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Tips & Tricks page
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Along the way we have picked up some tips and tricks...

Thanks go to my friends and other folk met along the way...some of these tips have come rom you...we forget who you are but thanks.
I am currently updating all below, it will take some time so please call back. Of course if you would like additional information on anything on this, or any page please don't hesitate to email us....your email address will always remain confidential.
lockyervalleylad@gmail.com



On a couple of occasions we had noticed water leaking from under the front of the shower, it appeared to be coming from between the front wall of the shower, just below the door, and the floor. 
Having a leak here is never a good thing, the wood paneling would soon suffer.
It was a bit of a mystery as to just where this water was coming from, the seal around the door appeared to be ok, the shower base is a one piece fibre glass 'basin' and there was nowhere water could leak....the drain plug became suspect.
Now, Jayco in their wisdom, had heaped a black bitumen/rubber type sealing compound all around the area where the drain plug protrudes through the floor  on the underside of the caravan....it took a lot of sweat and the occasional swear word before I had this goop cleared away so i could remove the drain plug and fitting. I used an old lino knife and narrow nosed pliers, cutting into the sealer and pulling small pieces out with the pliers....a lot of care with the knife was needed lest I damaged the fibre glass shower base.
Once I was able to remove the fitting the reason for the leak became obvious, the plastic flange that is supposed to sit in a recess in the shower base and seal the drain was poorly made, two tiny lugs, formed when the plastic was moulded, had not been cleaned off and were preventing a seal, there was one of these 'lugs' on each side of the fitting. I cleaned them off with a Stanley knife and very fine sandpaper, applied a very thin film of silicone sealer and refitted the drain....a test confirmed the leak was fixed.
Clickable slide show below.
Leaking shower base in caravan
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How do we plan our trips?
It is our opinion that the planning stage is as good as the trip itself!...it is fun to plan, to look for exactly where to go, where not to go and where to stop. Of course some planning is necessary from a money point of view however I must also say that our trip plans almost always change along the way, sometimes within the first few days!...chatting with others around a happy hour campfire will often result in route changes, mention of a 'great place to camp' is often enough to chuck the original plans out the window.

We use modern technology as much as we can, we travel with a smart phone and a lap top computer, we have a Telstra wireless broadband account and find that we can get coverage in most towns nowadays.
To find where we are to camp we use two apps mainly; Caravancaravan and Wikicamps.

Of course we use Google Maps but we also carry and use printed maps. I cannot over-stress the need to have late edition  printed maps,...there will be many places in rural Australia yet to join the digital age!
You cannot rely on your GPS either....sadly however decent printed maps are becoming scarce....my favourite large edition on the UBD Australian Road Atlas appears not to have been reprinted since 2017.

Our new tow vehicle does have a GPS system, basically we connect a smart mobile phone to the infomedia screen and view Google Mapping via Android Auto, while it is quite useful we feel it is more designed for city use, once away from built up areas it does struggle sometimes .
Trip Planning
Motor vehicle tyres are expensive and we all strive to make them last as long as possible, we religiously check the pressures, we have them rotated regulary and most importantly we get a wheel alignment at least yearly...right??.

One thing we may not always think about is the age of our tyres, did you know that tyres actually have a 'shelf life'?, in fact six years is about the life of a tyre. Check the photos below to see my issue.
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Caravan refrigerators are most commonly the absorption type, the type that run on 240v, 12v and LPG, they are popular primarily because they can be used when camping away from a power point (on gas) rather than needing electricity and they can be operated from the tow vehicle battery while travelling. Compressor fridge's are becoming popular, improvements in compressor technology and batteries will some day see them replace the absorption fridge. In the meantime there are a few things you can do to ensure your absorption fridge is working at peak efficiency.

Note too that although you can run an absorption fridge directly off a 12 volt battery beware that they will consume some 10 amps or higher, your battery will flatten quickly.

The main thing that can affect this type of fridge is ventilation, or lack of it...an absorption fridge will work best if the hot air that it generates is removed as quickly as possible...unfortunately few caravan manufactures design the fridge cabinet backing with this in mind, while the installation will probably suit most owners needs, especially those in Australia's south its not until we venture into the tropics that the deficiencies become apparent...our 2013 Jayco was such an example.

 It is worth noting here that as well as the caravan fridge we have a Waeco portable freezer. This unit operates in a similar fashion to a home refrigerator with a compressor. Despite it remaining constantly on the back seat of the car where the temperature at one point was 42 celcius it had no difficulty in maintaining -14 to -17 degrees. The down-side to this type of unit is that it only runs on electricity (12-24vdc or 240vac), with one of these fridge's you must have access to electricity constantly.

Caravan refrigerator performance improvement.
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Tyres have a 'use by' date
Tip and Tricks
HWS anode replacement
Water tank clean
HWS activation
John Guest clips

Electrical hot water systems incorporate a device designed to reduce corrosion on the internal metal components. A bar made of magnesium is installed in the base of the system, its correct name is a Sacrificial Anode...you will also find a sacrificial anode of the skeg of an out board boat motor. The idea is that the anode bar, which is easily replaced, will corrode thereby reducing corrosion within the water tank, or the outboard outboard motor. Anode bars should be inspected regularly, especially if water with a high concentration of minerals, ie, outback bore water has been used...six monthly inspections are recommended....click on the photo below and see how to do this with a slide show. 
Warning...ensure mains power and mains water is disconnected from the RV before carrying out this maintenance work.
Coning soon, please call back
Coning soon, please call back
In this case the HWS is a US made Suburban brand, a very popular system used in the majority of Australian caravans and RV's...yours may be different but regardless it will still have a sacrificial anode installed somewhere...you may have to check your user manual or contact the manufacturer if you are unsure.
Before proceeding you will need to relieve the system water pressure, do this by pulling the drain lever towards you, obviously any water pumps need to be deactivated and there should be no hose connection to the RV...ensure also that you have shut down the 240v power connection. (you will be spraying water around this area during this operation)
The bar is installed behind a large hex head at the base, you will need a 27mm socket to remove it....water and gunk will come out of the hole when the bar is removed...allow it to drain completely...insert a hose and flush, do this several times until the water comes out clean.
The bar on the left is new, the middle one 10 months old and the right hand one about also about 10 months, the degree of wear will depend on the water quality, in this case a mixture of bore and town water had been used. When you re-install the bar ensure you apply thread tape, start it turning by hand, you really do not want to cross the thread here.
This bar is only around 50% worn yet due to the relatively cheap cost of these things I would consider replace this one  had I gone to the trouble of inspecting it. I brought mine online, genuine Suburban units will cost around $15 each plus p&p.