mrsswordfisherman

Anyone done a "lap" - who has a caravan?

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Anyone into caravanning and camping? Interested in people's experiences and where they went.

 

 

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We are in the planning stages of our lap. Have got the top east coast fairly worked out but that's about it. 😂

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Donna,

I posted a brief version of my trip last year, in 3 parts (mainly fishing). Away for 5 months.

Out through Broken Hill, into S.A. and the first fishing stop was Ceduna, then along the Nullarbor into W.A. (a quick trip through S.A., but there is plenty on offer through S.A.)

Down to Esperance, Albany, Denmark. By passed the South West Corner (Margaret River, Busselton, Perth) as we have been there before, but that area takes a lot of time to see and we needed to head further north (will be back there in a couple of years for that area again, so the wife tells me  :o) The South West Corner is a must do, also Rottnest Island.

Then to Cervantes and Jurien Bay (fresh caught lobsters for sale), Dongara, Geraldton, Kalbarri, Monkey Mia, Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Exmouth. Different things to do in each town, as well as fishing. (have plenty of money if you want to participate in water related tours)

Dampier, Karratha, Port Hedland, inland to Karijini National Park, Broome. Between Port Hedland and Broome, there are a number of beach, farm stays, rivers to stop at.

Lots to see in the Kimberlies (be security aware in some of the towns between Broome and Kununurra) though we travelled on a coach and flew on small aircraft on an organised trip 6 or 7 years ago.

Next to Kununurra and Lake Argyle, then various stops in N.T. (plenty of boat cruises, croc spotting, barra fishing, other fishing - can become expensive) Up to Darwin, and surrounds, back down to Katherine, Alice Springs and in between places, into S.A. to Port Augusta and home via Broken Hill.

25,000 kms of driving in that trip, not all with the van as it was parked up in places and we made day trips here and there.

Have also travelled up through N.S.W. into Qld's north and outback - Karumba, around the Gulf into N.T., Borroloola, Roper River, Kakadu and surrounds, back through Mt Isa, Birdsville, and home.

If you want to see plenty, it may take 9 to 12 months or so to do a full lap.

Dave.

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Australia is way too big to just do a lap and think you have seen it all, it would take years to even see a quarter, there is some fantastic places, spectacular scenery and fishing, but, it's a big place.

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7 minutes ago, noelm said:

Australia is way too big to just do a lap and think you have seen it all, it would take years to even see a quarter, there is some fantastic places, spectacular scenery and fishing, but, it's a big place.

That is a given Noel. What is your experience with caravanning and what did you see that you enjoyed the most? 

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I have been lucky enough to have seen a lot of our country, from up north, down around the bottom, across the bottom to the west, Tasmania and lots of NSW and really only consider that I have barely scratched the surface. I think personally I would spend the effort seeing only maybe one (big) bit at a time, it also depends if you are going on sealed roads only, or maybe a bit of dirt, or full on "rough it" doing "the Cape" is a great experience, and it's not too late to do it before it becomes a full on tourist destination. You also need to be independent and handy at "bush mechanics" if off road is in your plans, it's a great place pretty well safe just about everywhere if you use your head. My biggest tip, do some local trips first to work out exactly what you need, caravan shows will see you with tons of junk that's basically useless, get out and do it now!

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Did a partial lap in 89,south from Sydney to Adelaide in two weeks for Christmas,highlights the south coast fishing towns,bells beach, Great Lakes, Lorne, great ocean road Apollo bay,South Australian coast very dry and not much to see.Adelaide and surrounds, great food, winery’s, victor harbour,best cherry farms in the hills (yummy pick yourself) Handorf if you like German stuff, west of Adelaide Whyalla, the two peninsulers, port Lincoln, streaky bay had a tinny from hear on stayed for 31/2 weeks to chill before heading across the Nullarbor great fishing for squid,king george whiting & snapper(20lber caught by an old lady off the wharf while we were there) nice place.The SW corner of WA very picturesque Albany, Esperance & Margaret river region.The WA Australian coast above Perth is along way between towns, highlights: monkey Mia, Dampier (red dog country),the bluff, Geraldton, Exmouth great fishing stayed 200ks south of Exmouth, carnavon, Broome, derby, Kununurra worth a look around and stay, caught heaps  of sooty grunted & Barra in the ord river(wet build up) 40lb+ at Ivanhoe crossing got me heaps of free beers at gullivers tavern(biggest caught there in 25 years) Katherine Lichfield N park then headed south, Alice springs, Ayers Rock, (amazing)cooper pedy, back to Adelaide for Christmas (family) then west via Renmark and some towns on the Murray river and back out along the hay plains to Sydney 😭 that trip took a year and not nearly long enough to see all we went past. A 4wd and cartopper a big plus to experience all this country has to offer and of course lots of provisions and free camping to get away from it all. Some great characters and Places to see

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As you can see from replies so far, the options are unlimited, it's a fantastic country, no doubt about it.

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Not done the caravan thing but done a couple of full laps car camping. 

Do you use the camps book, I've used it on many trips with all the locations on an oz topo chart. 

 

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24 minutes ago, JonD said:

Not done the caravan thing but done a couple of full laps car camping. 

Do you use the camps book, I've used it on many trips with all the locations on an oz topo chart. 

 

Camps 9 and other things on the internet (cannot tell you too much as I am just the driver :074:)

Also an atlas of Australia to see what there is.

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I was just mulling this over while having my breakfast out on the balcony, I think a trip like this is kind of like buying a boat, you need to truthfully decide what you want to do, no use buying a caravan with multi wheels, shower, toilet and air cond, if you intend doing the full off road thing, or, only have a small tow vehicle, there is a hell of a lot to months away from home. As an example, my brother has been retired for quite a while, and has probably seen more of Australia than most, he has had camper trailers, poptop vans, motor home, big vans and tents, nothing is perfect, he now has a huge van with everything in it, he tows that to a major town, leaves it in a nice van park to use as a kind of base to do camping trips around the area, right now this seems to suit him (probably not me though) remember everything is a compromise, even a rooftop boat has some valuable tips I can give anyone that I have learned the hard way, put simply, you cant have everything, you can't tow a 16' boat and a caravan, a car top boat is also a compromise, it's never ending, think long and hard about it, listen to everyone's thoughts and sift out what suits you.

Edited by noelm

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Just to add another "mulling" where you intend to go also dictates what sort of accomodation you will need, as an example, doing the cape or top end thing, everything wants to bite, sting or buzz you, so, good insect screens and ventilation for the heat is a must, but, doing the bottom half, you will need something warm and able to shield you from the wind when stopped, it's all great fun exploring and meeting people, you don't have to be a full on 4X4 enthusiast to get out there and see what we have, it would take weeks/months to fully explore the Snowy mountains region on its own in the summer time.

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15 hours ago, JonD said:

Not done the caravan thing but done a couple of full laps car camping. 

Do you use the camps book, I've used it on many trips with all the locations on an oz topo chart. 

 

Yes have both electronic maps and book (hema), wikicamps. 

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1 hour ago, mrsswordfisherman said:

@61 crusher did you use a boat loader and take a tinny? Some just hire boats and/or go on charters. Not sure if it is a pain in the butt or not. 

Plus weight? 

 

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3 hours ago, Rah said:

Plus weight? 

 

Correct.

Keep in mind that there are weight limits for your car and van.

Some people don't appear to care, but due to the increase in caravans/trailers, and roll-overs of some vans, the cops are giving more attention to weights. Some combinations are over by several hundred kilos, one being 1,000 kgs (yes, 1 tonne). A danger to others if there is a problem with a blow out or steering.

If you are new to this game, take your loaded van and car to a public weighbridge and check the weights. You may get a surprise as to what weights you actually have on board, compared to what your V.I.N. plate specifies.

I am on the Caravanners Forum. There is some good info there, but some of the old farts obviously don't always take their medication, and just want to antagonise others with their dumb arse comments. :074:

The longest road trains in W.A. are over 50 metres long, takes a kilometre or more to pass one with a van on the towball.

Edited by Yowie
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5 hours ago, mrsswordfisherman said:

@61 crusher did you use a boat loader and take a tinny? Some just hire boats and/or go on charters. Not sure if it is a pain in the butt or not. 

I have seen a few utes that fit a camper unit onto the tray, and a boat and trailer is on the towball. The camper unit is dropped at the van park, or wherever you stop, and the boat towed to the boat ramp and away you go.

Only problem is the limited space in such a camper unit.

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1 hour ago, Yowie said:

Correct.

Keep in mind that there are weight limits for your car and van.

Some people don't appear to care, but due to the increase in caravans/trailers, and roll-overs of some vans, the cops are giving more attention to weights. Some combinations are over by several hundred kilos, one being 1,000 kgs (yes, 1 tonne). A danger to others if there is a problem with a blow out or steering.

If you are new to this game, take your loaded van and car to a public weighbridge and check the weights. You may get a surprise as to what weights you actually have on board, compared to what your V.I.N. plate specifies.

I am on the Caravanners Forum. There is some good info there, but some of the old farts obviously don't always take their medication, and just want to antagonise others with their dumb arse comments. :074:

The longest road trains in W.A. are over 50 metres long, takes a kilometre or more to pass one with a van on the towball.

We have the weights all sorted. I am on that forum too Yowie and several fb groups. 

Don't get started with best van and best tow vehicle debates hahahahah. Pass the popcorn stuff :)

Lots of good info out there isn't there

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I found good sources for areas Information ℹ️ shops and grabbing anything of interest for a read up later including the local paper, talking to people particularly getting to know locals who would quite often divulge swimming or fishing holes & favourite spots of interest not on the tourist route 

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13 hours ago, mrsswordfisherman said:

Yes have both electronic maps and book (hema), wikicamps. 

 

13 hours ago, mrsswordfisherman said:

@61 crusher did you use a boat loader and take a tinny? Some just hire boats and/or go on charters. Not sure if it is a pain in the butt or not. 

I didn’t have a boat loader but did put some long rollers on the back of the roof rack when someone in Adelaide loaned me there 12ft stacer. For unloading I’d just back up to the water & slide it off onto its transom and then lower the bow down, it wasn’t to hard two up and do the reverse to reload onto the roof rack, I could do it on my own with a bit of effort but that was 30 years ago. I saw a set up of a rectangular home made frame that cradled the boat with a roller at the front of one of those all in one racks with a trailer winch attached to the bull bar, he was in his late 50’s  and on his own, from memory he had a length of cable with a loop in the middle & a carabiner on each end creating a vee over the transom & half way up the hull attached to the carry handles & winch hooked to the loop via the front roller as well as a couple of wheels on the back  of the boat(both set ups were 4wd),another thing we noticed was how much cooler it was in the car with the boat on top acting like a second roof skin, the boat was offloaded when camping for extended stays by a river or beaches rather than day trips.We liked free camping so it was either on our own or just a few other people and occasionally a caravan park  by the water

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Another tip that saved us heaps is when driving into town don’t fill up at the first servo but drive through and into the back streets & look for a fuel co-op or similar we saved up to 10c a litre on desiel and with a long range tank  and distances traveled that ends up being quite a bit, we stumbled across this in SA & WA I’m sure other states & towns would have the same. Not all towns but it only takes 5 to 15mins

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4 hours ago, 61 crusher said:

Another tip that saved us heaps is when driving into town don’t fill up at the first servo but drive through and into the back streets & look for a fuel co-op or similar we saved up to 10c a litre on desiel and with a long range tank  and distances traveled that ends up being quite a bit, we stumbled across this in SA & WA I’m sure other states & towns would have the same. Not all towns but it only takes 5 to 15mins

True they do vary a lot. I have an app and usually check it to see where cheapest is. It also tell me where diesel is and if you can go there with a caravan in tow. The app is also handy if you need to see where the next petrol is. 

 

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Well Donna, when and where are you proposing to visit?

And did you buy a New Age brand van?  :lol:

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14 hours ago, Yowie said:

Well Donna, when and where are you proposing to visit?

And did you buy a New Age brand van?  :lol:

Hmmmm I might have ;)

Depends on a few things Yowie but would love to see more of Australia 

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Posted (edited)

I have done several long trips and many short ones. You are fisher people, therefore take a boat, boat loader, fold up trailer and all the sundries. I tow my bed and the tinnie is on top of the Hilux, being a Ute it has a side loader. The tub of the Hilux is dedicated to boat gear and tackle, including motor. It’s full. Fold up trailer is on rear of camper. It takes time to learn to fish a new area, so the boat will be off for some time when it is off, but it will be on more than it’s off, still with me. Site seeing will take up more time than boating, but, no way could I travel without a boat, and the fresh food that it produces and the like minded people you will meet because of the places you will go to because you have the boat. But keep in mind there is great land based and jetty fishing available all over Oz. 

Bottom line, don’t wait, do it. 

☺️

Edited by Billmack
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