new van contents set-up

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 06:23
ThreadID: 122122 Views:5871 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to call on the collective wisdom of hindsight collected by other owners before I start placing stuff into my new Bushtracker. What could I do which would invoke comments of "you really shouldn't have put that there and those won't travel without breakage".I've done the Scotchgard and lino protection so now I'm ready to add the stuff. I realise everybody has different size vans and different layouts but there are many similar requirements we all share.
Unlike my children I am willing to listen to advice. Thank you in anticipation.
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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 19:44

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 19:44
I didn't want to use plastic plates etc so went out and bought Corrella(?) and the only piece that broke in the 4 years of travel was the bowl Phil reached up to get out and it slipped out of his hands. What a mess it makes when it does break.

Also Phil doesn't like drinking wine out of plastic and so I bought wine glasses (cheap ones as I didn't know how they would travel) and just kept them in their cardboard box to travel in... no problems at all.

We also put towel racks in so that the towels could travel hung up and could dry after the morning use. We actually put them up under the cupboards at the back of the van so we could add support when screwing them in. Wemt to a boat suppliers for these. But everybody has different ways.

Look at some of the van photos from peoples albums to get ideas.
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:18

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:18
These of some of the things that we have done that are non standard features.

We have non slip matting on each shelf.
Along the front of each shelf we have a piece of 25mm plastic angle strip that screws to shelf and stops contents from rubbing on doors and falling out when opened. The strip also holds the non slip mat in place.

PLATES and GLASSES. We also use Corelle plates and have found that a piece of non slip matting between changes of plate size is sufficient to hold them all in place. Ie between large plate and bread plate and then bowls. If we are travelling on very rough roads we then fill the top of the plate cupboard with towels. Wine glasses are kept in the box they came in, but drinking glasses are just in cupboard with cups. No breakages so far.

TOWEL RAILS are fitted on each side of fridge. We found the wooden type better as the towels tend not to fall off when bouncing along rough roads.
On bed side we have 2 rails, one above the other for bath towels.
On bench side we have one for tea towels and hand towel.
I removed the fridge and put extra support timber in the cavity to hold rails.

In SHOWER RECESS we have 2 metal type towel rails, the top one is for face washers, and the lower one for a bath mat. These are fitted above the back of toilet.
Also in the shower recess, we copied Helen & John’s idea and put liquid soap dispensers on the wall beside the basin. We have hand soap, shampoo and conditioner in these.
Also on the wall near basin is a tooth brush holder screwed to wall.
In the waterproof cupboard behind Basin I attached a small plastic basket to the wall, and this holds all my shaving gear.

In the cupboards at the rear of van with the sloping floor, I made up removable shelf the same height as the door opening, so that it now has a flat shelf to store things. Thin longer items like camp fire toasting forks are kept under this shelf.

FRIDGE. External vents have been blocked off and internal vents put on either side of fridge cavity beside motor, and in the top of cabinet above rear of fridge. The feet that come with fridge when new have been put under fridge and this also allows air flow. Fridge has been working perfectly for over 12 months with internal venting only, and probably more efficiently as no dust gets on the condenser.

SEATS. Margaret made up calico seat covers with elastic straps to go over the seats when in dirty dusty areas to protect the upholstery. These can then be washed easily.

PHOTOS. We have a number of photos in the caravan that are held to the wall by Velcro tape. You require it top and bottom to prevent them moving.

WINEGARD TV ANTENNA. When the antenna is in the down position I have stuck rubber pads on the roof so that the ends are held firm and don’t bounce around on rough roads. No damage has occurred after 4 years use.

POLE HOLDER. Under rear of van I have fitted a 150mm plastic pipe with screw end to hold awning poles and tie down ropes and pegs.

WIND DEFLECTOR. We had a wind deflector fitted to rear of van and this forces air down the back of van and keeps it dust free.

REAR WINDOW. We used a strong 3M black tape across the top hinge of window and this also prevents dust getting into the hinge and jamming it when it gets wet.

LIGHTS. The reading lights above the bed have been changed to LED globes. Gives lots of light for reading without lighting up entire van, and uses a fraction of the power.

SUCTION HOSE. I put another T in the inlet manifold of non potable water and ran a hose to front of van so that by turning the tanks off, water can now be drawn through this hose from a bucket of river water without contaminating water tanks.

TOOLS. I always carry a good battery drill, with drill and screwdriver bits. An assortment of screws. Portable 12 volt soldering iron. Box of assorted electrical terminals and tape. Spare stop/tail globes. Multimeter. Plastic cable ties. Hack saw and some files.

STORAGE BOXES. We have 3 large storage boxes that go in the front hatches. One is used for waste water hose and a bucket. One is for all those small bits and pieces you use like a hammer, awning pegs, wheel chocks etc. The 3rd in middle of storage area has things like extra toilet chemicals that are not used often.

ELECTRIC LEADS and WATER HOSE are held in place with Velcro tape sewn around one end which can then wrap back on it self to keep it together. They then hang on coat hooks inside the front hatches.

STONE GUARD. We made up an additional stone guard that goes between the top of BTi guard and rear bar of vehicle. This prevents the stray rock going above BTi guard or hitting something else and bouncing into back of vehicle.

This is most of the alterations or additions that we have done, many are necessary, but the more time you have to think up ideas or see what others have done, the more things that you put on your van. This is just another part of the fun of having a Bushtracker.

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Follow Up By: Freewheelers - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 23:10

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 23:10
brian excellent post
your wind deflector came from ???? any affect on consumption

suction idea great will have to do this to our van cheers
Stephen & Deborah

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 00:22

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 00:22
The print below is part of what was posted on POST 707 about 2 years ago.
We have had one fitted for a couple of years and it really does work.

As for fuel consumption, we didn't noticed any difference, but I am told that because the wind blowing down the back of the van, breaks up the vaccum that would normally be there, fuel consumption should be less with a deflector fitted.

If Bushtracker owners would like to have the rear of their vans kept almost completely dust free when travelling on dusty outback roads, then a wind deflector made completely from Stainless Steel is now available. Conrad and Niza had one fitted on their van for over 3 years and found that it does really work, so they wanted to ensure that their new van now under construction will also have one fitted. I have just travelled 1000km with Conrad over mostly good roads and the rear of my van was dirty while Conrads was clean. The wind deflectors will be available in White Powder Coated Stainless Steel for $450. The price includes fitting by the maker at their property at Coomera, on Queenslands Gold Coast just behind Dreamworld. The caravan will be required to stay at their property for 24 hours after fitting to allow the adhesive to cure. You can stay in your van, or take a look around the Gold Coast during the day after fitting.
Anyone interested in having one fitted to their van should contact Tony or Lidia on (07) 5573 2180 or by e-mail on

As the width of the BT vans can vary depending on cladding type, Tony will require the exact width of your van between the side edge moulding.
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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 23:40

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 23:40
Similiar set up to Noosa BT's but not the full list yet. White 20L plastic buckets with lids are useful items, two make a twin-tub washing machine, garbage bin and reservoir for the 'sucker tube', live bait tank and foot soaking tanks are other uses.

At the Brissy Show we bought a clothes drying rack designed to hang off a door -we plug it into to space between the top of the rear lights and the grey bumper bar. You can hang 5-6 towels on it and being flat it lives under the ded when travelling. Most camp type stores should stock something similiar.

One of our best additions (for fisho's or boaty people only) has been a 2.6m Zodiac Inflatable boat. Folds into a package 1000mm x about 480mm x 300mm, weighs 33kgs and live on the rear seat of the LC. The 5hp 21kg Mariner lives in the footwell of the rear seats. It has two good sized plastic roller wheels permanently attached to the transom, they can be locked down or retracted with a flick of the wrist which makes transport across a beach etc a real breeze.

We used the left over linoleum plus a bit more we bought to line 'the shed' (front storage area) and all the drawers - also use non slip cloth.

Most of out loose gear is in plactic crates of various sizes - makes loading and unloading the shed very quick and easy.

Breakable in the fridge store in plastic containers, if they should break, flip upside down after the lid has unscrewed itself .... (yes - we have experienced lids that unsrew themselves twice) the resultant mess in constrained in the plastic container.


John and Jean
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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 04:01

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 04:01
Silver Fox and Noosa Fox,

Any relation to Brer?

Great List Brian,

We have done most of those ouselves and have added the following extras or alternatives.

IN CUPBOARD STORAGE - in lieu of plastic angle at front, we simply use plastic trays, like the ones chemists use for scripts. There are a variety of sizes available in K-Mart.
GLASSES and MUGS can be protected from scratching using cardboard tubing with a cut down one side. e.g. toilet roll tubes.
PICTURE FRAMES on walls are attached using double sided stick-on mounts.
DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE sign 300mm long x 100mm high can be mounted inside rear bumper immediatele beside left light assembly. These are obtained from truck accessory suppliers, or road sign suppliers.
SULLAGE HOSES. A 6m length of 40mm white PVC pipe mounted inside the left chassis rail using galv. saddles. Front end of pipe is a sealed cap and back end is a screw off cap (with a little chain and swivel attache so yopu don't lose the cap). Also have a 1.2m long short hose on the outside of the right side chassis. You can see these in "PICTURES" file under Tellem Bugrem.
Also in the PICTURES are a REAR STORAGE TRAY for hoses, elect leads etc., MOUNTING RACKS for awning poles, broom, shovel,axe and satellite dish in storage locker.BIKE BOX and WASHING MACHINE BOX on A frame, EXTENDED SHOE LOCKERS (Makes bed access easier too).
There's also a TAP on the A frame for the Lemair Auto washing machine. The plumbing for this is from a Tee in the line to the shower.

Hope these are also of help.
Cheers...........Rob and Liz
AnswerID: 566782

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 04:58

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 04:58
I doubt that there will ever be 2 or more identical Bushtrackers. They may start off that way when they leave the factory but we all like to add our own personal touches.

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Reply By: Homeboy - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 07:32

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 07:32
We also bought a Lemair washing machine and have had a canvas bag made for it which is great during travels but can also be thrown over the top when parked up (great tip from another BT owner) we also had made other canvas bags for things like chairs, tables, stools, washing line which all get packed up and stops them from scratching any surface during travel.

We also covered every surface with the non slip matting and for those top cupboards I found some nice clear boxes in Woolworths that allowed me to pack away all my gear yet I can easily gain access when I want something.

After our GPS went a bit mad the other day and sent us across country through serious 4x4 countryside when we certainly weren't packed for 4x4 travelling the only thing that broke was a stubbie in the fridge in the truck, not bad considering.

Other than that any spare towels got thrown int eh cupboards during travelling which helped protect things.

Enjoy your new van.

AnswerID: 566783

Reply By: F Troop - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 20:58

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 20:58
I learnt the hard way, about packing liquids (cordiol, long life milk and juices, oils etc)into another container. I had a nice fresh unopened 2litre bottle of cordiol concentrate split open on the Oodnadatta track. Must have done it early in the day, and by the time we stopped that arvo - oh what a mess. Cordiol everywhere. As it was in one of the bottom cupboards, it seeped under the timber framing for the cupboards (after it had soaked into everything else in the cupboards) and then ran all over the floor and up under the bed framing and the foot lockers (where all our books are or were kept) and then proceeded to seep into all sorts of stuff in the cargo shed. Even now, months later, every now and then you get a cordiol run appear from under the cupboard framing. And we now have the most impressive collection of ants from all over Australia - enjoying a lovely holiday.
So I now have everything stored in plastic boxes, including olive oils, vinegars etc. I have also heard that long life cartons can go soft around the base as they bump around and then start a slow leak - they certainly go soft after being soaked in Cottees Fruit Crush.
It could have been worse though - it could have been cream of milk and then "Baby" (the name of our van) would have lived up to her name and stunk of baby sick.
Another tip is to get some cheap pool noodles from Crazy Clarks as they can be cut into required sizes. We use them to wedge across the front of the fridge shelves so that when you open the door after travel, you don't end up with everything crashing onto the floor. We also have a rather sizable table stored on our drawbar and Graham uses bits of pool noodle wedged in to stop the table rattling.
A good shop to track down is Howards Storage. You can go a bit mad in there as they sell hundreds of containers and folding clothes lines etc. I know of one in Miranda Fair in Sydney and one in Gateway in Brissy.
Happy packing Jan
AnswerID: 566784

Follow Up By: TRAVLN - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 23:13

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 23:13
Another problem with long life milk containers - don't rely on them for your milk if you are driving long distances on corrugated roads. It can turn into butter!! Happened to me up Cape York years ago.....
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 03:23

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 03:23
The major supermarkets now stock Long Life milk in plastic 1 litre containers, so that is what we take now if we are carrying extra liquid milk.

What we have found though is that the Powered Milk being sold now is of a high quality and when made up is hard to tell the difference with fresh milk.

Are you still drinking cordial Jan?
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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 06:31

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 06:31
Well, SIlver Fox seems to have started a really big thread with this topic - my words of counsel are simply that (based on what I saw at Copeton last year), a lot of BOGGERS fall into the trap of taking far too much stuff just because the BT's are so big and have lots of storage!

I keep reminding myself that when our 3 kids were young, we happily set of together for holidays with a little JACO windup camper trailer, and about a 40 litre fridge.

Now, I know things have progressed a lot since then, but I do try to be critical about whether it is really necessary to take a lot of gear.

AnswerID: 566786

Reply By: F Troop - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 03:43

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 03:43
Good grief Phil,
Do BT's have a lot of storage??????? I seem to have run out of cupboards. And to suggest that perhaps I may not need everything that I have packed.... hmmmm.... I'm sure I'll use everything eventually. But seriously, I agree with your comments, it's just that I find it very difficult when you've got so much room, a girl has just got to fill it up.
I reckon an interesting discussion thread would be - "What is the one thing that you could not live without, whilst traveling in your BT?" I actually can't put my finger on just one thing - I've got a whole list. Perhaps that's where my problem lies.
Can anyone else come up with one item.
And Brian, yes, I'm still drinking cordiol but I now try to limit myself to the alcoholic variety. That way, when things like the 'cordiol incident' happen, I don't care about it as much - you know, it'll be okay, just chill out and whip up another cocktail in my much needed blender.... now where did I pack that again?
AnswerID: 566787

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 05:33

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 05:33
Purrrrrrrrfect has issued the challenge, so I'll kick it off (although I am at a bit of disadvantage, because I don't know what Purrrrrrrrfect has packed) - so how about an electric toaster?

Completely unnecessary - we use one of those little wire things directly on the gas stove, the toast tastes better, the smell of the gas is very homely, and the toaster weighs about 1/100 of an electric one.

[I used to have a friend in Scouts who was a lightweight hiking fanatic - he used to cut off half the length of the handles on his cutlery, and then drill holes in the rest to reduce their weight. He even cut the handle off his plastic toothbrush].


AnswerID: 566788

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