BIG4 Caravan Park, Wye River, Great Ocean Road. VIC

BIG4 Caravan Park, Wye River, Great Ocean Road. VIC

We couldn’t have picked a better place to hold our first Titanium Caravan Owners Rally. BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park is such a beautiful, large and well maintained park with lots of wildlife and grassy, open spaces.

The park is located in a lovely riverside valley with mountains behind, a babbling river running through, and a surf beach right across the road. There is also a general store and cafe right at the entrance to the park. We ordered pizzas, lasagne and salad for everyone from here and it was delicious!

Most of us are self contained in our vans, but I did go and check out the amenities which seemed pretty new! The laundry was awesome and the large washing machines and driers both cost just $3 a load.

The new camp kitchen was great! Fully enclosed and self contained with tables and a large fridge. There was no cutlery that we could find though – so be sure to take your own. There are also outdoor tables and bbq’s – some sites even have their own tables!

For the kids there is a games room, adventure playground, jumping pillow, go karts for hire plus plenty of walking and riding trails.

There are cabins and powered plus un-powered sites, it’s dog-friendly and has all the regular awesome stuff that BIG4’s often have. Live music, firepits for hire, fire wood for purchase, drive through sites, disabled bathroom and the list goes on.

Check out the website https://www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/vic/great-ocean-road/wye-river-holiday-park for more info or to book. Say you heard about it from us and you never know they might give you the VIP treatment 😉

The best part of this park is most definitely the location. The Great Ocean Road is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular roads in Australia!

Riverina Hotel Free Camp, Holbrook NSW

Riverina Hotel Free Camp, Holbrook NSW

We ended up doing 600km from The Great Ocean Road to Holbrook and flicked open wiki to find somewhere close by. This free camp popped up and the reviews looked good so we thought we’d give it a go. We always enjoy pub camping; chatting to and having a beer with the locals is always fun!

It’s right behind the pub as they usually are, which means it was also close to the road. There is a grassy area with some dirt/gravel areas and a large gravel car park on one side (parking for the pub and trucks). You can enter via Bowler street through the car park or down the little road just past.

Big rigs do come and go – one started up and left at 3am, and overall it wasn’t super quiet, but not too bad. It was a warm night though so we had all the windows open.

The grass was green and the trees large and shady. We had no problem pulling in, turning and parking. We were the only ones there (Sunday night).

You must go into the hotel to let them know you are staying (for safety reasons) and buy a meal or a beer to use amenities (we are self contained so didn’t need to use them but I hear they are well maintained). We did have a beer, sat out front and had chat with the locals.

This is a great overnighter in a really convenient place.

  • Dogs are allowed

  • Shower (we didn’t see this but it says there is one in the wiki description)

  • Toilets

  • Bins

  • Good phone reception (we are with Telstra)

  • 72 hour limit

  • Accessible for big rigs

We Loved the Historical Anchor Stampers in Lottah, Tasmania

We Loved the Historical Anchor Stampers in Lottah, Tasmania

We found the Anchor Stampers and it was one of the most interesting things we’ve come across on this trip to Tassie! I have lived here for most of my life and had no idea this place even existed. It really is great returning to my home state as a tourist.

The old Anchor Tin Mine was located on the southern footslopes of the Blue Tier and our visit to these rusted tin crushing machines was part of a half day trip to the Pyengana/Lottah region on Tasmania’s East Coast.

Pyengana Dairy

Our afternoon began with lunch at the Pyengana Dairy, a beer at the Pub in The Paddock (where sadly Priscilla 1 and Priscilla 2, the beer-drinking pigs, were hiding away in their little pig-house), a walk to the 90 – metre – high St Columba Falls and a visit to the incredible old Don Mine. It was an action-packed day, that ended with the short walk into the old Anchor Mine to view the old tin stampers.

Pyengana Dairy

Pub in the Paddock

St Columba Falls

Don Mine

We followed the GPS to Lottah where we found – nothing. Chris looked over at me while we were driving along the narrow, windy road surrounded by dense bush and said ‘great, another wild goose chase!’ But we were in the right spot and if you looked around, there was actually plenty to see. If we had more time, we would have included the Halls Falls Walk in the day’s adventures!

Given what we were seeing (which was nothing), you would never have known Lottah was once a bustling mining town and home to 150 miners and their families. The town had everything the residents needed including two hotels, a post office, general store and police station. Although any church goers weren’t catered for as interestingly, there was no church of any denomination. Lottah was once a main thoroughfare for those traveling between St Helens and Scottsdale but now the only way to get there is via a gravel road. This road runs alongside the beautiful Groom River that looks to have some stunning swimming holes – if you can find your way down to them! Lottah no longer has shops, and there remain just a few houses – which is so very different to a time when St Helens was built just to service Lottah and the Anchor Mine.

The Anchor Stampers signs are dotted along the road and not hard to see. Pull into the large, circular car park where you will find the beginning of the short 30 – minute – return walk.

 The track itself is a formed path that takes you gradually downhill with a couple of sections of reinforced dirt steps and past a few remnants of the mining days. You walk past the old dam and along what we think is the dam wall. It’s a bit overgrown in places with prickly plants like thistles and what appeared to be blackberry bushes, so be careful – I nearly tore a hole in my jumpsuit!

As you approach the first viewing platform, the two 10-head heritage stampers from the 1930’s loom up from the forest wall giving you a sense of being transported to another time; a time when there were no trees here, just a clearing with a working tin mine where hundreds of men laboured away, from 1880 until its final closure in 1996.

 Walking further down a little path, you will see that here are two different Stampers – one is the Thompson, brought across from Castlemaine in Victoria, and the other is the Salisbury, manufactured in Launceston (as you can see stamped on the front of each machine).

The stampers are huge and rusty and you can get right up close and even touch them- just mind the spiders!

The informative signs on both viewing platforms give a great explanation of what it used to be like here, and how tin mining has played such a huge part in Tasmania’s history.

As with most of Tasmania’s walks and hikes, be aware of snakes, leeches and ticks. Thankfully we only ended up with one leech on us this time! Our trip to the Don Mine delivered two leeches to Chris and five to me. Eek!

The Anchor Stampers are well worth a visit. I rate this little-known attraction a 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Our GCI Traytec Canopy

Our GCI Traytec Canopy

WHERE IS YOUR TRUCK BUILD VIDEO??? Yes, we hear you! And we feel it’s time we give you some answers.

We had really hoped that by now we would have had a full Chev build/run-down video posted … and we know you were hoping for the same thing as we get so many requests for it every day! We thought we’d better explain exactly what’s going on and why there’s no build video to be seen.

It’s a pretty straightforward reason really – the truck isn’t actually finished yet. Covid really made this build a tricky one; parts went missing (lost at sea ), wrong parts were sent, and some parts are still on backorder with no known arrival date.

So, what we have decided to do is a complete run down on the GCI Traytec canopy as this is one of the most common questions we get asked.

Why GCI Traytec? We believe without a doubt, that they are the best in the business. The innovation, styling, design, quality and precision are just some of the qualities that set them apart and has us being pulled over in the street!

The design is 100% Australian with all the work being completed at GCI Traytec which is part of GCI group. GCI group is one of the largest sheet metal fabrication businesses in Australia. The majority of the trays and canopies are manufactured at GCI, however the zinc plating on the mounts and some plastic CNC machining is outsourced.

Design, programming, laser cutting, CNC folding, welding, machining, powder coating and assembly is all done under the one roof in South East Queensland. The aluminium grades used are 5005, 5052, 5083 and 6061. There are zero raw aluminium surfaces as everything is powder coated.
Mounts are made from mild steel to ensure strength yet allowing for flex and copping a beating off-road without cracking or failure. The mounts are also zinc plated which means they don’t rust.

Here’s what we have:

THE TRAY:

Specs: 2000mmx2000mm tray, 900mm high, with a 200mm thick headboard.

HEADBOARD:

The headboard is designed in this way to match the C-pillar, allowing the tray to flow with the design on the car. In the headboard there is a 60L 316 grade (food grade) stainless steel water tank that gravity feeds into an under tray 100L stainless tank that is made from the same 316 stainless steel. It’s then pumped using a 9.5L/m 65PSI pump to the twin outlets on the rear of the tray. One outlet is for the hot water system/shower, the other is for the kitchen. Every component of the water system from filler to outlet is food grade.
The headboard also houses options for dual water and fuel fillers. The fuel fillers work with truck pump high flow diesel with zero splash back.

TOOLBOXES:

We have opted for toolboxes all round – these are actually drawers.
Front boxes are 51L and rear boxes are 32L. All boxes are on 16” (406mm) HD slides and are rated to 40kg per box.
They are all “box in a box” construction meaning there is an inner drawer and an outer box which gives the toolboxes their water and dustproofing. All side boxes have internal lighting.
The rear tunnel drawer is 1200mm long, 625mm wide and 150mm deep with stainless flip lid that doubles as a table. The rear tunnel drawer is also box in a box, meaning the stainless lid doesn’t add or subtract to the water/dust proofing.

MODS:

• Extra wide mudguards for our 37”x 13.5” wide tyres. This is not a standard feature, but this stretched standard design is to ensure truck is legal.
• Winch infill plate (winch to go in at a later date)
• Window protector. You can’t see this, but there’s one on there!
• Central locking on entire canopy– wired into OEM remote.

CANOPY

Size: 2000mmx1750mm

EXTERIOR

• Spare wheel holders to suit our 37” tyres
• Double folding rear ladder. Very similar to standard ladder, but it has had a redesign to allow for the 37s.
• Ladder uprights are 10mm thick, 5083 marine grade aluminium.
• Powder coat. This is a scratch resistant powder which is very hard wearing and super easy to clean with dust not sticking like it would to traditional 2-pac paints.

interior

• COLOUR

The internal colour is mercury silver. We chose this light grey colour as it is light enough to give an open feeling to the canopy but won’t be blinding in bright sunlight and doesn’t show every bit of dirt.

• LIGHTING

Both main doors have three colour strip lighting: white, warm white and amber.

BATTERY SYSTEM

Enerdrive and GCI Traytec’s design teams have worked together to create a fully integrated lithium battery power system. This entire system is housed on the driver’s side front wall. Our system consists of the following:
• BTEC 300AH Generation 2 Lithium Battery (located under false floor)
• ePower DC2DC Charger capable of producing in excess of 40 amp per hour while traveling and supporting up to 800watts of solar.
• ePower Battery Charger that charges at a rate of 60 amps per hour via mains power or generator.
• ePower Inverter – suitable for running 240V household appliances rated to up to 2000W, complete with remote switch & RCD
• Simarine Battery Monitoring System
• External GPO in between spare wheels
• 6 x double GPOs
• 6 x double USB sockets
• 1 x standard 12v socket
• 2 x Anderson plug sockets

Don’t forget you can get a discount on Everdrive products (and anything else you’re after!) by heading to this page: https://www.aussiedestinationsunknown.com.au/caravan-rv-camping/ This is where you will find all the discount codes that can be used on the caravan rv camping website

Also, on the driver’s side of the canopy we have two large drawers and the Companion hot water system. This is mounted on a slide/pivot bracket which also has a storage area for our gas line, hose and shower head. The rest of the area has been left open for storage purposes (ie. Camp chairs, table, folding solar panel etc).

Moving onto the passenger side of the canopy you will find ‘Le Chev’ aka Chris’s kitchen.

Starting from the left we have 110L Dometic upright fridge which sits snugly next to our slide out pantry. In this pantry we have heaps of space for our food, condiments, coffee machine, soda stream and other bits and pieces.

The kitchen is next level and has to be seen to be believed.  It slides out, and then drops, folds and slides again before sliding, folding out and sliding out yet again. It gives us so much storage and bench space while allowing us room for our flush mount, stainless housed double induction cooktop and yes, we even have a sink!
Above our transformer-like kitchen we have a large open top pull out drawer with front access and above that we have a microwave that also slides out and gives us more storage behind.

Upstairs we have the Alucab Gen 3 Rooftop Tent and 270 Shadow Awning. The Shower Cube will be installed as soon as it arrives, and we will run through the Alucab gear in more depth in a separate post. 
This is a dream build for us, and it’s now our way of life! It’s our home away from home (the caravan being our home!). By not compromising on quality, we have given ourselves the peace of mind to know that we can get on with our adventuring without worrying that something might go wrong.

If you want to see this ‘in the flesh’ we will be at most of the major national 4x4 shows and some caravan shows this year (covid pending).

If you are interested in a top-quality tray or canopy, contact the legends at GCI Traytec. They are one heck of a team!

Lazer Lamps Lights up the Silverado

Lazer Lamps Lights up the Silverado

Those of you who are serious about good clear night vision know how important lighting is.  I’m talking to you beach drivers, outback drivers and those of us who like to get out and play after dark.

We set out to build the Chev with top quality componentry that will stand the test of time and handle the harsh conditions of the Australian environment.

We know the Australian market is flooded with a variety of cheaper lighting alternatives, but for us, quality far outweighs cost.

Not all LED lights are designed the same or built the same and during our research, we came across Lazer Lamps, a product that is designed and manufactured in the UK.

 

Just to give you an idea of the quality of Lazer Lamps, here a few key points:

  • Made In UK
  • 5 year warranty
  • Continuous Improvement – https://www.lazerlamps.com/news/continuous-improvement
  • Motorsport development and testing carries over to products for everyday road/off-road use (M-Sport, Hyundai Motorsport, Toyota Motorsport etc) – WRC / Le Mans 24h Winners
  • Tier1 Relationship in Europe with VW Group (plus many other Tier1/2 partnerships)
  • Innovation Driven
  • Bespoke Solutions e.g. Grille Kits
  • Premium Product Design and Build (no compromise in the selection of component parts for the best performance and build quality)

We have 100% confidence that we have made the right choice. The Triple-R 28 Elite is what we have chose to run with; boasting 28560 lumen, delivering 1 lux to 1253 metres when we flick the high beams on, it’s just one big WOW!

Head over to https://www.lazerlamps.com.au for more info and to check out the entire range