The Shocking Truth

Shocking Truth!
Captured in a rare moment with their guard down, the shock absorber fraternity have been found to be lying to us 4WDers the whole time – they don’t absorb shocks at all – Shocking!

That’s right, its been a sneaky game they have been playing with us, suggesting they are doing all the toil of hard working springs when really they’ve just been riding the waves and soaking up all the glory – Shocking!

So here’s the real (Shocking) story from an insider who has spent many years among these bits and pieces and is ready to tell all on how it really works. Continue reading


A motorised bicycle pump or a real 4WD compressor ?

Here’s a few tips on selecting your next compressor.

I’m pumped. No, I didn’t fall uncomfortably on my air compressor, instead I’ve been psyching myself up to talk about lots of hot air and how to tell the difference between a motorised bicycle pump and a real 4WDers compressor. Insert manly grunting noises now.

For most manly blokes an air compressor isn’t just a little device for pumping up flat tyres, it’s an awkward extension of their blokey-ness, a representation of the big thumping, heart-throbbing V16 engine they’d much rather have under the bonnet of their 4WD. We get out of our 4WDs at the end of beaut day beach driving, and drag out our huge double-pumping, triple-finned chrome-tipped compressor and sneakily glance along the convoy to check on how big the other bloke’s is…..

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4WD / Communications

G’Day, Chris here again.

I’m under pressure here folks. Here I am writing about communications and radios and broadcast range, just as we’re about to launch our very own live Radio chat show on everything 4WD, Caravan and Camping. I better polish up the vocal chords.

Fortunately for the everyday person wandering about this great land, you don’t need to be too concerned about voices and volume and the like, digital technology is taking care of all that.

But before we get too deep into technology, let’s look at some basic on-land communication options and what may suit you best. Continue reading


STOP … use your caravan brakes … if you can!

I hope you can stop and read this if you can, it’s a quick blog (and reminder) about caravan brakes.

Now I’m not a mechanical expert, I’m just an average caravanner that like most of you, just loves getting out and about in this awesome country. However, I usually make regular checks on my van and gear and get my vehicles serviced regularly. So, after 5,000km since my last caravan service, I thought it odd that on my last trip I applied the brake controller (about 7 years old) as I departed the caravan park and it didn’t work.

I have to admit I can’t remember the last time I did this, my big mistake.

Next … I get home and as I tend to do, gave the van a quick wash before storing in the garage. Continue reading


Buying a camping refrigerator? – It’s a hot topic!

Packing the portable refrigerator and getting away on a camping weekend or for touring weeks at a time is almost part of everyone’s preparation, but it’s becoming a hot topic and more confusing than ever to choose the right mobile fridge or freezer.

Every fridge manufacturer is showering the average punter with glossy brochures, endless adverts, gimmicky give-aways and special never to be repeated offers. You’d think you just walked into a polling booth. They are all correct on one point, not all fridges are equal, and they never will be because each maker uses their own methods to deliver to you the information they want you to read and see. Continue reading


How to back a caravan.

Backing a caravan get’s easier after time, so practice makes perfect and remember to keep calm and take your time.
Don’t make any fast moves or over correct, take it easy. If you are by yourself and need a hand, just ask another camper or the caravan park staff, we’ve all been through this and understand.
Continue reading


Happy Snapper – The Best Camera

What is the best camera to use when on holidays?

My day job involves video production for commercials and corporate videos, something I’ve been doing for over forty years. From the dim dark ages of huge black and white studio cameras shooting Romper Room, to today using the latest DSLR camera equipment for commercial and corporate production.

About twenty seven years ago, I made the big mistake of taking a huge stills kit (film) on our first family overseas holiday to Fiji, with lot’s of lenses and filters I took some great shots, but spent more time concentrating on scenery, sunsets and settings than I did on loving the serenity … never again! I usually don’t take a video camera on holidays, for the same reason.

Lesson learnt and from then on we’ve had a variety of little point and shoot style cameras that easily fit into a pocket.
There’s heaps of brands out there that take good quality pictures with not a lot of photographic expertise. Canon, Sony and Fuji have good options at reasonable prices.

Continue reading



Interested to see the most popular tow vehicle around so I conducted a poll.
With the help of Facebook group ‘Everything Caravan & Camping’, we had had 3,037 votes submitted over 2 days. This wasn’t to have a competition between new v old or 4WD v non-4WD, more to gauge the most used manufacturer. A surprise or not, Toyota Land Cruiser was the winner, however everyone is different and has different budgets and towing needs.

Here’s the results and thanks to all that submitted.  Continue reading


Up Coopers Creek without a paddle

Our good mate Chris Blakemore related a story lately that I’d like to share, not his usual tips and tricks or comments on matters ‘technical’, but more a story from the home front … it seemed his folks (70+) were sort of up Coppers Creek without a paddle.

Bev and Phil Blakemore, newbies, I don’t think so!
From crossing the Nullabor in a Morris Mini in the 60’s, to pulling vans across the same for years after, to owning and travelling in a variety of 4WDs and set ups, I reckon they’ve got most of it covered.

Their Winnebago/trailer/Suzuki arrangement is pretty well set up, again based on experience. 

Phil has been through this area before, including spending time in nearby Charleville when past floods devastated the region and went to volunteer in the clean up. 

They have mobile phone and uhf, but no signal could be found.

Here’s their story. Continue reading


Pedal Power

My Best Advice – Don’t Buy This!!

G’Day, Chris here again.

It’s not often I’ll tell some-one to not buy an accessory for their 4WD, hey its what we do and it’s fun setting up your tourer with some of the latest gadgets. But there are some product offers that will just leave an empty feeling in your wallet and senses, consider ‘Pedal Power’.

Throttle position upgrades are one, either via ECU re-mapping and/or plug-in devices.

They’re a waste of money and a sham if I may say so. With many years of experience and qualifications in electrical and electronic fields to support my argument, please allow me to explain. Continue reading


Licence or not?

There’s been a bit of social media chatter about licencing drivers that pull caravans, probably due to a few accidents & rolls lately. As usual the press usually jumps on board with a sensational headline, then the ball starts rolling (a lot more that caravan rolls). Pictures are shown on social media and the arguments start, those in favour and those against, those that blame the government for revenue raising and the old timers (maybe the not so old) that say “I’ve been driving for years and never had a problem so why do we need a change?”

Well, I’m probably going to lose a few friends, but here’s my opinion. Continue reading

led thumb

Driving Lights – LED Light Bars

G’day, Chris here again.

I wrote a short article last year on driving lights, the different technologies and applications. Within that was the increasing popularity of LED light bars, as more people find the spread of light, smaller profile and minimal electrical load suits their requirements better.

The LED technology is also certainly becoming more affordable every day, but is now a case of ‘Caveat Emptor’ as not all versions are the same standard of quality. They might look it in the box, but in real application they are showing their true colours very quickly. Continue reading

RV Weights Explained

RView-WEIGHTS-SmallWe created this graphic based explanation of RV Weights.
It has been downloaded thousands of times and used on numerous web sites.
Thought you’d like an update to include GVM, Tow Ball Weight and Payload.

Hope it helps and feel free to share.

Click here or on the image alongside for a larger version



Is your heart in it?

This might be strange for a caravan and camping based blog but … I recently had a heart attack.
Bear with me I’ll get to the RV bit in a minute, won’t be long, so please keep reading!
In brief … Easter Saturday, my wife’s birthday, heart attack, not good timing, ambulance, hospital, stent placed in block artery, out, pills, recovery, a new me, feel great.

Here’s the RV bit …
I started thinking about the what ifs? … what if we were caravanning as we normally do at this time of year, what if we couldn’t get to a hospital, what if I’d ignored the warning signs, what do I do now?
Well let’s go through them …
Continue reading


Camping in Winter

I remember when we took our first tent trailer to Katarapko Creek just off the River Murray in South Australia.
It was a June long weekend and it was ffffreeeeezing!

Unintentionally we left a cup of water out overnight, it was frozen when we got up in the morning.

Why did we bother going at that time of year and why do we still bother?

Continue reading


Aching Joints?

Tired of Aching Joints?

No I’m not here to espouse the benefits of Fish Oil, Kelp Oil or any other snake oil, but to offer the good oil on checking out your crucial joints around your vehicle.

Why? Because they are a consumable wear item like any other moving mechanical part.

But so often they get forgotten or dismissed unseen, because we’ve seen 20 year plus vehicles with original bushes still, however many people are surprised how effective a change or upgrade can be. Continue reading


Caravan Renovation

I wonder how many people have bought a cheap old caravan to renovate, they’ve done a few minor modifications and away they go. Some folks plan a major renovation or perhaps a rebuild from the beginning.

Vintage vans seem to be a big thing at the moment and I have seen some beauties, a lot have kept the old world charm and style and others add a modern touch to their ‘older’ rigs.

Well here’s an couple of examples of the latter.

Continue reading


4WD Knobs

G’Day, Chris here again.

I have to ask the question,
“Are you the passenger or the driver when you go 4WDing off road?”

No, I don’t mean what side of the vehicle you’re sitting on, I mean do you actually drive the vehicle where you want to get to or through, or do you rely on a computer?

I have to admit being a bit of an old schooler despite my very youthful looks. (Stop laughing now).

When I jump into the seat of a vehicle, be it a road going sedan, hatch or whatever, or into my choice of 4WD, I like to think I am in control. Certainly the brigade in blue and insurance company would like to believe I’m in control on road, the repercussions can otherwise be severe.

So why is it then as soon as we hit the dirt, sand, or a steep decline, we are being told that pressing a button on the dash will look after it from here?

Really, is 4WDing that simple now?
Continue reading