*Waves* Hello

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*Waves* Hello

Postby ready2explore » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:38 pm

Hiya, pleased to meet you, hope to chat frequently :)

We are a family of 5 - me, hubby, DD's 8 & 10 and DS 5 from Northen Victoria.
We have recently aquired at no cost :) a 20ft 1970's (real old lol) Millard (we are only assuming, there are no stickers or anything to say it is) caravan (double bunk, double bed, kitchen area which becomes another bed and a toilet/shower).
The van lived it's life on a farm as a spare room for visitors.
It's in good condition, we've just registered it, it tows well on my trusty ford station wagon, would love a 4WD for it but that's a few years off.
We are now decorating the inside. The interior is brown and dreary so i'm giving it a lick of cream and sage coloured paint and whipping up some new curtains and organising the contents of the cupboards.

Our plans for using the caravan are to wander up the east coast of Australia, working during harvest season, homeschooling the children and exploring all there is on offer. We hope to leave September this year.

I'm hoping by being a part of this forum we will find tips on how to make the most of our caravan, hear stories from those who have done what we wish to do and generally make friends with like minded people.

Smiles and happy travels
SJ
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby xmasbaby67 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:49 pm

:hello:

Welcome to the forum SJ

Some beautiful spots along the east coast. Any ideas on where you want to go first?

I take it you are starting in Vic and heading up to QLD, give us some ideas on where you are heading to first so we can recommend our favourite spots in that area of the east coast.

It's a great and friendly forum here, heaps of great people willing to have a chat....hence the new chat thread....come and join in anytime... :cheers
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby Titch » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:54 pm

Welcome :hello:
Sounds great, is the van 20 foot internal or external?
I was thinking of the weight.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby GypsyLady » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:34 pm

I agree with Titch....weight is a big issue so watch how you are filling those cupboards and with what.


And....WELCOME to the forum.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby ready2explore » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:24 pm

Thanks for the welcomes :)

20ft external. I don't know the weight but it tows nicely. Would i be better off filling the boot of the car or that wouldn't make a difference? I only want to take the bare minimum. It's equipped with a bar fridge and a microwave. We have a 2 burner portable gas stove. 5 camping chairs. 1 childs bike lol. Anything else would be clothing, a box or 2 of toys and school supplies. Food, cooking equpiment, bedding, books, dvd's and portable dvd player. We don't have a telly so that's a little less weight :) I'm not sure what else we would need as yet.

We're not sure where we are heading 1st or wether we go inland or coastal. Our destination on this trip is Mackay QLD but no hurry to get there. My husband is a longtime truck driver so knows plenty of off the main highway roads so who knows where we will end up lol.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby Titch » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:29 pm

You MUST find out the weight of the van and compare it with the towing capacity of your ford.
Then work out what your going to pack,weigh that as well.
Tow ball weight will come into it,as in the weight pushing down on your towball.
Fords have a weight ratio, the more you tow the slower you need to go,a permanent van to live in will get heavy very Quick.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby ready2explore » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:34 pm

Thanks Titch. I'll get on to that and report back :)
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:13 am

SJ......You also mention a shower and a toilet.....what about water for this??

Every litre of water weighs 1 kilo, what size tank/s do you have and don't forget there is also the weight of the tank/s.

Water for drinking and washing up, where is that and how much do you have??

And what about a hose to fill the tank/s and an electric lead to hook to power when you are in a CP??

And then there is the toilet itself....20 litre capacity = 20 kgs +.

Do you have an annex?? How much does it weigh?? Weigh everything and then decide what you really need and what you can leave behind.

Everything that Titch has mentioned is very much correct.....WEIGHT and knowing what it is, how much you can tow/carry is PARAMOUNT…..both from a legal aspect as well as safety.

It is also about weight distribution....you simply can't just 'fill the boot of the car'.

It is quite amazing how food supplies can mount up in weight...are you considering cans of anything??

Plastic peanut paste bottles and the fruit containers are great for decanting into....less weight and less likelihood of breakages. These make great storage containers.

Pots and pans can also add up in weight. Cutlery and cooking utensils; plates, bowls and mugs (ceramic or plastic)??

Do you have a heater and a fan…how much do they weigh??

Oh...and what about hubby's tools and any spares...what is he taking and how much does it weigh??

Being such an old van might also mean a heavy van….is there a compliance plate on it (usually on the draw bar) or information contained on your rego papers??

You might need to take it across a weighbridge because you will need a TARE weight as well as an ATM (van) and a GCM which will include the weight of your tow vehicle. Then you also have axel ratings on the van and load restrictions on the tyres.

SJ….there is much to consider when looking at caravans and towing……PLEASE don’t disregard any of this. Apart from the cost of hefty fines…there is also the possible problem with insurance if you have an accident or worse still............the welfare of your children.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby ready2explore » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:44 am

Thank you for your indepth reply Gypsylady.

The bathroom, we aren't going to use, we know of plenty of truck stops that have shower facilities or if we are staying somewhere remote we will use one of those shower bags. I'm trying to convince hubby to remove the toilet, it's not neccesary to have, we are happy to rough it lol.

There is a chasis number on the drawbar, nothing else. The inspector guy couldn't find any info about the van on his computer, it's quite possible it has never been registered before, the 1st two owners have passed away and the other owners had no info on it.
They estimated a weight of 1725. We will get it weighed properly over the weekend. It's double axle.

There is no annexe or even an awning as yet. We haven't decided to get either just yet, just looking into prices and places.

We have an electrical cord.

I have thought about the weight of fresh water but don't know how much to take and if there are places where we can refill. Water is the only thing we all drink apart from tea and coffee.

Crockery, cutlery and food starage are all plastic. We won't be taking boxes of canned food. I like to cook and eat from scratch and have loads of fresh produce. I'm not sure if it's better to shop for a few days when we get to a destination or to have a majority of it on board. An electric frypan, normal frypan, 2 saucepans.

We have a tool box that has the basics. I will weigh that too.

I know it sounds like i'm impatient to get away and not thinking of the all important factors. Hubby says everything will be fine and to some extent i believe him as he has lived in and towed caravans around the country with his previous family albeit 20 years ago. He's also a truck driver so knows his safety issues. But, this is why i'm here, to learn for myself what needs to be done to have an enjoyable adventure without any problems. I might sound silly and blonde at times but truely i am taking all suggestions on board and working through them.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby xmasbaby67 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:40 am

We can all TOTALLY understand the impatient bit as I think we are all the same.... :***

We are going away Oct long w/e and I'm already counting down and starting to get stuff ready all because I'm soooo impatient for it to be here ALREADY!!!!

Everyone is just making sure that you have all the bases covered before such a BIG adventure, there would be nothing worse than the Ford packing it in a week into the trip because it is towing too much!!!! :cry:

Sounds like your having a great time getting it all painted and looking great before your big trip, I reckon half the fun is in the getting ready and it passes the time until LIFT OFF!!!! :?#

We would love to see some pics of your van and the improvements that you have done!! ::)
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:58 am

ready2explore wrote:They estimated a weight of 1725.



Is that Tare or ATM SJ??
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby ready2explore » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:22 pm

Gypsylady, looking at the rego certificate (it's Sth Aust) it says MASS: 1725 The van was reasonably empty, nothing in cupboards. The inspector didn't put it over the weigh bridge, just estimated.

I will update when we visit the weighbridge on the weekend.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby ready2explore » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:00 pm

Back again lol.
I've been reading the manual for my Ford. It's an automatic. With a 2300kg rated heavy duty towbar, the gross trailer weight must not be greater than 2300kg, the weight on the towball must not exceed 230kg.
I could ask hubby what it all means but he's away for the week and i would like to be knowledgeable before then.
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:23 pm

ready2explore wrote:Back again lol.
I've been reading the manual for my Ford. It's an automatic. With a 2300kg rated heavy duty towbar, the gross trailer weight must not be greater than 2300kg, the weight on the towball must not exceed 230kg.
I could ask hubby what it all means but he's away for the week and i would like to be knowledgeable before then.



The MOST weight you are allowed to tow is 2300kgs (all up total) and the MOST you are allowed on the ball is 230kg.

Here is another question for you SJ....how are you going to power this van...12 volt or 240??

If 12 volt, how many batteries are you going to have on board and how much do each of them weigh?? How are you going to recharge those batteries??? 3 stage charger!!......and again what does it weigh??

Are you going to carry a generator....how much will that weigh?? Then of course there is fuel to carry for it as well.

You have heaps of research and lots of weighing to do SJ and lots of exciting times and PREPARATION for your adventure.

Good preparation will stand you in good stead....
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Re: *Waves* Hello

Postby ready2explore » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:02 pm

We're considering a small generator. It's unlikely we will be stop at many CP's, with 5 people it tends to get pricey. But with daylight savings coming, we can make do with the car charged lantern and torches or a couple of solar powered garden lights if they don't weigh too much. As i've already mentioned, our cooking is gas (very small gas bottle) and we can make use of bbq's around the country.

Hmm, after reading that back, maybe we'd be better off with a tent! lol, i must say i prefer the protection of the van. Tenting can get very untidy for us also.

I have a lot of weighing ahead of me hey lol

Keep the info coming, i am a willing participant to do it all right.
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