For soon-to-be grey nomads about to set off on their first big trip, packing the van or the motorhome is a major challenge.
All the ‘old timers’ insist that the secret is to make sure that there is a place for everything and everything has a place … but what about those awkward ‘got-to-have’ items such as awning poles, fishing rods and outdoor carpets?
A stroll around the average caravan park or camping ground will reveal that the solution to the ‘where-the-hell-am-I-going-to-put-that?’ dilemma is often PVC piping mounted either on the towing vehicle, the caravan or the motorhome.
These can be acquired ready-made – complete with mounting brackets – from camping accessory shops and roofrack accessory outlets, or they can be custom built at home. Most DIY-loving nomads opt to use the 100mm or 150mm piping that can be bought from plumbing supply shops or hardware stores.
These pipes can carry everything from awning pegs and fishing rods complete with reel to big hammers and TV masts. In other words, don’t leave home without one! End caps can be bought to ‘seal’ the pipe and, generally, a plain cap is connected on one end of the pipe, and a screw cap is used on the other to allow access to the goodies inside.
It pays to use plenty of brackets to mount the pipe as items like metal poles tend to weigh a fair bit. They can also slide around a lot during travel, particularly when the driver has to brake hard … perhaps to avoid a collision with a herd of feral camels.
Some travellers worry that sliding poles may one day smash through the end caps and so choose to buy heavier duty varieties which incorporate stainless steel crash protection plates for added safety. These special end caps come in a variety of sizes and the extra strength they deliver offers enormous peace of mind for grey nomads on ‘shake rattle and roll’ corrugated roads or who are nervous about having to stop abruptly.
Another feature of the end cap designed for storage pipes rather than for plumbing pipes is that it can be lockable, courtesy of a twist action and a padlock. While Australia is, by and large, a safe place to travel, extra security is never a bad thing. After all, if some ne’er-do-well makes off with your fishing rod, what on earth are you going to have for dinner?