Travel - Experienced stories from travellers

Stories about people places & experiences PLUS tips for life on the road

Weight Safe

OK… who knows how much their caravan weighs right now? And what about the total of the car AND the van. And is it loaded in such a way to be as safe as possible?

Like most things in life there are a LOT of ‘experts’ on this topic in the caravan & camping world both online and at 4 o’clock drinkies!...

For the most part, many long-time travellers often have some good advice… but not always. Especially when it comes to understanding caravan towing weights.

ATM, GTM, GCM, TARE MASS, TOW-BALL WEIGHT, …even highly qualified experts we’ve met agree all those acronyms make weight limits VERY confusing – and even though we’ve weighed our own car and van at public weighbridges across the country and everything seems to be ok…but is it really?

The Big Lap

We see it all the time on various Facebook groups….
“Planning the Big Lap but only got a few months. 2 small kids and a dog. What’s the best pet friendly places, free camps and any other tips?”

Well in case you didn’t know a trip around Australia on the main coastal road is about 14,500km & that doesn’t include a side trip to Tassie! And according to several sources, the total time taken for a non-stop drive along the main coastal roads has been calculated to be around 7.5days.

That’s ‘DAYS’ driving all day and night!!
Or roughly 48 days in total if only driving approximately 300Km’s a day & stopping overnight.

Kylie Kavanagh

If you have pets and love travelling as much as we do, there's NO WAY we're going to leave them behind is there?...

But not all animals love the bit where they have to be in the car for a few hours to get from A to B.
So what are some of the tricks to make all this 'stress free' for our pets?

To find out more Brian caught up with Kylie Kavanagh who is the Surgery Veterinary Nurse Manager at Sydney's Animal Referral Hospital and also happens to be a multi-event winner showing her dogs under the banner 'Strongstorm Staffords'.

 

Miriam Vale Pub QLD

We’re on a 'zig-zag' tour of Australia keeping a very close eye out for the smaller, less commonly mentioned locations… like Miriam Vale, a very pretty little Queensland town located roughly halfway between Bundaberg & Gladstone.

WikiCamps and various Facebook groups recommended Miriam Vale’s local pub would be a great place to stay overnight – taking advantage of the fact it’s a free-camp AND there is a bit of an implied hint we could return the favour by purchasing a drink or two and even a meal. :-)

Turns out that was a great decision because not only were the meals we ordered typically huge and 'country style yummy' but we also learnt a lot about the town and its history from locals with our special guest & pub owner, Mitch Brennan.

 

Weight Safe Mobile Weighing Service

Do you know how much your car, caravan, boat, trailer or even your horse floats weighs?

And did you know that if you are 'spot-checked' by police while on the road and are found to be overweight you will be fined?

Worse than that... If you have an accident - whether your fault or not - and are found to be overweight, your insurance will probably be void!

Brian caught up with Jason Fothergill - one of the two brains behind the Weight Safe Mobile Weighing Service in QLD (the other being Brendan Fitzgerald) to find out a bit about their service and what it offers to not just caravaners, but all motorists & yes, even some truckies!!

 

Caravan Education Poll Results
 
The Truck Friendly Program recently created their first 'Caravan Education Poll' with some amazing results. In this 'Podcast with Pictures', Ken Wilson - passionate safety advocate and founder of the Truck Friendly Education Program - explains and comments on the results of the six questions posed in the poll.

+++ SHORT ON TIME? +++
Watch the whole podcast or skip to a question that interests you...  Details below or you can listen to AUDIO  ONLY Version here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/39971487 
 
Inside Toowoomba Motor Village
 
In February 2020, we started our trip travelling from Cairns in FNQ to a major caravan event in Henty NSW scheduled for April.

By mid-March 2020 we had a planned stop-over at the Toowoomba Motor Village for a 2 night stay. 2 days later the Henty event was cancelled and we were subsequently 'locked down' due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

At the time of this video we've been here 4 months! - Not that that's a bad thing! We've already had a very funny chat with the managers of the park Vaughn & Wendy Smith that you can listen to here.... (<-- PODCAST ONLY!)

But we also thought you might like to see and hear a little bit about the place in this short 'Podcast With Pictures'.
 

Ken Wilson

Have you ever watched the news and noticed a caravan rollover or an accident involving a truck and caravan?

Sadly they’re more common than you’d think – which is why we’re keen to promote a new FREE site and service which will help both newbies and long-time travellers to check their weights plus learn more about how to help make the highways easier for the hard-working truckies who’re delivering the stuff we need to survive.

Someone who’s passionate about this is Ken Wilson who you‘re going to hear a lot more about because he ‘s set up a free service to encourage people to be more aware of all the other vehicles on the road called the Truck Friendly - road safety program

Brian caught up with Ken to find out more...

 

Henty 2020 Postponed
As members of the New Age Caravan owners 'club' called the New Age Tribe, we recently recorded one of the 'Happy Hour Zoom Chats' and the results have been very positive!

This short 'Podcast with Pictures' gives an insight into the most recent one followed by an update from Bryan himself about the postponement of the Henty 2020 catch-up and 'life in isolation'.

Re; THE MOST RECENT HAPPY HOUR VIDEO CHAT:
We had some great comments which have been recorded and we're madly trying to put some of the best ones together as a 'video replay' soon!... soon as we can finish editing it! :-)

Re; My (FWPT) video background...
Yes the background is actually our view from the van. I added this in as a 'virtual background' photo (which you can also do when using ZOOM!) 'cos the light was all washed out sitting outside so I thought this looked better.
Remind me to comb my hair next time pls otherwise Kaye said she'll put it into pigtails!!

 

All About Henty 2020
Back in 2018 Bryan & Lyndel Crow organised a major get together called 'Henty 2018' for the New Age Tribe. - an Aussie brand caravan club for New Age owners. 

Lots of great educational stuff, discounted products and plenty of social catch-ups plus learning all about 'off-grid' camping.
 
This year Henty 2020 promises to be even bigger and better as Bryan explains in this short 'Podcast With Pictures' 
 
 
AUDIO ONLY VERSION
Low on bandwidth? - you can listen to the audio only version here. https://foodwinepetstravel.com/podcasts 

 

Healing Art Therapy
After finally selling their house in Bendigo VIC, Robyn & Pete Robinson hit the road running with their much loved pooch Paddy. Both do occasional work on the road to help the budget but recently Robyn was offered an opportunity in a very remote part of Australia - Aurukun - a mostly indigenous town just a short 13.5hr drive from Cairns FNQ or 44hrs from Melbourne!

Robyn is a qualified teacher and Art Therapist and is no stranger to working with indigenous people. She also has a great website called Kajeet - www.kajeet.com.au  - where you can find out more about Art Therapy and its healing qualities.


In this short podcast we managed to have a quick chat with Robyn to discover more about how they got on the road and WHY she is now off to Aurukun and what she'll be doing there with the local indigenous population - something she is very passionate about.