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Hitting the Road - Family Tent / awning / sleeping tips?

Discussion in 'Kombi Club' started by DunnoDub, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. DunnoDub

    DunnoDub Member

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Dunedin, NZ
    Hi peeps,

    Planning to hit the road from Brisbane in mid June and do a bit of a 'half-lap'- out West via Carnarvon Gorge, Julia Creek, Tenant Creek, the Alice, Uluru, down to Adelaide, back round to Brizzy! Hopefully a couple of months.

    The short of it is it'll be 2 adults and 3 young kids in our '69 tintop, 1600.

    Trying to get my head around the best set-up to give us some space for sleeping, not too heavy to lug, easy to pitch etc.

    It looks like fairly often we may only stop for a night before moving on so don't want anything that's going to take too many poles and too long to assemble and take down.

    Not too familiar with tarp set-ups either (used to camping for 2 in the past :)) but it seems like maybe this will be a good idea to keep moisture off the tent so not packing away wet if moving on?

    Like the idea of a driveaway setup but not crucial. JK ones look maybe a bit small - don't give a 'sleeps 5' reference. Have looked at something like a Coleman 'Instant Up' or something along those lines... Would be nice to have one room for the kids and one for us :) No funds for a rock-n-roll on the inside.

    Also toying with the idea of a roof rack setup to put some stuff out of the way while travelling - any thoughts on roofies or the wooden slat jobbies welcomed. Had thought of a shade awning too, but do have a cheapy BCF one that will probably have to do the job. Had a good look at threads on here re awnings etc, not a lot on tintops though... Not keen to attach to the kombi so would need roofies methinks...

    Any feedback on good sleeping options too welcomed - looking at self-inflaters to avoid pumping up 3 beds and to save space. Looked at a Dune 4wd Queen Mat at Anaconda but it was massive when folded - need something comfy for these aging bones though.

    Any thoughts and ideas appreciated.

    cheers

    Jon
     
  2. melissa

    melissa Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,872
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    Maybe you should look at just a normal tent = not something camper specific. It doesnt have to join to the kombi, a small awning from Ray's or BCF will do the job of joining on the side and giving protection over the sliding door. They don't take up too much room and dont take long to set up.
     
  3. Weekender

    Weekender Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Ashgrove
    Jon

    I note you say a couple of months - which means lots of set ups and pull downs. You need a quality product what will not have failing zips and other problems. Checkout the Blackwolf Turbo canvas tents on the Tentworld site. You can park right up to the awing. Plus add an awning side. I use the similar style Oztrail canvas cabin tent - but they are heavy and a bit slow for daily moves

    http://www.tentworld.com.au/products/tents/blackwolf-turbo-tents.aspx

    Using an air bed and 12v pump is ok. Ensure you see all your actual sleeping gear in your actual tent before you buy the tent. So that way you can buy the real size tent you need.

    On roof racks - you can attach the awning to the roof rack bars. Awnings are handy, but don't protect from early or late sun, or wind driven rain.

    I would suggest using Rola sports roof bars (look better than Rhino) and add a Rhino platform - not a cage. the advantage with the platform is less unladen height, weight, wind drag and noise. Adding a Rhino roof bag would help getting gear out of the kombi. You can check out all that gear at Roof racks Galore at Kedron. Only light weight gear on the roof!
    http://www.roofracksgalore.com.au/

    Have fun!
    Also think about how you are going to secure all that stuff in the kombi - with 3 kids in the car....

    Leo
     
  4. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,729
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
  5. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,427
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    I use an OzTent RV3. Maybe a little expensive but is very quick to put up. Sometimes I simply attach it to the side of the tin tent.

    [​IMG]

    and sometimes I use the fly as an annex to give us more space when camped for a few days.

    [​IMG]

    Both ways takes about 30min max to be set up and settled. Also note I tow a trailer. I started this in 2005 and haven't looked back (about 150,000 km on it now). It means all the camping gear is in the trailer and not under feet which IMHO is really great. Recently I moved the second battery and chest fridge to the trailer to give even more space in the van. I use solar power to keep it all charged when on site and charge it through an Anderson plug from the vehicle (Redarc isolator) when on the move.
     
  6. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,518
    Location:
    Brisbane
    My 2cents worth.
    Buy a full length roof rack. I had a great one that took a hell of a load and still drove great. It was all 10mm round bar.
    And as far as tents go. if you are doing the setup every night then an easyup tent would be the way to go. It is about $2000 for canvas but you can get good ones for about $800 that will suit a family and still give you the easy up in the normal tent material.

    Also, don't be afraid to not buy stuff now. All you need is a tent and a little table and some shade/rain protection (side awning would be the go).
    There are camp shops everywhere and you will soon learn as a family what works for you and what you need. Just buy it as you go. The awning and the tent are your most expensive purchases. You can shop around in Brisbane. Then tables and showers ect... can be bought cheap anywhere.

    Another good thing to have is a dual battery. It can be expensive to get it professionally installed. So just buy a deep cycle battery and a mains charger. When you stop places with power then charge it. When you away from mains power then the battery will keep lights and phones going no problem without having the proper install.
     
  7. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,729
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Also think a out heating.
    Once you head south of Tennant Creek in winter say good bye to your goolies.

    Camping at Uluru at the end of July is COLD.
    Like ice on tent in the morning type cold.

    I have camped at Kulgura, on the Sth Aust / Nth Territory border in August and was one of the coldest nights I have ever experienced.
     
  8. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,729
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Oh. Was also one of the most beautiful morning I have had.

    A hot cup of tea on a "crisp" morning really is a slice of heaven.
     
  9. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,518
    Location:
    Brisbane
    The other thing I forgot. Chris (Dakdak67) uses one of those roof top tents with great success.
    Not sure how you would go with the kids. They could be up there while you are in the bus or a tent?? Maybe not practical for a family.
     
  10. LOMBI

    LOMBI Member

    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Forster NSW
    here is a different optin - rear tent - we like that it gives a place to store things at night and a change room that is a bit more private

    [​IMG]

    these photos were before i secured the tent to the pop-top with studs - whhich is why it is a bit floppy - all neat and taut now
     
  11. DunnoDub

    DunnoDub Member

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Dunedin, NZ
    Thanks for the ideas and info dudes. Leaning towards using the existing BCF awning and an 'instant tent'. Had thought of this Coleman one, seen it for about $350 online http://http://www.colemanaustralia.com.au/product/8p-instant-full-fly-tent/1271448?contextCategory=0102#.U1ncIicaySM
    OzTents look good, as do the Turbos but a bit pricier. Had read a review or 2 of the Turbos that weren't that flattering but I have sold Black Wolf stuff in the past and always seemed good quality.
    Had considered heating too but don't like the idea of gas around the kids (other than cooking) I guess just a plug in heater at powered sites...?

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  12. DunnoDub

    DunnoDub Member

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Dunedin, NZ
    Well peeps, dredging this one up again as we're almost off!

    Handed in the notice at work and finish up next Friday. Had a bit of a freak out for a week or so that we didn't have enough money but have settled into the idea now (we don't have enough money, i'm just cool with it now :lol:) and can't wait to hit the road!

    Had a false start with a tent but got a credit today and upgraded to a Turbo Tent. Great deal as Anaconda will beat advertised by 10%, so got mine for $650 when they had it on the floor for $1200!! (Thanks Tentworld!) Kids are asleep in there now while i'm under the fly awning typing this :)

    Went for a 4WD Queen mat too and it's sooo comfortable, got the 3-Bow roofrack on the Kombi (i'm a sucker for those wooden slats), my wife made some curtains, so we're almost ready to go...

    2014-06-21 15.38.11.jpg 2014-06-21 15.38.25.jpg 2014-07-05 16.22.53.jpg

    Ok, now for the really important question - who makes the best camp coffee and how do you do it??? Like i said, almost ready... :)

    Jon
     
  13. ruby6689

    ruby6689 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,355
    Location:
    Burnett Heads
    I cheat and alway get powered sites just so I can use my Nespresso machine.....lol I've used a stove top percolator, a plunger and even in desperation those Nescafé latte sleeves. Instant has been off limits for many years.

    I'll be following this thread with interest.
     
  14. nickc

    nickc Member

    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    currumbin qld
    Well done, you got that tent for a bargin, we use a stove top expresso coffee cooker. Have a great time. Kids well never forget it.:cool:
     
  15. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,593
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    x2 for the plug-in, espresso coffee machines.My wife bought the Aldi one & it's brilliant !! Grab a milk frother too...tops the whole package off nicely.
    I have one permanently in the Tardis....pods are cheap & the coffee is great - life is too short for bad coffee.....
    Only down-side is that you need a powered site - or access to 240 V to use 'em.
     
  16. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,729
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Years ago we travelled the roads with an Atomic Espresso machine and a Trangia stove.
    You really freaked people out frothing milk for a coffee way out in the bush early in the morning
     
  17. DunnoDub

    DunnoDub Member

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Dunedin, NZ
    Thanks guys, i must admit i had been thinking of a plug in machine - ours is too big to lug around though!

    Will probably get a stove top one, but maybe throw a cheap pod one in just in case... ;)
     
  18. DunnoDub

    DunnoDub Member

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Dunedin, NZ
    Just checking - so with a powered site i don't need anything special - just a standard (yellow) extension lead? I can run a 4-way board and make coffee while cranking the fan heater and charging phones and laptop?? Looking forward to roughing it! :lol:

    Had read somewhere about 10 or 15 amp?

    With the T3 camper in Europe and UK it was all specific plugs and a bit different - doesn't seem like that here?

    Liking the idea of the deep cycle battery too as we would like to use free/ budget and non-powered sites a bit too, but just bought RACQ Ultimate and some Dynamat so gotta stop spending sometime! :)

    Anyone used a simple solar thing like this sorta thing? http://www.harveynorman.com.au/coleman-7-5w-folding-solar-charger.html Would love a bigger setup but that ain't gonna happen...

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  19. vwfreak03

    vwfreak03 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,550
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    just use a 10amp lead

    Yes I did have a solar panel like that but gave it away, its fine for small things but dont think its worth the money.

    Ive got a two deep cycle batterys 120 amp hour and a 60 amp hour hooked up to my starter batt to give me 240 amp hour also 2x 130 watt solar panels that can kick out 16amps per hour. I run 240v fridge,lights,laptops ect ect all off an inverter and could stay out indefinitely using this setup.

    If u spent say $200 on a 120amp hour deep cycle batt, $130 on a 130w solar panel and say $25 on a voltage regulator you would get ur money back by free camping with ur own power after 8-9 nights based on $40 a night

    What would u run off it? Do u have a fridge?
     
  20. Harribo

    Harribo Member

    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Melbourne
    jaycar do a pretty good kit for this, ill be putting it in my dormobile in time for this spring!

    http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MB3686 will be very simple to install

    vwfreak, don't you need a special adaptor to plug into a campsite power supply or is it a standard 3 pin domestic type plug??
     

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