Author Topic: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?  (Read 16122 times)

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Offline vagabond

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Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« on: August 06, 2010, 09:14:06 PM »
Just thinking about doing a trip to Tassie next year.  I had a look at the Spirit of Tassie website confirmed that trailers, caravans and even motor homes can be brought onboard. The site mentions that the owner of the vehicle drives into the vessel and parks in a bay.  Anyone tell me how this happens logistically - how big does the vehicle queue get at Port Melbourne ?   How early do you have to queue ?  How tight is the parking ?  How are the vehicles arranged and what happens at Tassie first car in last out (eg filled from back to front) ?  How long does it take to get the car out ?

Offline davo69 and the Nurse

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 09:18:04 PM »
Great question!

I have never gone on the boat... but my Dad (Spike45) is also looking at taking Goldie the Goldstream on the red boat at Christmas to visit my sister... he would be interested in the same details!

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Offline JCAT

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 09:21:17 PM »
The last time we went on in 2008, it took between 30 - 45 minutes to get on at Port Melbourne. On the way out they send you by the level you are parked on, which is usually fairly quick.
If you were to allow an hour at each end that should easily cover it.
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Offline Postie

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 09:47:33 PM »
If you do the night crossing,  make sure you are awake and ready to drive out. That's where the delays Happen...  sleepy heads not ready to drive out at the right time!
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Offline grubbadoo1

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 11:03:26 PM »
And the parking is like a sardine can packet tight as :cheers:

Offline speewa158

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 06:17:02 AM »
Dont forget that ship is an enclosed RORO ( roll on  roll off ) ,that means NO gas can on CT or any other type container . Haz chem , if a fire breaks out just something else to go bang . Have a chat to your insurence company to see if you are covered for damage in transit onboard . The crossing can be a hairy , I have seen the results of loads shifting on trucks , makes them hard to deliver at the other end . In transit the car decks are locked so you cant go there . From time to time at either end of the trip Plod will have an RBT set up just for fun . Sounds like fun but due to cronic sea sickness can never do . Used to be involved it freight to Tas from Melb . :cheers:
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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 07:41:33 AM »
Something else to consider, when I looked into it, it was the same price to hire a camper at the other end as it was to take the camper on the boat. It's expensive.
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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 08:39:58 AM »
I Heard from a mate that did the trip a few years back that the vehicles are also strapped down from the vehicle tie down or recovery points, in his case a Navara Ute and Jayco

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010, 08:49:04 AM »
I took the cruiser and jayco across a few years back. Gas bottles are fine full as long as they are mounted on the camper. They just use chocks behind the wheels if its smooth and if the weather is bad then use those tyre straps like car transporters use . The que is fine at each end, The parking is tight but fine, There are all sorts of trucks on there too. Its a bit like a shopping center car park with ramps etc. It is suprisingly fast to get off.
 I went across from melbourne and came back to sydney. The trip across was a lounge one and was very boring. There isnt even much room to find a comfy seat.
 But hey, once you get off your in tassie, how goods that.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 08:52:43 AM by darren »
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Offline graham

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2010, 09:21:58 AM »
gidday i took the two youngsters  across on the boat 2009 xmas time(peaktime) costing around $1900.00 return.went during the day on the melb-devonport run. you could have waterskied behind the boat.like a millpond. we also booked cabins for both trips $80-90 for the day trip and about $110 for the return trip home at night. the cabins were a great idea because during the day you could wander around let the kids burn off a bit of energy,have a look at the bay,the heads ,then they can retire to the cabins for a serious bit of colouring in. i know i said bass strait was as flat as,  but it is quite windy out on the decks, as the boat is travelling along at about 30-35mph. food on board wasnt to bad and well priced and we all had a sleep during the day   the return trip at night was even better, park the rig,up to the cabin ,hot shower. down for some tucker back up to the cabin ,for a comfy sleep.a buzzer alarm sounds off in your cabin about 3/4 of a hour before docking,hot showers for all ,get dressed jump in the car and home. cabins are good.from memory i think the car/camper/trailer had to be under 2.5 meters high and under 11.5 meters long. exceed these limits and the price changes accordingly. i made it by a 100mm (patrol and a kk). must see places in tassie would be anywhere on the coast,east coast is fantastic, and anywhere in the middle.  the facilitys in the parks in a word. brilliant. free bbq, running water, clean toilets/showers great place.  also i did not have to unhook the gas bottles from the camper as they are fixed in place  boarding the boat is just a matter of getting there at the agreed time, line up in the que, then drive on when directed, easy peasy cheers Graham
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Offline Fivid

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2010, 10:33:55 AM »
We not taken the camper yet but plan to do so next year.  When we went in 2008 they had special trolleys that you had to put all gas bottles into.  We had a couple of coleman cannisters that had to go in there but a guy in the line beside ours had to take his off his CT.  Same deal with firearms, have to be handed in for secure storage during the voyage. 
If booking on the web site, be careful as once you say 4wd with bull bar it puts you over the 5m length and into a higher price bracket.  I booked for 4 vehicles when we went, the only vehicles in our group over 5m were the Patrol wagons at about 5.150m from memory.  The Patrol tray was just under 5m and the 80 series cruiser was about 4.800m so I had to ring up and get refunds.  Be aware of vehicle heights though, if over 2.2m I think it is they will put you on  deck with more height clearance so if travelling in a group you can get broken up and put on different parts of the ship.
We had 6m swells on the trip back, no vehicles on our deck were tied down but there is certainly facility for it to be done.
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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2010, 01:43:22 PM »
All those vehicles have fuel tanks, but can't carry a 'sigg' bottle of metho / shellite in your camping kit.  ???  Know some folks who took a VW Type 3 wagon across once for a family camping trip.  Check of the rear luggage area, all clear.  Camp fuel travelled safely in the 'front boot'.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 12:00:14 AM by barry1956 »
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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2010, 07:58:42 PM »
Vagabond,
As others have said, no dramas taking pretty much any vehicle/trailer on the boat.  Here is a piccy of my hunjy going over on the boat in the vehicle deck garage thingy.  As you can see not too squishy.  Well it wasn't on my trip!



I have other photos from the bar on the way over, but no one wants to see them!

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Offline speewa158

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2010, 08:03:14 PM »
Did you run through a flock of Galars on the way to the boat ? Nasty mess on the bullbar   :cheers:
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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2010, 08:09:19 PM »
Your not wrong, it made a hell of a mess of that "galah's" face! ;D

Hey hang on a minute...

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Offline KM4

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2010, 09:40:21 PM »
We did this crossing a few years ago when we had a '98 Disco and a plain old 7x4 box trailer closed in with a tradesman's canopy.  At that time before we had a camper trailer we used to roll our swag out in the trailer because it was weatherproof, warm and actually quite comfy! We had to pay by the linear metre of our combined vehicle/trailer length, because our trailer was not classed as a camper or caravan if it didn't have bed fixtures in it.  Apparently at that time caravans & campers, but not box trailers, were included in the price of the towing vehicle fare at certain times of the year.

Anyway, we had a great trip (overnight Melbourne Devonport return) even though the voyage was rough as guts. The vehicle and trailer were tied down with webbing straps at each corner.  The meals and entertainment were great - much like good value pub counter meals. We expected expensive prices being a captive market but were pleasantly surprised.

One caveat though, If carrying firearms, you're better off not declaring them. Just make sure they're secure in your vehicle and out of sight. The less said the better. Why? When I enquired from Qld and declared we were carrying firearms when I paid for our passage (for a sport shooting event) before we even got to Melbourne, we were assured our firearms would be "securely stored and returned to us at disembarkation". No details were given, but i naively assumed they would be secured in the office on board the ship in a secure storage. Nuh!  Secure storage actually means locked in a cage with numerous gas bottles, paints, and other "dangerous items" in the open tray of a ute parked on the bow deck of the ship totally exposed to the ocean and spray!!!  Now, each of our competition shotguns are worth more than the ute they were "secured" in.  If we'd known this was how they would be "secured", well... 'nuff said.
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Offline Red1

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2010, 08:36:05 PM »
Hi Vagabond,
We went over fro Xmas 09 and had a ball. Our car is a 200 series and we have a 09 Swan. Some things to keep in mind_
- there is no parking at the ship area in Melbourne. We had to park about a KM away along the waterfront. This isnt all bad though as it was a great place to take the kids for a walk
- the line takes about an hr to get through onto the ship
-there is HEAPS of room in the car decks., we were able to open the doors easily to get out of the car.
- the trip over was fairly flat, but the way home was rough, the outside decks were closed. The car didnt move at all and easnt tied down.
- It was quite expensive to take the car & camper over, $2400 return, but worth it to have all of our own gear in our own camper. Our kids were able to be in familiar surroundings fromthe day we arrived.(they were 6 & 7)
-everyone we spoke to said it was wise to take the night trip & get a cabin. There is not a lot to do on the ship, so you might as well be asleep and not wastingvaluable holiday time.
- all in all it is a great experience and only adds to the complete Tassie experience.

Enjoy

Offline vagabond

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2010, 11:21:11 PM »
Thank all that have replied

Offline 2 Brutal

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2010, 08:29:06 PM »
I think there is peak and offpeak times as well which can either add several hundred $$$ to the trip or make it a few $$ cheaper.
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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2010, 09:12:09 PM »
Can anyone tell me what the Vehicle height restrictions are for the boat.

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2010, 09:15:13 PM »
Can anyone tell me what the Vehicle height restrictions are for the boat.

Judging by the trucks I've seen some off it I think your height will be fine. Now your length with the camper, I hope you have deep pockets.
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Offline LC

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2010, 09:31:34 PM »
realise this is probably totally irrelevant but here are a couple of pics from from our trip on SPOT 1 last year - Linda, Jaiden and myself were the only 3 passengers onboard!






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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2010, 09:39:15 PM »
Be like a bus mans holiday for you. Did you resist going to the bridge  ;D
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Offline GU Rich

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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2010, 09:44:23 PM »
Judging by the trucks I've seen some off it I think your height will be fine. Now your length with the camper, I hope you have deep pockets.
Without anything on the roof I'm close to 2200mm.
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Re: Anyone taken their camper aboard the Spirit of Tasmania ?
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2010, 09:48:12 PM »
I have a mate who regulary takes a pan tech truck over to Tas so they cater for all sizes
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