“On the road” courtesy to others is not just about being respectful to other drivers. It can avoid unnecessary angst and risk taking and help everyone get to their destination safely. We have travelled approx. 10,000.km in just over two months and we have seen our share of bad driving.
So the good idea? It is about basic courtesy, and involves several practices, mostly common sense.
It is essential that anyone, but particularly those who travel in motorhomes or towing caravans, leave plenty of room for faster moving vehicles to overtake. Travelling in convoy with our friends, we try to leave a substantial distance between us, such as that in the photo below, to allow for safe overtaking. (Yep, that dot near the horizon is our travelling companions’ rig.)
Watch for the heavy haulage trucks and pull over where possible, to let them pass. They are working and have a time schedule to keep. Similarly, look for opportunities to safely pull off the road if traffic starts building up behind you in areas where overtaking is hazardous. On long haul routes across Australia, rest areas are plentiful and easy and safe areas to pull in to let others pass.
And for those towing caravans for the first time? We recommend doing a towing course where drivers learn all the do’s and don’ts about towing caravans. On our travels we have seen numerous demolished caravans on the side of the road and heard plenty about people selling up to do their ‘lap’ of Australia only to come to grief when their caravan ‘gets the wobbles’.
We purchased the caddy in New South Wales a year ago to use for towing our Suzuki. Now back in Perth, and coming up to registration renewal time, we decided to have it registered in Western Australia.
After having the caddy officially weighed and inspected in Perth, not only have we discovered that the NSW registration papers were incorrect in that the tare weight was 120.kgs heavier than the caddy’s actual tare weight, but the tyre guards were out past the tyres too far, making the caddy 5.cms over-width.
That now fixed, papers in order, registration in WA now complete – but what a hassle. Ready for another road trip tomorrow – heading south.
Got an unusually shaped storage cupboard? We solved a problem we had with storage of items in a corner cupboard with high spaced shelves and small shelf base areas. Have been using this idea for over 8.months and happy with results.
We used ‘removable’ stick-on hooks high in the shelf area from which to hang ‘laundry bags’ – pull string and zippers – into which we placed our small clothing goods. Discovered it was not necessary to keep the tops of the bags completely closed.
Small shelf floor, with curved front. Very awkward space.
Just two hooks needed (pointed away from the door opening) to hang two bags on each hook.
Agree – doesn’t look pretty, but it is functional.
Very little wasted space, it is easy to get to the four bags of ‘unmentionables’ and then shut the door! After travelling, no movement of the bags and all stays on the shelf when opening the door again.
It’s been said before: Know your vehicle, its accessories – how it all works.
We hadn’t used our diesel heater system for heating the interior of our motor home for nearly two years, other than to turn it on every now again to make sure all was okay.
Now for those who have not visited Australia and only know it to be a very sunny and hot country? Not always so. We found ourselves in zero and sub-zero nights, and our trusty heater system would run for a while and then turn off.
Check-list time. Mike checked all air vents (in and out): clear; fuses: all working; no loose wires or switches. And still it would run and then turn off after a while.
Several nights of this, and not being joyous at the prospect of further nights being so cold, Lee wanted ‘out’ and we went to Bathurst Showgrounds where we could camp for a reasonable price and use electricity. We still had the reverse cycle air-conditioner that on power, could heat the interior. Or so we thought. It did not work if it was late at night when the temperature got to close to zero. So we couldn’t rely on heating from around 10pm until the sun came up!
Lee says: Since when does a unit that can heat, not operate because it’s too cold?
Mike says: It’s mainly an air-conditioner, not normally used for full heating. (Is he joking?)
But we’re okay now.
Lee moved the outer casing of the diesel heater outlet so that instead of pointing towards the floor, it points more upwards. BINGO. Score 1 for Lee!
Our motorhome has filtered water at the kitchen sink. Clearly from the above before and after photos, the filters needed changing.
Since purchasing the motorhome, it has been on Mike’s list to find out about the water filter with respect to changing the filters so we could use filtered water.
He recently found out what he needed to know, purchased new filters and in his single-minded determination to finally get the job done – accessed the unit inside the cupboards under the sink and started to unscrew the filter WITHOUT turning off the water supply first.
We now have very clean cupboards and floor – and Mike is clean too!
When one packs to go on a trip, one should ALWAYS examine what it is one is packing.
We have travelled from Perth to Phillip Island before we decided to erect our marquee on a vantage point over the circuit to watch the racing. Mike and Barry carted it away from the camping area and over to the viewing spot.