- Be friendly, clear and descriptive with the reception staff. Tell them exactly how many days you’ll be staying and what you want out of your camping spot – quiet, close to the bathrooms, private, close to the beach etc.
- Ask reception staff to mark any spots that are available for your stay on a park map (and ask them which they think would suit your needs/description above).
- Have a good look at the (most likely unreadable and badly photocopied) map and work out:- Where the toilets are (it’s nice to be close but not TOO close or you’ll be woken by people all night).
- Where the tent area is (these are often groups of ‘younger’ people or backpackers who are likely to be noisier, try to keep away).
- Where the main roads are (try to avoid parking near main roads or roads that visitors use to enter/exit the park).
- Where the playground is (some kids get up super early, if you want to sleep in stay away!).
4. If you are staying more an a few nights you might take the time to scope out the park/spots on the map on foot or with your van BEFORE you commit to one at reception when checking in. Most staff will let you take a look around and come back once you’ve decided on a spot that you like.
5. Once you’ve decided on your spot check that your neighbours look good (read: quiet!). We avoid: anyone with a baby, P plater cars or younger groups of people.
Got some tips or anything to add? Please comment below and we’ll update our blog accordingly!
Here’s our checklist, most relate to free camping. You can thank us later!
-Are there any No Camping or No Sleeping in Cars signs? This is only a deal-breaker if…
- There are loads of backpackers around +
- Does it look like there’ll be police patrolling overnight? Is there a local police station?
- The signs say No Parking between 1-5am (this signals a backpacker infested and hjghly patrolled/fined area!).
-Does it look like there’ll be hoons or young people coming there at night (are there empty bottles around/burnouts/broken glass?)
-Will there be much/any passing traffic overnight?
-Are there any big bins or a collection of bins that might be picked up very early in the morning and wake you up?
-Is it a surfing break carpark? Again this isn’t a deal breaker but keep in mind you’ll have loads of cars arriving early in the morning with people checking the surf. Again, this may not be a problem if the locals seem nice and you don’t sleep too lightly (or you surf)!
-Is there a boat ramp nearby? (same as point above).
-P plate cars or groups of young people together (couples are ok!). Some might also avoid people with babies and young kids, and for this we don’t blame you!
What are your tips on finding a good spot to sleep paid or unpaid in a new town? Please share them with us so we can add them to our list.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
The WiTi Anti-Theft costs $499 (this includes WiTi Anti-Theft unit with two remote controls and horn).
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.
Australian Security Systems
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.
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.
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
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.
Standard Caravan Alarm System is $380.
This includes campervan alarm system main panel, one door sensors, one motion sensors and two remote controls.
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!
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 $3500 and your van will be raised by 30-40mm.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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!)
Achtung Camper reporting on the latest and greatest from the campervan world internationally. We recently attended our second Caravan Saalon Exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany and got to see what the biggest and best companies from Europe and the UK are doing campervan and motorhome wise.
The first thing that hits you when you attend a caravan and camping exhibition overseas is the sheer size. We are used to (what we feel are!) very large exhibitions with lots of sheds and km’s to cover in Australia. Arrive at an exhibition in Europe and you’ll see just how small the market is here. The vast array of (often extremely similar) campervans on offer is baffling. How can any of these companies compete with each other when they all look so similar! That question is answered by walking through the streets in any German town – where you will spot at least one new T6 campervan or old Westfalia parked on pretty much every street corner. Campervanning is BIG here! And with THEIR climate, you’d wonder how so many people find the cash to finance a camping mobile they probably won’t be using for 50% of the year due to the hard winters.
And the differences in travelling style that the climate and landscape bring are reflected in the features included in the campervans built for travel in the UK and Europe. Densely populated areas and no long dry spells of unrelenting heat mean it is always easy to fill up water and food no matter where you are on your travels. Unlike Australia where you might drive for days without a clean water source or food store, it is not necessary here to be as self-sufficient as it is during an Australian road trip. We considered the harshness of the Australian when looking the features in 90% of the campervans on offer in Europe and the UK:
- One small draw fridge as opposed to our ‘large’ 50, 65 or 80 litre upright fridges.
- One 10 litre water tank as opposed to our 40-litre tank.
- Minimal cabinetry/storage as opposed to our full cabinetry. The majority of trips here are taken over the weekend not months at a time.
We were disappointed and proud all at once, on one hand there was little to learn from companies who have LESS features and usability than an Achtung Camper. Conversely, we were proud when it sunk in that these guys actually have it a lot easier than the folk building campervans for the Australian public. Sure, it’s easy to build a van with minimal cabinetry, water and food storage. But Achtung Camper (and the handful of other Australia suppliers) had managed to fit so much more into that small space, and still make it liveable.
Our disappointment continued when we finished our third enormous hall of campervans on show. Westfalia (the original VW campervan converter and still the most prominent) and 90% of the other companies all had the same modern grey interior. Yes, it looks slick and inoffensive, but to us? It’s just plain boring! Where were the crazy fashionable boundary pushing interiors? (In Geelong, apparently!)
Then we came to a very small setup with only two vans on show and two young men talking to the press. The German company called Kampagnia was opened only 2 years earlier and offers about 20 different film faced formply colours to choose from for your cabinetry. Colours we could only dream about were available here. After chatting to our new friends for a while we found many similarities between their company and ours, two young people with a drive to do something different and let clients personalise the look of their vans, a drive to do something colourful and cutting edge.
Another company worth mentioning – Dogs Campers (crazy considering having a dog as a pet is not nearly as popular in Germany as it is in Australia). That’s right, campervans designed specifically for the camping dog owner. We loved some of their features such as the integrated dog cage but didn’t really like the brash dog-related branding on the outside of the vans.
That’s not to say we didn’t get some great new ideas from the exhibition and European market offerings. Quite the contrary, Achtung Camper are now working harder than ever to integrate some awesome new features to our range. Here are some of the ideas we are currently working on for our vans:
- Diesel heater with hot water.
- LED exterior light as a feature for the Nature Lover conversion.
- LED light strips for the interior.
- Power control system/phone app to view water tank level, leisure battery power level, temperature inside and outside.
- Better quality plug and play cold shower.
The real highlight of the exhibition (besides the free champagne and finger food at 10am on Trade Day!) – being able to step inside a 1.5-million-euro motorhome. Yes, something this crazy and ridiculous exists. Check out the pics below and dream away…!