What's your best BT or travel Tip?

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 08:15
ThreadID: 121847 Views:4389 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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Two BT in Kununurra this week - as usual the topic got round to tips and ideas.

One good idea I picked up thanks to the Cook's: Keep a small hand spray bottle in the front of the car. Great for a quick hand or face wash. Having just got semi dry diswasing liduid all over the hands, I thought it was a great idea. No need to get into the van (haven't got ours yet) or get Jerries out to slop water all over the place.

I think I also saw empty toilet roll tubes - split down one side and used as 'anti rattle' packing equipment for glasses and cups - the open to the required size.

What your favorite tip to make life easier or do things smarter?
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Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 21:11

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 21:11
The "Lone Ranger" who has travelled with a Bushtracker longer than anyone, sez....
The last line on your standard Posting is the most important tip of all.... !!!!!

It is not the destination that matters, but the ongoing journey.... So, all of you take it easy on the way and don't get too focalised on where you are going, but enjoy the process of how you are going. Obvious reasons of safety come to mind in not pushing to a schedule… But also: Some of the best adventure has been the unexpected discovery along the way…One time in the mountains we pulled off the road at a pretty place overlooking a nice stream for a BBQ, and went for a walk up a canyon on the other side to discover a fantastic cave up there with Aboriginal rock paintings and fire pit, a memorable discovery.. Some of the best finds have been by accident along the way.. Slow down so that you do not miss the best part of it all in enjoying the process of getting there...

Second best tip is packing: (Proper tyre pressure is important, being reduced on the corrugation to minimalize the vibration and chafe.)
Proper packing before a big trip will stop any chafe and wear. I had hardware mixed with bottle drinks and it wore through on one trip out there many years ago, an unpleasant sticky mess.. Soon learned to pack correctly, and put drinks and such in cardboard boxes away from hardware. Bottles of wine (Life is too short to drink third rate wine out of boxes) Ha!.. Bottle of wine travel well in the cardboard dividers they are originally shipped with in cardboard boxes. Extra towels or linens packed in lockers make good padding for the longer runs on dirt and corrugation....

And finally, just like Yachts offshore, the best locker is the one that is full. We pack extra paper towels or whatever in the lockers to reduce movement when making a 500km crossing of the Outback on dirt corrugated roads. If we do not have extra bulk like paper towels or cannot buy them, we use linens and towels as above mentioned to pack the locker full to minimalise movement. Loose packing in lockers is the main cause for problems. Just like on a ocean going yacht...

When you are through the hard bits, it is only about a five minute job to put the towels and linens back. Or if you have shopped for extra paper towels and such for padding, they never go astray and are good for fire disposal...

Lessons hard learned in the Bush.... Take it slow... And better to stop and have a cup of tea and think about it to find a better way.... Before plunging headlong into something...

Cheers, stg

AnswerID: 566019

Reply By: Dusky - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:10

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:10
One litre cardboard milk containers with tops cut off are one storage idea for drinking glasses and wine bottles.

AnswerID: 566020

Follow Up By: Rockgoc - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 03:09

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 03:09
I have small plastic baskets in the pantry to keep everything in place. I also stuff a pillow in the front of the baskets before moving off...this prevents anything from moving around and there are no heavy objects just waiting to leap out on top of your head when you open the cupboard door! Cut a strip of that rubber matting which you obtain from almost anywhere these days (K-mart, camping shops, clarke rubber) and place it down on the front of each of the fridge shelves....stops everything from walking to the front of the fridge and off the shelves when the door is opened..
Regards, Jan O
FollowupID: 844414

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 04:24

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 04:24
All this discussion got me thinking - I haven't actually done this, but seems like the bladders out of a wine cask would be pretty useful. Blow 'em up for packing, and deflate when not in use.

AnswerID: 566021

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 10:25

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 10:25
Previous owner gave us instructions to pack up including; Put a towel on shower floor (to prevent rub) then a plastic bowl, wrap shower head in towel and put inside bowl. Rubber outdoor mat rolled in towel to prevent marking floor (if muddy, put in cargo hatch). They also had a thick piece of foam rubber to place up in the hatch for dusty roads. 2 towel rails (flattish, not round) under the hatch, set to one side so it is still easy to put the foam in. Towels get dry and don't fall down. All shelves had "anti slip" on them. They also fitted a tap to the a-frame for washing hands outside - when the pressure pumps are off, still get enough for one hand wash, eg after re-fuelling. We may even use it to fit a flexible shower fitting, as we don't have an outdoor shower.

I rolled cutlery in tea towels, also used teatowels between pots and pans to prevent abrasion. Never ran out of tea towels! Packed groceries in boxes and plastic baskets (but an officious young lady at WA border entry checkpoint insisted in taking our strawberry and honey "tray" style boxes, even though they had come from WA with us and were clearly marked with WA brands). Small clothes in tiny plastic baskets so they stayed organised. We purchased milk in 1.25 litre bottles, then refilled these by buying the cheaper 3 litre bottles, as we still had a milk carton split in the fridge on a really rough road.

I purchased 2 large plastic buckets with lids which sit in the bathroom as my "washing machine". Put dirty clothes in the wash one each morning, and rinse and hang out when we stop each afternoon. If i go into the van at lunch time, will sometimes move them across into the rinse bucket. Trouble is BT rides so smooth we should go on a really rough trip just tot do the washing.

We carry a small rubbish bin on the a-frame, but may not have room now we have an aluminium toolbox made to carry the genny and the petrol.

In the wagon, we remove the back passenger seats, and on a board base keep an Engel car fridge for lunch supplies and drinks, and a plastic box with dry foods, tray, board, knife etc. for meals on the run. If we are pushed for time, i can make lunch without us even stopping. Also handy for shopping - can just load it into the car fridge without opening the van (unless it is a big shopping). We keep "wet ones" hand wipes, plastic cups and packet of drinking straws in the front of the car.

We have a cargo barrier - which is handy for hanging bathers and towels on with pegs or ocky straps if we go for a swim, and carry any changes of clothes we may need during the day in the car (although since having the BT is go into the van to change into bathers instead of ducking under the dashboard!). I keep a bathroom scrubbing brush in the car door, as i have found this is the best way to get beach sand off feet and legs an keep it out of the car.

Now i've bored you to tears - hope you can take all that to Qld when you pick up your BT. You'll love it.

Still keen to see feedback from others as we haven't been far with this rig yet. I totally agree with Steve re your "signature". So true. We don't even care if we get lost; it's all seeing somewhere we haven't been before.


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AnswerID: 566022

Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 02:43

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 02:43
Thanks Motherhen - you did a great job.

Couple of questions when you talked about putting foam 'up the hatch' and having flattish offset towel rails below it - I assume you mean the four seasons hatch.. After I read it - my first thought was the cargo hatch.......and that didn't really make sense .... like mmmm! that's a big bit of foam

Cheers John and Jean
FollowupID: 844415

Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 09:31

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 09:31
yep - got a big piece of foam over the cargo hatch alright - our cargo area is under the bed!

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Reply By: Dusky - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 22:59

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 22:59

Thankyou for the great tips.

AnswerID: 566023

Reply By: Bushtracker - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 03:20

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 03:20
Heeerzz and nudder one from da Lone Ranger:

Make a check list like an Airline Pilot, at least in your mind...
Stoneguard on the front window down and locked?
Waterpumps Off?
Four Seasons hatch closed?
Lockers all closed and locked? ........ And the rest ......
That sort of a list, going through as you get ready to leave with a last look, can save a mess or breakage along the way...

And a last walk around the rig to check everything....
Cheers, and stay safe.................
AnswerID: 566024

Follow Up By: Motley - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 06:19

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 06:19
Along the lines of Steve's suggestion, we use a "pre Flight Check list" - religously!

I've put a copy in the documents section.


Life's too short to drink bad wine.

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Follow Up By: Rockgoc - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 18:27

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 18:27
Yes we do this sort of checking also, and I have found the best way to make sure you have secured all your windows etc, is to have the fly screens in the "up " position AFTER you have locked the windows. That way, you know at a glance that that particular window has been locked for sure. This is,of course, only able to be used if you have the Dometic style double glazed windows a they have the option of roll up screens that the other type don't.
Cheers, Jan O
FollowupID: 844418

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 04:20

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 04:20
A few more tips (mostly from our BT's previous owner again).

They had fitted clip hooks - plastic hooks of the type that clip into a circle, in lots of places. One just inside the door for keys, some other side for pens. Large ones are over the window next to the door for the broom, with a cloth bag to fit around the broom head - so last thing on packing up and checking all has been done from the checklist, sweep the floor and put the broom up out of the way. Put an elastic band around the power towel roll. A squeegee hangs in the bathroom to wipe down the walls after showering. I have added to this purchasing a small hand broom to sweep water out of the shower floor if caravan is not level.

We are still adapting ours to suit our needs.


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AnswerID: 566025

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 05:03

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 05:03
Another thing i just remembered which we did soon into the trip - added magnetic door catches, so if parked on a bit of a slope, the cupboard doors would stay shut without having to use the press locks all the time.

Previous owner also travelled with a few spare press locks, window winders and cupboard hinges. They also warned us to open the caravan door cautiously in the wind, as they had a strong wind take the door and break the hinges - despite the warning, it happened to me too - we've yet to get the hinges, although the people we met on the track showed us the part number in their camec catalogue - he travels with spare door hinges too. Take a rechargable electric drill, pop rivets, small pliers and screwdrivers.

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 06:18

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 06:18
We broke our door hinge too. Not once but twice. Put extra pop rivet in the section that broke and no further problems.
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