Guidelines for generator use

A generator is great for adding the comforts of home to your caravanning or camping holiday, but you need to use it mindfully.

Caravanning in more remote locations can be an excellent way to relax and escape the stress of everyday life. But sometimes you miss certain home comforts such as the laptop, stereo, fridge, microwave or even a TV. You can solve that by taking a portable generator on your trip.

But before you get that fridge running or music blaring, keep in mind that some locations have restrictions in place. In national parks and forest areas or campsites, there are often limits on noise levels, meaning that only low-decibel generators (usually up to 2.0 Kva, with a maximum noise level output of up to 65dB at 7m) are acceptable.

Noisy generators not only have the potential to disturb fellow campers and caravanners, but also the local wildlife. If you think your generator may produce too much noise, consider alternative ways to power your gadgets such as solar panels, batteries, or in-car chargers.

Generators also run the risk of starting a wildfire, so make sure they are not near any fuel, dry grass or combustible materials while you are using them.

Find out more about using a generator safely, and where you can use them in Queensland, here.

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Adding Air-Conditioning to Your Caravan for Winter and Summer

Reverse cycle air-conditioning in a small space like a caravan or a motorhome is something most people see as an essential accessory rather than an optional one these days in Australia.

At Allbrand Caravan Services we regularly install all types of air-conditioners and can supply and fit one to your caravan that will ensure your holiday is comfortable. At powered sites, air-conditioning allows your living areas to be

as comfortable as you may have come to expect from your own home and makes holidays possible that you would have previously avoided.

Most air-conditioners mount onto the roof of the vehicle and come in a range of profiles and sizes. On the inside there are a variety of fittings which either ducked down into a cabinet or simply sit on the ceiling. Modern systems have remote controls with timers and can keep your space warm in colder areas will cool when it’s hot outside.

If you have an existing system which is not functioning correctly you can give us a call and we can talk through the range of options for repair or replacement.

Call Allbrand Caravan Services on 07 – 3869 2969 to discuss how to keep your vehicle’s temperature perfect for your next holiday.

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3 Great Camping Spots Close to Brisbane

3 Great Camping Spots Close to Brisbane

Of course it depends what you mean by camping but for this story we will focus on some spots where you can tent, use your camper trailer or caravan/motorhome but that aren’t just your regular old caravan parks. The other limitation is we are aiming for under 90 minutes drive from Brisbane in normal traffic.

1. Neurum Creek

This site borders Mount Mee State Forest and is less than 10 mins form the quaint town of Woodford. There you can get anything you might need but you feel away from it all at the site. The privately owned site is quite large and has a few distinct areas, it suits individuals and also groups. The location allows for activities such as canoeing, swimming, biking and trail walking. The hosts live at the retreat and host regular events for their guests.

Camping, Caravanning, Motorhome, Camper Trailer, Swag? You’re all welcome at Neurum Creek Bush Retreat, stay a few days or more; or come for a day visit. Ideal relaxation retreat in which to kick back from the rush and bustle of city life.

Its even pet friendly.

Check out more at http://www.ncbr.com.au/

2. Kenilworth Homestead

This one is pushing the 90 minutes from Brisbane but its very close 🙂 … Kenilworth is a beautiful town west of The Sunshine Coast and the homestead has been accepting weekend and school holiday camping for many years. It too is dog friendly and has a range of sites along a winding river.

The facilities are basic but well looked after and there are some activities such as a bike track, canoeing and swimming in the creek and the usual camping relaxation.

There is also a large hall and dorm/cabins for hire for a special event including an amazing old chapel where many a wedding has been held. There is a camp kitchen but only for the hall.

Kenilworth Homestead is a privately run outdoor recreation, family camping and function centre, right on the bank of the beautiful Mary River and just 2km from the township of Kenilworth. Camping, Caravan, Camper, and Motor Home all are welcomed at the Homestead.

More information is available at http://kenilworthhomestead.com.au/

3. Murphy’s Creek

This site is west of Brisbane on the way to Toowoomba. In fact it also is about 90 mins away offers great camping and also on site options as well.

Activities include swimming in the inland sandy beach, a flying fox, biking, walking, BBQ’s and all the usual bush fun. IKts also a good kick off point to local attractions like the Cobb & Co museum, local art shops and even the winerys in the area.

Murphy’s Creek Escape is a picturesque camping ground offering powered, non-powered, group and remote camping on large sites within an amazing natural bush setting.

Check out the location and book at http://www.murphyscreekescape.com.au/

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Gas Heaters for Your Caravan

When you’re on the road or especially off the road, a gas heater can be the perfect partner … keeping you warm whether you have electricity available or not.

Caravan gas heating offers effective and efficient performance thanks to their high level of efficiency and low power consumption. With low exhaust emissions making them extremely kind to the environment, and the systems can be very quiet which also enhances your travel.

We can supply and fit gas heaters and other solutions from a wide variety of brands and models. Allbrand Caravan Services can even advise you on a good fit for your van.

Some of the systems and options available are discussed and shown in this video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6R12upvfD8

An Example

The Trumatic E 2400 is a new addition on the Australia RV scene, but has been around for years in Europe. It is a g

reataddition to the heating options available for Motor-homes and Caravans, particularly those that don’t already have diesel tanks.

It’s possible to get combination gas and electric heaters which add extra flexibility because these heaters can be used in either gas or electric mode or even in a mixture of the two which can reduce the initial time to heat.

If you choose an air blown heater that operates on LPG gas then you may need to consider if you require a larger gas bottle source to provide enough gas for heating as well as cooking.

 

Call us on (07) 3869 2969 to get the best heater fitted in time for your next trip.

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Caravan Electric Brakes

Nearly every caravan now built has electric brakes fitted to the caravan. These brakes require an electric current from a brake controller mounted in your car, to make them operate. Any towed trailer or caravan that weights 750kg or more must be fitted with independent brakes. Electric are the most common type.

According to the Australian Design Rules, all trailers over 750kgs GTM (irrespective of the towing capacity or unladen mass of the tow vehicle) must have an effective brake system fitted.

Caravans or Trailers that exceed 2,000kg GTM must have brakes fitted to all wheels and have a system capable of automatically activating if the trailer comes away from the towing vehicle. These are a brake controller that is on the trailer with its own power.

How do electric brakes work?

Your caravan brake hubs have the traditional brake shoes inside, they rarely have disc brakes.

The magnet becomes activated when power is supplied from your brake controller. It is attracted to the inside flat face of the rotating brake hub (not shown). The rotating hub causes the magnet to rotate as shown. (The magnet is attached to a lever that pivots). When it pivots it causes both brake shoes to spread and apply your brakes.

The brake controller that gets installed into your car – on or near your dashboard, is what controls the power that gets sent to the magnet at your wheel.

The controller has a direct connection to your battery for the source of power. It also has a connection to the stop lights, usually from the switch at the brake pedal. This tells the unit to supply power to the magnet, via a direct wire from the controller. An earth is also required.

There are many brands and models of brake controllers available and AllBrand Caravan Services can recommend a great fit for your vehicle.

Fitting

We can completely fit or modify an existing fitting for your caravan or trailer. Our experienced team will look after your vehicle like it was their own.

The controllers may be mounted in a cradle under the dashboard or remotely with just the controls protruding through dashdoard.

Brands

Once again there are a huge range of factors to be considered when choosing electric brakes so we can talk you through the best fit for your setup when you give us a call or drop in. The better known brands include Redarc, Tekonsha Prodigy etc

Call us on (07) 3869 2969 to get your vehicle sorted.

 

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hail damage on caravan

Some Write Offs have a Silver Lining

South East Queensland was recently hit by some massive hail storms and many caravans and motorhomes were unfortunately damaged. Some of them were just too expensive to fix and insurance companies are writing them off even though much of the damage is cosmetic.

In a few cases, owners receive the payout amount are then given the opportunity to re-purchase the caravan at a much lower cost. Since the damage is cosmetic, many are taking this offer up and keeping their van and the price difference.

If you are in that boat, it could be a good time ot invest in some repairs yourself or do those little upgrades around the vehicle.

Allbrand Caravan Services can help with free quotes and quality repairs.

Call us on 3869 2969 to talk to us about your repairs or improvements.

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Caravan Tips

Caravan Travel Tip List for Summer

Summer is a great time to hit the road of the family or on your own … Before you head off, here’s some helpful tips for a safe journey.

Loading the caravan

It’s important to load the caravan correctly so that it tows well. Here are some tips:

  • Keep the centre of gravity low by putting heavy items near the floor and where possible over the axle/s.
  • When packing a caravan for the first time, check that its ATM/GTM and ball load is not exceeded; and that you meet all tow vehicle and tow bar specifications. If you do exceed the ball load, you can try re-stowing contents – but don’t simply move gear to the rear of the van, as this will affect the stability. If this doesn’t work, you may need to change the caravan/tow vehicle combination.
  • Some caravans carry greater weight on one side (because of the fridge, stove, sink, etc.). Balance this out by loading portable equipment on the other side.
  • Remove unnecessary items and use lightweight items wherever possible to reduce the caravan’s weight and save on fuel. Try not to carry large quantities of water (unless you’re going somewhere that water is unavailable).
  • Rubber matting or foam on shelves will stop the contents from sliding.
  • Wrap glassware and other breakables in towels or newspapers. Use plastics where possible.
  • Don’t leave loose articles on the floor where they can roll around and cause damage.
  • Store food and equipment that you will need when you first stop within easy reach.
  • Carry all the tools and equipment you need for hitching and unhitching in an easy-to-access place.

Load levelling devices

Load levelling devices redistribute the load between the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle for greater stability, steering response and braking. Before buying one, know that:

  • They DO NOT reduce the ball load of the caravan
  • They should only be used on tow bars and vehicles that are intended for them, or else they may cause structural failure
  • You should seek specialist advice from the licensed dealer or a caravan parts retailer or supplier before fitting a load levelling device.

Extension mirrors

If you are towing a caravan and can’t see the cars behind you (on either side), you must fit external rear vision mirrors.

Hitching up

Hitching the car to the caravan isn’t as hard as it looks. If you’re doing it on your own, you can get hitching aids from caravan accessories shops. If you’ve got an assistant, here are a few tips:

  • Warm up the towing vehicle’s engine and transmission by taking it for a short drive (if you just leave the engine idling in the van park, you might annoy other campers)
  • Apply the van brake and raise the van’s corner stabilisers
  • Using the jockey wheel, ensure the front of the van is raised high enough to allow the tow ball to pass under the coupling
  • Practice and agree on any hand signals that will be used by the assistant
  • Make sure the assistant stands clear of the car’s reversing path.
  • Once the tow ball is in place under the coupling, lower the jockey wheel to mate the parts; then connect the safety chain, electricals, load levelling hitch and brakes (as applicable) and remove or stow the jockey wheel
  • Release the trailer’s handbrake.

A final check

Before taking to the road at any time, ensure that:

  • Corner stabilisers are up and jockey wheel is stowed
  • Coupling lock mechanism is firmly fixed
  • Safety chains are attached
  • Brake coupling / wiring is connected
  • Light wiring has been connected to the car and the lights are working
  • Tyre pressures of car and van are correct
  • Wheel chocks are removed
  • Windows and hatches are closed and locked
  • Van step is retracted
  • Electricity lead, water and sullage hoses are disconnected and stowed
  • Inside, cupboard doors are closed and movable objects are packed to prevent sliding around
  • Gas is off and fridge is turned over to 12v supply if fitted (note: gas pilot lights must be turned off when refuelling the towing vehicle)
  • The TV antenna is removed or retracted
  • The caravan door is locked and safely latched
  • Outside rear vision mirrors have been adjusted and the windscreen has been cleaned.
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hail storm

Hail Damage?

With the damage bill for last week’s summer storm hitting over 1 billion dollars, many caravans, motorhomes and trailers have damage that can be repaired. If you are insured, callus for a free quote regardless of your insurer.

We can complete authorised repairs and replace parts including glass, awnings, panels and more.

No matter what has been damaged, we can assist with your caravan and motorhome repairs.

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8 Quick Tips for Holidaying In A Caravan

8 Quick Tips for Holidaying In A Caravan or Motorhome

Since summer is quickly approaching, perhaps you are beginning to plan your families summer holiday. If you plan to travel in a caravan or a motorhome, that’s amazing! However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you hit the open road in search of some summertime adventure!

  • Know where you are going. Caravans and Motorhomes use up a lot of petrol and let’s face it, it is not a cheap commodity. By knowing exactly where you are going and mapping it out or using GPS, you can avoid driving around aimlessly, wasting precious fuel and listening to children continuously ask, “Are we there yet?” haha
  • Pack only what you need. Some things to remember besides the obvious, and this goes for both modes of transportation, are: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, plenty of drinking water and food. This is especially important when taking a motorhome, as it is much more difficult to take to a grocery than a caravan … because once at your location the caravan can be unhitched from your vehicle.
  • Give each child even the smallest spot for their own. Allow them to put their stuff in this space and this will help them feel less cramped.
  • Try to choose a place to holiday that will keep you out of the caravan or motorhome as much as possible. In general, the vehicle is a means to an end is not a destination. Maybe a place with a swimming pool or lake, a fishing pond, hiking trails, etc.
  • If you can try cooking outside on a BBQ or grill. It saves warming up the inside of the van and it gets pretty cluttered in these small spaces. Bring some camping chairs so that your family can sit under the stars telling ghost
    stories or just laughing
  • Bring games to play in case of bad weather. Always have something on hand to keep the kids entertained. We’ll give you some suggestions in a future post.
  • Make sure your food is stored properly to prevent spoiling or a visit from wild animals. This includes taking care of your trash properly as well. Particularly for bush camping but it’s important everywhere.
  • Take note of where the nearest medical facilities are, especially if you have children or elderly with you.

These are just a few helpful hints to get you started on your open road adventure! Summertime is such a great time to get out of the house and seek and seek an adventure that will give you and yours wonderful memories for years to come!

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