First modification made to Safari Tamer

donotovertakeOk…its not strictly a modification but we added the essential Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle sign to the back of the van yesterday.

These signs warn traffic behind you that you are a long vehicle, that you may stray into another lane while turning and to give way to you while doing so.  This is particularly useful on tight roundabouts.


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Dangers of automatic central locking.

IMG_2382I had an unusual experience on the weekend.  I got flagged down by an older guy parked on the side of the Hume Highway just to the south of Craigieburn in his 2014 Holden Colorado.  I stopped and asked what the problem was.  He told me he had pulled over for an emergency pee break, got out of the car leaving the motor running and when he closed the door, the central locking locked all the doors. He had everything still inside the car including the keys and his mobile phone and the engine was still running.

I tried to open the doors but I it was impossible with the limited gear I had with me at the time. We tried to contact his wife who lived nearby but she didn’t answer so we called RACV (local auto club for our overseas readers) and got them out to open the car for him.

This is a bit of a concern to me as I thought the auto locking feature on cars only activated when the vehicle was moving at a certain speed.  You can imagine if this happened out in the scrub or in the hot outback.  You would have to break in by busting a window and that may not always be a viable option.

This auto locking feature is being fitted to more and more vehicles as a deterrent against car jacking.  Not a huge issue here in Australia but a problem overseas, particularly the United States.  I do not believe it should be enabled on vehicles that frequently travel the remote areas of Australia.central locking

Either way, anyone with this feature on your car should be very careful and always take your keys with you when leaving the vehicle, even only for a brief stop.  Better still, never leave the vehicle with the engine running.

Stay safe


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My encounter with Brutus the Crocodile

imageIf you have a spare moment, do a Google search for pictures of Brutus the Crocodile.  He’s a 80 year old, 5.5 metre long one armed giant that lurks in the waters of the Adelaide river and stars in the Jumping Crocodile show, thrilling tourist with his amazing display.  He was recently seen (and reported in the local press) taking on a wild bull shark and winning…!  This is one bad arse crocodile.

Anyway, while on a recent trip to Darwin, we went of the Jumping Crocodile tour on the Adelaide river and its here that I had my close encounter with Brutus.

I was happily enjoying the tour and had my camera at the ready when Brutus appeared.  The tour guide made him jump a few times at the back of the boat which was fine.  Then he swung the bait towards the middle of the boat where I was sitting.  It was pretty close but I couldn’t tell too much, looking through the camera lenses.  Then Brutus decided it was time to make a lunge for the bait.  As you can see from the picture I took, he got extremely close to me.

31b02364-1729-5e87At the time I wasn’t immediately aware how close he was but the commotion that ensued sure changed that.  Everyone on the boat went nuts.  There was screaming, Kylie was going absolutely off her head, the girl sitting behind me was catatonic.  It was incredible.  I had no idea what had just happened.  The guy sitting in front of me got the best view.  He said the Croc’s chin was right against the bottom of the camera lens.  He missed my face by mere centimetres.

Anyway….all I know is I got a fantastic photo of the event and an awesome story to tell.

You can read the full trip report here.
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Celebrating 500 Page Visitors

Hi everyone,

Today we passed a unique milestone with our 500th unique visitor to the website….!  Given the site has been online for just under a month, we are pretty happy with this result.


We are trying to increase the popularity of the site so please share our site on your Facebook pages.  Tell your friends and family about us if they are interested in the Caravanning and Camping lifestyle.  We are constantly looking for interesting subjects to put on the site so any feedback you have will be greatly appreciated.  The more visitors the better…!

Safe travels everyone

Marty and Kylie.


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Any excuse to take out the new van

imageWhen you get a new caravan, especial if you haven’t had one for over 12 months, you look for any excuse to use it. So it is with us, we took the new Safari Tamer to our niece’s 18th birthday party as overnight accomodation after the party.

Shows the advantage of having the van stocked up with cloths and linen, ready to go at a moment’s notice.


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First Drive Towing – Landcruiser and Safari Tamer

IMG_3107[1]After picking up our new Roadstar Safari Tamer, we took it for its maiden voyage to the Tarra Valley in Gippsland.  First time towing a heavy load in the new Landcruiser as well.  Happy to report it was a success after an initial issue with the brake controller. Thanks go to Turnbull Toyota in Yarrum for fixing the problem on the spot for me.

The van towed behind the cruiser extremely well.  Very stable at all speeds and we weren’t running with a weight distribution hitch. This is a testament to both the design of the Safari Tamer and the ability of the upgraded suspension on the Cruiser to carry a load.

IMG_3108[1]What really did surprise was the fuel economy achieved.  Measured at the pump we achieved 17.4l/100ks.  That was with a mixture of hilly and winding b grade roads, freeway running along Citylink and a few quick trailerless trips into Yarrum.  Given we were probably quite close to fully loaded (3500kgs max), this is a stunning result.  I believe we could easily achieve better figures on long highway stretches.

We stayed at Best Friends Holiday Retreat in the Tarry Valley itself which is the best caravan park if you have dogs travelling with you.  You can read more about it here.

Also happy to report we had no problems with the new van.  Everything seems to have worked out of the box.  Pretty impressive.  More about that later.

Overall, we’re absolutely delighted with the initial performance of both the Roadstar Safari Tamer and the Toyota Landcruiser 200.

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