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HappyHeart

Camping and Caravanning in Australia

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9 hours ago, The Pom Queen said:

That was why my son wanted one, so if he went camping in the FNQ he was safe from crocs. 

Yes roof top tents  were designed with the added benefit of greater safety when camping in croc areas, such as FNQ.

Good points:

It is roomy and comfortable

It is easy to unfold 

The roof of the tent can be removed for stargazing

The tent is always ready to go

There are no "tent" poles required to hold up the tent.  It has a permanent internal frame that unfolds with the tent

You only need two tent pegs if there is windy weather

An option is to attach another room below the tent coming off the rear of the vehicle. The room is attached  under the overhang of the roof tent enclosing the ladder area.

Set up time is 10 minutes.

 

Not so good points:

Pack-up time is much greater than set-up time.  Having to tuck away each section of the tent as it is folded away, and at head height, can be difficult.

Roof Top Tents (RTT) are only suited to vehicles that have strong roofs. Many campers have  the RTT mounted in the cargo area of a utility or "ute"

Unlike tent camping, once you have set up the RTT, then that is where your vehicle stays.  No local touring etc.  

Edited by Dusty Plains
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9 hours ago, Jon the Hat said:

I'd love a roof tent, but my wife has no interest in climbing up a ladder to go to bed.  

My sister and bil have one, and they love it. I'd be getting up and down to go to the loo all night though.

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Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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I've posted a couple of times about my (probable) retirement at the start of this year. Bit bored now. I want to move to Sunny Coast, wife wants to stay in urban box. Bit of volunteer stuff keeps me busy-ish. Keeping an eye on jobs.

But my latest thought is to go camping. It would be a ute and swag and get away from the crowds around QLD. I like the @Johndoe and @Bobj style

Trouble is - totally green- not camped for 40 years. No mates, so can't tag along for a tester, fairly practical, but winches and digging out of a hole may be a bit too much

Want / need to do it on the cheap. Got a hatch that the OH uses, so talking $10k at least for an older ute/suv eg saw a 2005 Pathfinder under 200k km.

Prefer 4x4, but not extreme/remote off-roading. No towing- totally useless at it, or even driving big vehicles

Any suggestions on older vehicles.  Hilux/Prado probably best - but these are also more expensive.

There are a couple of good facebook groups, but wondered if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions

Cheers

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1 hour ago, davlap said:

I've posted a couple of times about my (probable) retirement at the start of this year. Bit bored now. I want to move to Sunny Coast, wife wants to stay in urban box. Bit of volunteer stuff keeps me busy-ish. Keeping an eye on jobs.

But my latest thought is to go camping. It would be a ute and swag and get away from the crowds around QLD. I like the @Johndoe and @Bobj style

Trouble is - totally green- not camped for 40 years. No mates, so can't tag along for a tester, fairly practical, but winches and digging out of a hole may be a bit too much

Want / need to do it on the cheap. Got a hatch that the OH uses, so talking $10k at least for an older ute/suv eg saw a 2005 Pathfinder under 200k km.

Prefer 4x4, but not extreme/remote off-roading. No towing- totally useless at it, or even driving big vehicles

Any suggestions on older vehicles.  Hilux/Prado probably best - but these are also more expensive.

There are a couple of good facebook groups, but wondered if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions

Cheers

Davlap

Here is my advice. Firstly try some basic camping, to see if you actually like camping. Some do, some don't. If you like it, then you may want to think about building up your camping equipment and possibly a vehicle to take you to places off-road. Lots of people camp with standard vehicles or especially a vehicle that has higher ground clearance. You would be surprised where that will take you. 

My recommendation would be to do a simple camping adventure not too far into the bush or even do a first outing by going to a caravan park away from crowds and set up whatever gear you have. Heaps of people camp in tents and swags in Caravan Parks, which are now called tourist parks, Do an overnighter. There are toilets and showers and power available You don't need to dig holes and you don't need an off-road vehicle for that and the main thing that you have are other campers who seem always to be full of camping stories that can give you ideas. Off peak ( outside of school holidays ) gets you a spot in a caravan park, farm-stay etc quite cheaply especially if are not requiring a powered site .

I would not recommend that you camp anywhere too far off road by yourself. We camped fairly regularly for 30 years or so, the majority of those times we either went to designated camping sites just off a highway somewhere, farm-stays or in caravan parks. We rarely went off road except when we went to Fraser Island.  We started off with swags, then went to tents, then to a roof top tent and now a caravan that allows us to camp off grid;

Go and enjoy your retirement 

Have a look at these:

 

https://www.wikicamps.com.au ( Download the App)

https://www.theurbanlist.com/brisbane/a-list/best-camping-spots-queensland

Edited by Dusty Plains
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Hi @Dusty Plains, great advice and pretty much what I am likely to do. I did mention I didn't want to do anything serious off-road. Plan is to take our hatchback, rent some kit and stay overnight somewhere. OH says she will try it s long as there are facilities.

If all is good, we can than buy kit and build up, buy a second car, or trade in the hatch. There are easy tracks near Brisbane where people take their daily cars, AWD or 4Wd without any drama.

We already enjoy Bush walks and like to avoid the crowds.

Fully aware that going from an idea to reality and associated costs make take some time and easy steps

I've been looking at fb camping in QLD group, a few people ask 'how do I get started' and get good responses

 

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8 hours ago, davlap said:

I've posted a couple of times about my (probable) retirement at the start of this year. Bit bored now. I want to move to Sunny Coast, wife wants to stay in urban box. Bit of volunteer stuff keeps me busy-ish. Keeping an eye on jobs.

But my latest thought is to go camping. It would be a ute and swag and get away from the crowds around QLD. I like the @Johndoe and @Bobj style

Trouble is - totally green- not camped for 40 years. No mates, so can't tag along for a tester, fairly practical, but winches and digging out of a hole may be a bit too much

Want / need to do it on the cheap. Got a hatch that the OH uses, so talking $10k at least for an older ute/suv eg saw a 2005 Pathfinder under 200k km.

Prefer 4x4, but not extreme/remote off-roading. No towing- totally useless at it, or even driving big vehicles

Any suggestions on older vehicles.  Hilux/Prado probably best - but these are also more expensive.

There are a couple of good facebook groups, but wondered if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions

Cheers

Dunno whereabouts you are mate but as Dusty Plains says, best to try some basic camping. I can loan you all the gear you'll need and also give you good locations within 2hrs of Brizzy. No fourby needed.

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On 03/10/2020 at 12:43, davlap said:

I've posted a couple of times about my (probable) retirement at the start of this year. Bit bored now. I want to move to Sunny Coast, wife wants to stay in urban box. Bit of volunteer stuff keeps me busy-ish. Keeping an eye on jobs.

But my latest thought is to go camping. It would be a ute and swag and get away from the crowds around QLD. I like the @Johndoe and @Bobj style

Trouble is - totally green- not camped for 40 years. No mates, so can't tag along for a tester, fairly practical, but winches and digging out of a hole may be a bit too much

Want / need to do it on the cheap. Got a hatch that the OH uses, so talking $10k at least for an older ute/suv eg saw a 2005 Pathfinder under 200k km.

Prefer 4x4, but not extreme/remote off-roading. No towing- totally useless at it, or even driving big vehicles

Any suggestions on older vehicles.  Hilux/Prado probably best - but these are also more expensive.

There are a couple of good facebook groups, but wondered if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions

Cheers

We pull our van with a Hyundia TERRACAN. 4x4 Cost $4500 

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Just returning from our latest trip, a week off grid in our van on our own land. 

20201008_181129.jpg

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13 minutes ago, HappyHeart said:

Just returning from our latest trip, a week off grid in our van on our own land. 

20201008_181129.jpg

That can often be one of the best camps ever, especially in winter around the fire.  

I watched an older episode of Back Roads on the ABC, highlighting the town of Nyngan in NSW. Every Christmas holiday break, almost the entire population in the Nyngan area head off on a camping adventure to the Nyngan Tourist park just out of town, and down by the river. They spend weeks there.

When we took our new caravan on its first outing we went no further than the local Van park, just 5 kms from home.  We forgot a few things and simply locked up the caravan for an hour or so and headed back home in our car to retrieve what we had left behind.

 Its all good fun.

Edited by Dusty Plains

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4 minutes ago, Dusty Plains said:

That can often be one of the best camps ever, especially in winter around the fire.  

I watched an older episode of Back Roads on the ABC, highlighting the town of Nyngan in NSW. Every Christmas holiday break, almost the entire population in the Nyngan area head off on a camping adventure to the Nyngan Tourist park just out of town, and down by the river. They spend weeks there.

When we took our new caravan on its first outing we went no further than the local Van park, just 5 kms from home.  We forgot a few things and simply locked up the caravan for an hour or so and headed back home in our car to retrieve what we had left behind.

 Its all good fun.

Our land is 4hrs from our primary residence 🤣

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7 minutes ago, HappyHeart said:

Our land is 4hrs from our primary residence 🤣

Perfect. No crowds and you can have a fire on your own land in the winter months. 

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3 minutes ago, Dusty Plains said:

Perfect. No crowds and you can have a fire on your own land in the winter months. 

Had a big old fire every night. Pretty chilly in the SW of WA. 

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Does anyone have a hybrid camper?  Looking to upgrade from our camper trailer because where we are, dry season is kids' sport time, and wet season is basically our free time - and packing up wet canvas in the rain is miserable.  The relative compactness and outdoor kitchen appear to me more than a full size caravan does.

Going down to the caravan expo at the Ekka, end of the month to check some out.


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On 03/10/2020 at 23:31, Johndoe said:

Dunno whereabouts you are mate but as Dusty Plains says, best to try some basic camping. I can loan you all the gear you'll need and also give you good locations within 2hrs of Brizzy. No fourby needed.

Thanks to @Johndoe for lending us some gear. We just got back from O'Reillys at Lamington NP

Weather started off a bit rough and was pretty cold at times with the wind, but had some good spells. Appropriate sunsets for the conditions

 

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On 22/10/2020 at 10:24, Eera said:

Does anyone have a hybrid camper?  Looking to upgrade from our camper trailer because where we are, dry season is kids' sport time, and wet season is basically our free time - and packing up wet canvas in the rain is miserable.  The relative compactness and outdoor kitchen appear to me more than a full size caravan does.

Going down to the caravan expo at the Ekka, end of the month to check some out.

No but we have a poptop. Easier to tow and lower/lighter. Wasn't sure it would suit us but it's been great. We cook outdoors in good weather but that does mean buying extra equipment.  

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We bought a tent a year or so ago in the UK, large Outwell Air tent - 7 person.  Due to a fault it has gone back and I have a credit note.  I would be interested to hear any opinions from you Aussie campers whether you see such tents in use in Australia?  The one we are looking at has good ventilation and flyscreens everywhere which is key for us, but still not sure if I should bring or sell assuming I buy this one in March.

https://www.outwell.com/en-gb/ecommerce/tents/knoxville-7sa

Edited by Jon the Hat

PR (100) Planning to move to Perth September 2021

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14 hours ago, Jon the Hat said:

We bought a tent a year or so ago in the UK, large Outwell Air tent - 7 person.  Due to a fault it has gone back and I have a credit note.  I would be interested to hear any opinions from you Aussie campers whether you see such tents in use in Australia?  The one we are looking at has good ventilation and flyscreens everywhere which is key for us, but still not sure if I should bring or sell assuming I buy this one in March.

https://www.outwell.com/en-gb/ecommerce/tents/knoxville-7sa

I referred your inquiry to Mrs Dusty. She has been in the industry for years. I call her the Tent-oligist, amongst other things.  

In short, air tents are rare in Australia, and Outwell air tents are even rarer.  I know when I was in the emergency services we used air tents for hazmat decontamination but the local manufacturer has also gone out of business. Even then though, we used constant positive pressure pumps driven by generators to maintain the structure of the tent, or DeCon Huts as we called them.

Mrs Dusty tells that the market has changed substantially over the years. People now want light weight tents that they can put in the boot of a car and set up in 10 minutes at the camping spot.  Some of the high quality tent manufacturers in Australia such as Kangaroo Tents have gone out of business as campers want cheap sexy tents from China that basically collapse under a stiff breeze .

If you are looking for 6.10.8.12 person tents of good quality, have a look at these brands in order of quality, namely 1.Darche, 2.Black Wolfe, and then; 3. OzTrail. Make sure you have a PVC floor as opposed to a poly tarp floor to cope with Australian conditions.

The photo I submitted in an earlier post of our roof top tent is a Darche roof top tent and is of excellent quality, Darche are from Western Australia .

 

Edited by Dusty Plains
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2 hours ago, Dusty Plains said:

I referred your inquiry to Mrs Dusty. She has been in the industry for years. I call her the Tent-oligist, amongst other things.  

In short, air tents are rare in Australia, and Outwell air tents are even rarer.  I know when I was in the emergency services we used air tents for hazmat decontamination but the local manufacturer has also gone out of business. Even then though, we used constant positive pressure pumps driven by generators to maintain the structure of the tent, or DeCon Huts as we called them.

Mrs Dusty tells that the market has changed substantially over the years. People now want light weight tents that they can put in the boot of a car and set up in 10 minutes at the camping spot.  Some of the high quality tent manufacturers in Australia such as Kangaroo Tents have gone out of business as campers want cheap sexy tents from China that basically collapse under a stiff breeze .

If you are looking for 6.10.8.12 person tents of good quality, have a look at these brands in order of quality, namely 1.Darche, 2.Black Wolfe, and then; 3. OzTrail. Make sure you have a PVC floor as opposed to a poly tarp floor to cope with Australian conditions.

The photo I submitted in an earlier post of our roof top tent is a Darche roof top tent and is of excellent quality, Darche are from Western Australia .

 

Thanks that confirms that we should sell before we come.  Will bring some of our nice furniture and our CADAC BBQ though.  Probably look at a caravan in the long run anyway.

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PR (100) Planning to move to Perth September 2021

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On 10/11/2020 at 19:36, HappyHeart said:

No but we have a poptop. Easier to tow and lower/lighter. Wasn't sure it would suit us but it's been great. We cook outdoors in good weather but that does mean buying extra equipment.  

Ended up putting in an order yesterday; 15 foot in travel position, expands out to 19 feet with electric annex etc.  Looking forwards to getting it and actually being able to get away in wet season - aircon, hurrah!  March is ETA at the moment.

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Happiness is...a lounge, bedroom and kitchen at the rear

59EA1587-1322-42EC-95D8-6687E2AD2FDA.thumb.jpeg.c9cf5aa72f55543b53d55f271d95a5f0.jpeg

Cheers, Bobj

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3 hours ago, Bobj said:

Happiness is...a lounge, bedroom and kitchen at the rear

 

Cheers, Bobj

Hey Bob

You might have read I have been thinking of maybe getting a vehicle and heading off for some camping etc.

I see you aren't weighed down with all the heavy offroad gear, winch, recovery tracks etc. 

Is this because you keep to bumpy / dusty tracks out bush and don't have a need?

What do you have for emergency/recovery out of interest.

How old  is the the ute, how many k's on the clock? is it 4by?

Nosey as - no need to answer 

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18 hours ago, davlap said:

Hey Bob

You might have read I have been thinking of maybe getting a vehicle and heading off for some camping etc.

I see you aren't weighed down with all the heavy offroad gear, winch, recovery tracks etc. 

Is this because you keep to bumpy / dusty tracks out bush and don't have a need? Hard tack soil in the Territory though have used the 4wd in sandy areas.

What do you have for emergency/recovery out of interest. None, I trust my Holden. Been doing it for many years and all very remote places.

How old  is the the ute, how many k's on the clock? is it 4by? 18 years old and 260.000 on the clock and a fourby

Nosey as - no need to answer. Perfectly good questions to anyone wanting to learn.

Cheers, Bobj.

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So we invested heavily ($25) on a tent.

Just got back from Habitat Noosa (edge of the everglades).Glorious sunrise with the roos, 15km hike in 30 degree plus heat , then 'swim' in lake - about a foot deep!

Usual weather deterioration when we decide to go. 50mm rain, thunder and lightning, tent was mostly dry

Bit calmer next day

noosa1.jpg

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noosa3.jpg

Edited by davlap
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