I recently purchased the Matson Bluetooth Battery Monitor at the Melbourne 4×4 Outdoor Show.
It was quick and easy to install – attach to battery as per the included instructions and turn the battery on. The Matson Bluetooth battery monitor comes with 2 small dots of Velcro – 1 attached to the Matson Bluetooth battery monitor, the other to attach to the battery so that you can mount the monitor to the battery. You also need to download the app to connect it to your phone: Battery monitor BM2
It works great! As my battery is (currently) inside my trailer, it’s hard to know what’s going on in there when we are out camping, but with the Matson Bluetooth Battery Monitor, I just grab my iPhone, turn on the bluetooth and open the app.
The app takes a few seconds to connect and then it shows you the current voltage. Easy peasy. The monitor also stores information onboard, so if you tilt your phone 180 degrees, you can see the voltage for the past days or months.
The app also has various other functions such as cranking voltage and a trip tracker, but these aren’t used with a camper battery moreso for a car battery.
Below are some photos of the gadget and the app.
Looking for a delicious, easy campfire bread to make? Well, look no further. This is delicious and easy to make too.
CLASSIC IRISH STEW
- 1 kg Boneless lamb shoulder roughly chopped
- 1 lt Vegetable stock
- 1 Onion thickly sliced
- 1 Leek sliced
- 1 Cup Pearl Barley
- 8 Potatoes peeled and quartered
- 2 Carrots peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 Cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the lamb in a large saucepan, cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then skim off any white fat that comes to the surface. Simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes.
Add the onion, leek, barley and half of the potatoes and cook for 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft, then break them up and stir.This will thicken the stew.
Add the remaining potatoes and carrots. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes until potatoes are cooked. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in fresh parsley.
Recipe from Camper Trailer Australia
Dry Rub for Ribs
A simple dry rub for pork ribs. Tastes great on chicken too.
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1.5 tbsp paprika
- 1.5 tbsp table salt
- 1.5 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Mix together the brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Rub into pork ribs. For best results, allow ribs to marinate overnight. Grill ribs as desired.
Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.
Camp food depends on many things, not least personal taste – some people love spicy food, others may have allergens – so this is a very general list of food to take camping based on personal circumstances.
In the fridge
If you are lucky enough to have a camp fridge (or an esky if you are just going away for a weekend) then you have some good options.
- Eggs – don’t necessarily have to be chilled
- Bacon – lasts well as it is cured/salted
- Cheese – blocks take up less space but grated goes further when used
If you’re lucky enough to have a fridge-freezer then frozen vegetables are always a bonus for long trips. And icy poles for the kids if you have the space!
In the pantry
What you carry in the pantry depends on your space constraints. Storage containers such as tupperware and ziplock bags work well as space savers for your dry goods.
- Oil – I love olive oil
- Salt, pepper and your favourite herbs
- Coffee, tea or hot chocolate
- Quick oats
- Pasta – mix it up a bit
- Rice, cous cous, quinoa
- Canned food – tuna, baked beans, whole beans, soups, beetroot, sweet corn, tomatoes
- Spreads – peanut butter, Vegemite, Marmite, syrup
- Bread – pita bread, tortillas, bread rolls
- Sauces – tomato, soy, bbq (I try to pack sachets instead of bottles)
- Cereal – Weetbix is a favourite in our family
- Nuts – if you’re not allergic
- Popcorn – another family favourite
- Beef jerky (or biltong as I’m originally from South Africa)
If you have space in your fridge or are able to access fresh food (and use it while it’s still fresh), then go for it! It’s always great to have some fresh fruit or vegetables instead of the canned or frozen stuff.
- Apples, pears, carrots, potato, sweet potato and oranges all last fairly well outside the fridge
- Whole melons – last longer when not cut
Of course, if you have the space, don’t forget the luxuries. Cookies, chips, soft drink, beer, wine, lollies and don’t forget the marshmellows!
Another great idea is to cook meals at home before you leave and vacuum pack them. We did this last year when we travelled to Uluru. As we were arriving after dark some days, it was easy to whip out the bolognaise that we had cooked at home and vacuum packed, heat it in a pan and serve it on baked potatoes or a serve of pasta.
Got any tips or camping food favourites? Why not share them with us below.
When I resigned my last job, my staff all chipped in and gave me $200 worth of vouchers from Rays Outdoors as a farewell gift. I knew exactly what I wanted – 12V lights. So I headed down to Rays and browsed through everything until I found the Korr Lighting 48cm Orange/White LED kit. I decided to purchase the single bar kit to see if it was any good. To say that I am happy with my purchase is an understatement.
Our first trip with the light was to an unpowered site on Lake Fyans and it worked a dream! The light is mounted above the kitchen in our camper trailer and it gave off more than enough light for cooking and washing of dishes. It hardly has any effect on the battery at 0.6 amps per hour.
It was very easy to install with strong magnets on the back of the light bar and a total of 6m of lead. It is easy enough to add more lights as there is a universal attachment on the end for attaching more Korr products.
Information from the Korr website:
Great white light for camping or boating and best possible orange colour to keep the bugs away, all in one strip.
– White = 590 raw Lumens
– Orange = 350 raw Lumens
– 5 year warranty
– Works with the other KORR products
– Very durable, impact and vibration resistant
– Water proof (IP68) excluding dimmer
– Long Life 50,000 hrs
– Low voltage and little heat
– Will not interfere with any video or audio system nearby
– 0.6 amp per hour
– Size: L*480mm / H*10mm / W*12mm
– Bonus 3m Extension lead
– Bonus 3m Cigarette lead
– Bonus Dimmer switch
As mentioned, I bought mine from Rays Outdoors, but you can also buy them from BCF or on the Korr website.
As much as we all love going off the grid when we go camping, having a ‘little’ technology to help make our lives easier is always a good thing (think LED lights or GPS for example!). Below is a list of Australia’s favourite camping apps for your Android phone or iPhone which will help make your trips easier:
- WikiCamps – iTunes $7.99
One of my personal favourites that I use often and is recommended by campers far and wide in Australia. All content is user generated with photos, information and location which means that it is usually up to date. It can also mean incorrect locations or illegal camp sites, so double check the info by calling ahead or checking other sources. Other countries available include New Zealand, Canada, the US and the UK. There is also an Android version available.
- MotionX GPS – iTunes $2.99
A great app for determining your current position and tracking and recording your outdoor activities. Download maps and store up to 300 tracks. Just remember that using the GPS continously on your phone also uses up your battery quicker!
- Weatherzone – iTunes free
My favourite weather app that I use all the time. Sunrise and sunset times, weather warnings, weather radar and 7 day forecasts using BOM data. You can also download the Weatherzone Plus app with 3 hourly weather forecasting ($2.99). There is also an Android version of this app available.
- Bird Guide – iTunes $29.99
The most comprehensive guide to Australian birds is now available on the iPhone and iPad. There are over 3000 images of around 790 bird species.
- Stars – iTunes – $5.99
Explore Australia’s skies with this amazing app. Just point it at the sky and you can see the names of the stars or use to app to search for a specific star or constellation.
- Camp Recipes – iTunes $2.99With over 700+ recipes conveniently listed by category, by time, and by keyword search, you can literally go on 100’s of campouts and hike’s without eating the same thing twice. This is the most comprehensive camping recipe app on the market!!
- Camps Australia – iTunes $4.99Camps Australia App, the ultimate verified camping and caravan park guide. Listings include free and low cost camping, station stays, national parks, state forest parks and rest areas, as well as all the tourist caravan parks throughout Australia. The App also shows all the public RV Dump Points and location of information centres to help you explore the areas you visit.
- TrackMyTour Travel Journal – iTunes – free
Lets you create an online map and microblog of your travels for friends and family to follow along.
Of course, these are just some of my personal favourites, so feel free to shop around and let me know if you find others that you would add to the list.
We’re heading off camping again soon and we will have an unpowered site. Having bought a 160W solar panel in December to charge Tallulah’s battery, we will be taking our trusty Waeco CF50 fridge with us on the trip. The issue (for now) is that the battery is inside the trailer and the Waeco power cable is really short. Also, the Waeco came with a cigarette lighter socket which tends to pop out all the time. The solution? A Waeco Anderson connection and a long extension cable.
After doing some research on the net, I popped down to my local JayCar and purchased the following:
6-8mm Cable Lugs Eyelet x 2
6mm Heat Shrink Tube Red
6mm Heat Shrink Tube Black
6mm Twin Core Cable Sheath Wire x 4m
50AMP Anderson Plug x1
This is just for the extension. I was going to cut the cigarette socket off my fridge and make my own Anderson power lead, but after some research on the subject, I decided against it due to possible warranty issues. I bought this online from eBay (it’s a genuine Waeco part).
Making the extension was fairly simple. Strip the sheath off both ends and strip about 2cm of insulation off both wires on both ends. Crimp the lugs onto both wires at one end and heat shrink into place. Crimp the Anderson terminals onto the two wires at the other end and insert into Anderson plug. Easy!
If you are unsure how to wire up an Anderson plug, watch this short video on YouTube. It’s very helpful.
Also, remember to wire up the polarity of the cable correctly – red for + and black for – ON BOTH ENDS.
Yes, this really is a “Hello world” post.
Welcome to Tallulah’s Travels, a blog about the travels of our wonderful little camper trailer. Follow the links to see where she’s been, what she’s seen, tips, tricks, mods and any issues she has had along the way (touch wood, none so far!).
This is a work in progress with some catching up to do as Tallulah is already 18 months old- please be patient and come back to check out the regular updates.