Setting Up Your Caravan For Free Camping - The Help You Need From Those Who Are Doing It!


Our solution to this dilemma was to install a Satellite TV System. My research had narrowed the choices down to 2 companies:

  • Access Antennas & Satellites a West Australian company in Perth, with offices as well in Bunbury and Brisbane.
  • With offices in Queensland and Victoria, SatPlus has earned the respect of travellers around Australia.

Both companies offer a full Satellite Caravan Kit at great prices. I was ready to order a full kit from Access Antennas, when an email changed everything.

I'm a subscriber to the popular Caravan & Motorhome on Tour Magazine, which I enjoy reading every month. In November 2014 they sent out an email to entice new subscribers and get current subscribers to extend. To sweeten the deal, they were offering a Satellite Dish Kit with a 15 month subscription, for $149!

I used to buy the Magazine each month from the Newsagent and 15 issues @ $9.95 comes to $149.25. Just so happens, the Kit they were offering is the Access Antennas kit, selling on their website, including the padded carry bag, for $339. This is the full kit, without the Decoder Box.

I had to buy the VAST Decoder Box separately, which cost $235 postpaid. So I got the full kit, worth $584 including the Bag, plus 15 issues of the magazine ($149.25 across the counter) for only $384!
Now that's a deal !   


Without passing judgment on any particular setup, I'll just list here what I've found to be the easiest and fastest setup.
  • Use a compass to find north
  • Use a Tripod - point 1 leg just east of north
  • Level the Tripod vertically and peg it down
  • Dish on Tripod and set LNB Skew
  • Set Elevation with a Inclinometer
  • Find Satellite and set Azimuth with Sat Finder
  • Fine tune

That's the sequence I use and it works well. The settings will, of course, depend on where you are located. To determine the settings, I use this Handy Guide that lists just about every town in Australia along with the figures for Elevation, Azimuth and Skew.

A lot of caravanners are using Apps on their Smart Phones to set up their systems. There are quite a few free ones (Satellite Director is good, but it spits out some iffy Skew figures at times).

The paid one I love and would recommend, is Wiki Camps. It only costs $7.49 and I consider that a bargain!

  • It has a compass view, with a green dot indicating the direction of the satellite.
  • Holding the phone on its side will give you an angle gauge with a green dot indicating the proper angle of your LNB arm.
  • Alternatively you can use the augmented reality camera view which will show you exactly where the satellite is in the sky and overlay a satellite icon on your phones camera screen. This tool makes it a piece of cake knowing where to set up your dish so that there are no obstructions such as trees which may block your dish's line of sight.

And, it does tons more than just finding satellites!

Click here for my Free Setup Manual
(Was $9.95!)

Usually, we don't stay in a Free Camp location longer than 2 days. We like to share our Free Camping experiences with Caravan Park stays. Therefore, we don't need a lot of Solar. Even so, our setup includes 2x 130w Panels fixed  on the roof (above), powering 2x 110AH Batteries. We also have a second battery in the tug.

As a supplement, we also have 2x 120w Folding Panels, but usually only take 1.  We have never come close to running out of power, thanks to our van's highly efficient LED lighting and low power draw appliances.

We lumped a generator around Australia, but in two years, have never used it !

Anyone want to buy a genny?

Read the full Article Here

Copyright 2015-2018  David Price - All Rights Reserved

Back to top