Author Topic: What would you do differently next time?  (Read 12549 times)

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Offline Symon

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What would you do differently next time?
« on: July 30, 2011, 09:43:33 AM »
Following on from the "Carnage" thread, I've been giving it a bit of thought as to what I would do differently with the vehicle and camper preparation for next time I head up.  So here is my list -

1. Take less of the gear you don't need, for the '11 trip I took about half as much stuff as the '09 trip, and that was probably still too much.  Stuff that I took this time but didn't need was -

  • Hot water system - never used it
  • Portable shower - never used it, a swim in the creek is all you need
  • Solar panels - the campsites are too closed in to use them, and there is 240V available at Seisa
  • Too much food - there are plently of stock up points at Cairns, Coen, and Seisa.  We are still going through all the spare food we had left over from the trip.  Then again, if you travel with Yogi, you will never starve.

2. Take more of the right gear, stuff I needed but didn't have -

  • Spare wheel nuts, and check if they are the same between the vehicle and the trailer, if not carry spares for both
  • Spare nuts and bolts for both metric and imperial sizes.  I thought with a Toyota I would only need to carry metric stuff - but the camper uses imperial.  Lucky for me jk had heaps of everything.
  • Spare welding lenses and rods.  Believe it or not but I left these in Mareeba to make some space.  Again lucky for me jk had his.
  • A good tool kit.  I had most things but for some reason I only threw in my socket set and no spanners.  I had shifters but this is hardly ideal.
  • More drinking water, we took 10L with us thinking that would do a week for 2 people.  It lasted us about 3 days.
  • Easy to get to recovery points, my front points are hidden a bit behind the battle bar.  Which made them hard to get to at Palm Creek where the bar was sunk into the mud.
  • Generator, once again jk helped me out here (how much beer do I owe you now old fella?) since the solar didn't work out this helped a lot.
  • A mesh net for my overhead console in the cruiser.  Every big bump ended up in a heap of stuff flying off.

3.  Stuff I did take that came in pretty damn handy -

  • Chainsaw, I was contemplating not taking it, but I was glad I did.
  • Full recovery kit, I took 2 snatch straps, tree trunk strap, a winch strap, heaps of shackles and a couple of snatch blocks - and used just about all of it.
  • Angle grinder with cutting, grinding and flapper discs.
  • Battery drill and pistol drill
  • Big extension lead, it is a 30m jobbie with 2.5 sq mm cable, so perfect for reaching generators in other peoples campsites
  • In the absence of a generator, my 600W inverter is big enough to run the pistol drill and grinder, which came in handy
  • Grease gun
  • Two blocks of 12x12x5" hardwood.  Probably the handiest things on the trip.  Great for hi-lift jacks, chassis stands, wheel chocks, jockey wheels, stabiliser legs, seating....
  • One of these - https://shop.rexel.com.au/productimages/78911-full.jpg

That's it for now, I'm sure there will be more.
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Offline jclures

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 10:34:07 AM »
Symon when we did the gulf trip we worked out a trip menu and it worked out ok, only had a couple of things left over and they were either dried or tinned foods so they just went back to the house pantry.
I had a bit of fun pocked at me over my two angle grinders, one as a grinder one with an ultra thin disk, but they did come in handy fixing an A frame.
I did regret not having any welding gear with me though.

Offline McGirr

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 11:21:27 AM »
Food is the biggest issue. What to take and how much !! Most times when travelling the Cape you stop in the afternoon and after relaxing with a few beers cooking just does not seem enjoyable specially if you have kids to feed. Quick simple meals are ideal. 

As Symon mentioned Seisa has a super market and abattoir for fresh meat and staying in the huts with power does make cooking alot easier.

I took food that we did not use and could have made more space for the beer !!! :cheers:

Mark
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Offline Redback

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 01:08:21 PM »
Food is the biggest issue. What to take and how much !! Most times when travelling the Cape you stop in the afternoon and after relaxing with a few beers cooking just does not seem enjoyable specially if you have kids to feed. Quick simple meals are ideal. 

As Symon mentioned Seisa has a super market and abattoir for fresh meat and staying in the huts with power does make cooking alot easier.

I took food that we did not use and could have made more space for the beer !!! :cheers:

Mark

Or drink less beer, Yogi and I had plenty :cup:

The only thing I regret not taking was the newer battery that I had as a spare for just in case, I forgot it, I could have replaced the one that died, that way I wouldn't have had to use Yogi's generator at Kingfisher, which I very much appriciated by the way.

We used just about everything we packed for the Gulf and Cape trip, we packed enough that we didn't have to replenish as much as others on the both trips, you can't pack too much food, one day you may need the extra food.

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Offline jk

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 01:49:34 PM »
After doing the Cape in 09 with Myswag we had a fair idea what we would need and what we wouldn't, things that we carry but rarely use actually got a run on this years trip,

The 12v welding kit turned out to be needed this trip, it's one of those things that is rarely used but if needed is a life/trip saver.

Gennie, EU20, came in handy for powering up to four sites at a time ( took the solar in 2009 but it was space consuming and the gennie has more flexable on a trip like this )

Food.........we did ok in this department, had plenty and ate like kings ( it helps if you camp close to yogi ), ran 2 x 40l Engles for food and beer and a 25l Waeco as a freezer for meat. We started to run low on 12v power about 10 day into the trip but a quick chat to the electrical guru ( Symon ) and we realised we were using more power than we were making, in future whenever we stop all fridges will be put straight onto 240v and then plug in the 30amp Projector Charger as well, this fixed our problem almost immediately.

The 2 burner BBQ was a great idea, we had many cook ups in the mornings and other trip members came and used it as well ( and you always score a bit of their grub while their cooking )  ;D

This year we did more bush camping then in 09 so the need for water did come up,.................easy fix, we carry a water filter hooked to a Sureflo pump with an Anderson plug on the end, when we got low on water we could pump water from the Wenlock/Jardine etc, filter it and fill up our 100l tank again. Came on very handy.

Take a good tool kit, I had to change an engine mount at Endeavor Falls, a good selection of tools is worth it's weight in gold.

John K

« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 01:53:59 PM by jk »
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Offline SteveandViv

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 03:27:37 PM »
We did OK but with the weather the way it was I would also take the Genny next time. With the two fridges we just didn't keep up (180watts). We got around that by running the car though and using the inverter with the battery chargers, again it would have nee easier to run the Honda 2 instead. We had to much just in case food. We were good with the meat etc but we are still using cans of this and that at Cairns over a week later. Water was OK with Terry having 80 on board and we did have 40 on the roof and 40 on the camper plus Terry had another 40. My tool kit got used a bit due to the bearing on the camper both needing changing and an idler on the Paj.
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Offline DAZnBEC

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 03:33:59 PM »
Good thread idea Symon,

We did the cape this year for the first time and wasn't sure weather we had too much or too little. We were able to take enough meat for the four and a half weeks we were away. We definately chewed through snack foods like, chips, muesli bars, fruit and lollies. But breakfasts were a challenge, as we all became sick to death of cereal, but had a cooked breakfast when we set up for more than one night. Another tip we got from Yogi was to use paper plates and that worked a treat.

As for spares, I didn't take a 12v welder but it would be something I will purchase for the next large trip. We blew out 2 wheel bearings at once on the camper but we had spares for all that. One thing that I had to borrow was a large col chiesel to smash off the inners of these bearings.

Our solar panel hardly got used, so I wouldn't take that again and our 12v shower was only used once.

As for the stops along the way, I could easily spend alot more time on the OTT camping at more creeks, it was one of the highlights for us.

Dazza

Offline Frostd

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 07:02:31 PM »
We are very similar to SteveandViv. We took almost enough meat to last the entire 6 weeks we were away, with a little top up at Siesia and then Cairns on the return.  A gen set would be a must with so much cloud cover, even though, when the sun came out, the solar worked a treat. I probably need to update my tools, with a cold chiesel, as Steve had to bash one of his bear cases off the stub. I took a lot of what if spares, fuel filters, air filters, oil filter, spare bearings, radiator hoses, 1000 metres of hundred mile an hour tape. I may not need to take this much, but I'm not sure.  I would have an internal water tank, that works.

Im with Dazza, I found the OTL fabulous, we stayed 5 nights on the track, Dulhunty, Cockatoo and 3 nights at Sams.  I could easily do another 5 nights along the track and skip doing North of the Jardine. :cup:

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Offline spargo

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2011, 08:42:04 PM »
Great thread guys, even for tips on equipment for trips other than the Cape.

One question I have. A few have said they wouldn't take their solar panels again. Is that because you are always on the go and recharging CT batteries from the cars as you go along, and then they're topped up for each night?? I'm assuming yes..


thanks!!

Offline Symon

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2011, 08:50:36 PM »
spargo - there were a few spots where we were camped in one spot for a few days (Canal Creek in particular) which let the batteries run down, but there were lots of trees around the campsite so solar was next to useless with the shadows.

The rest of the time we were either on the move (so charged off the alternator) or 240V was available.
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Offline Frostd

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 08:59:03 PM »
Spargo, (Steveandviv) & us, did alot of 2-3 night stays, Chilli beach, Sams Creek, Bramwell Station and a few others. What we found was the conditions were overcast probably North of Cooktown, which made it very difficult to get any charge out of the panels.  If it wasnt cloudy, we would have been fine for battery power. So a geni would be great.

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Offline geoffnvi

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 09:34:47 PM »
From my wifes viewpoint i took far too many tools (as she said we didnt use many of them). However, form my point of view, the tool you dont take, may be the one that could save your trip, so i will always make room for them  ;D
Food wise, we were pretty spot on, however next time will buy more meat and cryovac from the fantastic butcher we found in Cairns. I will take my EU20 as well and buy a 12v welding setup. As we will have either a Cape York extreme (like JK) or a Complete Campsite Byron (hardfloor) for our next Cape advenutre, the bits and pieces wil be a little different.
Like most of you, we will be spending more time bush camping along the OTL (3 nights minimum at each spot, more exploring and less time at Seisa.

The best bits we took along were the greasegun (i greased the hitch and suspension every few days) and the Coleman hot water system. This was fantasticly easy to use and made a hot shower an awesome end to long, dusty days.

cheers
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Offline GGV8Cruza

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2011, 09:41:38 PM »
With the mention of the 12v welding kit so many times is it something speacial or the batteries joined together with custome leads with eyes shut while welding. Can we get some further info please

GG

Offline Symon

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2011, 09:46:44 PM »
The welding kit is basically so you can use a couple of car batteries as a welder.  You need three leads - one with an electrode holder on one end, and a large alligator clamp on the other.  Another with two large alligator clamps (for the earth lead), and finally a shorter length with two alligator clamps so you can series up two batteries.

jk might post up some pics of his, if not I'm going to be making myself one this week sometime so I will post up pics when done.
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Offline GGV8Cruza

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 09:51:26 PM »
Cheers Symon, pics and description would be great, I have seen how it all works but a reminder would be good. I think you could buy a set up from a 4by store a while ago

GG

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2011, 06:34:42 AM »
I'm on it, give me until lunch time  ;D
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Offline darren

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2011, 06:45:32 AM »
What do you think about only taking a weeks worth of cyrovaced meat, food etc and buying it on the way then you wouldn't have a need for the extra fridge, genny and maybe even welder. We did a 4 week trip similar with only a 39 l engle for 4.
Not a criticism, just a thought
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Offline jk

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2011, 06:59:49 AM »
12v Welder pics,
I bought the earth clamp and rod holder from a guy at the local flee market,
The cable was old welding cable I had lying around the shed
The rod are taped up to try and keep the moisture out
The lense is in the zip lock bag...........Symon has the full welding mask  ;D
The man bag is from the campimg shop ( available in a veriety of colors to match most if your outfits )
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Offline Frostd

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 07:50:17 AM »
What do you think about only taking a weeks worth of cyrovaced meat, food etc and buying it on the way then you wouldn't have a need for the extra fridge, genny and maybe even welder. We did a 4 week trip similar with only a 39 l engle for 4.
Not a criticism, just a thought
Darren, you could do it that way, but you would have to be thrifty with your fridge. You would have to make sure you have enough amps in your batteries to cover your stop overs. We stopped for max 3 days in any one place without 240 volt power.. I ran two fridges, 50L in the vehicle and 60L in the camper, which held the meat, dairy, adults drinks, soft drinks and some salad items. I found there was no fresh/froozen items, including bread and milk north of Weipa, until you reach Bamaga. Depending how long you were going to stop, you had to stock up, it took us 6-7 days to reach Bamaga to re-stock due to our stop overs.

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Offline darren

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2011, 09:49:06 AM »
Thanks for that. As i said, it wasn't a criticism. We have just got used too a certain way and meat for up to 3 weeks in the fridge is ok. I'm planning for another 4 week remote trip now with the same set up
Darren
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Offline DAZnBEC

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2011, 10:34:54 AM »
Thanks for that. As i said, it wasn't a criticism. We have just got used too a certain way and meat for up to 3 weeks in the fridge is ok. I'm planning for another 4 week remote trip now with the same set up
Darren

I think everyones situation is different, but we are a family of six and find that buying food in remote areas is just way to expensive.

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2011, 03:27:08 PM »
12v Welder pics,
I bought the earth clamp and rod holder from a guy at the local flee market,
The cable was old welding cable I had lying around the shed
The rod are taped up to try and keep the moisture out
The lense is in the zip lock bag...........Symon has the full welding mask  ;D
The man bag is from the campimg shop ( available in a veriety of colors to match most if your outfits )

That's great - thanks for posting. I have just about all of the individual components at home so will make my own kit up this week.

Just need to get the man bag, hopefully I can find one in a nice lavender with room for my makeup  ;D
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Offline Frostd

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011, 03:45:16 PM »
Thanks for that. As i said, it wasn't a criticism. 
Darren no offence taken :cheers:. Everybodies situation is different. I have learnt so much over the past 6 weeks on the big trip. Now just got to plan the next big trip and put some of it into practise :cheers:

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Offline yogi

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2011, 09:27:23 AM »
darren ......... 39L fridge to live out of for a couple of weeks is a top effort.

A 39L fridge is not big enough to store my beer quota for a day ;D Then there is the wygu steaks, black angus cube roll oh and the rib fillet on the bone. Not to mention the pre made curries, roast lamb, roast pork, ribs and the dry aged smoked bacon .... plus all the other goodies we keep in the fridge .... lol

I always take to much food and beer but that's the plan as you just never know when you might end up stuck on the side of the road for a couple of days ..... plus there is nothing like pulling up in the middle of nowhere and having a choice of what to have for dinner, lunch or breakfast 8)

Each trip I add to my specialty tool list and car part spares. Next trip I plan to have a 24v welding kit :cheers:

yogi

Offline SteveandViv

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Re: What would you do differently next time?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2011, 09:43:57 AM »
I agree with you Yogi. I think I would struggle to get away with a 39l. We used a 60 on our trip across Aus to Broome but as we could decide when and where we wanted to be it was OK. The difference with the Cape trip was we weren't sure where or what we could get so it was good to have the additional 50l as well. Between the Frostys and us we were able to take lots of meat, roasts etc and we also had no less than 15 cans of beer then Cider available for the nights and honestly, we hammered that some times.

But like every one has said, there are many options and differences. I think if you know where you can stock up for a reasonable price then I would have taken less but the truth is it was expensive at some stops up here so I was happy to have had the stock on hand.
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