25 comments on “We are really roughing it……

  1. Mmmm…. this kind of camping I could live with. 🙂 One question though… why can’t manufacturers put solar panels on the roof of the van as part of the design? Then you’d hardly even need to go to a camp site.

    My ideal though, would be one of those old fashioned gypsy caravans, complete with a Clydesdale doing the pulling and solar panels all over the roof, maybe even a few window boxes so I can grow my favourite herbs as we amble along….

    • I often say to the Man I should do Australia on horseback, the car is too fast for me to take all the photos I want to!

      You can get solar panels fixed to the roof of the van, many people have them. We had the panels for our old camper and that one had roof problems so we didn’t want to mount them on it. We have contemplated getting some put on this one but we don’t like the thought of drilling holes in the roof, besides, there is not much space left up there! Two large roof hatches for air and light, one small one for bathroom ventilation, tv aerial that winds up and down, reverse cycle thingo….. Yeah… roughing it 😉

        • When we first got it the Man and I put cuppa making stuff in there, stocked up the dvds and sat out there the whole weekend, telling the kids to amuse themselves inside.

          Truthfully, it is far more modern than our house, with the ac, mixer taps, constant gas hot water, gas stove and tv from the bed. Yep, never want to come home…. gone are the days of us sleeping on the ground!

    • We did meet a guy years ago who was going around Aus in a gypsy caravan with his horses. It would be a great way to go, that’s for sure.

  2. I love it! Please tell the Man I said, “Thanks for helping one of my favorite bloggers stay online!” And one question— are small solar panels that powerful? I had no idea!

    Thought you would enjoy this also— there’s an au courant word for what you’re doing: “glamping,” which means “glamorous camping.” Neat, right?

    • I thanked him for you, but really, he was just saving his own sanity!

      The panels we have look small in the photo but are actually quite large, standing up they would each be about as high as my waist and are very heavy! (I think they are 80w ones.) They do a pretty good job though, the Man had his ipod plugged in to the inverter at the same time to charge that up.

      The battery in the caravan lasts for days without being charged and certainly makes life easier. We have been in caravan parks twice in the past when the power has gone off for some reason and we didn’t even know as the van switches to 12volt when it needs to. There we’ve been, watching tv and cooking dinner not knowing that all around us are eating sandwiches in the dark…..

      • Thanks for passing on the thanks! (We’re getting really meta, aren’t we?)

        Can I ask another question or two?

        1) It seems as though solar panels are common in Australia, at least more common than the U.S. Is that true, or is that a false perception on my part?

        2) If question one is true, does the Aussie government subsidize any energy-saving purchases? I know that we do, on the state and city level for certain appliances and long-term energy saving investments, so I was wondering if this was the case where you live?

        • Solar panels are really popular here and have become more so in recent years as the govt does subsidise them. We have had solar hot water installed ourselves thanks to the subsidy but have been informed that you only get one dip in the pool. We would love to get solar panels for power too but would have to now pay full price.

          It is not unusual to see solar panels on nearly every home in a street, old or new homes too. Both my parents and the Man’s parents have them, as does the Man’s brother. They love them and believe that they have saved them money on their bills.

          • I am pretty sure that more people would have them here on their homes if they weren’t so expensive. (They are really pricey in the States, to buy and to install. Not a lot of do-it-yourselfers around here.

            AND if you own/are buying your house, you should have house insurance, which means there are things you can do to your home yourself, and things that require one to to hire a licensed professional— like electricity or plumbing— to keep your house insurance covering that specific liability.

            What the local/state gov’t subsidizes right now is Energy Star appliances— Energy Star isn’t a brand. It is a Federal rating system for energy efficient appliances. That’s not nearly so efficient as having solar panels.

            Hold the phone, Irene! The U.S. Fed Gov’t DOES subsidize solar panels— as a 30% tax break through the year 2016! I just looked it up!

            I would not have found that info. had we not started discussing this! Thanks, Metan!

          • I am glad you found that out, a pity they don’t publicize these things more isn’t it?

            After we started this conversation I looked around the small town we were staying in whenever we drove around and noticed that a high proportion of the homes had panels on their roof.

            They are expensive here too, and are not something that we are allowed to install as a DIY. All plumbing or electrical work done here must be done by a professional. The electrical work done for the panels even has to be inspected before the final connection, so they might be on the roof for weeks before they can start being used.
            Goodness, just the thought of that being something we could do ourselves in our DIY-mad society gives me a shiver of fear! 😉

            We have Energy Star ratings on everything too. I am sure it helps, but cheaper solar panels and the like would be better again!

  3. Hehe, must say, when I read the title of your post, I wasn’t expecting to see sun-panels and laptops!

    Personally I’m still a bit more old-school when it comes to camping – whatever cannot fit into the little Toyota Funcargo is too much. As long as we have our thermos flask and coffee plunger… But then it’s just me and the missus, so we do travel reasonably light.

    • We have two types of camping, this one with all the trimmins’, and the other when we pack the 4WD with tent and blankets, cooking on fires in a billy after gathering sticks. Both are equally enjoyable!

      I have to admit that when you have kids a bit of luxury makes life happier for all, we started number 1 camping when he was 4 weeks old and babies don’t care what happens to them as long as they are warm and their tummies full. When they were older though, I would have given anything for an indoor toilet when they were toilet training, and an inner-spring for me to fall onto at the end of a hard day!

  4. I like your style, and the Man is a true genious 🙂 When we escape to our house in the country we have power but no internet coverage (Telstra take note) so we, well it will be the G.O. on the roof, are in the process of doing a little inventive aerial constructing akin the Man’s solar solution for you. Handy blokes, you gotta love them for it 🙂

    • Love a man who can build something out of nothing. Bloody Telstra though, I think they could do with a little more in that vein themselves. No matter where we have been this holiday, if we had mobile coverage my little internet stick thingo has worked better than it does at home. Maybe I should only pay for what I get, half service should only cost half the amount!

      I love the thought of the G.O.’s ‘inventive aerial construction’, you may well end up with the neighbours knocking on the door asking for the plans!

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