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Caravan World

How Do You Free Camp in Australia?

By | News

Australia is world-renowned for its stunning landscapes, sheer size, and relatively small population. This translates to plenty of wide-open spaces to get away from it all (and from other people). From our spectacular coastlines to lush tropical rainforests, to the rugged outback or our red desert interior, there is no better way to explore our unique and ancient land than in your caravan. For many caravanners, free camping is the way to go.

What is Free Camping?

Free camping is simply camping outside of paid campgrounds. It is done either at specified free camping sites or on public land. For example, some local councils have overnight parking areas in or just outside towns; these are usually signposted as such. Some towns, however, do not allow overnight camping. The more remote the area, the more free camping sites are available. Many outback rest areas allow free camping.

The majority of free camping spots in Australia are quiet and there are many, many options from which to choose, from spots just off main highways to remote low-key sites. These spots are basic places to stop and rest comfortably overnight during long driving trips.

While free camping is legal in many areas in Australia, and a great way to save money, there are some rules to follow. Fines may be issued by local councils if you set up in a residential area or a car park close to a popular tourist attraction. (As an example, you’d need to be very careful free camping along the Great Ocean Road.)

Free camping sites can be located by chatting to experts (like the team at Caravan World!), by searching specialist forums or websites, using purpose-built apps, using a book relating specifically to the topic, or with a simple Google Maps search.

Rules for Free Camping

  • Plan ahead.
  • Obey signs – if it says “No Camping”, do not camp there.
  • Use a map.
  • Be respectful and considerate – keep quiet and don’t disturb others, especially at night.
  • Take all rubbish with you and leave no trace.
  • Don’t harass or disturb the local wildlife.
  • Obey fire bans.
  • Drive extra carefully at dusk and dawn, when wildlife is most active.
  • If you need to go to the toilet outside, dig a hole at least 30cm deep and fully cover it when you are done.
  • Choose your campsite early – you don’t want to be setting up in the dark.
  • Check if you are required to book site (refer to the National Parks camping website for your state for more information)

Free Camping versus Off-Road Camping

Ideally, to free camp, you will need a self-contained caravan with toilet and water storage capacity. Some areas will have a basic toilet facility, but these can be few and far between and are often not pleasant. Many free campsites have no facilities at all.

  • Many roadside rest areas allow free camping and potential access to basic toilet facilities, BBQ, picnic tables, shelter, fireplaces, and a tap. You may also elect to pull off the road.
  • Be aware that it is not safe nor legal to pull into “Truck Only” rest stops with your vehicle and caravan.
  • Most rest stops will allow camping for up to 24 hours.
  • Free camping is available in many National Parks. Some sites will have basic facilities. Note that dogs and other pets are not allowed in National Parks.
  • Off-road or bush camping is best found in State Forests and Reserves, and many are open for camping as well as hiking, 4WDing, motorbiking, and most allow dogs. There will likely be no toilet or tap facilities and you need to be self-sufficient.

What You Need to Free Camp

  • Electrical Capacity – solar enables you to have off-grid electricity. This requires solar panels, solar inverter, and solar battery.
  • Tanks – you will need a plentiful supply of fresh drinking water, as well as to wash up in (and bathe in if you have an onboard shower). You’ll also need a grey water tank to collect your grey (non-sewage) wastewater.

Off-Road Requirements

  • Fuel – Jerry can holders will enable you to stock up on fuel or water in bigger towns so that you have a supply in remote locations.
  • Generator – decent size to handle most requirements including fridge, battery charging, air conditioning etc.
  • Electrical – solar and batteries.
  • Tanks – for both drinking water and greywater.
  • Connectivity – wifi or satellite for convenience and safety in an emergency.
  • Stone Guard – to protect your van from dents and scratches and also your tow vehicle’s rear window from breakage.
  • Suspension Upgrade to handle off-road conditions and manage the extra weight when carrying supplies of fuel and water.
  • Van Height – upgrade to clear water crossings safely in your van.
  • Dust Extractors – for going outback on hundreds of kilometres of dirt or unsealed roads
  • Heater – for when you can’t run your air conditioner.
  • Lastly, Drive to the conditions!

You will also need essentials like plenty of non-perishable food, a fridge, a GPS, torches, sun protection, insect repellent, toilet paper, and a first aid kit. If you don’t have a portable toilet, you’ll need a spade.

It’s also worth carrying some firewood as it is not always available to collect at campsites.

Caravan World – Come See Us Today!

Australia is perfect for free camping. We have more than 4,000 free and low-cost camping areas, and more than 80,000 people travel in a caravan, camper, or motorhome daily. The majority are aged between 55-75 and free camping is quite safe if you obey the rules and use basic common sense. Unless you are way off the beaten track, there will often be added “safety in numbers” and you’ll meet lots of likeminded travellers along the way.

Caravan World has what you need for your van to be all set for free camping. Come and say hi! Visit our yard at 7071 Bruce Highway, Chevallum Qld today to view our current caravan stock or to have a chat about what you need. We are one of the state’s oldest established Caravan Dealerships – and as such, we know our business! Our extensive handover process is renowned and we offer a diverse product range, delivered with unparalleled service, advice, and great prices.

We are open for business as usual, and rest assured that we are adhering to and promoting all of the required health measures relating to COVID-19 to keep you and your family safe.

Caravan World

Extended Warranty: Why You Should Get One on Your Caravan

By | News

There’s a lot to think about in the excitement of purchasing a new caravan – the accessories you need, fitting it out, and your first vacation destination. But one of the most important things you need to ensure before you even leave the sales yard is to purchase an extended warranty. At Caravan World, we can’t recommend this highly enough.

Why do I Need an Extended Warranty on my Caravan?

Most industry-standard manufacturer’s warranties on caravans last for just 12 months. Considering that most people purchase a caravan, intending to keep it for at least three to five years, it makes sense to purchase an extended warranty to protect your asset.

Like anything else, your caravan ages over time and with use, and by the time the manufacturer’s warranty expires, your caravan is at increased risk of breakdown or failure. This applies to every single caravan or camper on the market.

Caravan World recommends AWN for extended warranty on caravans.

Warranties offered by AWN are designed specifically to mitigate the financial impact of potentially expensive or unexpected mechanical repairs. You can select the length of the warranty to suit your needs and your budget.

An extended warranty on your caravan with AWN is available for brand new caravans (for which it kicks in when the manufacturer’s warranty expires) as well as secondhand caravans which are fewer than ten years old. This is extremely important as, unlike a motor vehicle, no secondhand van or camper comes with a warranty from the point of sale.

AWN Caravan Warranty is somewhat unique in that it also includes appliance cover – very few other insurers cover this.

Why Choose AWN Insurance?

  • Multiple flexible coverage options on new and used caravans and campers
  • No Claims Excess
  • Coverage up to the market value at the time of purchase
  • Optional Appliance Coverage
  • Optional Customer Care package
  • Optional 24 Hour Roadside Assistance
  • Flexibility to choose where you have your van serviced
  • 1200 approved repairers Australia-wide
  • AWN warranty benefits are transferrable
  • Excellent customer service for a streamlined claims process

Who is AWN Insurance?

AWN Insurance is an industry market leader with over 28 years in the automotive and leisure goods market. They provide the marketplace with Mechanical Breakdown Insurance, Asset Protection Insurance, Loan Protection Insurance and Roadside Assist. More than a million customers have chosen AWN Insurance to look after their needs, proving they are the experts in their field.

As a Cover holder of Lloyds, AWN Insurance prides itself on its association with one of the world’s leading insurance organisations.

Protecting your new asset is essential.

AWN Caravan Mechanical Breakdown Insurance is designed to minimise the financial impact of unexpected and potentially expensive mechanical repairs. It is available in 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60-month coverage periods.

Why not extend the manufacturer’s warranty with an AWN Mechanical Breakdown Insurance product?

(This information is provided from AWN as an overview only.
For full terms and conditions, please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement which applies to your purchase. The benefits offered by these products are additional to any other warranties and guarantees relating to your Motor Vehicle under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Australian Consumer Law) and State and Territory legislation. This product is offered by Australian Warranty Network Pty Ltd trading as AWN Insurance, ABN 78 075 483 206, Cover holder of Lloyds and holder of AFS Licence No. 246469. AWN Insurance does not account for your personal or financial circumstances when offering these products.)

Visit Us at Caravan World

Caravan World has been in the caravan and accessories industry for many years. We offer a wide range of caravans, campers, and associated accessories. With unmatched customer service and comprehensive handover service, we provide the advice and guidance you need to enjoy your caravan whether you are an experienced caravanner or a novice.

To view our current stock, get help or guidance, or simply have a chat about your caravan needs, visit us at 7071 Bruce Highway, Chevallum Qld.

Open for business, as usual, we are adhering to and promoting all required health measures relating to COVID-19, also offering video tours as a part of this service.

Internal Storage Ideas for your Van

By | News

It would be an understatement to suggest that autumn 2020 is not looking remotely like any of us could have predicted. Those much-anticipated trips away in your caravan have been placed on the backburner. But as they say, “every cloud has a silver lining” – and right now, stuck at home as we may all be, this is a great time to spend rearranging your van so that it is set up better than ever before, ready for the time in future when you can once again hit the open road.

Internal Storage and Your Caravan

Let’s face it: your caravan has limited internal storage space, which means there are restrictions on how much you can carry. You also need to consider how the contents of your caravan impact its total weight and comply with your vehicle’s towing capacity.

The secret is to cleverly utilize the available space in your van. You also need to pack the contents of your van in such a way to ensure they don’t move around while you’re in transit.

Organization and accessibility are the keys to stress-free caravanning; part of this is strictly complying with the motto: “A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place”.

Yes, your van does have drawers and cupboard space. But you will need to purchase or otherwise source the right storage solutions as well – from stackable organizer baskets for the kitchen cupboards to strong adhesive “magic” wall hooks; from a collapsible dish rack to holders for under-shelf storage; from vacuum-seal Spacebags to under-bed roller tubs; from portable foldup clothes dryers to DampRid products to ensure the integrity of your clothing and linens – having the right storage solutions is the key to simplifying and maximizing your available storage space.

Tips for Organising your Van

  • Be conservative – pack (and take) only what you really need.
  • Pack clothing based on the season you’re travelling into, the expected weather conditions, your planned activities, and your comfort. Anticipate how often you’ll be able to do laundry and pack accordingly.
  • In terms of food, stock up on non-perishable pantry essentials like salt, pepper, oils, spices, herbs, and anything unusual you need or want that you don’t expect to be able to easily buy along the way. Only take a minimal amount of tinned, packet, and fresh foods, as you will be able to grocery shop in most places as needed (unless you are heading way off the beaten track for an extended period).
  • Organise your van with the following:
    1. Shelved foldable wardrobe organisers
    2. Utensil trays
    3. Drawer dividers
    4. Stackable or nested cookware
    5. Collapsible colander
    6. Stackable storage tubs
    7. Screw-top, sealable food containers for pantry staples like flour, cereal, etc
    8. Under-bed storage tubs
    9. Consider towable storage boxes for maximising storage space on a larger scale and for longer trips.

The very best caravan internal storage outcomes will depend on you being very savvy about what to leave at home versus what to take. Pack only what you will use, and use everything you pack  – and know where everything is! This minimalist approach to travelling in a caravan or camper trailer will stand you in good stead!

Mention Caravan World for a Discount!

To help you make the most of your available space and set up your van’s interior storage, the very generous owners of Howard’s Storage World in Maroochydore, Michael and Julie Keegan, are offering Caravan World’s customers a 10% discount.

Simply visit Maroochydore Howard’s Storage World online or in-person (they are currently open under reduced trading hours) at Dalton Drive, Maroochydore and mention Caravan World at the checkout to benefit from this fantastic offer.

Caravan World is taking COVID-19 very seriously. While we remain open and trading as usual at this time, please be assured that we are adhering to all necessary health and safety recommendations to keep you safe. We are conducting video tours of all vans and motorhomes to help customers to view vans without visiting the dealership via any Video conferencing platform.

Call us today on (07) 5445 2215 to view our current stock!

 

Image by: Howards Storage World

Choosing the right car for towing your caravan

Choosing the Right Car for Towing a Van

By | News

Are you planning to start exploring everything Australia has to offer with a new caravan? Do you have the right vehicle for the job?

A lot of people don’t initially realise that, when you purchase a caravan, the vehicle you currently drive may not be suitable (or even able) to tow the van you desire. You must do some research and become fully informed so that you understand what you can and can’t tow with your car before you even begin looking for your caravan.

Can My Car Tow My Van?

If you are in a position to upgrade your vehicle, you will ideally base your decision on the type of van you wish to purchase, so that your car can tow the van you desire.

Most people, however, are not in this enviable position, so instead, you’ll need to understand the towing capacity of your existing vehicle and base your caravan or camper trailer purchase on that.

So, the question begs to be asked: how much can my car tow?

You need to know your car’s towing capacity. This is a requirement for both safety and legally.

Your vehicle towing capacity is the maximum weight that can be towed as per manufacturer recommendations. The manufacturer will provide two figures on their website, in your user manual, and the vehicle specification sheets:

  1. Unbraked towing – when the caravan or trailer has no brakes fitted; the tow vehicle’s brakes take on the entire load.
  2. Braked towing – the caravan or trailer has a braking system which is mechanically linked to the tow vehicle braking system via the tow bar.

Towing capacities can vary greatly – from 1200kg braked in a compact AWD SUV to almost 7000kg braked in a large pick-up truck.

You also need to understand that the towing capacity of your vehicle is reduced when a larger load is carried – including passengers, equipment, aftermarket modifications, etc.

It can all be a bit complicated!

So, how do you know how much weight you’re dealing with? The best method to determine this is to go to your nearest weighbridge to get a clear picture of the weight of your vehicle plus van or trailer. From here, you will need to add your cargo weight, including expected passenger weights.

Towing – Australian Regulations

While it does vary state by state, there are laws relating to towing. You need to be sure that you are not exceeding the maximum allowed trailer weight of your vehicle, otherwise, you may incur a fine. There are also maximum towing speed regulations; in QLD, you can drive at the speed limit as for non-towing cars, however in NSW, if your vehicle weight plus van weight exceed 4.5 tonnes combined, you are limited to 100km/h. In WA, the maximum speed for any towing combination is 100km/h.

Caravan World for all your Caravan Needs

Caravan World is one of Queensland’s longest-established Caravan Dealerships. We offer a diverse range of fantastic caravan products with unmatched service and advice. Our prices are extremely competitive.

We are also renowned for our extensive, in-depth “handover” process. This covers everything you need to know, from hitching up to setting up your van on-site, so that you can enjoy exploring with your new caravan with confidence in no time.

We can help you understand the towing capacity of your vehicle (or at least guide you in the right direction to find out) and also the weight of the van or trailer you’re interested in purchasing.

Call us today on (07) 5445 2215 to view our current stock!

What Electrics do I Need to Tow a Van?

By | News

If you’ve only ever towed a box trailer, you might not realise that anything heavier than this requires you to have electric brakes. In fact, having an electric brake controller is among the most important aspects of towing a caravan.

National regulations were implemented in Australia in 1998 to limit the mass a vehicle can legally tow. Additionally, all trailers that weigh 750kg or over (gross trailer mass) must legally be fitted with brakes, and electric brakes are the most common type of brakes used.

Electrics Needed to Tow a Van

Electric brakes require a brake controller to be fitted to the tow vehicle. This, in turn, requires appropriate connections to the trailer or van. Exactly what you need will be noted in your vehicle’s manual, and you can also check the regulations with your relevant state body.

You also legally must have lights on the rear of your vehicle, and these will often be covered by your towing apparatus. As such, you need to have electrics installed to power a lightboard that is unobscured by anything from a trailer to a simple cycle carrier.

It can be confusing to select the right electrics for your towbar and to understand how to install your towbar wiring. There are different types of plug styles or pin styles available. Which type is right for you will depend upon what you are towing.

Towing Electrics – Plug Types

In Australia, there are three main types of trailer plugs available for caravan towing. Which pin connects which wiring will differ between types of plug.

Every manufacturer of caravans and trailers wires their plugs slightly differently; your manufacturer should provide a wiring diagram to facilitate this.

  • 7 Pin Trailer Plug – available in flat or round design, with round available in large or small. The large is suitable for heavy machinery and trucks. More power is fed through this plug, and the flat plug tends to be sturdier. The flat 7 Pin plug can be plugged into a flat 12 pin plug on your caravan or car.

The 7 pin plug is used to connect:

    1. Earth return/Ground
    2. Left-hand indicator
    3. Right-hand indicator
    4. Brake lights
    5. Taillights (plus sidelights and clearance lights)
    6. Reverse lights
    7. Electronic brake controller
  • 12 Pin Trailer Plug – this plug enables all connections for the 7 Pin, plus the ability to wire accessories.
    1. Left-hand indicator
    2. Right-hand indicator
    3. Earth return/Ground
    4. Brake lights
    5. Taillights (plus sidelights and clearance lights)
    6. Reverse lights
    7. Electronic brake controller
    8. Breakaway battery motor
    9. Electronic stability control
    10. Heavy Earth return
  • Anderson Plug – this plug is used to charge batteries within your caravan or trailer while you are driving. While the 12 Pin Plug can do this, it’s recommended that you use an Anderson plug, as the power fed to the plug for battery charging often exceeds the capability of the 12 pin plug. The result is a melted 12 pin plug, as it is not designed to hold a charge feed.

Anderson plugs are available in red, grey or blue, and only connect to like colours.

If you intend towing a camper or caravan, it’s strongly recommended that you install an Anderson plug, particularly to charge any battery or fridge while you travel.

Caravan World – Your Local Experts!

Here at Caravan World, we are your local southeast Queensland caravan expert. We offer a diverse range of vans and campers, and we have the experience and know-how to get you out on the road and enjoying life on the move.

Call us today on (07) 5445 2215

Sunshine Coast Caravan + RV Hub Extravaganza Expo

By | News

19th to the 22nd March, 2020.

Green RV Yard Forest Glen and Caravan World Yard Chevallum.

We are combining forces with Green RV to bring you a huge RV Expo.  We will have Exhibitors including RV parts, Auto Electrician, RV Electronics, Camper Trailers, Automotive and Marine Products, Camp Cooking products, Food and Coffee Vans.  Caravans will be discounted throughout the 4 day event.