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 Living on the Road :: Articles :: Things that make life easier

Living on the road has its share of ups and downs but there are some things that make life easier. Below is a list of some of these things.

Town maps

We have the full set of UBD country town maps, these are invaluable when approaching a new town. Of course they don't cover every town in Australia, but they do have most.

The maps show where the post office is (or was when the map was drafted), where the major shopping centres are, and where we're likely to find a campsite. TIP: look for short windy dead-end roads with playgrounds at the end.

These maps are also available on CD which would be a great space saver, and not a bad idea if you have access to a laptop in the cab.

Campsite books

We also have quite a few books detailing campsites around Australia. Of particular note are Jan Holland's "Priceless campsites" books. There's three of them, one each for Northern Territory, WA North and WA south.

When in WA or the NT we live by these books. For more info try phoning 08 9259 1650.

Another set of books we find very useful is the Boiling Billy camping guide books. These detail hundreds of, mostly national park, campsites around Australia. www.boilingbilly.com.au

NextG phone with Telstra

Our lifeline to "the world" is email, and that connection is facilitated by our NextG phone. To be sure there are a lot of places in Australia where mobile phones of any kind don't work, but if anything will work in a given location we've found that it's Telstra's CDMA, and th NextG network is supposed to be better.

Don't bother with other technologies or carriers.

With NextG we get speeds comparable with broadband at very reasonable rates.

Of course a sat phone would be better in terms of coverage, but they're still too expensive for us.

Automatic bill paying

We only have two or three monthly bills and they're all handled automatically by our credit card. This in turn is sorted every month by a direct debit from our account.

We almost never have to "deal with" any bills.

Knowing where to find water

Water is difficult to find at times, fortunately we have such a large amount of storage that we don't have to look that often.

Some tips,

  • Public buildings often have taps in the grounds.
  • Ask at a service station while you're paying $200 for fuel, they won't say no.
  • Always say you want "drinking water".
  • Cemeteries usually have taps for people to refresh the flowers.

Small generator

We get by very well on solar power, but in winter and/or bad weather a small generator really helps.

Home brew

Not only is buying cartons of beer a pain (especially with a motorbike for transport) it's also very expensive. I drink, on average, two stubbies a night, it only costs us about $15 a month to feed my habit.

Powdered milk

Forget constantly having to find fresh milk, the powdered varieties are very good these days. A few packets and you're right for weeks.

Breadmaker

Many motorhomers have breadmakers, and for good reason. Not only will they save you money (we've seen prices over $5 for a frozen loaf) but you can have lovely fresh bread whenever you like.

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PO Box 450, Gin Gin, QLD, Australia.
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