Ingenious kit for your next trip

David Cook — 23 July 2018


The RainMan Camp Shower is a unique take on camping showers. The Australian designed and made stainless steel container is filled with water and can then be sat upon a gas cooker to heat, or even if left in the sun for a day or next to a camp fire will warm considerably. The handle on top is pumped to raise internal pressure and the shower head extends up on a telescopic pole to the desired height up to 178cm. The water flow is regulated at the shower head. At maximum flow rate you get a five minute shower from the 12L contents, at minimum 10 minutes. Priced around $350.


Keep an eye on electricity consumed or produced with a Watt Meter. There are a number of brands of these available on the internet, or they can be purchased from model aircraft stores where they are used to monitor battery performance in radio controlled aircraft. Plugged into a line with an appliance that consumes electricity they will record amps or watts consumed over a period of time, or plugged into a line between, say, a solar panel and the batteries it will monitor amps or watts produced. Prices are around $25-$30 but if Anderson plugs are desired this can increase to around $50.


Most campers these days have an external hand pump to wash your hands after packing up or while travelling. Ted Barker from NSW’s Lake Macquarie has gone one step further with this handy little aluminium bracket to hold a hand wash detergent dispenser. The dispenser and bracket clip onto the gas bottle above the tap as soon as camp is set up. It was a project that took but a few minutes to make.


Lake Macquarie, NSW resident Ted Barker protected his drawbar tap with a simple chequerplate aluminium shield to stop stones and other unwanted material battering it to pieces. It wouldn’t protect it from a large rock or log, but that was outside the scope of the project brief and the job works well as it is.


The traditional polyblock hitch and many of those which have an angular articulation can at times be a pain to hitch up because the poly block wants to tilt forward or back and thus presents a face to the coupling bracket that is too long to go together. To keep hands away this area of moving parts Gold Coast, Qld camper Les Scott uses a rubber door stop to wedge the block in place. Simple and easy.


Where to put that hitch pin when you are uncoupled? This has been a minor problem for campers for a long time and given that it gets dirty and greasy you don’t want it in the car or the camper, so Les Scott, from Qld’s Gold Coast, uses magnets from an old microwave oven. These are strong enough to attach themselves firmly to the underside of the drawbar and stay there permanently, and can then be used to attach the hitch pin out of site and the weather until needed. How easy is that?


Around a camper there any number of items that need to be held together: Ropes, ratchet straps, bundles of tent pegs, and so on, so why not make use of the stationery store for a simple solution. As discovered by Gold Coast, Qld’s Les Scott, you can buy bags of heavy duty rubber bands from your stationery store – 500g of them will cost around $15 – which will more than do the job. In fact, if you have a bag full in the camper you will find even more uses for them.


In hybrid campers there is always an issue of where to hang your damp towels or dirty clothes. You don’t want them filling the bench space, or littering the floor, or over the foot of the bed. Paynesville, Vic camper Roger Duck simply added a small U-bracket to a roof support in his Vista Crossover and a length of dowel which travels easily on the bed and he has a simple, almost cost-free solution to where he hangs the tea towel.


Organisation is important when you go camping, and you need a place for everything and everything in its place. Paynesville, Vic’s Roger Duck made this simple little shelf and key hanger for the inside of his Vista Crossover. On the way in or out of the camper he can lay his hands on the car keys or the means of navigating around camp at night with simple ease.


When you go camping you find yourself staying in all sorts of camp spots, some of which will have shower facilities. These can sometimes be in less than perfect state, and often – in fact, almost universally – they will have few if any hooks in the cubicles. Throw a couple of plastic hangers in the shower kit, the sort that hang on doors, to provide some very necessary and handy hooks when you need them.


Ray Holgarth from Qld’s Gold Coast is a devotee of these little Thai Oven cookers. They are small and easily transported and can be purchased from Asian food stores. They run on charcoal or heat beads and with a small wind break and a battery-powered rotisserie can cook roasts and chickens to perfection, and without the latter add-ons can be used to cook chips, skewers and wok dishes. There are numerous recipes on line to suit.