Worthwhile Additions

There are some additions and accessories that can make a rough road van better suited to travel and camping in remote areas. In fact some of these additions or accessories would benefit any caravan.

Dust cover in place

Dust Covers:When travelling on outback dirt roads it is necessary to seal all ventilation openings to stop the entry of dust. In our Goldstream Explorer all ventilation openings except the fridge vents have is Velcro surrounding the vent onto which a corresponding vinyl cover is secured. The fridge vents, with the exception of the small hot air exhaust have aluminium plates backed by foam rubber that are held in place with toggles. All seals can be quickly installed and removed. The vent on the gas regulator also should be sealed to prevent dust entry. Do not use tape, cling wrap works well but remember to remove it before turning the gas on.

Garbage Bag: In remote areas it may not be possible to properly dispose of garbage so you will need to carry it with you for some time. In the heat this can get a bit smelly. Most 4×4 shops sell heavy duty vinyl rubbish bags that attach to an upright standing spare wheel. These make carrying your rubbish easy and hygienic.

Ground Sheet: CGear groundsheets are hard to beat. Sand will go through them from top to bottom but not in the reverse. See their web site

Wood Box: Firewood can sometimes be a bit scarce so it pays to collect it along the track. Whilst it can always be stored on the roof rack a small wood box on the caravan is very handy.

Awning and shade with CGear mat

Awning and Shade:  Some form of awning is certainly desirable but make sure that it is not vulnerable to damage when in its folded position if you intend travelling down tracks. A shade that slides into the second track on the awning roller is very useful. These two give shade from the sun and shelter from rain in most conditions and are easy and quick to erect.

Solar Shower: Whilst we have a shower in the van we often camp alongside streams or bores. We then use a solar shower filled directly from the water source saving van water and gas to heat. Beware of solar showers in the tropics, the water can reach scalding temperatures.

Bucket filler

Filling water tanks from buckets: In remote areas you may be able to obtain water from bores or rivers so you should ensure that you have the ability to fill your water tanks from buckets. We use a small funnel that has around 300mm of hose attached to it. The hose end that goes into the tank is chamfered to assist the hose to actually sit inside the hose inside the caravan water connection. This ensures minimal water loss. There is a D screwed to the van above the water fillers to which this funnel is secured to hold it upright. Simple and effective.

Filling water tanks from a hose: Some caravan water fillers can be difficult to fill with a hose, especially if that hose has a connector on the end of it. To overcome this have a piece of hose approximately 300mm long. On one end have a male hose connector. The other end of the hose, that is the end that goes into the tank should be chamfered to assist the hose to actually sit inside the hose inside the caravan water connection. Once you have seated this small piece of hose into the filler simply click on your hose and fill the tank.

Fold down table

Drop Down Tables: There are now tables available that permanently mount to the side of a caravan. When opened the front of the device folds down to form a table. These are great devices handy for quick stops to put the cuppa and cake on or for longer stops to put the outside stove on.

Locked Water Tanks: Ensure your water tank fillers are locked to avoid malicious contamination of drinking water.

Tow Bar Tongue: If your tow bar is one of those that has a removable tongue on which the tow hitch is located then it is probably attached to the towbar by a chromed pin held in place by an R clip. Get rid of the pin and use a high tensile bolt and nyloc nut to hold the tongue in place. These pins have been known to work loose or be maliciously removed.

Height of Tow Bar: Ensure that when your caravan is coupled to your car on a flat and level surface that the caravan is level. In a lot of bush camping there is no necessity to uncouple the car. We sometimes don’t uncouple for weeks at a time. However if your van does not sit level behind your car you may have to uncouple and then re couple just to level the van. It should be a simple matter to change the towbar tongue to one of the correct height.

Our clothes washer

Clothes Washing: When camped beside a stream or even a tap it is convenient to be able to wash clothes effectively. We use a hand made “washing machine”. It is nothing more than an automotive funnel with holes drilled around its circumference and glued into a piece of electrical conduit with a knob on top to hold it by. Clothes are put into a twenty litre bucket with water and detergent. Then the agitator (funnel) is lightly moved up and down. It is very efficient and easy to use. Rinse the same way. Even in caravan parks we find it more convenient to use our “washing machine”.

Fridge vents dust closures

    Updated 14/09/2011

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