HOT WATER – DO I NEED IT AND HOW DOES IT WORK? 

Hot water, what a luxury…do you need this in your campervan?  Absolutely not!   

Why would you want it? 

  • Because if you have to wash dishes in your van it’s much easier to do with hot water. 
  • Because if you want to shower comfortably in your van and not just when the weather’s hot outside, you’d want a hot shower!   

How does it work and how much power does it use? 

  • The hot water boiler holds 6 litres of water at 90 degrees.   
  • We had 3 hot showers, one after the other, no problem.  This took 10% of the water tank’s water supply (when full).  It then took 40 minutes for the water to re-heat and this used 7% of the leisure battery (as it automatically re-fills and re-heats as it empties).   
  • When washing and rinsing dinner dishes for 3 people we used 15% of the water tank’s capacity when full) and this used 10% of the leisure battery. (Also note I love rinsing dishes BEFORE AND AFTER washing them, not the best habit for camping but old habits die hard). 
  • When refilling your van completely with cold water and wanting to heat the water from scratch it takes about 22 minutes when plugged into 240 volt power, or about 2 hours if it’s heats from your leisure battery.  The water stays hot in the tank for at least a day so the best thing to do is heat it up while driving then leave it on. 

How much does it cost? 

  • $2000 

If you are only planning on staying in Caravan Parks then you definitely do not need this as you would use the park’s facilities to shower and wash your dishes. 

LOVE THY (CAMPING) NEIGHBOUR 

What’s the first thing you should do when you park your van for the night in your new camping location?   

Open your pop top roof. 

Check out your surroundings. 

Crack open a beer. 

WRONG! 

The correct answer is…go over and introduce yourself to your closest camping neighbours, here’s why: 

  1. Feedback 

Check wiki camp for up to date comments?  Read guidebooks?  Look up camping blogs?  You can’t get a more ‘real time’ review on your just-about-to-be camping spot than asking those who’ve been there the night before.  Introduce yourself, ask them if they had a quiet night’s sleep, how the spot is…people love to talk (ok maybe it’s just me!) and if there are any noise or security issues you’ll know about them pretty quickly.  Even better they’ll likely tell you of any great beaches/walking tracks/short cuts into town that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.  Worst case scenario you find out the 18 year old’s nearby start a party every night that goes until dawn.  Better to know now than at 1am!   

 

  1. Security 

Google campervan security or safety and you’ll read one thing over and over again.  Make friends with your neighbours.  They’ll look out for your van when you are swimming down the beach, drinking wine on the cliff at sunset, doing that 6 hour hike (oh yes you will!).   You’ll also feel a whole lot safer at night knowing who your neighbours are and that you can approach them if the need arises. 

 

  1. Convenience 

Although this point doesn’t apply to Achtung Camper owners as they are of course all super organised and have read every single one of our other blogs on what to pack and what not to forget BUT for everyone else out there…when it starts getting cold and you’ve forgotten the fire lighters, when it’s wine o’clock and you don’t have a bottle opener (aren’t they all twist top now anyway?!) you’ll be thankful later if you are already on friendly terms with the campers next door. 

 

  1. Socialise! 

And as always, we leave the best to last.  Yes travelling is about the journey and about the destination.  It’s about freedom and nature.  But it’s just as importantly about the people you meet along the way. Lifelong friends were made in front of campfires and hey, you already know you have the most important values and interests in common (you’re both here aren’t you!).  After all, a bottle of wine shared is much better than a bottle of wine drunk alone (especially for you the next morning!) 

Caravan Salon!

Air Trip! Achtung Camper has been lucky enough to again visit the biggest campervan and caravan exhibition in the world Caravan Salon this year in Dusseldorf, Germany.  We’ll be taking over our Facebook page and bringing you the highlights over the next few weeks.

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 1: A Checking out the new VW T6.1 before it hits Australia in 2020.  Check out our video and pics for a sneak peak!

vw campervan for sale

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 2: And the best stand award goes to…Dometic!  Waitresses serving your choice of ginormous ice cream Sunday.  How much better can it get?  Achtung Camper, you have some serious thinking to do before Melbourne Leisurefest…

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 3: Metallics are all the rage judging by the vans on show, our fav – this awesome aqua VW.  LOVE!

vw campervan

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 4: Loving this 100% Green toilet liquid and HOPING it comes to Australia super soon so we can start stocking it.  A wonderful product. Solbio.

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 5: Checking out our favourite German Campervan companies that are forever pushing boundaries and creating cutting edge world class campervans Space Camper and Campania.

campervan for sale

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 6: Forging a relationship with innovative company XXXXX so we can bring Slide Out campervanning to Australia.  Watch this Space!

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 7: Checking out the new IKamper rooftop tents.  Did you know Achtung Camper are now an IKamper supplier?  Check out their awesome range here.

Caravan Salon (Dusseldorf exhibition) highlight 8:  New Achtung Camper feature alert: Brennstoffzelle – English translation: small generator/power box/cell that knows when your leisure battery starts dropping charge and automatically turns on to re-charge your leisure battery by burning methanol.  Safe with no fumes it’s the way of the future.  Coming soon to an Achtung Camper near you!

IKamper Roof Tents!

Need more room on the road?  Is your VW T6 not cutting it anymore?  Check out these amazing roof tents from IKamper – the best in the business!

 

Roof Tent: SKYCAMP 2X

The Skycamp 2x is handy if you need an extra bed for visitors or if you need to get away from someone snoring next to you… It’s really light and can easily be attached to the roof of your campervan.

vw campervan

Features

  • Sleeps two adults and one child.
  • Takes one minute to set up! All you have to do is open the tent on your roof and secure the roles and poles.
  • Made of lightweight aerodynamic materials, has double layered hard shell with air insulation and is soundproof resistant.
  • The material is breathable as it’s made from poly-cotton canvas fabrics.
  • The material is also waterproof so you’ll always be safe in wet weather.
  • The closing straps have locks on the outside to keep it safe and secure.
  • There’re three colour options as shown below.

vw campervan

 

To take a better look at the 2x and 4x features visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw3QNUmcGs8

Price

From $4,595.

vw campervan

Specifications

  • Size (Closed): 218x138x32cm.
  • Size (Open): 218x138x110cm.
  • Mattress: 193x130x5cm Super High-Density Memory Foam.
  • Average weight: 55kg.
  • Tent weight limit: 408kg.
  • Ladder: 230cm.
  • Materials: aluminium honeycomb panel floor, double-layered FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Plastic) shell, poly-cotton canvas tent.

 

 

Roof Tent: SKYCAMP 4X

This roof tent is bigger than the 2x and can comfortably sleep four.

 

vw campervan

 

Features

  • Sleeps four on a king size mattress.
  • Aerodynamic and lightweight design.
  • Like the 2x this also comes in three colour options.
  • Like the 2x this is also made from poly-cotton canvas tent fabric so is very breathable.
  • Has locking straps on the outside for security.
  • Can be set up in just one minute.
  • Has a detachable tent which can be purchased for hot weather.

vw campervan

Price

From $5,195.00.

Specifications

  • Size (Closed): 218 x 138 x 32cm.
  • Size (Open): 218 x 210 x 110cm.
  • Mattress: 190 x 210 x 5cm Super High-Density Memory Foam.
  • Average weight: 70kg.
  • Tent wright limit 408kg.
  • Ladder: 230cm.
  • Materials: aluminium honeycomb panel floor, double-layered FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Plastic) shell, poly-cotton canvas tent.

To see how the 4x is set up and for a quick product review visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyrcupwm0SU

 

 

These roof tents are high quality and different from other roof tents as they have TWO layers of canvas for extra insulation and strength. They are super easy to set up, incredibility spacious and comfy to sleep in.

 

For further information on these products visit the official IKamper website: http://ikamperau.com.au/index.asp

 

WHO DO I CALL WHEN…  

Let’s be honest, #*+! Happens!  And on the road, it’s better to be prepared than stuck in the middle of nowhere with no idea who to contact when an issue arises.  Here’s our list of who to call… 

 

When you have an issue with your Volkswagen and it’s less than 1 year old: 

 Call Volkswagen Assist: 1800 607 822  

 You get one year complimentary roadside assist when you get your van and it’s available 24 hours a day. This can help you with roadside issues, emergency accommodation, car rental and towing as well as property assistance. 

 For more information about what roadside assist includes visit: https://www.volkswagen.com.au/en/owners/roadside-assist.html 

  

When you have an issue with your Volkswagen older than 1 year: 

 Call Volkswagen on 1800 607 822  

 Your vehicle comes with a New Vehicle Warranty, a Paint Warranty, and a Corrosion Warranty in relation to the main structure of the vehicle. Volkswagen genuine parts and accessories also come with separate warranties. 

 All warranty issues must be reported to an authorised Volkswagen Dealer as soon as possible and within a suitable timeframe. 

 You can google Volkswagen to find your closest Volkswagen Dealership: 

https://www.vw.com/find-a-dealer/. 

 For more information on general warranty terms and conditions visit: https://www.volkswagen.com.au/en/owners/warranty.html 

 

When you have an issue with your VW and it’s not under warranty anymore 

 Call the closest mechanic (with good reviews!) 

 If your van is out of warranty, Google mechanics in the area/close by and look at the reviews online to find a trustworthy mechanic.  As a rule, we only go with a mechanic with 4out of 5 ratings.  

 

 A campervan feature doesn’t work 

 Call us (Achtung Camper!) on 03 52009185. 

 But only call us if it’s during business hours (weekdays 9am-4pm).   

 If it’s out of business hours just send us and email at info@achtungcamper.com.au as there’s a good chance we are checking them anyway! 

 

Your campervan is stolen or damaged in a fire/storm/hail:  

 Call your insurance company  

 If you are with CIL call 1800 112 481. 

 If you’re with another insurance company, just Google search their vehicle insurance phone number.  

 

When you have an accident:  

 Call your insurance company 

 

 

A FINAL TIP… 

Get the Volkswagen Car-Net App 

 It’s allows you to connect directly with your VW vehicle! 

 It has security and service options and lets you call for help in an emergency, set speed and boundary alerts and remotely check the status of your Volkswagen. 

 

 

We hope these phone numbers and tips help you out in an emergency or when an issue arises! Let us know if you have any other important contacts and we’ll add them to our list. 

Campervan Alarm Systems

Worried about security on the road? These alarm systems mean you can travel confidently to remote areas, go for long hikes and spend hours on the beach without the stress that your home on the road will be compromised.

WiTi Anti-Theft Alarm

Features

Specifically designed for campervans.

Detects movement from outside the van by its sensitive gyroscope (a device used for measuring movement).

There’re two types of movement it detects, firstly acceleration as if someone has hitched up and is trying to move the van and secondly, sharp knocks or bumps as trying to hitch up or break into the van.

After 30 seconds of movement or forced entry the alarm of 105db will go off and will repeat until the movement stops.

The system also triggers your vehicle lights to flash and applies brakes for over 30 seconds to ensure your campervan does not move. This continues as long as movement is detected.

Entry through doors or windows will also set off alarm/security system.

The only anti-theft system that immobilises your campervan! Once parked, you can turn on the system by pressing the button on the key fob again. The brakes will only activate if the alarm is triggered and movement is detected.

Price

The WiTi Anti-Theft costs $499 (this includes WiTi Anti-Theft unit with two remote controls and horn).


Installation

The unit must be installed vertically and facing either the front or rear of the campervan.

WiTi uses gravity to initialise the Gyroscope and detects acceleration in the direction of travel.

It’s recommended the WiTi is installed onto an exterior body panel and towards the front of the campervan as it will make the system more sensitive.

You can screw the WiTi onto a panel through the mounting.

The horn must be installed at least 1 metre away from the WiTi unit and on a different surface to prevent interference (the horn is waterproof so can be installed externally).

To turn on the Anti-Theft, press the hold button on the remote control for one second, the front indicators will flash after and then double flash to indicate the system is armed.

For more details visit: https://www.witi.com.au/site_files/2120/upload_files/WiTiAntiTheftInstallationInstructions7Apr2019ver1.pdf?dl=1

Australian Security Systems

Features

Comes with a 12v cable so you don’t need to use your other power supply (although you can have this option if you like).

Uses the new Supports Smart Power Socket which remotely turns lights on and off, by sending the panel an SMS.

Has a new temperature reading and display on alarm panel LCD screen and a touch screen making it easy to use.

Easy to program with user manual. Technical support available 24/7.

SMS or calls you when has been violated (if you choose to use the additional SMS feature). The system can have up to 5 phone numbers and directly notify a contact or business.

Can arm or disarm from your phone by sending an SMS.

Internal siren in alarm panel (can be on or off as required).

Runs off AC power supply.

Uses high quality ABS fire-proof materials.

Price

The system costs $461.

It includes one 3G Alarm panel (with internal siren), one PIR sensor, one door/Window sensor, two remotes, one 12v DC car charger adapter, one 240v AC adapter and mounts for accessories.

Installation

All you have to do is plug the main alarm panel into a power point in your van.

You then program your sensors and accessories and personalise the alarm to suit your needs such as setting it up for monitoring.

Mount the system it somewhere in your camper and plug the external strobe siren into a power point.

Australian Security System also have free assistance seven days a week.

For more details visit: https://www.australiansecuritysystems.com.au

Nomads Caravan Alarm System

Features

Loud 100 decibel siren.

Arms only the door sensors at night (Stay Arm Feature).

Alarms can be texted straight to your phone. (Note: the SIM Card Monitoring Service is paid monthly under a subscription basis and can be cancelled at any time by logging into your account.

Is easily controlled from your phone (On/Off/Check Status).

Will notify your phone when it’s on low battery.

Price

Standard Caravan Alarm System is $380.

This includes campervan alarm system main panel, one door sensors, one motion sensors and two remote controls.

Installation

The alarm is very easy to set up and can be done in 5 mins by following the manual provided when you receive the alarm system.

It’s pre-programmed before it’s sent off so all you really have to do is set the app up on your phone (If you wish to use the SIM card monitoring service). The app is called Nomads Alarm which allows you to make the alarm sound on your phone when you get a text from your Nomad Alarm Systems.

24/7 contact support also available if you need any help along the way!

For more details visit: https://www.nomadalarms.com.au/caravan-alarm-system/

We hope you find this blog useful in your discovery in finding the perfect alarm system for your campervan!

NEW Volkswagen T6.1 Transporter coming in 2020!

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has revealed the new T6.1 Transporter is coming to Australia in March-April 2020!  

Volkswagen has given the van a new look with a fresh grille, sportier bumper design, squarer headlights and a new side badge.  

We’re very excited to work with the new T6.1 as they have been highly rated and have lots of amazing new features. Keep reading to find out what these new features are! 

New Features 

Exterior  

The T6.1 is similar to the Multivan although has many improved features such as concealed rear side windows and reduced chrome trim for the grille and front bumper. 

Other improved features on the T6.1 include: H7 headlights, power-adjustable side mirrors with heating, central locking, Bluetooth connectivity, power windows, LED lighting and a 230V power outlet near the driver’s seat.  

 These new features will make travelling on the road easier and safer for you. 


Interior 

We asked our friend at VW for his thoughts and his summary of the obvious improvements and some are the standard driver assistance systems and the updated interior and dash (and better standard media units).  

 The dashboard has been upgraded with a modern design with new controls angled towards the driver. Further the touchscreen has be updated to the new German MIB3 infotainment system that comes with an integrated SIM card for connectivity.  

Volkswagen have changed the current van’s hydraulic power steering system for an electro-mechanical setup. This allows the car to have lane keep assist, steering assist, motoring of blind-spots, automated parking, traffic sign recognition, hill-start assist, post-collision braking and cross-wind assist.  

Cross-wind assist is a new component of the stability control system that help counter gusts of wind that may blow the van sideways a little. It detects the movement/force and makes small corrections using individual brakes to make sure the van keeps travelling straight. 

Another big interior feature is the new lockable storage space under the passenger side of the front bench seat. This will come in handy when travelling in busy places as it ensures personal belongings are kept safe. These compartments are 2450mm to 2800mm in length for short-wheelbase variants and 2900mm to 3300mm for long-wheelbase vans.   

 More information coming soon! 

Volkswagen Group Australia will announce pricing and specifications closer to the Transporter’s launch. We’re unsure if the new T6.1 van in Australian will be the Europe versions or not but we know they won’t be the electric vans. 

 We hope this overview is helpful and that you’re now as excited as we are to see this new T6.1 van hit Australia! 

 

 

 

‘Bowl’ recipes for cooking in your campervan! 

Being on the road we always find it a challenge to eat healthy so were super excited to discover ‘bowl’ recipes.  The beauty of a ‘bowl’ is minimal cooking/prep and the ability to throw in whatever you have in the cupboard or fridge.  Anything works!  Here are a few of our favourite but check out Natural Harry https://naturalharry.com.au/rainbow-whole-foods-nourish-bowl-recipe-video/?v=3a52f3c22ed6 or Jamie Oliver for more bowl recipes then you could ever get through! https://www.jamieoliver.com/galleries/delicious-and-healthy-one-bowl-recipes

 

Tangy Rainbow Bowl

Tangy Rainbow BowlServes: 2 people

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Tempeh:

  • 300g Tempeh, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Bowl:

  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 150g carrot or sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 100g broccoli florets
  • ½ large ripe avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon purple sauerkraut
  • 100g red capsicum, sliced
  • ½ large ripe avocado, mashed
  • Roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons hulled tahini
  • 2 tablespoons purple sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup water

Method:

  1. Add 1 cup of water and the rice to a small saucepan, bring to boil and cook until water is absorbed
  2. Steam veggies and blend sauce ingredients until smooth
  3. Cook the marinated tempeh in the oven for 10 minutes
  4. Walaa! Put together and serve

The perfect nutritious bowl for the road.  Check out this video with the details on how to make it: https://youtu.be/2T9D-7AmY_s

 

Healthy Green Bowl

 Healthy Green Bowl

 

Serves: 4 people

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 70 minutes

Bowl:

  • ½ a small head of broccoli
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • ½ a small bunch of fresh mint
  • 80 g couscous
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 handful of mixed seeds
  • 1 good pinch of ground cumin
  • olive oil
  • 50 g feta cheese

Method:

  1. Cut broccoli and cook in boiling water until bright green and soft
  2. Place broccoli on a chopping board with spinach and mint then add a pinch of salt and pepper. Next chop them up until fine
  3. Add the uncooked couscous on top of greens in a bowl and sit a lemon half in it
  4. Toast seeds and mix into bowl
  5. Add the juice from the remaining lemon half, a good amount of olive oil, the harissa, few mint leaves and feta and mix
  6. When ready to eat, take the lemon and seeds and pour in boiling water to just cover the couscous
  7. Cover bowl for 10 minutes till water is absorbed and the spinach is wilted. Add lemon juice, pour over the dressing and mix with a fork and sprinkle with seeds to finish it off!

 

There you have it, two easy and healthy bowls you can make on the road! Let us know how it goes!

 

CAMPERVANNING WITH A PRE-SCHOOLER

Another year of vanning with our little one and all of a sudden she’s now a little girl.  Although even more enjoyable we feel that she almost needs more entertaining and communication than the 2 year old toddler of last year!

Although many of the tips suggested in our ‘Toddler’ blog are still relevant this year, we’ve got a few new tips and tricks we now use to make our campervanning trips more bearable, more enjoyable and more magical for everyone.

When are on the road and moving around often we find sitting down and clearly explaining every morning the plans for the day really helps.  WHAT’S happening today.   WHY we are leaving, WHERE we are going, HOW GREAT it will be for THEM when we get there (playground visit/beach etc) and WHAT EXCITING ACTIVITIES AND YUMMY SNACKS they can have in the car trip while we drive there.  Lot’s to look forward to!

You’ve probably heard this one before (and it’s also great at home J) but all anybody really wants is to feel useful so giving your pre-schooler the same little tasks to ‘help’ setting up/packing up each day will ensure they are kept busy and don’t get bored.  For us this means drying the dishes (but not the glasses or knifes!), watching us fill up the water tank and saying when it’s full and helping prepare food for meals.

This one’s clearly just our personal opinion but especially in Europe, you often see little kids up later than I’d usually go to bed.  Great until they wake up at ‘normal time’ in the morning and are cranky and tired the whole next day. We try to keep the same routine as much as possible as close as possible to the same one we have at home.  This means the same time eating dinner, same before bed routine at the same time, same morning routine.

When travelling we try to integrate one activity into our day, every day, that our little one loves ie some beach time building a sandcastle or going for a swim, otherwise as per our toddler blog, we usually google ‘Playground’ on google maps and make a trip to the closest one even if it’s just for half an hour.

3.5 years of age and our tried and tested driving activities are as follows:

  • Sticker books.
  • Puzzles (the ones from Ravensburger that you can do the puzzle in the box lid are great for car trips!).
  • Crayola washable textas.
  • The free but invaluable Australian kids apps Kinderling or ABC radio (you’ll also need kids head phones, the JBL ones are great).

 

Some of our must have healthy snacks:

Vegetable juice.  Tinned tuna.  Tinned baked beans.  Tinned corn.  Cheese sticks.  Cucumber.  Tomatoes.  Peanut butter.  Wholegrain healthy crackers.  Avocado.

This last tip is contradictory to our campervanning values and campervan life in general BUUUUT….Bring as many of your little one’s favourite toys on the trip as you possibly can.  This goes against minimalism and packing light and everything we believe in but at the end of the day you want them to feel ‘at home’ in your home on the road and moving from place to place is disconcerting enough for them.  On our most recent 5 week trip we took 3 out of 4 favourite soft toys, with melancholy and sadness for ‘home’ rearing its head after about week 1 because she ‘missed the left behind toy’.  We ended up organising grandma to drive to our house, post the fluffy purple unicorn in the mail to the campground we thought we’d be at in about x weeks time.  Nuff said.  Lesson learnt.  Bring their favourite toys/dress ups/lego/clothes/dinosaurs/everything so they don’t have anything to ‘miss’ back home.  Oh and make sure YOU pack super light!

Campervan Suspension Options

Wanting suspension to help navigate those dirt roads?  Your options are as follows:

 

VW Factory Fitted Options:

1BJ Heavy duty suspension is a reinforced version of the standard springs and dampers for more robust usage (eg semi-regular travel on unsealed roads).  The additional cost for this suspension is $510 and your van will be raised by 20mm.

 

1BB Rough road suspension is an alternate set of springs and dampers (harder) for even more robust requirements (eg regular travel on unsealed roads).  The additional cost for this suspension is $910 and your van will be raised by 20mm.

 

Aftermarket off-road suspension:

This option, organised by Achtung Camper includes top quality front and rear Bilstein shocks and Kings springs.  The additional cost for this suspension is $270-0 and your van will be raised by 30-40mm.

 

Upgraded All-terrain tyres:

How about some off road tyres to match your new suspension?  For an additional charge of $400 we’ll upgrade your standard tyres to Continental Grabber AT3 All terrain.

VW T6 LWB Van Suspenstion

VW T6 LWB Van Suspension