Camping Hates!

Welcome to our outlet for complaining about all things camping.  If you’d like to read something positive or inspirational, or are deciding whether or not camping is for you, you’d probably be best to close your computer now.

 

  1. People who set up right next to you when the whole park is empty.

You’ve purposefully found a camp spot that’s private.  You’ve set up your awning, your table and chairs and your roof is up.  You are just about to take off your clothes J when….another van rolls up and parks RIGHT NEXT TO YOURS, even though there are LOADS OF OTHER SPOTS FREE ALL OVER THE CAMPGROUND!  You could turn the music up, you could tell them you’ve got a baby that screams all night, you could pretend to start having a domestic with your partner, loudly.  This annoyed me no end, don’t you go camping for the privacy?  To drink beer in your undies?  Then we started free camping in Europe and after a while I understand, these people want to come and park right next to us for the SECURITY.  They feel like they are safer when there are other people right next to them, watching over their van and able to hear them scream at night.  This makes sense in SOME situations but please, not really in Australia and definitely not in a nice family friendly BIG 4.

 

  1. The best campsites are always the furthest away from the amenities.

We always try super hard to park as far away as possible from other people, if possible, in campgrounds.  They don’t want to see us drinking beer in our undies and we don’t want to hear their TV.  At reception we ask for the park map and have a look, 80% of the time the non-powered sites are on the fridges of the park, and hopefully the park is bordering a national park or some type of greenery (just check it’s not a main road which is also often the case!).  Ask for the over-flow area, the area that fills up the last.  The only problem – these spots are always the furthest away from the amenities, the toilets, the camp kitchen.  Which means a longer walk in the middle of the night for a wee.

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  1. The time-consuming process of checking into campgrounds.

This might be slightly my fault being so picky about which spot we get and coming back multiple times after walking laps of the park to suss out the best spots BUT if you are doing a real road trip and staying only a night or two in each place, the form filling, the key deposit, the boom gate codes, on-site restaurant opening times, are they really necessary?  Do you REALLY need my DOB, email address, colour of my van and blood type?  I’m essentially only parking here for 1 night.  Airbnb doesn’t ask for half of this crap!

 

  1. Campsites that are way too close together and have no barrier between them.

Plant some trees or as they do in European campsites, get into Topiary.  I don’t want to hear my neighbours snoring at night.  I don’t want to be packed like a sardine into what is essentially a carpark with a toilet and shower provided.  These places are screaming MONEY MAKING TRAP!

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Fridge options for your Campervan

We know how confusing it can be to decide what fridge to get in your campervan so we’re going to break it down for you so you can understand the difference between each fridge.

Firstly, the most important question….

 

Will your campervan be a Long Wheel Base or Short Wheel Base?

The answer to this question will determine to an extent the fridge that will fit in your campervan.

If you are getting a SWB campervan the only fridge size that will fit will be a 50 litre due to the shorter length of the van.

If you’re getting a LWB campervan you can choose between a 50 L, 65 L and 80 L fridge.

 

50 Litre Fridge

This fridge can fit in either a SWB or LWB campervan. This is the standard fridge size offered in our campervan conversions and (having used one on longer trips with a toddler on board) we do believe this size will suffice on the majority of camping trips.

Dimensions: 380 x 534 x 500 mm

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50 L Fridge (SWB campervan)

 

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50 L Fridge (LWB campervan)

 

65 Litre Fridge

This fridge can ONLY fit in a LWB campervan.
Dimensions: 448 x 525 x 545 mm

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65 L Fridge

 

 

80 Litre Fridge

This fridge can ONLY go in a LWB campervan.
Dimensions: 475 x 640 x 528 mm

 

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80 L Fridge

Drawer Fridges
If you don’t think the above will suffice we also offer an additional 20 litre Drawer Fridge which we can fit either inside or accessible from under the tailgate depending on your campervan size and feature choices.

 

Fridge Interior
All three fridge sizes have the same interior layout. The side door has a shelf at the bottom to hold drinks and a little component at the top to hold eggs, cheese and everything small.

The main section of the fridge has a controlled fan speed to reduce noise. The layout of the fridge is similar to your fridge at home, with a few shelves/racks and a crisper at the bottom for veggies.

The best thing about these fridges is they have a removable freezer compartment at the top. It’s super handy to keep frozen food or ice cream and when you don’t need it you can take it out and make the fridge area even bigger.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can fit in these fridges. If you want to see what we can fit in our 65 L fridge click on our video link below.
https://achtungcamper.com.au/how-to-videos/how-we-pack-our-vw-lwb-campervan/

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80 L Fridge (LWB)

 

 

What if I don’t always use the fridge or I’m using my van purely as a passenger vehicle for a while?
Once you finish travelling there’s a defrost button inside the fridge. There’s also a little plug at the bottom of the fridge where you can let out the water, it then drains outside your campervan through a custom-built outlet.

If you only use your van occasionally, the fridge also has a vent. When you aren’t using the fridge turn on the vent function. This locks the front fridge door ajar to ensure air flow when not turned on, this prevents mould and bad smells.

We hope you’re now less confused about your campervan refrigeration options. For further information about the fridge’s we use visit the link below and scroll down to the Dometic Coolmatic fridges. You can also click ‘compare’ and find out the exact difference from net weight to performance details. Click here: https://www.dometic.com/en-au/au/products/food-and-beverage/refrigerators/boat-refrigerators

VW T6 Campervan Conversio

VW T6.1 Transporter Specifications

After a very long wait, we’ve finally got the low down on the new VW T6.1 Transporter.  From van colours to mirrors we’ve got all the standard specifications plus awesome features available.

Standard Exterior

  • Upgraded Halogen Headlight (H7)
  • Redesigned front bumper and radiator grille
  • New fender badging
  • New exterior colours

Standard Interior

  • Redesigned dash panel
  • New cloth and interior trim
  • Upgraded overhead console
  • LED interior lights
  • Upgraded multi-function steering wheel
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VW T6.1 Transporter Interior

Standard Functional Equipment

  • Electric folding mirrors
  • Dimmable rear-view mirror
  • Automatic headlights with rain sensing wipers
  • Electromechanical power steering
  • Load compartment locking from cabin/remote

Standard Infotainment

  • Two USB ports
  • 6.5″colour touchscreen with Bluetooth App-Connect featuring Apple Carplay/Android Auto
  • Standard Driver Assistance
  • Cross wind assist
  • Front assist with city emergency brakes
  • Blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alert
  • Park distance control rear with rear view camera

New Solid Colours

Please note these solid colours are included in the standard cost of the vehicle purchase as they’re ‘standard colours’.

  • Candy White
  • Pure Grey
  • Cherry Red
  • Ascot Grey
  • Luminous Orange
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Standard Solid Colour OptionsColours

Metallic Colours

If you would like a Metallic/Pearlescent colour there is an additional cost.  There is a large range of amazing colours to choose from, plus who doesn’t love a shiny metallic or pearl finish!

  • Reflex Silver
  • Mojave Beige
  • Indium Grey
  • Starlight Blue
  • Deep Black
  • Fortana Red (new)
  • Bay Leaf Green (new)
  • Ravenna Blue (new)
  • Copper Bronze (new)
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Additional Metallic/ Pearlescent Colour Options

Optional Features:

  • Fixed or sliding windows in load compartment
    – We strongly recommend adding three windows to the back of the van to make it more functional as a campervan. For more information on which windows we’d suggest adding and why please view our video: http://achtungcamper.com.au/how-to-videos/windows-need-campervan/
  • Comfort pack
    – Height adjustment for front passenger’s seat (driver’s seat is standard).
    – Lumbar support (manually adjustable) for front passenger’s seat (driver’s seat is standard)
    – Armrests for driver and front passenger seats
    – Vanity mirrors for left and right sun visors
    – Tow bar with e-kit
    – Appearance package (colour matched bumper, grille, door handles & rear-view mirrors)
    – Rough road Suspension upgrade (on 4-motion models)
    – Wheel upgrade (17” alloy
    – Heater seats
    – Adaptive cruise control
    – Power latching tailgate
    – Electric sliding door
    – Lane and Park assist

AND MORE … please contact us to find out further optional features available.

VW T6 Campervan Conversio

VW T6.1 Transporter

If you would like to know the price of the VW T6.1 plus optional extras please contact us via email or phone.

 

The new app that could save your life

If you’re looking for safety when camping, you can’t go past the ‘What3Words’ app. This wonderful app is new in Australia and it’s a life saver… literally!

 

What does ‘What3words’ mean?

This app can FIND a location and SHARE that location around the world with just three words. You simply type in three words to describe the location and the app will find the place within three square meters.

 

How to find a location?

When you open the app, it will come up with a map, you then click the search bar at the top.

Start by clicking the search bar at the top.

Next type or use the microphone icon to search for a street address, the name of the place or use three words to describe the location. For example, we searched ‘camper’ and ‘Geelong’ (hoping to find us!).

Describe the location or put in the address/name of the location.

We were lucky enough to appear at the top of the search! When you see the correct location, simply click it. The app will then bring up the map and show you the exact location within 3 square meters. To get directions to the location click navigate at the bottom task bar.

Click navigate at the bottom task bar to get directions to the location.

You can also zoom in and switch to satellite mode for a more realistic view (click the little coloured circle bottom right).

Click the circle button in the bottom right corner.

How to share your location?

Open the app and click on the search bar at the top. Search for three words to find your location (same as finding a location above). When you find your location, simply click the share button at the bottom left hand corner of the task bar.

Click the share button in the bottom left corner.

It will then show you how you can share it. Select the app you want to use (email, messenger, text) and click on the contact you want to share the location with.

Click on the app/contact you wish to share with.

How to save your locations!
This can be handy if you want to remember the location. Simply select a square on the map and tap Save which is found on the task bar at the bottom.

Click on save at the bottom task bar in the middle.

 

 

Wha3words is FREE to download. The only downside is that you need reception to search the world map. This app is very helpful to locate lost people or broken-down vehicles.

Be the smart camper and download it today.

 

To DOWNLOAD THE APP click here:
Android users:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.what3words.android&hl=en_AU

Apple users:
https://apps.apple.com/au/app/what3words/id657878530

For MORE INFORMATION and details about the app click here:
https://what3words.com/how-to-use-the-what3words-app/?#find

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Achtung Camper Vanning Adventurers – Part 2 Christine and Graeme

We became the proud owners of a new VW T6 LWB 4 Motion Achtung Campervan with Nature Lover conversion in March 2020. We were lucky to drive it from Geelong back to Adelaide just days before the borders were closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions then really set in and so our campervan sat in our apartment carpark until mid-May when travel to regional areas within South Australia was again encouraged.

We needed no encouragement! We booked 3 nights at the Mambray Creek campground in Mount Remarkable National Park, 40km north of Port Pirie and 240km north of Adelaide, about a three hour drive from home.  In SA all national park campsites must be pre-booked online, so sites have to be chosen from a map and photo. We wondered what site 46 would turn out to be like in reality, but were certainly not disappointed once we arrived.

All campsites are unpowered, there are two toilet blocks and a small shower block with satisfyingly hot water! The campsites are all on a level surface, set within magnificent, remnant river red gums, some of the oldest trees in SA. Most of the camping sites are spaced out well, giving plenty of privacy to each site, while there are a few sites closer to the shower block better suited to caravans or quick overnight stays.

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The campground was formerly part of a large sheep station, so walking to the Baroota ruins is an interesting experience, in addition to all the bushwalking tracks. One of the tracks climbs up onto a hillside with expansive views over Spencer Gulf, with the city of Whyalla in the distance. There are longer tracks that traverse the range and end up at spectacular Alligator Gorge or the picturesque town of Melrose at the foot of Mount Remarkable. We tackled several walks of less than 10km, which were well defined and easy to navigate, but with a couple of steep climbs included.

We used this first trip to test out our campervan’s features, to see how much water we use, how much power our 65 litre fridge draws and how comfortable the bed is. It passed with flying colours! When we first selected the various conversion components we decided not to have an attached awning, as we were very tight on the height of our vehicle for parking in the under-croft carpark of our building. So, on this trip we also tried out a free standing Oztrail day shade, as we like to spend as much time as possible cooking and eating outside. The shade structure worked well in combination with the campervan.

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Apart from bushwalking, cooking, eating, and drinking red wine in the evenings, we relaxed and revisited our long neglected interests of sketching and photography. We are looking forward to more great experiences in our Achtung Campervan in future!

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THE MOST PERFECT CAMPING SPOT IN THE WORLD…

… Like a good recipe or the perfect holiday, the perfect camping spot is a combination of many different components of various quality that can contribute to the overall experience plus a sprinkling of good luck (good weather please!). And of course, just like the perfect holiday or perfect recipe, many of these components are largely personal.

We’ve devoted many a blog to the never-ending list of what to avoid when looking for the perfect camping spot but how about for a moment dwelling on the bits that can go right (and often do!).

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The non-negotiables:

For us, this is close and easy access to a beautiful beach – and if I’m going to be fussy I’ll say we have to be able to VIEW the beach from our campervan too!

A quiet, relatively private spot where we won’t be bothered by too many cars, people, being kept awake at night or woken too early in the morning. Some people love socialising. We like privacy and quiet (if you can go swimming naked it’s the right spot for us!).

The nice-to-haves for enjoyment (in order of importance!):

These are all, hopefully, within easy walking distance – if not, a short drive away:

A nice café

A nice pub

A playground

The possibility to do any type of surfing

A nice town to explore.

Walking tracks

Mountain biking tracks

The nice-to-haves for convenience:

Toilets super close

A drink water tap super close

Natural shade at the beach

A good supermarket in easy walking distance/a short drive away

Natural shade/and/or grass where your campervan is parked

Cold/hot shower super close

We are always searching for The Perfect Camping Spot and have found many places that come close (Ulladulla Holiday Haven comes to mind) but would love to hear if you’ve found this perfect place, the holey grail of camping.

Please share your favourite camping spots with us, be it a paid campground or beach carpark, we’d love to know!

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Nerida’s Camping Essentials

Nerida is our camping (plus sales, office and business managing) expert which is why she’s the perfect person to chat with you about your camping/campervan needs! We’ve asked her to tell us her top 5 personal must-have camping products. Here goes!

 

Head Torch

A big must have camping accessory! Perfect for finding your way around the campsite at night, finding your way to the toilet when it’s dark and in providing light to spot nocturnal wildlife.

 

Collapsible bucket & cooking pot/s

SeaToSummit X Pot is a handy camping essential as it’s a great size and saves space in your van. The collapsible pot acts as both a pot and a bowl! You can cook your favourite stir-fry and eat it right out of the pot. Easy and saves washing even more dirty dishes. For more information visit – https://seatosummit.com/product/x-pot/

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Uno cards and chess set

A game when camping is always fun and for some it’s a tradition to whip out the Uno cards for a few hours. Perfect for passing time when the sun’s gone down or the conversation has dried up…(never!)

 

Nuts! 

Who doesn’t love snacking on nuts!?

This is a great go-to food when you’re hungry and on the road wanting a little snack to share (or not) or just to have in the evening with a sundowner.

Nerida’s all-time favourite nut recipe is Annabel Crabb’s spicy nuts!

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To view the recipe click here – https://hazelverden.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/annabels-spicy-nuts/

 

We hope these camping essentials are helpful and give you some ideas of things to pack on your next camping trip!

Upgraded Tyre/Wheel options for your Campervan

Wanting to upgrade the tyres or wheels on your new VW Transporter Campervan?

We’ll organise a trade in of the original VW tyres and upgrade them to any tyre or wheel combination of your choice.

Our suggestion for some great off-road tyres with suitably cool looking wheels are the Bridgestone 693 A/T and the CSA Manta wheels, total trade in price $1650.

Tyre: 235/60r17 Bridgestone 693 A/T:

Wheel: CSA Manta:

Contact us to chat about your wheel or tyre requirements and we’ll work with you to find a suitable option that matches your needs and budget.

Ronny’s Camping Essentials

A man in the bush needs his equipment – and with no further introduction we present to you Ronny’s camping essentials! 

Good knife 

One good quality, sharp large knife can be used in a multitude of ways: chopping vegies, cutting bread, making kindling, making a spear to go hunting…the possibilities are endless J 

Reusable stainless steel double layered water bottle  

For the cup of tea on long road trips the doesn’t get cold, and so you can have a drink of water anywhere, anytime. 

 Over sized (large and heavy) Maglite style torch  

Yes we know, big and heavy is not really campervan friendly BUT we feel secure when we need to go outside in the middle of the night to use the toilet when we have this 2kg aluminium ‘weapon’ with us.  Plus it’s lovely to have a powerful torch when you want to gush over/blind cheeky possums surrounding your van in the dark.  

Gaiters  

Because we love hiking, love camping in summer and love camping in the bush!   

ear plugs

Tania’s Top 5 Camping Essentials

Hand sanitizer 

My number one (any type of) travel essential, especially with baby/child in toe. 

Face wipes 

Because sometimes you are too tired/drunk/short on water/don’t want to make a mess in the kitchen sink to clean your face at the end of the day to wash your face properly.   

Tinted (minimum) SPF 30+ face moisturiser 

So quick and easy to apply first thing in the morning and I don’t have to worry about remembering to apply sunscreen again until lunchtime.  WIN! 

Happy Ears earplugs  

Ideally you don’t want to have to use these on a trip but they are more of a security measure and mean you can be a lot less picky when choosing a spot to camp for the night.  They are outrageously priced and can only be ordered online but in my extensive ear plug testing experience (I really have tried them all) these have come out as the clear winner. 

https://www.happyears.co 

Long sleeved thin button up style shirt 

Who wants to get sunburned?  I don’t even wear Tshirts in the sun anymore.  A cheap thin button up shirt from Cotton On is my GoTo camping top.  Doesn’t look too bad with jeans when you have to re-join civilization to re-stock on essentials either.