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Camping info/Advice & camping essentials

Find information and FAQ's not related to the parks, like Health & Safety, 4x4 etc.
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Bush Baptist
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:27 pm

A single mattress might be a bit a little small for you & the missus, especially you okes VANPTA! :roll:

I use a blow up mattress. You can buy a blower gadget for about R120, that runs off a cigar lighter attachment.
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VANPTA
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by VANPTA » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:34 pm

Hi Bush Baptist
Thank you for your reply, yes a single is way too small... :roll:

Was thinking of a Queen Double High Coleman from Makro, just wanted to know if people out there can advise me whether these "double high" blow up mattresses are worth it, or to stick with the single high ones...

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ndloti
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by ndloti » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:59 pm

Van - look very carefully at the quality of the blow up matress at the retailer you mention .
In my experience the only ones which seem to last are the canvass types which are available from specialist camping outlets .

Remember the stretchers take up quite a lot of space when transporting .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Goggo EJ
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:35 pm

Also consider the power of the pump. I bought a double mattress for comfort (a Bushbaby canvas one from Checkers!) but could not get it firm enough with my pump. A friend then used his car tyre pump with adapter and then it was great. Seems the little pumps cannot generate enough power to overcome the pressure when the mattress is fairly well blown up.
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ndloti
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by ndloti » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:02 pm

ecojunkie wrote: Seems the little pumps cannot generate enough power to overcome the pressure when the mattress is fairly well blown up.


I have a hand "car tyre" type of pump , much more efficient than the cheaper electric pumps and contributes to a quieter campsite ...
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Bush Baptist
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:25 pm

Mine takes a minute or so, and I am considerate enough to do it early.

I find it pumps up sufficiently. It goes down owing to my lack of skill in applying the bung swiftly enough after disengaging the pump. :wall:
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VANPTA
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by VANPTA » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:35 am

Thanks for all of the advice guys, I will pack in my little cigarette lighter pump and my hand pump to make sure it is blown up enough...

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JenB
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by JenB » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:40 pm

Hi VAN from PTA, 8)

Single high, single high, single high..... !

See the story goes like this.
We have a proper camping bed with a single high mattress. So this clever okie I gave birth to tells us to try his bed cause it's bigger and better. Thinking that he must have taken after me, I convinced SO to leave our bed behind and try the bigger and better because it takes up less space in the car. Little did I know that bigger and better had a little hole in it which came to it's full right around midnight. :evil:

A puncture is bound to happen at some stage but on a single high you only sink so far before you hit the floor. If bigger and better decides to commit suicide in the middle of the night you also sink to the floor just that there is enough of the thing left to completely engulf you. Just trying to get to get off the thing is like fighting your way out of a pile of marshmallows. :slap:

The worst two nights I've even spent in Marakele, let me tell you! SO ended up sleeping on the floor with the duvet and all the pillows and I was left to fight the "thing". :roll:
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:24 am

VANPTA wrote:Hi JenB

Thank you for your reply, it really made me giggle!!! hahaha

Advice noted and agreed, I bought myself the sinlge high queen size coleman a couple of days ago, will be testing it in Kruger at Satara tomorrow night, will have a review once im back and let you know if it survived!

Use a groundsheet under your tent, 'de-mine' the area before you pitch your tent, and take a puncture repair kit with you. Might also be an idea to take a small hand-pump as well you can keep in the tent in case of emergency in the middle of the night
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VANPTA
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Re: Camping Equipment Reviews and Advice

Unread post by VANPTA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:17 am

Hello all

The trip was a success!!!

I can officially recommend the single high queen Coleman blow up mattress!!!

Had a little air escape after the first night (due to the material expanding) but no other problem.
The Mrs complained about the ripple pattern on the top and said "why cant they just make it flat like a normal bed mattress"... I do agree but it didnt bug me as much.

Wishing you all great camping in future :D I will be visiting the KNP again in 2012 and will now look forward to my sleep!

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caravans...

Unread post by ils » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Hi all,

we have been camping for all our lives, but decided we want to upgrade from tents to a caravan..
With all you caravaners out there I hope you can help..

Should we buy a second hand caravan to see if we like it, or should we go ahead and buy a brand new one?
Which is beter, gypsey or jurgens, etc...

Please help :pray:
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Orange
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Re: caravans...

Unread post by Orange » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:25 pm

I'd definitely get a second hand one. New caravans cost the price of a small house, and the resale value is rubbish. So if you go the new route, don't like it, you'll take a hammering.

Something important to look for is any sign of water damage. Any such signs, walk away. You can end up spending R20k on repairs to a van not worth much more. Also, once you've found a nice one, and bought it, it will pay you to take it to a specialist caravan service agents (not sure where you are, so can't recommend one) and have a full service done. This will cost you a bit over R1000, but rather that than get halfway somewhere and discover that your entire braking system doesn't work.

What kind of price range were you thinking of buying in (if I may ask)?

As for which make, there isn't a whole lot of difference. So whatever's available is good.

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Goggo EJ
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Re: caravans...

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:40 pm

I agree with Orange. I bought a second hand one (only cost me just over R20,000) and am very happy with it - in fact lived in almost 3 years now! I did take it for service after buying it, and had the wheel bearings replaced, but have not needed anything more done to it.

A good idea would be to go to caravan dealerships and look at the caravans they have - both new and old. That will help you to see what sort of layout you feel comfortable with eg side bed or island bed, inside or outside cooking facilities. Also check whether you get a rally tent (just an outside covering) or full tent (with sides and front to zip on if you want it) - the full tent is much more versatile as you can use it as rally or tent.

And of course check that your car is suitable to tow the caravan you want to buy!

Enjoy it!!!!
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

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If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

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Re: caravans...

Unread post by ruthp » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:54 pm

Hi :hello: - we've been caravanning/camping since early 1970 and love it :D

Agree with the advice that you should go for previously used :thumbs_up: - if you buy from a reputable dealer you should get one that's in good condition. As to which is best - it depends on what layout you prefer - fixed double bed or dinette that can be made up into a bed - do you small kiddies that would need to sleep near or older ones that can sleep in seperate tents next to the van? :hmz: As you have been camping you would probably want to continue your "outside" cooking so it doesn't make sense to pay for a van that's got a stove and sink inside - there are models which cater for outside cooking. Do you want to just travel tar roads or the rougher roads? :?:

A very important thing to take into consideration when buying a 'van is what vehicle are you going to tow it with :?: :hmz: - that will determine what size van you should consider.


A reputable dealer should be able to help you and you should get one that's in good condition from them.
Also helps to read the Caravan and Outdoor life mag - the "Wegsleep" is great if you can read Afrikaans - these have websites wehre you can ask all kinds of questions about caravans


Hope you find what suits you and that you will have many happy caravanning trips :thumbs_up: :D :D

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GlenD
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Re: caravans...

Unread post by GlenD » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:58 pm

Orange wrote:On the topic of tow vehicles, don't just look at the power output of the towcar. That's important, but weight is even more so. There's a bunch of legalities that you need to be aware of (Caravan and Outdoor life give them), but I've also found that although my rig is legal (wrt weights), and the car is powerful enough, it would be ideal if my car was 100kg heavier. Simply because the heavier the car in relation to the van the more stable the rig will be.

Also, get a stabiliser. I use a Tando, but the yellow-blades are also reputed to be pretty good. I've towed with and without using it (over short distances) and there is no comparison. Especially if the wind is blowing. Wind plus unstabilised van equals very slow progress and white knuckles (or smelly knickers...).

As others have said, there's no-one better able to comment on what you want to do than your local reputable caravan and camping shop (generally, if it's got a Campworld attached, it's pretty decent - but the best reputations in the Country belong to Kennis Caravans in Roodepoort/Krugersdorp, Loftus Caravans in Pretoria and Tygerberg Caravans in Cape Town).


In terms of the law, the gross (fully laden) mass of the caravan (with its own braking system) may not exceed the net (unladen) weight of the tow car, (whether the van is loaded to the max or not). Aditionally, the gross mass of a trailer (up to 750kg and without its own braking system) may not be more than half of the unladen mass of the tow vehicle, even if the trailer is empty. The gross mass of the van or trailer will be that as stipulated on the chassis plate.

As Orange has said, it is better that the tow car's unladen mass is fairly heavier that the van's gross mass as this will benefit you in terms of towing stability especially in cross winds, over taking trucks etc.

As also said above the best bet is to buy from a reputable dealer. They will make sure that everything is in good working order, esp brakes/electrics/gas lines etc.
Good luck in your search.


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