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Submitted: Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 16:35
ThreadID: 106970 Views:2768 Replies:12 FollowUps:8
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Hello Folks,

Over the past couple of weeks, have noticed a steady increase in the numbers of 'vans, campers and even boats, out in western Qld. Today, the main street of Winton had a number of 'vans parked up, during lunch hour. So I'd say the 2014 tourist season is well under way.

Weather has been good lately, with warm to hot days, but mild nights.

What I've also seen, which puzzles me, is a couple of 'vans "without beds". These are the people who are still driving after dark, 'van in tow, often into the wee hours of the morning!

Can someone please explain to me why they need to do this? Except for medical or compassionate reasons, I can't figure why they aren't parked up, sipping a nice red, or even pushing out some zzzz's. Surely they are on holidays?

Do accept they have a right to drive when they wish..........but 11.30pm????


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Reply By: Member - Ian H8 - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 17:16

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 17:16
Hello Bob,
Maybe they are truck drivers or retired truck drivers who know the best way to get away from the not so confident drivers is to travel when they don't.
Regards, Ian.
AnswerID: 529381

Follow Up By: Slow one - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 20:29

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 20:29
Definitely recently retired interstaters.

Old habits are hard to break LOL
FollowupID: 812210

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:00

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:00

"Vans without beds"? Maybe they are the ones who are focused on the destination.

Some of us prefer to enjoy the journey.


J and V
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AnswerID: 529382

Follow Up By: Tony H15 - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:17

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:17
I've noticed a lot of caravaners pack up late in the afternoon, presumably the night movers you speak of.
FollowupID: 812201

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:20

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:20
John & Val
Unless you are doing it for the 2nd time round, or have limited time!

As an example one time en route to Lawn Hill we were delayed leaving Parkes til 4PM, but had made an earlier commitment to meet people at Longreach, it meant driving til about 1030PM to reach Cunamulla the first night. We had been to Longreach twice previously.
Driving at night (at that stage I didn't have a roo bar) definitely wasn't my idea of fun, but it was necessary if we wanted to meet our friends and maximise our time around Lawn Hill.
I understand what you are saying about enjoying the journey, but sometimes people are time poor.
FollowupID: 812202

Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:16

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:16
well I know when im on a trip
now many say enjoy the trip etc rah rah rah

and yes BUT not everyone has unlimmited time. Ive been in the situation when i planned to leave a place say in the morning but either that place was too nice to leave early or I got unexpectadly side tracked on the way with attractions

doesnt change the fact within reason I might still need to make it somewhere
and driving at night makes sense - why waste daylight hours with your bum parked in a seat when you could be enjoying yourself out and about

- just a few possible reasons - hope they made sense
AnswerID: 529384

Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:31

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 18:31
As long as they have all the necessary legalities in place I guess they can drive whenever they like. The consideration I would be most concerned about is how long they have been at the wheel.

AnswerID: 529389

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 23:04

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 23:04
I don’t see many caravans on the road after dark – but then again we are not moving the van at those hours.
When traveling between camps – we get moving early and make camp about 3 o’clock.
Time to set up the Sat TV and have a couple of beers – being retirees with no strict time schedule.
AnswerID: 529403

Follow Up By: AlanTH - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 12:43

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 12:43
I'm with you there Dennis. I hated it when we were in company of others from our "tea and scones club" who keep wanting to stop....morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and then not stopping 'til late.
Now we travel mostly on our own and start and stop when we want to.
Apparently I'm an unsociable barsteward.:-)
FollowupID: 812260

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 16:43

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 16:43
I must be working behind the same bar Alan...lol.

FollowupID: 812273

Reply By: mikehzz - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 23:41

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 23:41
You must be driving around late at night too Bob...what's your excuse? :-)
AnswerID: 529409

Follow Up By: Member - sparra - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 08:03

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 08:03
G,day mike,i'm pretty sure bob is a truck driver for toll or nqx.

cheers, sparra
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FollowupID: 812232

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 01:15

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 01:15
I wouldn't assume because they have a van on the back they're on holidays.

I might have to do a quick run out past Uluru in the next month. It's not always up to me how much notice I'm given. I won't have a van on the back but I'll have to keep moving to do the distance.

They might be heading to Darwin for work. Heaps going on there with the gas thing and there's not much accommodation.

AnswerID: 529413

Reply By: Member - Silverchrome - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 08:05

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 08:05
Yes Bob I agree with you and I had the same experience. Last week I was driving on the D'Aigular Highway (not towing) and I could not believe the number of vans on the road...and its still only March. Maybe its a matter of getting an early start to beat the crowds in mid winter..
AnswerID: 529416

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 09:11

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 09:11
Barrcy /Longreach /Winton ….. they are driving at night to get away from the bleeding FLIES ,,,,has been "just" enough rain to bring out a fly plague the likes of which has not been seen for the last 5 years ,,,,,,
AnswerID: 529418

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:27

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:27
So the turtle (slow and carrying their homes on their backs) migration season has started early.
Must be in a hurry to get the good places.....or perhaps it has been unseasonaly cold down south.

As for driving at night......not everybody is touring and not everybody sleeps at night.

Lots of people are destination focused and not randomly meandering around.

If ya want to kill a few meters and with the minimum of fuss, night time is when to do it wild life permitting.

With good health and good management a 12 hour traveling day with appropraite breaks is reasonable and within heavy transport guidlines..even without Fatigue management.....that is single driver.

When we travel we get on the road early.

If we roll over the gateway bridge before 5am....most of the north bound traffic is behind us all day....most of the business travelers and the regular morning commercial transporst don't get on the road till 7 or 8 am every time the tea and scones brigade stop they get another 1/2 an hour behind us..even if they do start at 7 or 8 am.

We often see people pulled up at road side stops in vans, motorhomes and hippy vans in daylight having a sleep...one assumes they are traveling at night.

Traveling north out of Mackay, it pays to start early to beat the sun on a couple of sections and it realy pays to be past the Whitsunday turnoff before 10am, when the caravan parks empty out in droves.

Lots of working family travelrs have to get going to get where they want to be...lots rolling out of the cities friday afternoons....plenty not arriving back untill late friday night

Consider a family or a couple of blokes, heading out of Sydney for a weeks fishing.

Van (or boat) and everything packed during the preceeding week...The fresh driver has a good sleep that day. The second driver Knocks off work early arrives home has a shower and they are on the road by 4PM.
With good health and management the second driver has a bit of a sleep while the first driver does the first 4 to 6 hours....and so on...they can be rolling into Monduran. Awonga early morning.

set up camp and a mid day siesta and they are fresh as a daisy by barra Oclock for an afternoon charter.

AnswerID: 529445

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:31

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:31
There are also a lot of places that you can pull up and have several hours of sleep in daylight that would either no be recommended at night or you would be moved on, fined or expected to pay a fee at night.

FollowupID: 812282

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 21:28

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 21:28
Good point Bantam. Most of the wildlife and lowlifes seem to prefer the cover of darkness, although I suspect for different reasons.

FollowupID: 812299

Reply By: BunderDog - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 10:24

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 10:24
There are a lots of vans heading in both directions on the Bruce Hwy.

Counted 27 vans or Motor Homes at the free stop at Apple Tree Creek on Friday night.
AnswerID: 529482

Reply By: Mark T6 - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 17:49

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 17:49
I'll be adding to the numbers come Tuesday next week, collect my van from storage, do a bit of packing and head from Brisbane out to Moree (stay for a bit has have family there), then down the Newell for a bit, across the Hay Plain, Mallee Highway to McLaren Vale (love my Red), then into Adelaide for a get together, up to the Flinders Ranges (via the Barossa of course) and then despite having an off roader I have a mate who doesn't so its up the Stuart and out to King Canyon (done the other joint there a few times) and up to the Alice.

My mate leaves me then and heads to the Kimberley (I want to do the GRR and some camping up to the Gorges and Mitchell Plateau so am leaving that to 2015 as he's not doing that with his very much "on road" van) .

I then head up to Tennant Creek, turn right and head up to the Gulf for a few weeks, the usual Lawn Hill, Karumba etc etc, across the Savannah Way to the Atherton Tablelands and into Cairns / Port Douglas area for about 3 weeks.

Then back inland, and who knows really Winton / Carnarvon Gorge....anyway I'll decide that closer to the time.

I'll be away about four months.

Aah the retired life!!
AnswerID: 529506

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