A well-earned break after a tough track near Camooweal.

Lessons from a caravan

Another one of Kenoath’s typical beach inspired designs.
The author’s independent air bag suspension.
You can see the environment encountered under your van.
One of the author’s drawings on a Kenoath shirt.
This air bag system has been a godsend.

THE end of 2020 will be remembered for the boom in caravan and RV sales, as many adventurers unable to travel the world took to the road to discover their own pieces of paradise. It’s a fantastic way to explore and it’s up to you to decide where you wish to go and how hard you wish to push it. Design and reliability are two important factors required to really enjoy the experience. caravan lessons

Jennifer Mifsud is the interior designer responsible for On The Move range of caravans and her personal touch has taken the use of space and style to a level not seen in other caravans in today’s marketplace. So why am I so passionate about my van?

First, when traveling it’s hard to avoid talking with a wide variety of personalities and nomads of all ages. It’s easy to see tension building between couples and a common reason is that they’re trying to live in a badly designed van. Compromise is a word I hear when people describe caravans, but it doesn’t have to be so.caravan lessons

Good design makes for a very happy traveling experience. Take your time when searching for the your personal van. Simple actions such as moving a table slightly to access a seating position or restrictions of movement in daily routines eventually begin to get on your nerves. Add to the mix a stinking hot day, changing a flat tyre or negotiating a challenging section of track and that simple seating arrangement could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

My job in our adventures is to get us there in one piece, and I’m responsible for the quality of our trip by managing how we get there without stress, avoiding any mishaps. So how does our Vortex Black Edition help me achieve this? The van’s standard set up of air bag suspension and total air system is an important component. The system provides more than a safe, efficient suspension for travel.caravan lessons

It allows me to alter the van’s characteristics by varying the running pressure in each independent airbag. Weight distribution is always a consideration in the science of towing, but with a bit of fine-tuning in my suspension I can create a safe driving experience. Clearing ruts and obstacles is assisted by inflating the airbags to increase my van’s clearance. This is engaged simply by the use of a tiny remote control.

Once an obstacle is overcome you can simply and quickly deflate to normal running pressures again with the use of the remote. Believe me, scenarios will arise and you’ll thank goodness for this feature. When driving off-road, finding a flat campsite is not always as easy as you’d think, so the airbag system eliminates wasted time setting up wheel ramps to raise one side of the van in a sometimes-domed attempt to level.caravan lessons

Even on a slope, place the spirit level on the floor and adjust left and right bags using the remote to come up with the perfect level floor in seconds. When traveling full-time this can mean better sleeping, better general operation of your van and if you’re lucky enough to have a washing machine, there’s no problem with balance. Having access to your our washing machine has improved the quality of travel, especially as it’s a 3.2kg top loader.

There have been times when we’ve stayed in a bush or beach camp for up to three weeks at a time with no available facilities, so the opportunity to wash your shorts and shirts is a real pleasure. I mentioned camping at the beach, so I’d like to mention another huge advantage of our airbag system. The system allows me to have a powerful compressor at my fingertips as a part of the caravan set-up.caravan lessons

A control panel on the side of the van gives me my digital readings of independent airbag pressure, but also offers an air outlet to use in conjunction with an air hose. I can quickly inflate my truck tyres to suit beach or highway travel. I’m not joking when I say I can do both vehicle’s tyre pressures in a few minutes.

I can camp up at an isolated location for three weeks and have access to check all my tyre pressures without dragging out any equipment and wasting time using an underpowered, cumbersome portable compressor. The whole system has been supplied by Brisbane-based company Airbag Man. This product is just one of the attention-to-detail items that have taken our quality of traveling and comfort to an extreme level.

Recently in one week we had five different couples ask to look over our van and have a rundown of its features. I will share more of this van as we continue to move around, but in conclusion, after seven months driving over a variety of landscapes I rate our Vortex Black Edition highly. We have the ultimate example of off-road equipment that still provides a high level of comfort and luxury.caravan lessons

You really need to check out their range of quality vans at onthemovecaravans.com.au On a completely different note, while we’re driving around, especially in isolated areas, I tend to finish the night with a pen and a sketch pad, drawing a few simple pen and ink illustrations. I was so pleased when Kenoath Clothing Co. asked to print one of my simple art pieces on a shirt.

Kenoath offers a whole range of products that explore our Australian culture. Stickers and clothing that capture a history of wheels and waves and our fascination with beach life. Like myself, Des Hughes has a strong background of living the coastal dream, fishing its beaches, playing on its waves and enjoying those classic vehicles associated with our Australia culture and past.caravan lessons

Check out kenoath.com.au and see why I’m so pleased to be associated with the brand. Happy New Year to all and I hope you’re enjoying family time and celebrating how lucky we are to live where we do.

Click here to read more of Chief’s caravan adventures!

About Paul 'Chief' Graveson

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I totally understand how families can spend one, two or even more years travelling around …

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