We suggest the following preparation before you embark on a tour.
|Install a Friction Sway Control.||Keeps van under control in sandy or muddy conditions.||Subject to the weight ratio of the car and caravan.|
|Ensure Two Spare Caravan Wheels are carried.||Because travelling without a functional spare creates anxiety that will spoil the experience.|
|Fit deflector plates to shield all exposed PVC pipes under the floor.||Stones will quickly shatter any exposed PVC piping.|
|Fit water tank guards to cover the tanks and the inlet and outlet barbs.||The plastic tanks and fittings are highly vulnerable to stones.||Your water is very important.|
|Carry a second gas bottle.||LP Gas may not always be available.||Ensure the means of storing and securing the bottle is adequate.|
|Adequate ground clearance for the caravan is a must.||Prevent the van under belly from bottoming out due to sandy tracks, wheel ruts or the like.||We recommend a minimum of 17″ coupling height.|
|Fit hold down mechanisms for stove lids, microwave and fridge doors.||On corrugated roads a fridge door can swing open and make one hell of a mess.||Octopus straps with anchor points work well.|
|Check that the fridge, stove and microwave are well fixed to the body.||Again the corrugations will force heavy objects free of any inadequate mountings.||eg. The fridge chassis should be bolted through the floor.|
|Ensure that the caravan fridge works well on 12 volts from the car and is satisfactorily insulated and vented.||Anticipate hot weather so get the best out of your refrigerator whilst you are both driving and stationary.|
|Seal any obvious dust entry spots: wheel arches, around pipes etc.||Otherwise you may encounter bull dust in the van for a long time after.||A pressure vent or four seasons hatch does help.|
|Seek advice as to whether an A-Frame Stress Rail is required.||A stress rail gives the A-Frame extra support and reduces flexing.||Particularly important where the draw bar is light weight.|
|Carry a spare caravan chassis spring, U Bolts and Fish Plate.||Relatively easy for a local workshop to fit if required but difficult to procure.|
|Ensure the caravan body is well attached to the chassis.||Corrugations will cause the van to tear away from the front cross member if this fixing is failing.||Test by pushing the front roll up and down and watching for movement at the bottom.|
|Assess the risk of damage (from stones) to the towing vehicle’s rear window.||Stones can ricochet off steel fitting back onto the vehicles rear window.||A laminated, heated and tinted rear window might cost $1000.|
|If you don’t have a second spare wheel to suit the car ensure you carry a spare tube.||Because travelling without a functional spare creates anxiety that will spoil the experience.||Make sure you have the right equipment to install it too!|
- Gather information about the specific outback area you plan to visit. Learn about the terrain, weather conditions, road conditions, and any potential hazards.
- Check if permits or passes are required for certain areas or national parks, and obtain them in advance.
- Familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines for camping, waste disposal, and fire safety.
- Ensure your caravan is in good condition and roadworthy. Schedule a thorough inspection and servicing of the vehicle, including checking tires, brakes, suspension, and electrical systems.
- Install any necessary safety features, such as a fire extinguisher, smoke alarm, and carbon monoxide detector.
- Consider adding additional storage solutions, such as roof racks or storage boxes, to accommodate extra gear and supplies.
- Securely fasten all items inside the caravan to prevent shifting during travel.
- Determine your intended route, including the places you want to visit and the distance between them.
- Take into account the driving time, fuel availability, and any potential overnight camping spots or rest areas along the way.
- Consider your travel pace and allow for flexibility in case you want to spend more time at certain locations or adjust your itinerary.
- Carry sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and washing. In the outback, water sources may be limited or not readily available.
- Pack enough food and non-perishable items for the duration of your trip. Plan meals in advance and consider any dietary restrictions or preferences.
- Bring appropriate clothing for the outback conditions, including hats, sunglasses, sturdy footwear, and clothing for both warm and cool weather.
- Pack essential camping gear such as tents, sleeping bags, camping chairs, cooking equipment, and utensils.
- Don’t forget personal items like toiletries, medications, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a comprehensive first aid kit.
- Inform someone of your travel plans and provide them with a detailed itinerary. Establish regular check-in points or a system for emergency communication.
- Carry a reliable communication device such as a satellite phone or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).
- Research the available mobile network coverage in the areas you’ll be traveling through and consider purchasing a booster or external antenna if needed.
- Study basic navigation skills, including using maps, compasses, and GPS devices.
- Familiarize yourself with basic car maintenance procedures and carry necessary tools and spare parts.
- Research the nearest medical facilities, service stations, and mechanical workshops along your route.
- Carry a well-stocked emergency kit, including a fire extinguisher, spare tire, jack, wheel brace, jumper cables, and a tow rope.
- Learn basic first aid skills and bring a comprehensive first aid kit that includes supplies for treating common injuries and ailments.