HELP I want to go camping over a long weekend or school holiday period

Not to worry, there are still PLENTY of amazing spots you can park your campervan and camp during a long weekend, but you’ll have to think more free camping than paid Caravan Parks and be OK with camping without facilities other than what you BYO.

Here are some ideas on how to find a good camping spot at the last minute or during busy holiday times:

Download the Wiki camps app (it’s worth 10 times what you will pay for it).

If you have Facebook join up to our group ‘The Best Free Camping Spots in Victoria’. You can ask questions, share spots or just get some good ideas from others.

Check out the website www.home-camp.com which which is an airbnb style website but for campers.

A good option is always a beach/coast/riverside carpark or clearing (which may also be near public toilets/shower/picnic tables/public BBQ facilities if you don’t have your own).   We explore an area before arriving there and pick out a few potential spots by looking on Google Earth and zooming in to check out areas that are beach or river side and look quite isolated.

Please share your tips on how to camp over a long weekend with us below.

For more camping related blogs visit http://achtungcamper.com.au/blog/

 

CAMPERVANS FOR SALE IN ADELAIDE

Looking for a campervan for sale in Adelaide? We don’t currently know of any companies that have campervans for sale in Adelaide so if you don’t plan on travelling out of the state your best bet is to visit caravancampingsales.com.au and browse through any local options for new or used campervans for sale. Although it’s ok to purchase from a private seller, it is always safer to purchase from a dealership if you can.

If you are up for the trip, Achtung Camper is a short flight away (Adelaide to Avalon airport) and only a 20 minute drive from Avalon airport (we would organise airport pickup/drop off).

If you do not want to make the trip down its easy to have your van sent on a truck or to have a driver pick it up. The cost is about $700.

We have many clients from Adelaide and ordering is done easily over email and the phone as we are able to post out any samples of material colours you are thinking about in the mail so you can see them in the flesh before deciding on your campervan colour scheme.

We also have many Achtung Campers driving around Adelaide and will try to organise for you to catch up with one of our happy customers to see a van in the flesh and hear about the experience first hand.

To view Achtung Camper’s campervans for sale visit http://achtungcamper.com.au/for-sale/

 

 

All about awnings

Awnings – do you need one, when do we use our awning and what options are there?

Let’s first discuss the wind out awnings permanently attached to your van such as the Fiamma or Dometic awnings we fit to our campervans.

These are handy to have however their use is more limited than most people first think.   Without two privacy walls (which are purchased as additional accessories) the awning will offer little protection from rain or sun. The walls can be purchased online from CaravanandRVworld quite cheaply:

http://www.caravanandrvworld.com.au/coast-v2-sunscreen-w2805mmxh1800mm-t-s-10-cf-awnin

Set up time for the awning alone would be about 3-5 minutes for one person (if tying it down). Add about 10 minutes to set up the two privacy walls.

The downside is that once it is set up you cannot then drive away without packing up the awning and walls. Having said that, this type of awning is an extremely common industry standard and you would be lost without it if there is no other sun shelter nearby.

 

There are also cheaper ‘drive away’ style shelters available at BCF for 4WD camping which offer their own type of weather protection at a cheaper price.

We personally find the Dometic awning useful.  Having said that, we spent years campervanning without any type of awning at all and could always find a nice shady tree to sit under!

VW Campervan for sale

The Dometic awning.

 

 

 

CAMPERVANS FOR SALE IN NSW

Looking for a campervan for sale in NSW?   The two main players in Sydney: Frontline and Trakka both sell VW campervans. Your other option if you don’t plan on travelling out of the state is to visit caravancampingsales.com.au and browse through any local options for new or used campervans for sale. Although it’s ok to purchase from a private seller, it is always safer to purchase from a dealership if you can.

If you are up for the trip, Achtung Camper is a short flight away (Sydney to Avalon airport) and only a 20 minute drive from Avalon airport (we would organise airport pickup/drop off).

If you do not want to make the trip down its easy to have your van sent on a truck or to have a driver pick it up. The cost is about $600.

We have many clients from NSW (maybe it’s the better weather!) and ordering is done easily over email and the phone as we are able to post out any samples of material colours you are thinking about in the mail so you can see them in the flesh before deciding on your campervan colour scheme.

We also have many Achtung Campers driving around NSW and will try to organise for you to catch up with one of our happy customers to see a van in the flesh and hear about the experience first hand.

To view Achtung Camper’s campervans for sale visit http://achtungcamper.com.au/for-sale/

 

The New VW T6 Campervan (and how it differs to the T5)

Thinking of getting a new VW T6 Campervan (or buying a VW T6 for a campervan conversion) but want to know the differences between the VW T6 and older model the VW T5? We’ve gone direct to the source and interviewed our local VW salesman to find out, in simple, non-technical language.

– Cosmetically the VW T6 has had a facelift with a new design for the front and tailgate.

– For your driving comfort; the dash and storage compartments in the front have been redesigned and now utilise improved non-scratch materials and leather bound steering wheel with controls. Other adjustments for driver comfort include improved lumbar support and height edjustment. You’ll also now get a touchscreen radio with Bluetooth and media streaming capability.

– New features for improved drivability include rear parking sensors as standard, side airbags as standard, fatigue detection, multi-collision braking system and improved fuel efficiency thanks to BlueMotion technologies (stop/start system, coasting function).

For more information on purchasing your new VW T6 campervan through Achtung Camper visit www.achtungcamper.com.au/

VW T6 campervan conversion

HELP! I’M CAMPING AND THE WEATHER IS BAD FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE

We’ve been stuck more than a few times with only a week or two of cherished holiday time, a campervan and BAD WEATHER.

So what to do when your stuck camping and the weather is bad? Will you stay or will you go? As weather predictions are often wrong and I’m sure you chose your current destination for some great reasons, you might want to stick it out a few days before you make the decision to bail for good and head somewhere dryer/warmer.

Our advice for sticking it out:

  • Did you bring some boardgames and a deck of cards with you? If not, go and buy some pronto!
  • Do you have a good book with you? I hope so!
  • How many bottles of red wine did you bring? Go and buy some more!
  • Do you feel like an antipasto platter for dinner with your wine? It will go down very well…and doesn’t require any cooking or washing dishes. A few different types of cheeses, cold cuts, dips and nice bread are just what the doctor ordered in this weather.
  • If you have an ipad, tablet or laptop with you then you really do have entertainment on tap for at least a couple of days in the form of unwatched movies and TV shows.
  • (If it’s possible) drive out of the camp spot and get the paper plus go for a coffee or lunch somewhere in a café or pub close by each day (prevents cabin fever).
  • Check out a map and see if there are any interesting towns or cities within an hour or two’s drive and somewhere nearby to camp. Towns and cities offer LOTS more to do during wet weather than your free camping national park experience.
  • Similarly, have a look if there are any wineries in the region – always a lot of fun.
  • Make a nice bonfire if it’s not raining all the time and toast some marshmallows. Trust me this is almost better than campervanning in warm weather!

Our advice for bailing:

  • Our first instincts when you’re camping and the weather is bad are always to just drive as far North from where we are as possible to escape any COLD we are trying to get away from. But think again before you use this tactic as it often rains more the further north you go, and that ain’t no fun at all. You might also only have a few days and don’t want to waste too much time driving further away from home.

A last thought to leave you with, you’re still in Australia…the weather isn’t really THAT bad…

camping in bad weather

If you have any tips on camping in bad weather please comment below!

For more camping related blogs visit http://achtungcamper.com.au/blog/

 

How to buy a campervan in Australia

By the time people come to us for a conversion they’ve pretty much worked out how to buy a campervan in Australia but there are other options available that many might not be aware of.

The question of budget really determines what options are available to you when looking to buy a campervan in Australia, with the cheapest options as follows:

  • Check out caravancampingsales.com.au and Gumtree.com.au for a well priced used campervan homemade or professionally built.
  • Purchase a used van on carsales.com.au and DIY the prerequisite basics (check out pinterest, instagram, Vanlife and a plethora of other DIY information on the internet for ideas and information):
    • Curtains
    • You can get an additional window fitted if required by avadirect.com.au
    • Throw a mattress and bedding of some sort in the back
    • Visit justkampers.com.au (make sure it’s the Australian website) for VW campevan accessories
    • Check out Ikea for some awesome small space storage options

If you have a little more cash to spend, but not the time, then buying a pre-made campervan might be right for you. Again, check out caravancampingsales.com.au for newer campervans for sale.

If you have the cash AND the time, and want a more personlised camping machine then you can buy a new or used van (or order your new VW T6 through Achtung Camper) then present to us for a customized conversion.

A laste note – many people come to us keen on purchasing a campervan however have never really spent time camping in a tent, campervan or otherwise. Our suggestion? Before you go splashing all that cash spend some time in the great outdoors and see how you like it. Yes camping in a tent is a little rougher but it’s pretty much the same concept and if you don’t enjoy being outdoors all the time in nature then campevanning is probably also not for you.

Similarly, if you’ve had a caravan before or are tossing up between a caravan or campervan take out quiz here: http://achtungcamper.com.au/blog/campervan-or-caravan/ to ascertain whether a campervan really is the correct travel machine for you.

One last thought to leave you with…

how to buy a campervan

Campervan accessories – websites and shops to check out when shopping for your campervan

You’ve got your campervan but now you need the accessories! Where to start?

We’ve put together a list of the best value shops and websites to check out before you start your journey.

Justkampers.com.au

This is a UK based VW campervan accessory online shop that has EVERYTHING you need and more. Now with an Australian online shop based in Sydney, they have van hardware to electrical items to the kitchen sink. Literally.

Ikea

Yes that’s right, Ikea. They have great storage solutions for small spaces plus amazingly cheap bathroom and kitchen accessories, in plastic and other travel safe materials. We’ve picked up amazingly compact clothes racks, magnetic spice rack containers and tiny portable LED alarm clock/temperature gauges just to name a few.

Ikea storage

Ikea storage

BCF, Rays Outdoors and Aussie Disposals

Although Aussies seem to win on price, they just don’t have the range that you’ll find in the other two stores.

BCF is handy when looking for outdoor shelters/tent style marquees to attach to either the side or back of your van.

Rays has a great selection of camping chairs, kitchen necessities and lighting options.

Jaycar

If you pass a Jaycar pop in and check out their range of camping accessories, most being electric. They have some great lighting options and power solutions and can usually help you with any advice you’ll need on getting the right product for you.

Our number 1 Australian camping spot is…

It’s the blog you’ve all been waiting for – our number 1 favourite camping spot of all time! And the winner is…..Green Patch in Jervis Bay, NSW.

This oasis is 2 hours south of Sydney, has amazing mountain bike and hiking tracks and the most beautiful beach we’ve ever seen.

Picture white sand, green blue ocean clear as can be with a gumtree framed river running into it.

Untitled

The camping is extremely private with each spot being in its own hidden area of lush forest. Facilities include hot water showers and drinking water which make this spot all the more attractive. It’s a large camping ground with areas for groups and many many private camping spots. We weren’t there during a busy holiday period but it was still half full and the beauty of this layout is that you won’t see any other people if you don’t want to.

Oh and did I mention the wildlife? We made friends with wallabies, kangaroos, possums and kookaburras.

Methylated Spirits camping cooker – product review

It seems that all the campervans for sale these days come with the same camping cooker – the Origo 3000 2 burner alcohol stove (available in Australia from Dometic). For those who have only ever cooked with gas we’ve got the lowdown on cooking with metho and why it seems to be the way of the future.

At about 10 times the price of a gas stove and the same size, you would be excused for doubting it’s value, however this cooker’s major benefit is a big one – No gas. No gas means no fumes, completely safe for inside cooking and no carrying around heavy and potentially dangerous gas bottles.

Fill up your alcohol cooker with 2 litres of metho before you leave for your trip and you’ll have enough fuel for a week of cooking. Don’t be deceived when you open the top of the cooker to fill it up with metho, it fits A LOT of liquid in there!

 

Pull out cooker in campervan conversion

The only downside that we’ve encountered is that they’re very slow cooking in windy conditions. If you are cooking outside, there’s a breeze and your water is taking AGES to boil then you’d be best to move the cooker inside out of the wind. We also supply a wind/weather protector with the cooker so you can use it outside in all conditions!