Big lap - no ensuite w family

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 01:22
ThreadID: 145534 Views:1984 Replies:11 FollowUps:8
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Planning out our big lap to leave in the 3rd quarter of this year and be gone up to 12m. We have 2 young kids and a caravan that is simply beds, a sink and a Cooktop (which we don't use)
Am I being insane to think this is fine for us to use on our lap? No toilet, no shower, nothing fancy at all about it?

Hit me with the thoughts please
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 04:04

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 04:04
Not at all, if it works for you it is perfectly fine. People used to do this stuff with a tent and box trailer
Carry a portapotti with you as some places will require you have one
AnswerID: 643323

Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 06:32

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 06:32
Many moons ago, we did 2 separate 1/2 laps with 2 young children towing an old Jayco pop top - no shower or toilet. Did not even have a porta potty. A shovel we carried on the roof rack was used often!! We made do with what we had and loved every bit of it. Back then, we did not even have 12v power except for the van internal lights running off the trailer plug hooked up to the car. Gas lanterns were the go in those days. We avoided caravan parks as much as possible, utilising free camps/rest areas & National PArks etc.

Grab a cheap porta potty for convenience if that suits you. For showers/bathing etc, if we were not in a caravan park, we used to heat up water, stand the kids in a shallow dish bucket/container and sponge bath them, then follow suit with the adults. It worked.

You tend to overcome all obstacles with a little forethought and adjust your travels accordingly.

Get out there, make do with what you have and enjoy it.
AnswerID: 643324

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 07:46

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 07:46
We did over 5 years in a Viscount van, no shower or toilet, back in the ‘80’s. Had 2 young kids, similar to Dave, sponge bath at night, and poo across the flat, armed with a shovel. We weren’t holidaying, but doing earthworks on stations across the Barkly Tablelands in Qld & NT. Eventually graduated to an even bigger van with shower but no toilet. That was awesome! Look back & think they were the best days……..sigh!

These days, have a van, with seperate shower & toilet, and we enjoy the convenience. The joints can’t handle squatting behind a bush!
Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 07:37

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 07:37
Great idea and happy travels. Start very light and add things as you really need them. There's always somewhere to buy something if you find you really need it. We always carry "Doug" ........ a small shovel/pick for toilet excavations, plus a small bag with toilet roll and cigarette lighter to burn the used paper.
Portable shower( just the hang up type) also handy, plus togs to shower in if necessary.

Sounds like you'll have a ball !!!

Cheers
Jim
"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

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AnswerID: 643325

Reply By: CoastalHighway - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 07:47

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 07:47
Thanks everyone for the great and positive feedback. Can always think of reasons and more things you need to avoid taking the leap and doing it but I think it's important for us to give it a crack.
If not now then when!! Time to live to experience life a bit and show our kids the land.

Going to deep dive through some of these threads for ideas and suggestions
So much knowledge and experience here
AnswerID: 643326

Follow Up By: Banjo (WA) - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 08:39

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 08:39
A part of the pleasure of doing a trip such as you are going to do is the simplicity of it.

We are too accustomed to all the modern conveniences and feel that our lives aren't complete without them.

For sure, a toilet and shower, full oven, 52" Plasma TV, electric tootbrush and coffee maker etc are nice to have. It's also nice to 'make do' and live a simpler life for a while.

It makes you appreciate all the extras when you eventually return home.

I've caravanned, camper trailered and tented, as well as staying in 5 star resorts.

A tent holiday is the one I enjoy the most.
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Reply By: CoastalHighway - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 09:17

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 09:17
Yes that's it! I see the videos of all the flash vans now and it would be nice but we'd be going into debt for it or leaving the trip even longer. It's funny, I also look back to the days we earned less money and had less fancy THINGS and I'm sure we were happier. Time to escape the keeping up with the Joneses race for a little
AnswerID: 643327

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 09:28

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 09:28
I am happy to see people go minimalistic, provided they do actually have a responsible solution to the toileting issue (and use it) and not join that very large number who spread their sh1t and paper all over the country.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 643328

Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 11:50

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 11:50
.
"Just do it". Many have before you and it was more than glorious……. it was life-shaping especially for the kids. Do not be too concerned about what you need onboard…. you can learn and adjust as you go.
Have a ball.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: axle - Monday, Apr 17, 2023 at 08:33

Monday, Apr 17, 2023 at 08:33
G/day Allan, ...... My father used throw us all in the back of a ford prefect van and take us to some god forsaken place to camp. ... Not a lot of luxury , a couple of lumpy mattresses, a army blanket ,and if we whined maybe a army over coat. Our shelter was a tarp draped over a fence , lighting was a kerosene lantern , and the open fire was our stove ( the good bit).

I look at what concerns people today about roughing it ,and think way back to then and have a chuckle to my self.

Cheers Axle
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2023 at 07:30

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2023 at 07:30
Good Day Axle,

We were a little more refined when I was a kid, 12 x 18 tent, camp stretchers, LPG gas stove.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2023 at 20:32

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2023 at 20:32
Back in late ‘40’s, my parents loaded their push bikes, and a small 2 wheel trailer and me, onto the train and travelled to Oberon NSW.

From there, they pedalled out to Kanangra Walls for a few days. I imagine the return trip was back to Oberon. Prior to WWII, they had had many trips to Kanangra, usually from Jenolan Caves, when they’d travel to the Caves on a bus from Blackheath, or Katoomba.

Their bushwalking days meant most of their gear was Japara tents, aluminium cookware & cooking on a open fire.



Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2023 at 20:43

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2023 at 20:43
Giving your age away now young Bob :)

But sadly the kids of today have no idea how good life was all them years ago !

Take care

Cheers
Gazz
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Reply By: Keir & Marg - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 14:01

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 14:01
Hi, we have no shower or toilet in the caravan, but do free camp occasionally. A hint for the showering. We carry a solar shower bag which is easy to hang from the car roof-rack, the van roof or a convenient tree. Our usual problem is heating the bag of cold water especially if we pull over late in the day.
Solution: the moment we stop, I fill up the solar bag, then open the bonnet, put the bag on top of the plastic engine cover of the Pajero, then close the bonnet. Next stage, set up the van, feed the dogs and have one or two cold beers or glasses of wine. It's now about 1 1/2 hours later, and the bag of cold water is at a perfect temperature for a shower, without using any gas! Enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 643331

Follow Up By: nickb - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 15:33

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 15:33
I agree, those shower bags are very good and quite water efficient.
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Reply By: nickb - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 15:35

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 15:35
I would at minimum get some sort of portaloo/chemical toilet. When it's cold or rainy at night and one of the kids needs to pee you be thankful you have it!!!

Also note that you won't be allowed to stay at some places if you don't have your own toilet.
AnswerID: 643332

Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 16:37

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 16:37
I think that far too many people go the full bells & whistles route because they need to - to make them feel like they are at home. To convince themselves they are 'doing it right'. These are so often the folk who know it all because they've read it in magazines. Magazines which exist as primarily an advertising platform. They seek adventure without risk, becoming long term tourists as opposed to travellers. They 'look' at stuff, rather than experiencing it. They might be out there but the windows on their vehicles & vans are little different to a tv screen. The bells & whistles are their security blanket. More stuff = bigger van = more cost to buy & to run. Also the bigger your outfit the more you are restricted where you can take it.

The only 'wrong' way to travel is in a way you are told you should rather than what suits you best. So ignore anything I say which doesn't resonate with you.

Simple gives you more freedom. No doubt there may be times that you look longingly at someome's onboard espresso machine & expensive sophisticated electrical system to run it, but chances are they will be looking at you & wishing they had been confident enough to travel as freely as you can.

We have spent the past 5 years on the road - we have a porta potti, a radio, hot water & a fridge & a freezer, a cooktop & a comfortable bed. We have lived a predominantly outdoor lifestyle. It is not uncommon to see folk in their bells & whistles vans set up for the night & then never come out of their van. Makes me wonder why they travel sometimes.

Age is beginning to catch up with us, so we are now looking for a little more convenience but our convenience would be other's sparse.

You don't need a shower when you have a flannel & a 2 litre ice cream tub & creeks, lakes & ocean to swim in.

For us self sufficiency is the most important facet of our rig - we don't need paid sites to plug into power & our power requirements are very modest. We carry sufficient water to give us maximum freedom of choice about when we move or stay. Same with our food storage.

Having a portapotti would greatly increase your camping options, providing the freedom to stop when you find a great place, rather than always needing to seek out places with provided toilets. A shovel is an essential.

Travelling with the bare essentials teaches you what the bare essentials are. If you find you are missing something there is every chance you can get it along the way.

OP shops are your friend & a great reason for stopping to check out places & to meet a few locals. We buy clothes to suit the climate we are in.

The way I read your post is that your uncertainty is introduced from outside not from within. If you don't need the security blankets that others say you do, stick with yourselves, you have no-one else to please.

What do you do for food if you don't use your cooktop? Do you always cook on a fire? If so, I suggest that you expect to use the cooktop at least now & then.

You should be warned - you may be thinking 'up to 12 months' now, but it gets in your blood! :)
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AnswerID: 643333

Follow Up By: CoastalHighway - Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 19:24

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023 at 19:24
"The only 'wrong' way to travel is in a way you are told you should rather than what suits you best. "
Wow, great wisdom and truth, thank you for sharing!
I definitely need to look into portapotties by the sounds of it.
We have used an outdoor gas cooker but given on the road we'll experience rain no doubt it's worthwhile us giving the in-van one a crack now!
Gosh more than 12m would be amazing but given the ages of our kids I CURRENTLY think we'll need to settle again then for important schooling years. Who knows though hey, never say never!
We're planning to rent our house out for 6m with the intention of being gone 12m but incase we need to return earlier. It's important to me that we all want to continue on the road not just me or one other for example. I'm under no false illusion that there will be nights I wish we were back home but if we don't do it I feel there will be more nights I wish we'd had the guts to give it a go
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Reply By: Member - DOZER - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2023 at 08:47

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2023 at 08:47
On my lap, with 3 under 5, we stayed in caravan parks with swings and play equipment, asked for a spot close by, so we could sit under the awning and watch them play. Stayed a week at a time (6 days for 7) before moving to the next...had a portable toilet which worked great for the emergencies.
AnswerID: 643351

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