Getting Tired Of Sleeping In A Swag

Topcat
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Topcat
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 1:46 pm

March 23rd, 2012, 12:05 pm #1

Hi Folks,

Over the years of travelling the outback my camp mainly consisted of a swag, lean to or tarp to keep the
rain off & the simple luxury of a fridge to keep the beer cold & a couple of solar panels to charge the battery
while the fridge was running.
Later I modified my troopy with a pop-top roof & use to sleep in there when only camped for short periods
& while on the road.
Well seeing all my prospecting mates living in luxury after a hard days swinging & hitting the sack in a
comfortable bed after a few ales & a chat around the camp fire while my body was telling me the aches &
pains needed a few more coldies!!!!LOL, my mind said enough is enough so I've joined the clan of silly
old farts & caravan*#!!>??.....& a couple of months back I bought a little 10 footer Cabana Van & spent
the period up to now renovated it to my liking by fitting a new gas cook-top & repositioning the fridge.
For auxilliary power threw in a couple of 130 amp hour deep cycle AGM batteries coupled in parallel to
give me sufficient 12 volt DC power for long periods of camping.
I have also setup a 600 watt pure sine wave inverter which will run off the vehicle battery while travelling
to supply 240 volt AC power to the 3-way fridge & a CTEK 5 amp battery charger connected to the van batteries
to top them up if necessary & this inverter will be used while camping to supply all my 240 volt AC needs.
Some will say why are you running your 3 way fridge off 240 volts AC & not the 12volt DC supply
when travelling!!!??
If you do your sums you will find that a 3 way convection fridge will run more efficient through a 240volt
inverter when on the road, then direct 12 volt supply from the battery; & as a plus... the inverter can also
be used to run a battery charger to charge your van batteries as well.
Your vehicle alternator will need to be rated to at least 90 amps continuous running to supply the load to the
inverter while it is running to keep your start battery fully charged.
I picked up the inverter on eBay for $135.00.
I also have wired the van with low power LED lighting to reduce battery consumption.
Also raised the suspension 4 inches to help getting across those tricky creek beds!!!!!
For those not familiar with the Cabana van set-up...both the front & rear single bunks swing into a
vertical position when traveling & swing out when in use. This action also raises the roof to stand up
height, so when extended the van is 15 foot long & when folded in for travelling....10 foot long.
The Table folds down & the seat cushions lay flat across it to make a double bed if required.
At present I will use my existing Solar Power setup on my Troopy to keep them charged (all particulars
on my web-page which you can find on my post signature), until I can setup a separate system for the van.
Had to get a gas compliance certificate as the rules have now changed significantly recently with regard to
caravan gas appliances so make sure your van is legal!!!! for insurance purposes.
It is now fully insured, & ready the go.....so no more setting up tarps & swags in the pouring rain
& cooking over a portable gas stove while trying to keep dry!!!!!!LOL

P.S.
I now have fitted 2 x 120 Watt solar panels to the power system to keep the batteries fully charged
while camping also an ELCB (residual current device) safety switch fitted into the 240 Volt AC circuit .

Here is some pics of my little mobile abode:
Gas cooking Setup.

Dining Area & Rear Sleeping.

Wash up & Cupboards.

Fridge & Cupboard Setup.

Side View [Front & Rear Bunks Lowered].

Side View[Roof Lowered]

Dual Spare Wheel Upgrade.

Rear View[Roof Lowered]

Cheers,

Ted



www.havewheelswilltravel.iinet.net.au
"I believe that if life gives you lemons,you
should make lemonade & try to find somebody
whose life has given them vodka, & have a party"!!!!

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aumate
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aumate
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Joined: October 8th, 2009, 11:37 am

March 23rd, 2012, 12:48 pm #2

Hi Ted,

You are spoiling yourself...... you will not know what to do with all that room.

Now all you need is the electric blanket, Satilite TV, a little gas heater to keep you warm on those cold
mornings while having that first cuppa and breakfast. Plus some carpet on the floor to keep the feet warm while
walking around the van. (The large carpet samples, so you can just pick them up and give them a shake every
now and them.)

Cheers Laurie & Roz
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silverback
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silverback
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Joined: April 10th, 2009, 2:28 pm

March 23rd, 2012, 2:31 pm #3

SiiGGH,, another old bushy gone soft.
All the best,
Peter
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Topcat
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Topcat
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 1:46 pm

March 23rd, 2012, 10:19 pm #4

HA!!HA!! Speak For Yourself!!!! )
Cheers,

Ted



www.havewheelswilltravel.iinet.net.au
"I believe that if life gives you lemons,you
should make lemonade & try to find somebody
whose life has given them vodka, & have a party"!!!!

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davsgold
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davsgold
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Joined: April 26th, 2007, 10:49 am

March 24th, 2012, 12:43 am #5

Looks like a good setup Ted, nice and comfy.

cheers dave
NAPFA member, APLA member, PMAV member
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nuggetykath-68
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nuggetykath-68
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Joined: May 5th, 2007, 11:46 am

March 24th, 2012, 2:43 am #6

Hi Ted, this looks agreat set-up!! Good to have a few luxuries for sure.
If you are doing the 'full-hog' like Laurie & Roz suggest you will also need an air-con!

Anyway Ted it is good you have bought this van & I bet you are as keen as mustard to go out bush!!

Who is going to do the 'van cleaning, cooking etc' !!!!! ??????

Don't forget to take an alarm clock as you will sleep deeply!!

Enjoy & good luck for a good detecting season.

Cheers,

Kath
Be kind to others & smile.
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Jon
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Jon
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Joined: April 27th, 2007, 10:04 pm

March 24th, 2012, 2:53 am #7

Looking good Ted
You wont know yourself in that.
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Dhufish
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Dhufish
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Joined: February 18th, 2010, 12:36 pm

March 24th, 2012, 4:29 am #8

Ted,

well done mate on an excellent setup, your body will thank you - I hear what you say re powering the fridge on 240v, My testing is ongoing ATM - using .3 amp to realise -12 to -14C empty with the next step down reading -7 to -8 (a bit low). The fan mod you suggested works fine.

Cheers PeterD
Enjoy the sights, beauty, & sounds of the Bush.
Relax in the company of others out in the weeds.
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Topcat
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Topcat
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 1:46 pm

March 24th, 2012, 5:09 am #9

Hi Kath,

Looks like at present I'm the cook/bottle cleaning/washing maid!!!! as SHMBO still hasn't
made up her mind yet to go prospecting with me.
Maybe now with the added comforts she may change her mind.
As for air-conditioning it looks like opening the windows & dropping the pop-top screens
will have to do as I do not intend lugging a big gennie to run it.
I have a little Honda 600VA that I carry for emergency battery charging if needed.
Cheers,

Ted



www.havewheelswilltravel.iinet.net.au
"I believe that if life gives you lemons,you
should make lemonade & try to find somebody
whose life has given them vodka, & have a party"!!!!

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ShootingStars5
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ShootingStars5
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Joined: April 26th, 2007, 11:03 pm

March 24th, 2012, 8:41 am #10

Onya Ted
Great setup for you.
I know you will do a great job of the housework as I saw how you run a tidy ship with the other camp setup you had!

Will be sooo much easier for you preparing your meals and you will get a great night's sleep so that you will be able to do all that detecting and digging!

Cheers
Lyn
See a Shooting Star tonight - find a nuggie tomorrow!
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