All posts by Garry

Trail-A-Mate Review – Hydraulic Jack and Jockey Wheel – Change a Caravan Tire Easily

Trail-A-Mate is an item that all caravaners should have in their arsenal.

Its simply a BRILLIANT PRODUCT, especially if you have a few years under your belt like myself. (Old Guy Warning) haha

Trail-A-Mate Review - Caravan Flat Tire Changine Made Easy
Trail-A-Mate Review – Caravan Flat Tire Changing Made Easy

A Hydraulic Jack and Jockey wheel all in one combination.

Change your Caravans Flat Tire Easily and Safely

Two days after I made this Video above I actually got to use the Trail-A-Mate for real.
Sadly, I didn’t have a good camera with me, otherwise I would have replaced this video, with a real life demo.

Recipt for Tire bought two days after I made the Trail-A-Mate Video
Receipt for Tire bought two days after I made the Trail-A-Mate Video

I am so glad I had my Mate handy, it made changing the tire so easy.

It took me approx 1 1/2 hours all up, removing the flat tire, driving to the nearest tire center, getting a new tire fitted to the rim, returning to my trailer, and fitting it.

For those of you who have tried to use a standard car jack for your trailer or caravan, I feel your pain.

P.S. I am extremely impressed with the Trail-A-Mate. Its heavy duty steel construction gives you the confidence that it is built to last, and I thoroughly recommend it.

Trail-A-Mate Specs:

  • Minimum Height: 145mm
  • Maximum Height: 780mm
  • Working Load limit: 1,000kg

Whats inside the box:

  • 1 Hydraulic Jack
  • 1 Pair of jacking brackets (I forgot to mention in my video that these need to be securely fitted to your Caravan, trailer, etc.)
  • 1 Lifting Clamp
  • 1 Flat base plate
  • 1 Jockey wheel assembly
  • 1 Locating pin
  • 1 Extendable wheel brace (extends 200mm)
  • 1 Thin walled double ended wheel socket (19mm and 21mm)
  • 1 Promotional cap

Also a one year warranty card, to complete the package

Mine was supplied by

The link above will take you directly to the trail a mate page if you would like to buy one for yourself.

Caravan RV Camping actually care about you, the customer.

  • Australian Based
  • Very fast to dispatch your orders
  • Plus they have good competitive prices.

I give them a big thumbs up, and I will be happy to deal with them again.

Garry ([email protected])

Caravan Towing Mirrors

Caravan Towing Mirrors

What you want with any caravan towing mirrors, is ease of installation, good rear view visibility, and they MUST be Sturdy.

There is nothing more annoying, than having to pull over to the side of the road, after a semi has passed you in the opposite direction, and the force of the rushing air, has dislodged your drivers mirror.

Another gripe I have, is poor design, that allows your extended rear view mirrors, to constantly vibrate, rendering them almost useless, unless traveling really slow with no oncoming traffic.

I’m quite sure, you don’t want to ruin your travels, by constantly stopping every few kilometres, to adjust a mirror that’s moved, due to wind vibration, or bumps in the road.

Split View Towing Mirrors
Split View Towing Mirrors

The mirrors shown above Suit Nissan Patrol 1997 on-wards.

These have a standard Nissan Factory wiring harness already wired in, so basically its simply a matter of removing the original mirrors, connect the wiring harness  and bolting these new replacement towing mirrors in place.

Now you can take advantage of the extra length when pulled out to give an extra 100mm rear view visibility, plus large 200mm x 175mm flat main mirror with a 75mm X 175mm wide angle black spot  mirror below it.

Twisties – What has happened? – Smiths have a lot of Questions to answer.

I used to enjoy the odd pack of Twisties every now and then.

So I thought I had a dud pack earlier this year, and decided not to buy another until a few months had passed.

What has happened to Twisties? - Smiths have a lot of Questions to answer.
Improved Taste Twisties?

WOW… Was I wrong, Smiths have definitely gone down the path of DON’T BUY THIS RUBBISH.

The  New Improved Junk, they call twisties, is a total waste of money. The Original Cheesy taste is gone, the new smooth tasteless texture they are trying to get us to buy, is nothing like the Original product, and tastes of chemicals.

Now bear in mind, Twisties have been around since 1950, and first created by the General Foods Corporation.

I personally think Smiths should remove the name Twisties from the pack, and call it “New Improved Plastic Taste” or “Chemical Residual Mistake”

Now come on, how can a product that has been successful in the marketplace for many years, suddenly need to be — RE-INVENTED –.

The Smiths Taste Testers should be sacked, and the SEO who must think us, the Consumers are dim witted fool’s who will buy whatever junk they wish to produce. Oh, and yes I know Frito-Lay took over Smiths in August 1998.

But who Owns Frito-Lay?

Its quite an interesting trail to follow, and eventually finishes up at PepsiCo.
Pop over to Wikipedia to read the full history if your interested.

So after all of this who ha, Who Do I Complain Too?

AND More Importantly: Who Will Listen?
My own personal solution is simply Not To Buy Smith Twisties again.


Your Personal thoughts: On what was once a Great Australian Product, now destroyed by overseas owners, would be greatly appreciated. So pop a Comment Below, and let the world know we don’t like the New Improved Tasteless Product, and want the Original Brought Back.

Now Surely that’s not too much to ask for, Or is it PepsiCo?

Ive Had a Run of Bad Luck with my Car lately

My story started two weeks ago.

My car engine decided to stop while I was in transit.
I had enough forward momentum to get off the main road, and up a side street. After stopping, I got out,  lifted the hood. wiggled a few wires, looked to see if all the electrical connections were still in their correct location, jumped back behind the steering wheel, and as if by magic, the car fired up.

So I started to drive up the road, but only traveled a very short distance, and the motor stopped again.
This time I got my phone out and called the RACV, 20 minutes later, I had a chap looking under the hood for me. He found a break in the wire that goes to the coil pack, which accounted for me getting the motor started earlier, by wiggling a wire or two.

Oh well, had to wait for a tow truck to arrive this time.
In the meantime, I phoned my mechanic, who told me it was OK to bring it to him.
When I went into the office to book my vehicle in, the tow truck driver took off, and left me stranded at the mechanics.
I’m not happy about that.

The mechanic I use employees 5 mechanics in his workshop, and is always very busy.
I waited 4 days to get my car back.

Two days later, a nice large pool of water under the car.
I thought it might have been the overflow from the air conditioner, but I lifted the bonnet just to be safe. Sure enough, the radiator water level was down.

Back to the mechanic yet again:
This time the water pump was thee culprit, another day passes and I’m back on the road.

The saga continues:
A few days later, I have an oil leak from the engine valley cover gasket. dropping oil on my garage floor.
Back to my mechanic, got the valley gasket replaced, and all is good once again.

I haven’t finished my run of bad luck:
A couple more days go by, and I find another oil leak, from somewhere under the car. I’m not certain were its dripping from, so it looks like another trip to my mechanic is looming.

P.S. I think its time to put mt old car up for adoption, its been trouble free for just over 200,000 kilometers, so I really can’t complain, (BUT WHATS THE FUN IN THAT haha.)

Anyway, Safe driving, and I hope you get a laugh out of my misfortune.
I Might go and buy a lotto ticket, want to go halves?

World Record Towing a Caravan Jump

World Record Towing a Caravan Jump shown on the Fifth Gear TV Show.

Wow, what a way to destroy a caravan with style, in order to hold a world record.
For those interested, the previous Longest Caravan Jump Record, was held by Australian Ray Baumann, measured at 157 feet 6 inches to where the tow vehicles front wheels first touched down.
The New World Record. is held by an English Stuntman Derek Lee, at 187 feet 8 inches using a BMW as the tow vehicle.

This video below by Fifth Gear, shows just how crazy some Caravan Drivers really are. haha.
Now the Big Question is, who will be mad enough to try and create a new world record, for the longest caravan jump in history. Not Me that’s for sure.

The Video above is from the Fifth Gear YouTube Channel showing the world record jump in full.
P.S. The channel has quite a few videos available, In Fact, over 300 to be more precise.
So this should keep you entertained on a wet winters day or three.

Me personally, I like my old caravan, and have no intentions on destroying it, especially while trying for a world record.
HMMM On Second Thoughts…. Maybe a caravan manufacturer might offer to replace my Old Van, with a New one if I tried the Jump. haha

Portable Washing Machine Hand Operated

Portable Washing Machine Hand Operated.

Washing Machines that are small and don’t weigh much, will pay for themselves many times over, especially, if you frequent caravan parks to do your laundry.

The Ezywash hand-operated washing machine shown below is an excellent example of an environmentally friendly washing machine, add some bio degradable detergent and a bit of elbow grease and you can do your clothes justice no matter where you are camping

Portable Hand Operated Washing Machine
Portable Hand Operated Washing Machine


I made the Video above demonstrating the Hand Operated Washing Machine I Own.
It works remarkably well and is easy to use, I was truly amazed at how much dirt was removed from my items of clothing I used in this demo. Make me really think about changing my socks more often haha.

Hitch Locks Help Prevent Theft of Caravans, Boat Trailers, Horse Floats

Trailer Coupling Hitch Locks.

Unfortunately, there are a few deranged people, who think nothing of stealing your hard earned Caravans, Boat Trailers, Horse Floats etc. These are easy targets for criminals, as they are often left unattended for extended periods of time.

Fitting hitch locks or wheel clamps, means your prized possession. should still be where you parked it.

Over the years, I have had a few different coupling Locks, and the latest being the Saracen Ultra, this is by far the best I’ve owned so far.

I am quite impressed with this Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock by Purple Line.

Using it on your Caravan, Boat, Horse Float etc, is quick and functional. Another great advantage, is you can now leave your trailer attached to your car, and drive without the need to remove the device first.

Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock by Purple Line
This photo above shows my Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock attached to my work trailer.

This Australian made Caravan and Trailer Hitch Lock, is constructed from a high strength composite metal, making it difficult to cut with any conventional hand tools.

Here is a YouTube Video Demo I made of the Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock by Purple Line

If you scroll to the 4.07 minute mark in this video, you will see a split screen on-road demo i did, showing two different viewpoints, with my car and trailer hitched while driving on the road. I also drove up and down driveways, to show the articulation of the coupling lock in action.

While nothing will stop a determined thief, this lock will make it difficult for the opportunistic ones out there.