Our first caravan...trip home...

Submitted: Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 23:29
ThreadID: 78177 Views:4531 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Hi,
This is my update on our trip home with our big girl. Anyone who read my questions about buying a van and the I went ahead and bought a big 22' one :)

Well firstly hubby said it tows like a dream. Prado had no worries towing it and we kept up a decent but safe speed for the trip home. Of course we are yet to pack our gear in it but hopefully we wont add greatly to the weight.

After we'd driven it away we got our first wave! I've since found out thats what you do ...

We had a few mishaps inside the van...spice jars flew all over the place, washing machine came out of its spot, cupboards flew open, glass oven cover flew up...after a few readjustments and strapping, all was ok.

We still have a few things to do to it. It has no battery of its own, just the gas and a generator. We couldnt hook up to the car battery, we need something else I think to do that. But on our way, we ran into Kmart and bought a billy and made ourselves a cuppa at the river in Ballina on the gas stove.

Reversing it up our driveway was an adventure unto itself...looong driveway and it was really dark so hubby couldnt see. I stood out with a torch but wasnt much help. Needless to say there has been a few trees and bushes cut back today and a few adjustments to plant borders.

Bed is super comfy and big, annexe is great, we set that up today. Cant wait to plan our first weekend. Firstly though a few things still to be done... needs a battery for the van...doesnt have one, has the gas and generator. Need a gas connector fixed before it can have an inspection for the gas. Wire up the car etc And now Im searching accessories to buy.... And rego changed to NSW...

Anyway, as we're newbies, we're super overexcited and all of this is probably boring to seasoned caravanners :) Hope we haven't forgotten anything we need to do before we go away...but I guess we'll learn.

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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 00:43

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 00:43
Hi Selina, welcome to the world of caravaning, sounds like you are as excited as we were and still are with our first van, we have another one now and still get that excited when we are backing the car onto it ready to go away, love the lifestyle that comes with it.
If you have a long drive way, a reversing camera could be the go, it helps reversing no end.
Another thing we have is the van is all set up ready to go, the only things to put in are our clothes and food, we can get away within the hour if need be.

Enjoy your travels where ever they take you.

Cheers

Deanna


Simba, our much missed baby.

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Follow Up By: Selina V - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 01:16

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 01:16
Thanks Deanna :) I can't wait till all the things that have to be done to it are DONE! And then I can go through the camping gear and sort out what will go in the van. Sparingly of course! We are all impatient to get away on our first trip. We have so many options that are local to us so we will only be an hour or so away mostly, but I'm looking forward to the least amount of preparation Ive had to do in years.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 01:19

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 01:19
If you've been camping you won't know yourselves when you go off in the van!!

Cheers


Simba, our much missed baby.

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Follow Up By: petengail - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 04:15

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 04:15
we were following your original post. think i may have replied, anyhow, welcome wave to us... lol we will wave back, you will know its us because i wave with my right hand while the wife waves with both we do it in time to the count of 1,2,3 wave.... so you get this three handed three beat wave.... jeezz the things you do...........
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 10:11

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 10:11
Personally I never use the camera much when reversing.

A good set of Aussie truck mirrors are far better.

Its all very well seeing behind you but you have to be aware of whats along the sides as well.

Have seen the results of people not looking UP and taking the top corner out of a van because it hit the edges of a roof beside the drive.


What is the ATM of the van cos a 22ft will be getting near the top end of a Prado's towing capacity.

Get some non slip matting from Woolworths (its a heavier quality) for the shelves. or some 50 mm foam and cut holes in it.

Or go around the corners slower LOL.


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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 11:58

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 11:58
"Personally I never use the camera much when reversing.

A good set of Aussie truck mirrors are far better."


Hi Graham H, Yeah that goes without saying, you need those side mirrors, it is the law over here to have a set of extended mirrors when towing the van so we do have a good set of those as well

Cheers

D


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Reply By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 09:03

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 09:03
Hi Selina V
Welcome to the world of caravanning, tis a great life.

Notice you have already had a couple of mishaps, don't worry about those it happens to the best of us, it's just a case of some caravaners don't admit to them.

In relation to the battery in the van and your comment "can't hook up to the car battery", can i suggest you take your tug to an auto electrician and have him run wires from the alternator to an anderson plug on the draw bar.

Then run a wire from the battery in the van to an anderson plug on the A frame of the van, this way you will charge the battery in the van as you travel along on your journey.

Hope this helps, and happy travels.
Cheers
Baz
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Reply By: Selina V - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 23:02

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 23:02
Thanks all :)

Now I will look for the special wave on our drives :) We are based in Coffs so will be going in all different directions from there.

We've checked on the weights of the van etc but will be taking it over the weigh station anyway to double check.

I'd like to get the reversing mirror, I've been perusing ebay... we have the side mirrors all sorted, we got those before we went to pick it up. Did talk to someone at work who told me about people putting a towbar on the front of their bullbars to 'drive' the van in. Hubby wont be in that though. Only adjustments to side mirrors were a couple of tissues stuffed behind the strap to stop the noise from vibrations.

Now, all our mishaps...I didnt even mention that 10 mins after we'd been left to it we locked ourselves out...with the only key inside LOL Managed to get a screen off, window open and I was hoisted in to reach the door to unlock it :) I'm not afraid to admit my errors....its how I learn...lol

Now,we were careful on the corners...its the terrible roads!!! And the dvd had the non slip under it but still ended up sliding. Having a truckie as a driver, he's very careful and particular how he drives. He's not one of those cowboys...we hate those too...

The plug should be getting organised soon... a friend recommended a 12 prong instead of a 2? I have no idea about these things. Im leaving the technical stuff to hubby.

So now a question....do people on here (site) get together at all? Or just wait till you run into someone with the sticker on their car or something?
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