Achtung Campervan Vanning Adventurers – Part 1 Sue Hedley

In May 2016 my life changed forever. I found a beautiful campervan for sale at the right price from Achtung Camper. In the last 3 years I have travelled about 50,000 kms and had a ball. My favourite campsites are at outback stations and of course our amazing beaches.
I love Australia, I love living here and exploring this beautiful and diverse country.
Last year was my biggest trip starting at the Murray with many stops along the way ending in WA at Katherine, and then making my way back home to Point Lonsdale.

New experiences

I had my first ever helicopter ride which was over the Bungle Bungles. Such an amazing experience and I absolutely loved seeing everything from a bird’s eye view.
I have stayed in so many very different places but one of my favourites was Red Bluff Wilderness camp. The drive there was so bumpy I knocked off my water tank valve so had to trade tomatoes for drinking water.
At Port Neill I got a flat tyre… I tried to pump it up with my 12 volt pump but it blew the pump. Just my luck I thought.
My scariest experience? Ggetting chased by a croc at Timber Creek. I highly recommend setting up away from the river and away from the crocs!

Highlights

One of my favourite things was seeing the cliffs at the Southern Ocean. They were mind blowing!
I also went snorkelling at Coral Bay, it was beautiful, I highly recommend doing this if you are ever out this way. The water was so clear and there were so many amazing fish and coral to see.

Overall

I’ve met so many friendly people, I’ve faced mechanical issues, my dog got sick, I got sick, but these were things that also happen when you stay home!   I’ve enjoyed every minute of the long, long drives and have only just started exploring this amazing country.

 

Coffee Drinker? We’ve got the perfect product for you!

It can be hard travelling without your daily coffee or two but not to worry as we’ve found the perfect alternative for you – A Wacaco Portable Espresso Machine.

A Wacaco Nanopresso is a highly functional machine and is ideal for camping as it’s very small and easy to use. There are two models: one that uses ground beans and one that uses capsules.

All you need is ground beans, hot water and the Wacaco Nanopresso machine – it’s that easy!  This portable Wacaco doesn’t require electricity as it’s push powered by hand making it easy to control and use anywhere whether you’re at the beach or in the bush.

It also weighs only 336 grams so can be carried in your bag or taken on hikes for the real coffee addict.

We recommend trying this fantastic product on your next road trip to make your early mornings that little bit more enjoyable.

Why is our water tank gauge so awesome?

We are super excited about this product – the Voltronic Water Guage has a 3 colour display and is so accurate that LED lighting on the display gets slightly dimmer as water is used to show in detail and real time as the capacity diminishes.

But why is it so much better than other water gauges? It utilises one whole electrode that goes the entire length from the top to the bottom of the water tank so is able to tell you exactly how much water you have left.

Traditional water gauges used in campervans and caravans utilise an arm the length of the water tank that is fitted with 5 electrodes along the arm, meaning it is only able to tell you a vague estimate to the quarter as to how much water is remaining in the tank.

For more information on this product check out the website here:
https://www.votronic.de/index.php/en/products/level-measuring/tank-displays

ALL ABOUT COOKING IN YOUR CAMPERVAN

Because everyone travels differently we’ve got quite a few cooking options so there’s something to suit everyone!  Read about the different options below and find one that’s perfect for you J

 

Microwave:

A microwave would only be useful if you were planning on doing quite a lot of camping in powered campground spots (so you have 240 volt and can run it!).  Without plugging into a power source, a microwave is useless.

A side note – in such a small space (and especially if you get a SWB and are more than 1 person) you’ll welcome the extra storage cupboard you get if you decide against a microwave (we’ll fit a door to the microwave cavity in the cabinetry so you can use the space for storage).

 

Primus Kinja Butane 2 burner cooker:

This butane cooker is top of the range, Swedish made and is safer than your traditional gas cooker and also safer than traditional butane cookers due to the fuel source not being directly attached to the cooker itself but connected with a short line.

The other positives:

  • It doesn’t make the bottom of your pots and pans black (as the alcohol run stoves do).
  • The small butane bottles are super small and last weeks (and you only need to purchase the generic butane bottles not the more expensive branded ones). As a result, it doesn’t cause issue having it inside the van
  • It’s super light so at 3kg you can easily carry it over to a nice picnic bench nearby.
  • The easily removable grill make it the easiest cooker to clean that we’ve ever used.

 

The only negative?  You can’t cook inside with this cooker!

 

EcoHeat Smart Touch Induction Cooktop:

This is an option for those who want to be able to cook inside but without power.  The higher price associated with this cooker is because we will fit a very large 1600 watt inverter to your van so that this cooker can be used at all times even when you aren’t plugged into 240 volts.

The positives:

  • It can be used inside or outside as it’s very small and light.
  • A grill/ BBQ plate option is available.
  • It doesn’t get very hot but heats up quickly in around 5 minutes.
  • The 1600 watt inverter means you can use this cooker for about 9 meals before you’ll run out of power. The inverter also means you can use all 240 volt power points in your van and related 240 volt appliances when not plugged into power (for example you could use a kettle, hairdryer, microwave etc).

Negatives:

  • It must be plugged into the van when in use.
  • It comes as one plate only.

 

 

Our AMAZING Indoor and Outdoor Cinema Screen

We have the most innovative product to date – our campervan cinema has indoor and outdoor screens so the whole family can enjoy!

The custom-built screens are made to fit our campervans and are fitted inside the pop-up roof for an indoor cinema or attached to the awning for an outdoor cinema. The projector has Bluetooth and streaming capacity so you can watch any Netflix’s or movies straight from your laptop or phone.

Movies are displayed by a Nebula Capsule Portable Projector and screened onto our custom- build screen, the projector is a soda-can size and has a strong aluminium body which is light and durable. Nebula Projectors are 8 GB, have a series of controls on top, USB and HDMI port, 360-degree sound and produces a very bright and high-quality image.

On your next trip have your own personal cinema as it’s very easy and provides great entertainment for the whole family.

5 Tips for camping in hot weather!

Camping on scorching hot days is always a hassle and very uncomfortable for everyone but who doesn’t love traveling all year round! Summer can be fun and enjoyable if you prepare right. Here are 5 tips to make your trip more relaxing and pleasant on those hot 30o days. 

  1. Pack the right items – Pack wet towels as they are very handy to put around your neck to instantly feel refreshed. Freezing old juice bottles and containers is also a great item to pack and highly recommended as they can be used as ice-blocks and once melted used as water.  
  2. Carefully choose your clothes – The type of clothes is significant as some materials are thinner and better for hot weather. Packing loose clothing with breathable fabrics will reduce the temperature whilst traveling and make it more enjoyable. 
  3. Pick the right location – A spot under trees is perfect as it generates shade and reduces camper exposure to the sun. An ideal location is near a water source (lake, river, dam) as it decreases the temperature and creates a breeze.  
  4. Cover all windows – Keeping the inside of your van unheated can be difficult but simply using the curtains in the camper and putting towels/ reflective film up against windows will enhance shade and cooler air. It stops the sun from shining through and keeps the heat away. 
  5. Keep your Camper Cool – Unzip the roof and open the roof windows to allow airflow. Try not to open the doors as it allows some cool air to stay in. Also avoid activities that create extra heat therefore cook everything outside and relax with mates under a tree. 

That is our 5 tips for traveling in hot weather. Hopefully you find these helpful for your next trip in boiling 30o+ days. If all fails, you can always bring a fan! 

camping in summer

Our day on a plate – a typical day’s menu when camping in the bush

Breakfast: Boiled egg with toast, baked beans and toast with butter and honey.  Cup of tea or coffee.

Notes: Good to get a serve of vegies in for breaky. Tinned baked beans are a camping staple and can be eaten for any meal!  Also like to add a few fried tomatoes or smoked salmon if we have it on hand.

Lunch: Tinned tuna (another camping staple), avocado on toast, carrot or cucumber sticks with cheese and/or peanut butter.  Any leftovers from last nights dinner still in the fridge.

Notes: make sure you have a few Tupperware containers with you.  Carrots, cucumbers and avocados are great as they don’t have to be refrigerated.

Snacks: Handful of nuts with a piece of fruit, fruit with yoghurt.

Dinner: Pasta with tinned tomatoes/sugo, garlic, any vegies we have on hand, olives if we have them, cheese on top.

Notes: We try to use the pasta made from beans, it boils quicker and means you are getting more vegies into your day.  You can find it in the health food aisle at any supermarket.

After dinner: chips or popcorn with beer, or wine and cheese if it’s cold, sometimes just tea and some biscuits.  Marshmallows melted by the fire if it’s cold.

Notes: I keen making the same mistake of buying chocolate biscuits like TV snacks which of course end up a melted mess…don’t want to waste valuable fridge space!

 

(No nutritional commentary please!)