shanhun’s favourite model cars.

The kitchen has everything you need to store and cook fresh food, while the bedroom is fitted with a double bed and split-cycle air-conditioning.

Luxury continues in the bathroom, where a full-size toilet, spa bath and shower are all supplied by a 1000-litre water tank.

With a solar power generation capacity of 1000W, grey and black water storage of 250 litres each and 1200 litres of fuel, Mr Shanhun said he had driven from Melb-ourne back to Albany without any need to stop at a service station.

Mr Shanhun left Narrikup this week heading for a truck and camper show in Port Vincent in South Australia before moving on to the Blue Mountains in NSW.

“It certainly has been a big journey to get here,” he said. “I just hope I can inspire others to make the most of the life they have.”

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