It’s amazing to consider the accumulated knowledge of a group of travellers and what you can glean from each other.
Over the Anzac Day Long Weekend, we camped at a private camp south of Burra in South Australia, as part of our Annual Owners Muster. Each year we invite our customers that have purchased a camper from us, to participate in a weekend of bush camping, campfire cooking, share camping hacks, and destination ideas of past and future trips. It’s a great melting pot from which to leverage new ways of doing things!
The weather was typical of this time of year, with clear blue skies during the day, cool nights, and light winds, perfect for the evening campfire.
The private camp was also top notch, accessible via unsealed roads, and a slow and winding track to access the central campsite. Dust suppression scored a solid workout, with plumes of fine bulldust billowing behind our tow vehicle.
Nestled in a gorge beside a creek, with shade from a smattering of gums, we were completely isolated from the outside world.
Looking around the camp, it was interesting to view each setup. Some looked as though they were geared for a quick getaway, without even an awning deployed. Others appeared as though they were digging in for weeks, with the awning, side wall kit, table and chairs, Weber Q and trolley, and a full bar on the ready, with a beverage for every occasion.
The first group activity was the firewood collection. People and vehicles speared off in all directions with different ideas on cartage. The first log was carried in by two people; others loaded up their roof racks, while another wound their seats forward and racked up the lumbar aside their Engel. And the pile soon grew.
With the blink of an eye, three electric chainsaws appeared, trimming the logs to the required lengths. It’s the first such group gathering without the howl of a petrol saw!
Campfire cooked tucker was popular across the weekend. There were roasts, a lasagne, various dampers, and an apple dump cake, cooked in camp ovens.
Customers with similar campers grouped together to share ideas. Popular discussion points were solar power, lithium batteries, door entry mats, awning security, modifications, and of course, past, and future trips.
Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that get the best response. One camper had a vinyl cover over a utility storage area secured by a bungee loop and buttons. By simply fixing one end of the bungee loop around a button with a cable tie, it prevents the complete loss of the cover. No need to store it when not in use; it’s always secured. And it can’t blow off in transit. Ingenious!
Another idea that drew wide praise was the oven mitt lap protector. Shaped like a bowl, you can rest hot soups on your lap without scolding your legs.
Tea towel holders were also popular. From an integrated design to an added rail. Some even used suction hooks. In the kitchen area, small baskets were used in cupboards to group like items and provide better security over lumpy ground when on the move.
An interesting suggestion was the regular inspection of powder fire extinguishers. In addition to checking the gauge, it was suggested to periodically turn extinguishers upside down to make sure the extinguishant medium wasn’t solid at the bottom of the cylinder. Giving it a tap with a rubber mallet was also recommended.
The grand finale for the weekend was a ‘Show and Tell,’ with each couple presenting their camper, running through their modifications, and camping hacks, followed by an inspection.
As a dealership, apart from the goodwill generated, it was a good opportunity to talk to customers on a social level, to understand what they liked, but also their pain points or areas of frustration.
It was a great weekend on all counts, and we look forward to doing it all again in 2023.
See you on the trails!