Sunday, April 15, 2018
Vanlife: another tour south
My preference is for places that are very quiet and look out at water or nice bush. The most up to date reference is the WikiCamps app. (This is a very poorly designed app, but the information in it is good). Reviews of camp sites are naturally in terms of what the reviewer likes so you tend to find great reviews for crowded sites that happen to have clean toilets.
Caravan parks can be nice if the unpowered sites are well away from the powered sites where the giant caravans tend to go.
The trick seems to be to find locations on WikiCamps and then check them out from Google's satellite view to get an idea of the layout.
On this trip I met up with my sister Jane and her partner Paul who have a lovely "teardrop" trailer.
It's very compact and presumably easy to tow. You sleep inside but it's pretty cramped but comfortable.
I also met a wonderful French Canadian couple who had sailed to Australia and are now touring around in a van.
It's fascinating to see how vans are configured. They shared red wine with me which they gleefully said had come from Aldi and wasn't too bad for $5.
One trick I've discovered is sleeping in the bush and then visiting the sea for breakfast and a swim.
It's lovely sitting in the van and having vastly different views from day to day.
The configuration is gradually changing. These days, when parked, I fold the passenger seat down and place the fridge there so there's more cabin space. I have a small folding chair from Banggood and this was great on a day when there was rain.
The mosquito net (there were mosquitoes and wasps at this site) is held up with magnets.
The van is going pretty well but the oil light came on and it needed a bit over a litre of oil to be filled up again. It's now done 378,000 Km and I'm not sure if it's normal to be using some oil like this.
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Sounds like a wonderful trip!
A newish engine should not use any significant quantity of oil, but at that mileage you can expect some oil consumption. I'd be worried if it used more than about 1 litre in 1000km, maybe a little more with highway running. If it's using less than that, don't worry and just carry a five litre bottle of oil in the back and top it up each night. Whatever you do, don't let it run too low or there'll be a big bang and it'll be time for a new engine.
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