PLANNING AND PREPARING

Is this the best driving hack ever?

Just when you're about to have your road trip checklist written into folklore along comes a brilliant hack that changes everything. Phill Wilson has a tip so simple your holidays will never be the same. Read on ...

When you think about it, driving at night makes perfect sense!

You have a unique travel hack that you would like to share with our members. What is it?

Answer: Don’t waste valuable daylight hours travelling. Travel by night and keep the days for sight-seeing, shopping and visiting family and friends.

We reverse plan our trip or trip stages. We decide on an arrival time, usually around breakfast or early morning, work out the travel time then leave at a time that meets our planned arrival.

Phill is a man who likes things in order. This is his regular set-up.

Sometimes this means a 2am start or similar.

Our observation is the norm for caravanners seems to be to travel during the morning and afternoon and set up late in the day.

What a waste of valuable daylight hours. 

Whilst you were sleeping Phill snapped this beautiful sunrise.

Phill likes to arrive at daybreak, set-up, and then enjoy the local attractions. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of travelling at night?

Answer: The biggest advantage is that additional time you get to see the sights, shopping or visit family or friends and the grandkids.

The key challenges are wildlife in country and outback areas, managing the trucks, vehicle setup and early park check-in. 

This is your enemy at night. 

Getting there early allows you to pile on the attractions. 

Remember you are in their (truck's) work place.

We have NEVER had an issue with them following these simple suggestions below.

Besides, the rewards are worth the effort in night-time travel. 

There's so much to be wary of on Australian roads.

Including sunsets that will make your eyes water. 

Some parks will let you check in early, but we often just find some parking during the day.

You have to set your vehicle up for night-time travel with good lights (we have a top-of-the-range LED light bar that is outstanding) and a bulbar for protection from animal strikes.

As for the trucks, they aren’t so bad if you give them room, call them up on the CB and try to match their speed. 

Here's a rare moment Phill was seen driving during the day. 

It's remote out there, but you still need your manners. 

Please tell us about the rig you use, the near-misses and vehicle enhancements you have added to improve safety?

Answer: Our rig is an NW Pajero and a Nova Metrolink van. We’ve added LED lighting - headlights and a 240-watt light bar (Stedi) – outstanding light and distance.

Don’t buy the cheap stuff. Use Stedi, Lightforce, Great White etc – they are worth the extra money.

Phill spares no expense in keeping his Pajero peachy. 

An ARB steel bullbar, Old Man Emu suspension – no load levellers needed, an ARB long-range fuel tank, SW diesel chip and Bridgestone AT tyres.

The combination is stable and the Pajero is comfortable and an ideal tow vehicle.

We’ve had some close calls with wildlife (roos, emus and goats) but nothing too serious.

A tip is to follow a truck that matches your speed and let him clear the way – not too close though. 

Tathra ticks a few boxes for Phill. And he isn't the only one.

Bermagui is another fantastic South Coast NSW town you need to visit.

Which BIG4 Holiday parks do you often visit, which are your favourites?

Answer: One of our favourites is at Tathra on the NSW South Coast. A great park, quieter than most and close to our grandkids.

We’ve had stopovers at Hay and Bermagui as well.

Shortly we are planning a stay at Bonny Hills, and looking forward to that.  

Maybe you'll take Phill's advice and use the daylight hours more wisely. What a brilliant hack!!

Do you agree with Phill, or not? Please leave a comment below.

BIG4 would like to thank Phill for his amazing holiday driving tip and images he has shared with our readers. He's a good man with a heart of gold.

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