A bunch of newbie questions!

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A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Demeter » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:47 pm

I have a few questions if anyone has the time to answer (or the inclination :lol: )

It just myself and my 6yo daughter going on this trip if that's necessary information :)

1. How much water should we travel with?

2. Should I invest in a second spare tyre to take with us?

3. What tools should I be taking?

4. Should I carry extra fuel?

5. Should I take a full set of hoses for the cooling system? Or other spare parts like fan belts etc.?

6. I have a RACV membership but I'm not sure if that also covers other states?

7. Should I replace my current car battery for a heavier duty one (even if I'm not running a fridge off it)?

8. I have one of those blue plastic tarps (cheapo), will that do to throw over the car in the night (to help keep the cold away) or do I need a canvas one?

Cheers!!
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:09 am

veganbec wrote:I have a few questions if anyone has the time to answer (or the inclination :lol: )

It just myself and my 6yo daughter going on this trip if that's necessary information :)

1. How much water should we travel with?
I would start with 40 litres and top up at every opportunity. You have not mentioned Bec on the places you expect to stop...Are you planning on caravan parks or free camping as this will give a better indication on what you should carry and what your needs are.

2. Should I invest in a second spare tyre to take with us?
Yes I would definitely have a second spare

3. What tools should I be taking?
Will leave that one to the guys on here, but I would think a basic tool kit would be desirable unless of course you are a mechanic.......but if that were the case then you would not need to ask the question:-))

4. Should I carry extra fuel?
On each occasion that I have travelled through the outback I have always brought my spare fuel home, so I personally would not carry fuel. At each town or stop I would be planning in advance for the next fuel stop & filling or topping up as required. Make sure you have some decent maps with you & yes thay are available from RACV.
The remote travelling that you are planning is only a small part of your overall trip so remember that what you take will be with you for the whole trip. Once you get closer to the coast you will find plenty of fuel stops.


5. Should I take a full set of hoses for the cooling system? Or other spare parts like fan belts etc.?
Absolutely to all of the above

6. I have a RACV membership but I'm not sure if that also covers other states?
Yes I believe there is a reciprocal agreement but if you are unsure then check with RACV

7. Should I replace my current car battery for a heavier duty one (even if I'm not running a fridge off it)?
No, not necessary unless the battery is dodgey in the first place.

8. I have one of those blue plastic tarps (cheapo), will that do to throw over the car in the night (to help keep the cold away) or do I need a canvas one?
No, you do not need a canvas one & it would be too heavy to handle on your own.
However in saying that I would purchase one of the better quality silver taprs with D rings.....Ultrarig & Durarig are two brands that I know of & use. And don't forget something to secure it with. I would look at some decent occy straps.

Cheers!!
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby HGMonaro » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:59 am

where are you planning on going and in what vehicle?
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Demeter » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:27 am

We'll be travelling in my 95 Commodore wagon. We'll be leaving country VIC, heading to Alice Springs, then over to Cairns (staying with family while there or at least using their house as a base for smaller camping trips) then back down the east coast.

I haven't put a whole lotta thought into side trips along the way as yet. I need to invest in some new maps as the ones I have are a few years old and things do change! Maybe that's something I need to cement before I plan our gear?

I'm still a little nervous (safety aspect) as it's just the 2 of us so while I'd like bush camping if I don't feel safe about it I'll try for CPs.
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Demeter » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:29 am

gypsylady wrote:
veganbec wrote:5. Should I take a full set of hoses for the cooling system? Or other spare parts like fan belts etc.?
Absolutely to all of the above


Is there anything else I should take that I'm not thinking of?

Thanks so much gypsy for ALWAYS taking the time to answer my questions!! :cheers
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:45 am

veganbec wrote:I'm still a little nervous (safety aspect) as it's just the 2 of us so while I'd like bush camping if I don't feel safe about it I'll try for CPs.


This would be my concern too Bec...probably comes from being a mother as well.

Whilst it is something I had already thought of for you I was not going to address it just yet....did not want to put you off in these early stages.

I think it is a very wise decision to make CPs your choice of stay. CP's in in the outback or little out of the way towns are much cheaper than you will find on the coastal strip.

Also a lot of smaller towns allow camping in their showgrounds for a lot less cost so keep that in mind.

Another option is to call at the local police station and they will advise of any other areas they consider safe.

Maps should be free from the RACV.

Cheers Gypsy....
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Demeter » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:55 pm

How much do CPs cost per night on average? I've allowed $25 per night. Is it likely to be a whole lot more then that?? I know on the coast it probably will be more.
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Komodo » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:31 pm

veganbec wrote:I have a few questions if anyone has the time to answer (or the inclination :lol: )

It just myself and my 6yo daughter going on this trip if that's necessary information :)

1. How much water should we travel with? Personally I'd be taking 2 x 20L Jerry cans PLUS 4 x 1.5L bottles as they are easy to handle in the car (maybe 600ml considering the 6yo)

2. Should I invest in a second spare tyre to take with us? Thats upto you. I dont know how physically able you are and what sort of roads your concidering taking. Remember the more weight you carry the more risk of getting a puncture. Personally I'd be looking more at some tyre slime and a decent compressor (similar cost to a second tyre and rim) or if your a little more keen (or sticking to main roads where a friendly grey nomad will give you a hand) some tyre plugs might be a good option too. Remember a tyre and rim will weigh in about 25kg and take up a reasonable amount of space.

3. What tools should I be taking? screw driver set, plier set and a couple of shifters and a hammer (helps with tent pegs too!). plus make sure you have all your tools for changing that spare! (you'd be amazed at how many people just expect them to be there)

4. Should I carry extra fuel? IMO - no. unless doing REMOTE touring its not worth it. petrol goes stale and give off fumes and is explosive.

5. Should I take a full set of hoses for the cooling system? Or other spare parts like fan belts etc.? yes - you can often get "emergency kits" from ebay. also some duct tape and electrical tape is a good option for emergency repairs. make sure you know how to do such repairs - not goo being in the middle of no where with all the tools and gear with NFI what your doing standing in the sun

6. I have a RACV membership but I'm not sure if that also covers other states? yes. Make sure you have your member number and everything. We found out after trying to be good samaritans that often they wont send RAC/NRMA service vehicles unless they can confirm your RAC number, your address and car rego - I suggest writting all this information down on a card you can give to a passed by should you need to - including car make model and color. all this infor will help confirm to the service provider that its not a hoax call (they are skeptical remembering in some areas its a 6 hour round trip for the nearest help to arrive - if you've started your vehicle and moved on in that time they wont be happy!)

7. Should I replace my current car battery for a heavier duty one (even if I'm not running a fridge off it)? no but if your battery is more than a couple of years old I would suggest replacing it or at least getting it properly tested by an auto elec (or i think autobarn offer this service free too)

8. I have one of those blue plastic tarps (cheapo), will that do to throw over the car in the night (to help keep the cold away) or do I need a canvas one? maybe not canvas as it will be heavy - But I think investing in a decent tarp is a good option - your plastic blue tarp is very thin (inface you can nearly see though most of them) as such wont provide much insulation - plus they tear easily. I dont like occy straps I preffer cam latch type belts or plain old rope

Cheers!!



I hate camping in caravan parks. Myself and my girlfriend tent to camp just off the side of the road. We've never felt unsafe. but obviously a decision completely upto you - just keep an open mind and act on instict - it may just open some opportunity!

Camping with unpowered sites in the "outback" is reasonably cheap I wouldn't expect to see you pay more than $15 too many places for a camp site - but you might have to pay for showers some places (usually between $0.20 and $2 for 3 minutes - and not always hot!)

Whilst free maps are available there is a hema map book (name escapes me) which has good maps (in a3 / a2 size) as well as distance between towns (both in kilometers and in travel time) and info on fuel etc. I'll find the name and post back. I have it and find it invaluable!
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Demeter » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:06 pm

Cheers Komodo :) I'd appreciate the book name if you can find it!!
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby freerocketman1 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:07 pm

i agree with komodo on the list of items :+
just 1 thing extra, when you get up to date maps check the distance between towns. reason being if your car chews the fuel you will need to make sure you can make it to the next.
other than that have a great trip.
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:57 pm

$25 per night should pretty much cover you in most places & as I said before there is often camping available in most showgrounds and for a lot less than $25.00. Most will have power, showers and toilets as well.

Places like Alice Springs will be very expensive.

I suggest you go to your local tourist info centre and see what info they have & what they can get for you, also RACV should put out a CP accommodation guide which will give you quite a lot of info and costs on CPs.

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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Komodo » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:25 am

^ Agreed.

Actually if you can email or phone the information centre where your going they might be able to send through some information for you relevant to the area (rather than the generic stuff you get at the local travel agency)
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Jo&Kev » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:20 pm

Hi there,

We did a trip last year that was about 4200km, albeit in a 4WD, and we camped and stayed with relatives. There were 2 adults travelling.

1. In terms of water we carried 15 litres, as we were able to access water at each campsite. If you are camping at CP's carrying 15 litres plus a couple of bottles should be OK.
2. We did some 4WD-ing and didn't get a puncture at all during the trip. We only had a single spare, but we weren't going to far from civilisation. A second spare isn't necessary if you are sticking to well formed roads. A type repair kit and a compressor (not a $10 one though) would be a cheaper and more convenient option.
3. A basic toolkit. We had a set of screwdrivers, spanners and some shifters a jack, wheelbrace, compressor. Not like I was going to rebuild the engine on the side of the road.
4. We did 4200km (from Yass, NSW to Rockhampton, QLD north inland and then down the coast) and didn't carry any spare fuel. Couldn't as the 4WD is LPG only. A little planning goes a long way.
5. If your car is fairly 'common' probably no need to carry a full set of spares as they will be available if needed. If you are driving something rare, or will be isolated, wouldn't hurt, assuming you know how to change them safely.
6. Usually it will work in other states. It would pay to check before you leave. Maybe consider upgrading to a 'premium' type package.
7. Depends on the battery - new is always better, but a battery in good condition will be fine.
8. Nothing wrong with a cheap and cheerful tarp. I don't think it would keep the car warm at night though.

I would think about $25/night is about right for camping in a CP. National Parks can be a bit cheaper.

A current set of Hema maps would be useful - they have major roads, outback fuel and camps on them. And they are far more fun than a GPS navigator.

My best piece of advice would be travel at a reasonable pace, don't try and go too far on a single day, stop regularly, talk to the locals and fellow travellers and have a blast.

Our 2 week 4200km trip was one of our best (and cheapest) holidays and we are sort of planning for the next one.

Kev
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby Demeter » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:17 am

Where are the Hema maps sold? :)
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Re: A bunch of newbie questions!

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:36 am

veganbec wrote:Where are the Hema maps sold? :)


I'd be looking at the free maps from RACV before I purchased any other Bec.

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