Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby MacLister » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:14 pm

We made it! No real injury, and of the 6 souls that went, 6 have returned! Thanks to all those who have helped and advised us - it's been great!

The overall trip had it's up and it's downs, but overall, was successful. So, I'll try give a run down of how it went.

We left around 2 hours later than we wanted, and then some chap rolled his car on the Bruce Highway, in peak hour, and caused an extra 1 hour backup of traffic. Then TomTom GPS gave us bogus routing, trying to make us come down a one-way highway road! We got to the site as the sun dipped behind the hills, and it started getting dark quick! Kids were tired and hungry... and it was going to be stress. I started setting up the tent right away, and got the main structure up in around 20 minutes, but it was dark, and was done with a torch. Kids crying... and my 2 year old had already lost her dummy, which she is WAY too reliant on... so tears....

Got it up, and it was dark... so we got the beds in and pumped up... My wife started working on making food for the kids, and getting them ready for bed, while I tried to setup tables, lights etc.. Was a bit of a nightmare. And the search for the dummy was highly unsuccessful. So more crying.

We finally got them all to sleep with a bit of warmed up soup, and then they crashed out. My wife and I continued to setup.. we got the awening up, and managed to sit down and eat some food. VEry tired, and by then, we were ready to sleep, which we did.

The night wasn't any better. The 2 year old keps crying for her dummy, and then 6 month old woke up a few times for a feed. So we didn't get enough sleep, and were up pretty early.

We found that we chose THE WORST spot in the entire site! The ground was bare and sandy and had a slight slope. and the trees blocked the morning sun. The ground was wet with dew, as was everything else, and it was chilly! It took ages for the sun to finally get to us. As the ground was sandy... there was a lot of mud being carried about. The worst spot ever! All the other people were on lovely lush grass.. :(

Anyway, the morning went OK. More tears about the dummy, which we searched for with no luck. But we ate, and felt a bit better. Me and the kids went to the river, and the 2 year old fell in!!! She got excited, jumped up, and went face first in! Fully dressed! I only had one pair of shoes, but had to run in to pull her up and out. She can't swim, so it wasn't good... And my shoes.. my ONLY shoes.. were soaked!

Got back and relaxed at the site for a while... Here's the handy work we did!

1.jpg


The tent was GREAT! I really like it. BUT .. it doesn't have awening walls. :( Can I buy those? Installing was harder than I thought at first.. Getting the main structure up was hard work.. but it was dark, and I was stressed to get it done quick.

Anyway, the rest of the day was great.

2.jpg


Then, something that made me question what I was doing there happened.

I wanted to got for a shower, which is 150 meters from our spot. It's along that road in the picture above. About halfway there, I was on my own... and I noticed movement in the grass off to my right. SNAKE!! Now, I don't know ANYTHING about snakes... and would rather not meet one. But here I was, within 5 meters from one! It was heading towards where I was walking, and was going to cross the road I was on. So, I stopped, and went to my left, away from it... I passed where it was about to cross, and met 2 hikers coming back. I called them to my position, and pointed out the snake.

The lady said, 'Oh, a snake'. I said, 'Yup!'. By then, it was crossing the road, towards our side, but not in our direction. It crossed the road where I would have been... I may have passed maybe a meter ahead of it...

The guy identified it as a 'Brown Snake'. I said, 'Oh Thank God! I thought it was maybe a bad one....'. They stared at me for a while, and said, 'You haven't been in Australia long, have you?'. I said, 'No, why?'. The guy said, 'That, son, is the 2nd most deadly creature in the world!'. I went a bit pale, and my heart raced, and I hid behind them. They told me to avoid it, as it could be agressive! I had NO plans to go anywhere near it.. so I headed away to my shower.. shaking somewhat, and feeling a bit nauseas!

Showered, and then came back, walking along the road, where I last saw it. I reported it to the owner of the place, as the FAQ on their site said. He said that there had been 3 sitings that day of pythons... and that it wasn't a bad snake. He said I could identify a python by it's marking. I told him it was brown, around 1.5meters long, and was too thick for me to put my hand around. He went a bit more serious and said it sounded like a Brown Snake. I confirmed the hiker identified it as one. He explained I should stay away from it, but there's nothing they could do... So... this will prompt me to start a Snake thread soon, as that wasn't fun.

Anyway, the rest of the day was good. We took a 12 minute drive to shops nearby to go and buy a replacement dummy because we wanted a good nights sleep. After buying it from a Woolworths we got back in the car and heard the 2 year olds voice shout " I found it" UNBELIEVABLE!!!! We had searched the car but just after we buy the replacements ($11.99!!) she goes and finds the darn thing!!!! We drove back with an abundance of dummies and a happy 2 year old.

Night was great! Bought some wood to make a fire to make marshmellows... Our neighbour offered me a Tomahawk. I had no idea what that was, and he said, 'An Axe'. Ah, cool! What do I do with that?! He laughed and explained I should make the wood smaller. Success. Fire was great!

4.jpg


Kids loved the fire, and we had a good evening. Sleeping went better.. Elder (2 and 5 year olds) slept better. 6 month old woke a few times... but the night was good.

Morning was nice and warm, but still wet. What a poor spot!

5.jpg


We packed up.. took ages and was a NIGHTMARE! Baby was crying, and taking down the tent was harder than I thought. I really need instructions. But it was packed, and the trip back took 50 minutes and was uneventful...

:***

So very much up and down... Thanks again for all the help!
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby MacLister » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:34 pm

Oh and here's the things we need to improve for next time.

The inside of the tent gets a bit dirty, i guess a standard mop would be the solution?
After the event with the snake, is there anything specific we should get, just in case, especially for kids?
The trailer doesn't have breaks, is the solution for that bricks under the tyres?
We used our gas lamp quite a lot and it feels like we used the vast majority of a 4kg gas tank, does that sound right?
Is it possible to get awning walls as that would have been handy?
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby stevo. » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:00 am

awesome trip report there Maclistter! Very entertaining.

1. snakes, don't worry about them, just watch the kids around snakes and make sure they know not to stir them up. Buy a snake book, bird book etc etc and that will give you stuff to do while on camp, identify wildlife with the kids.

2. dirty floors, have a good mat outside the door? Get a large piece of shade cloth to cover your whole outdoor awning floor area. All the dirt from peoples feet goes through it. If it rains water will flow through and you can walk around on it and generally it wont turn in to a big mess.

3. brakes for the trailer, use some blocks of firewood, it's lighter and you can burn it when you get desperate.

4. gas lamps, i'm not a fan of gas lamps, the only thing i like about them is the mood lighting they put out, flouro lamps are better/brighter, use hardly any power and are more rugged. I've never had any success with gas lamps, they always break the delicate mantle and glass during transport, and are very hot which can be dangerous aswell.

5. awnings, i think you might have to get some made to fit your particular camper, unless the manufacturer of your camper can supply some.
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby xmasbaby67 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:18 pm

WOW McLister what a fantastic report......loved it.

Well the worst is behind you now and judging by the looks on your girls faces they HAD A BALL!!!!! :+ :+ :+

We dont like gas laterns either (as our kids tend to knock them over) and use re-chargable laterns(1 big Coleman and 2 little Colemans) and a hanging fluro(on powered sites).

Snakes - just teach the kids what to do when they see one. Stand still and yell to you.

We have a dustpan and brush with a long handle that we use to sweep the tent floor when we pack up and I just give it a wipe over with a damp cloth. We also have those interlocking rubber mats outside the door and on top of that we have a doormat that just rolls up for pack up.

Time will see you getting quicker.

Also can totally understand the dummy dilemma as we had three just like her but thankfully at 17,15 & 12 they have outgrown that stage but it was hell on wheels weaning them off those horrid things. Anything for peace though and a good nights sleep.

Love the set up it looks great. Well done!!!!!
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby sienna » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Sounds like you all had fun despite the hiccups.
Definitely get something for the floor in the annexe area. I use the interlocking rubber/foam mats. They take up a bit of space in the trailer (I'm getting a tool box especially made to fit them on the draw bar) but they are slightly off the ground so that when it rains, you don't get as wet. Shade cloth will help keep the dirt out as suggested earlier and it folds up smaller than mats but you don't get the height off the ground so I imagine you would get wet feet in the rain. Can't say for sure cos I don't own one. Someone here will no doubt enlighten us.

Pretty sure oztrail make walls for your ct. Just a question of finding a good price. Make sure you have the zips or velcroe (not sure what they use) already on your roof section otherwise this will be another added cost.

The next real question is when is your next trip?!
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby MacLister » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:37 pm

Thanks guys!

OK, next trip is in a month, I think. We've got a list of things we want. Our CT was very full.. so might have to look into a tool box type thing to get added on. We would have liked to have taken our kids' bikes along. Well, a small bike with trainer wheels, and a tricycle. But we were full. are they pricey to get added?

Our tent has the velcro around the awning... I called OzTrail an got a lady, but she gave me info that is certainly incorrect. She said we should use our sunroom walls as awening walls. So, instead, I'll hunt for the right things.

My wife said a dustpan and broom would do the trick.. so that wil be added to the next adventure.

What is this 'Shade Cloth' people speak of? I've never heard of it... We do have something that we put down on Saturday, which was good... came with the trailer. It looks like bacl and white weaved plasticy stuff... has holes... Was real good... Maybe that's 'Shade Cloth'?

One thing we missed, and noticed other people had, was a way to do dishes at the tent. My wife carried the plastic bowl of dirty dishes 150 meters to a basic at the washing areas. Not fun at night... but we saw a trailer with a nice basin and drying rack. Looked great! It wasn't built in, so didn't look too pricey. Also, they had a coolt thing: A dustbin type thing attached to a pole (that held up the awning roof). Really neat!

I need to get some poles to hold open the windows on the sides... Do you just buy them from a standard camp shop?

And I guess we need to invest in flouro lighting... It would be nice to get something that powers off a 12V battery, as I have a few spare ones. Is there such a thing?

And - I'm still scared of snakes! :)
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby sienna » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:53 pm

Shade cloth is what shade sails are often made of. If you go to bunnings, you will find heaps of different types. You can also go to the camping store and buy one premade. Costs more but no hassle.
You can buy poles form the camping shop and also a kitchen cupboard setup that will have a basin and some cupboards etc. They come in various sizes and prices. Even have a look at kmart as they do sell one as well.

Make sure you get decent ropes with springs and good sized pegs for your extra poles.

Do your sunroom walls only have screens? I'm not quite sure what you mean there. Do you want covered walls for your annexe/ awning?

A good way to get your 2yo off her dummy is to say you 'left' it at the camp so no more. Might be too late now she's probably had since you got back. That was how I got my son off bottles - we 'left' them in NZ when we visited our friends. He asked a couple times but soon stopped.
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby stevo. » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:59 pm

the black woven matt could be "weed matt". It could be shade cloth but i can't tell by the photo. Yeah you can buy shadecloth from gardening places or Bunnings, it's used for shade houses for plants etc, it can be pretty expensive. I have a few rolls if you want some free, but it's bright blue :lol:

12volts? Do you like wiring and gadgets? :armsup

Have you got a spare car 12v battery? You can invest in some fancy electronics here but it's completely unnecessary. Some systems can cost an easy $800. My suggestion would be to do it all yourself if you're in to saving money. If you set this up you can use it for lots of things for your future camping trips, lights, fridges, laptops, everything. Just wire it in as a dual battery system. Get a starter solinoid ($20 - $30), find a 12v supply when the vehicles ignition is turned to "ON" , then wire that in to the switch, then run a 6mm wire from your vehicles battery to the solinoid and from there to the vehicles rear bumper. You'll need a "Anderson" plug ($30). That takes car of your vehicle. Put your spare 12v car battery in a battery box and place that inside your new draw bar toolbox that you're getting. Then run more 6mm wire to the front of the trailer and use the Anderson plug on the end of the wire so it matches up with the vehicles plug. Then run some smaller wire to inside your camper trailer tent and put a fuse and a rack of 4 cigarette lighter plugs on the end of that. Now you can run a flouro light all weekend, charge your laptops, run that fridge that you'll eventually buy and charge the kids dvd player.

:armsup
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby Titch » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:19 pm

You could just charge up a spare 12 volt battery and take it with you.
Supercheap have 12 volt led work lights that are ok.
Aldi have a camp site table that has a wash basin but why?
we use a Safeway plastic basin, about $13, heat water and do the washing on site.
Have fun whatever way you go, Snakes near you, either back up slow or stand still, they rely on vibration.
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby MacLister » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:02 pm

I am a little bit into soldering and stuff. I use it a lot for my hobby, which is FPV radio controlled planes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxgWpHI12Zk

:) That's me flying!

If I could get a nice LED powered lighting system for my tent, I could easily wire it up and I think a nice car battery would last months.

I'll look into the grounding you're mentioning, and will also get a shot of mine, as well as my sunroom canvas. Maybe you cvan assist with how it works. :)
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby Titch » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:09 pm

http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/ ... .relevence

Free delivery to Australia, explore this site.
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby sienna » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:07 pm

Is this what you mean by awning walls?
http://www.oztrail.com.au/canvas-produc ... cessories/
The canvas camper, xtra large sunroom.
$610 which includes freight.
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby Rosco1 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:32 pm

Hey Mac,,,,I put up an old pic of when we go basic Beach Camping and it shows how we used to use shade cloth as protection from the elements (wind,sand,sun,bugs etc),but also offers a certain amount of privacy (we can see out...hard to see in).....We run that along the floor....then follow on up the wall (easy wall for you untill you can arrange the proper manufactured ones).......I actually prefer this method to the closed in walls.....Keeps cooler and gives a better feel of freedom
2nd pic is camping hard on the beach....shade cloth worked well

Keep walkin & talkin....when you are staying in these camps to other campers....Most campers are just to happy to help......You will also see other ideas that you maybe able to use yourself.

:cheers
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby xmasbaby67 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:00 am

This is some pics of our CT with the shadecloth on the floor, ours came with our CT as a freebie and has been edged in hessian and has holes for pegging it down. It also goes about 2 ft outside the annexe also which is great.
Image

Image

Image

Also the bin thing you mentioned sounded like the Croc Bin. If you look hard you can see it attached to the pole inside the annexe and also the interlocking mats I was talking about which are under the table and go all the way across the opening of the tent, so that tends to stop a fair bit of the dirt coming into the tent.

This photo also shows how I use the drawer I mentioned earlier as our pantry, as it saves setting up the other one when we are only going for a weekend. We only set up the big pantry when we are away for longer stays.
Image

Hope these help a little. It's always good to have a sticky beak around when you are camping at how others do it, that's where I get all my good ideas from.....other's hahaha :*** :***
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Re: Looking to buy a Camper Trailer

Postby stevo. » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:02 am

pffft, XB, that's too neat! get out of here! :***
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