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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.
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TOW VEHICLE POLL

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

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

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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?

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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.

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Is your new caravan roadworthy?

Buying a new caravan is probably the best way to guarantee you have all areas of roadworthiness covered.
Buying from a reputable second hand dealer is also a safe guard and recommended if pre-loved is your choice.
Buying from the bloke down the road or from an internet site is fine and it might save a buck, but is it safe?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bought second hand and it’s worked for me.

Sweet old Bob and Vera surely wouldn’t rip me off … would they?
But (always a but), over the years they’ve added this and that and modified things to a point of unsafe driving (maybe a reason for sale). Weight issues are a whole new topic so I won’t go into them today, other than to say make sure the van is loaded correctly and weight is not over the manufacturer’s plated specifications.
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Happy Hour – A camping ritual of some kind?

Happy Hour – how long does it last?

Day one of a ten day stay at a Swan Hill caravan park started quite nicely.

As we pull up, out comes our next door vanner Barry, soon to be joined by Kathy, then on the other side another new arrival, Dianne and Reg.

We setup camp then checked out the local shopping precinct and purchased supplies before making our way back to camp to sit back and relax.

Then as the clock ticks over to 4.30pm something happens, everyone seems to be holding a drink of some description either lazing around in a comfy camp chair or preparing the bbq for an evening cook up.

Now I don’t know if this a magical, mystical, camping hour ritual of some kind, but soon we had all gathered under the one awning enjoying each others company. Continue reading

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Recovery – Safety – Common Sense

G’day, Chris here again.

Recovery ‘experts’ need not read further.

But for those interested in recovery of your vehicle from a bad situation, I figured I’d run a few ideas past you. It probably should be regarded as a topic on safety because that is what its really all about.
Recovery of your 4WD or any other vehicle, camper, van etc, is about how to safely rescue such from a sticky situation, be it lack of forward mobility or otherwise.


I hammer this issue of safety home until people’s ears start to bleed.

There is no excuse for increasing the danger to people or unwarranted damage to vehicles. Continue reading

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Buying a new van at a caravan show?

Buying a new van or trailer at a caravan show? Have you got your list ready?

How many times have you gone to caravan shows and become totally confused by the great selection available?

Don’t get me wrong, I love caravan and lifestyle shows and have been to heaps.
There are so many great rigs out there, from slide-ons to 5th Wheelers.
I admit to being a bit of a tyre kicker (sorry sales guys), I’m happy with my rig, but I do like to see what is out there, keep up with the latest styles, technology, brake systems and all those terrific gadgets.

So, no need to get confused, if you are a serious buyer here’s a friendly tip make a list! Continue reading

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Caravan & Camping 2015 – Be Prepared

Happy New Year to everyone and hopefully some top caravan and camping trips planned for 2015.

But are you prepared for an emergency?

Unfortunately the start of the new year hasn’t been that happy for some people with horrible fires in South Australia and Victoria.
Our thoughts are with everyone that has been affected by these fires and of-course the men and women that risk their own lives as they fight fires.
This disaster has made me think about caravan and camping set-ups and preparation or evacuation plan in an emergency. Continue reading

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Experiencing weight problems?

Who’s experiencing weight problems?

Your back end sways uncontrollably, your front end is on the heavy side and you have a few extra kilo’s that don’t need to be there.
Yes your caravan is overweight and probably needs to go on a diet. Continue reading

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Towing in Overdrive – ON or OFF ?

I’ve noticed a lot of people on social media ask whether it’s better to keep in overdrive when towing or drop back a gear.  I drive an automatic and drive to conditions.
 I usually keep overdrive on when on the flat however I drop back on hills and turns and always when going down hill, letting the gears slow me down.

I raised this subject with Chris Blakemore … here’s his reply. Continue reading

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Working on the road

Do you work on the road?
We still have a fair way to go before retirement and hitting the road long(er) term.
But I’ve already thought about what I can do when we do take off and dream about the day when we can actually do it.
There are some clever people out there already, we’ve seen hairdressers, jewellers, massage therapists, a lady sewing windcheaters to sell and of-course the knitters out there for a spare jumper or scarf.
Some follow markets others simply sell out the back of the van (all above board of-course Mr Taxman).

As technology moves forward there’s a need for computer boffins to fix wireless issues, mobile phone problems, laptops, basically anything that of-course couldn’t be human error. Continue reading

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Rest areas or are they?

Hi folks,
I can’t take credit for this article, but thought it was one of the best comments on parking bays, truck and rest stops on highways, particularly from the perspective of a road train driver. We need to share the road and be considerate to all users, day and night.

I found this on Exploreoz.com and it was written by a bloke (I assume) going by the name of  Twocrowsdown
http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/Topic/109410/Comment_P-Bays_and_Rest_Areas.aspx#.VBHuFwUymDY.facebook

Enjoy …

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Caravan or Motorhome?

Time to compare … caravan or motorhome?
Thanks to the Grey Nomads and Maui, earlier in the year we had the privilege of touring Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula (top spots) in a Maui motorhome. Pre-trip, we checked in online, a great advantage, all paperwork sorted and there was a variety of videos to view on-line prior to the trip, they also supply a terrific vehicle overview and familiarization on pick-up. We took the Maui Platinum River that way we could have the rear double bed and our dining area setup permanently. Initially I thought the motorhome seemed huge and for the first hour or so I was super conscious of it’s height (3.25m), and width (2.82m), although the length (7.7m) didn’t bother me that much, I soon got used to it. In reality it’s way shorter than my 4WD and caravan combined, and not much wider. Continue reading