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Adventurers Diary

Who to choose for Caravan and Motorhome Insurance!!

Caravan Motorhome Insurance

Who should your Caravan, Motorhome or Fifth Wheeler Insurance be with?

Choosing a suitable Caravan, Motorhome or Fifth Wheeler Insurance is an important decision to make for travelers. We recently had to deal with the Insurance renewal of our Motorhome, and what an experience!! 50% increased premium, 150% increased Excess and an undervalued Agreed Value.

Caravan Motorhome Insurance

Caravan Motorhome Insurance has become one of the most common discussions amongst travelers with lots of options and differing types of insurance.

It generates more discussion than who the selectors will choose for Cricket’s next Ashes Test of summer. And it’s just as complicated.

When we think of insurance the primary details most of us are looking at are:-

  • The cost
  • Excess
  • The value our vehicle is insured for
  • How much our Contents are covered for
Border Quarantine Stop at Ceduna

Of course once we understand those points there’s so much more detail and that’s where you might think the different cost of premiums can be explained.

  • What will happen if I need to be towed?
  • What if we need accommodation and another vehicle or costs to get back home?

A couple from Melbourne were recently traveling in the Kimberley’s region when the wife became seriously ill. She had to be flown to Perth Hospital and they were unlikely to be able to continue the trip. This posed many issues and if something similar were to happen to you, how would your insurer support you?

Caravan Motorhome Insurance - Motorhome cleaning

CIL Caravan Motorhome Insurance

As mentioned, we recently had our Motorhome Insurance come up for renewal.

Our Insurer for our first 2 years traveling has been CIL and we really couldn’t fault them, they were superb and we were very happy to remain with them. We’d had 3 claims during that time and CIL were superb throughout and even supported us against a very poor and dodgy practice by one repairer in Adelaide.

Our original policy cost $1415 per year for 2 years and with the claims we had we did expect an increase when we came up for renewal. This policy included a basic excess of $200 and an agreed value of the Motorhome at our purchase price.

You can read about the purchase of our Motorhome here

Caravan Motorhome Insurance

Our CIL policy renewal

On November 10th 2017 our Policy was due for renewal and we received notice for our renewal cost, it was $2108, an increase of 49%.

It also includes a 150% increase in the Excess, from $200 to $500. Our agreed value was also significantly below what we believe to be it’s true value. Someone show me where you can by a 2009 Winnebago Esperance with the same features as ours for less than $100,000?

We contacted CIL to discuss it but they were clear, they don’t price match and they were not going to negotiate.

Caravan Motorhome Insurance - Coles Bay Tasmania

It was obvious we needed to check with other Caravan Motorhome Insurance Companies and Ken Tame seemed to always be the other popular choice so we contacted them. We were honest and provided full disclosure of our previous claims and answered all their questions.

They came back to us at $1894, over $300 cheaper than CIL. The Excess would also still be $200 as we were used to. They also offered agreed valued at what we originally paid for Darwinny our Motorhome.

Ken Tame did require us to join CMCA.

Even with this, Adele was keen to stay with CIL. Our relationship with them was excellent and we knew they would support us when, or if, we needed it. Adele felt that was worth the difference.

Finding out about Arthur J Gallagher for Caravan Motorhome Insurance

We had just arrived in Canberra and that afternoon we were contacted by Julie and Warwick who followed us on our Facebook page and they offered for us to come and stay with them. The next day while chatting we discussed insurance and they suggested talking to Arthur J Gallagher.

We contacted them and spoke to Ronda who was fantastic and once again we provided full information of our insurance history and all the required details.

Ronda immediately sent us through a quote, which came in at $1196, a saving of $912.

CIL’s quote is almost 78% more than Arthur J Gallagher.

Plus, our Excess remains at $200 and they too provided agreed value at our original purchase price.

Ronda also spoke to us about Avida RV Club where we could be members for $49.50 and this gives us $10,000 contents insurance. CIL cost $131.64 extra for $4000 contents insurance.

Watch us on YouTube as we travel Australia and provide heaps of great Tips and reviews on everywhere we stay.

CIL Claim repairs in Darwin
We highly recommend Paul from Mobile Caravan Service in Darwin

Therefore all up it costs us $1245.50 to insure with Arthur J Gallagher to receive 150% more contents insurance, significantly less Excess and greater Agreed value.

From what we could read and understand, most else within the policy remained the same or very similar.

With our windscreen, CIL provided 1 free one per year and Arthur J Gallagher were a $200 Excess however, the Avida RV Club which they referred us to provide a Free windscreen each year.

Our Decision

Ultimately it was a no brainer.

The savings were massive and we were left feeling we had no choice. It was a shame, we really enjoyed our dealings with CIL and they truly were superb. If it was close we would have stuck with them but we didn’t feel the increases to that extent were warranted or fair.

Thank you especially to Julie and Warwick who pointed us in the right direction at just the right time.

Have you had a similar experience?

Update June 30 2019!!

Since originally writing this article 18 months ago we feel we can now add another few chapters to our experience.

Within the first 12 month Insurance Policy agreement with Arthur J Gallagher we did make a claim and it was a fairly large one. Our Hot water system had leaked and the water caused damaged to part of our floor internally.

Firstly we went to Aussie Escape Caravan Repairs at Brendale who said the issue was from water coming up from underneath, even after I explained how it had happened due to the Hot water system. We were told they couldn’t cut out and replace the section of floor but would have to lay a new floor over the top. We felt that idea would have been a disaster!!

The quote to do this was approx. $8,500 and because of how they claimed it had occurred, Insurance would not have covered it.

5 Essentials – Outside RV Accessories

  1. To plug your RV with standard 15amp in to standard residential 10amp power source you will need a converter. We love our waterproof Ampfibian and after over 4 years it’s still perfect.
  2. Most people carry a Generator for back up power. 4wd Supacentre has a good low cost and popular generator while the Yamaha 2000w is a robust yet quiet excellent performer.
  3. A 20m 15amp Power Lead will ensure you reach your power source in Caravan Parks and Campgrounds.
  4. You will want a good blue Drinking Water Hose. Your typical green garden hose is not suitable for drinking from.
  5. A 4 way tap handle will help you find water whenever you need it

Discovering Gold Coast RV Repairs

Then we got on to the legends at Gold Coast RV Repairs.

We showed Brad the owner and explained it in exactly the same way as we did previously at the other repairer and he immediately assessed it as we had explained. I asked whether it could come from underneath and he said “No, there’s an aluminum plate under there stopping that”. He agreed it was obvious it had happened as we explained.

So he showed us how he could cut the section out and replace it, much to my surprise and delight. “Someone else had told me it couldn’t possibly be done”, I said. “Sure” he replied, “of course you can”.

How much will all this cost I asked? Just $4500 was his first assessment although final cost was approx $4900. Brad said he had worked before with CGU through Arthur J Gallagher and confirmed they were good and fair, he would deal with them for us.

We left the Motorhome with Brad while we were away in Fiji for our 30th anniversary and came back to it fully completed and in perfect condition. Actually, it’s better than ever with higher grade flooring than before. The insurers were great and followed up to inspect the work and contacted us to ensure we were happy. All up, a very positive experience.

What we like about Brad at Gold Coast RV Repairs is he had worked at Paradise Motorhomes and has built them from start to finish. He knows all the internal workings of an RV and has the experience to do the work at a quality standard.


CGU Policy Renewal

When our first Policy ended after 12 months we were up for renewal. We received a call from Ronda who was apologetic which at first had us a little bewildered. Ronda had been receiving so many calls from people talking about this Caravan Motorhome Insurance article and went to her bosses to see if she could offer us any special arrangement, however it wasn’t approved. We appreciated Ronda’s gesture and thanked her.

Once again we want to point out that we receive nothing at all from any Insurer or related party for this article, it is purely our experience so far with our Insurers. We wanted to share because it’s a big issue for everyone who owns a Caravan, Motorhome, Fifth Wheeler or other RV.

With that call from Ronda she had to pass on the changes to renew our policy. There was a 15% increase in Premiums and our excess went up from $200 to $500. Our new agreed value was $104,500.

Therefore our new policy cost was $1359.23.

Insurer costs had increased across the board, we knew that. We think $500 for excess is high but it is somewhat in line with the other insurers now. Our agreed value is still lower than we’d like but it’s a lot better than CIL.


Further dealings with CGU

We recently had some issues with our Air Conditioning and even though it ended up being completed under warranty again they were excellent to deal with. CGU had been prompt, friendly and professional and kept us informed all the way. This started in Merimbula in mid March 2019 and we had it finalised back in Brisbane in June 2019.

In April 2019 I drowned our DSLR Camera and good lens in Wilsons Prom in Victoria and contacted Ronda at Arthur J Gallagher as our policy also provided us an Avida contents cover up to $10,000 for $49 per annum.

We contacted them but they had a limit of $2000 for camera equipment. We were able to fully claim our camera and lens cost with our Home and Contents cover with ANZ Insurance which is underwritten by QBE for the $2,797.75 less our $250 excess.

This is also who we used to cover our Mavic Pro Drone when it was lost.

Update: December 2019

Mid 2019 we received notification that our insurer CGU would no longer be offering RV insurance. This left Arthur J Gallagher in a precarious position and us potentially needing to find another place to deal with. We have heard further rumours about Ken Tame cancelling policies and for other reasons within this post we really didn’t want to use their services.

We knew we had a little time to sort it out and then Ronda gave us a call to explain what was happening. She let us know that they were working on something and she would let us know more as soon as possible.

As our policy renewal got closer the rumour mill was in full swing that Arthur J Gallagher were no longer doing RV insurance when Ronda contacted us to tell us they are now with CIL and she had run our policy past them and it was vastly improved on the last offer CIL had provided us.

Our latest Renewal

Annual Premium: $1554.95
Agreed value: $104,500
Excess $500
Automatic content cover $1000

Without going back through the entire policy in review here it was in line with what we have previously described.

The Premium is up a bit but that was never really our biggest issue. The agreed value of less than $100,000 back 2 years ago was a major factor and here we are now 2 years later they are offering more. Go figure!!

As always, Arthur J Gallagher have been superb. We are pleased to be back with CIL who we found very good to deal with when it comes to claims.

The main news is, Arthur J Gallagher continues to offer an RV insurance service, now underwritten by CIL.

We receive no kickbacks, no discounts and no incentives for this article from an Insurer or related party. (But if you’re offering, let’s chat, fuel isn’t getting cheaper after all lol). This is simply a factual documentation of our experience.

If you would like to get in touch with Ronda at Arthur J Gallagher you can contact her on 03 5624 1000 or email is Ronda.dicker@ajg.com.au. Let her know you read our story here, maybe our premiums won’t go up next time we renew haha.

We hope this helps you in understanding more about your Caravan and Motorhome insurance.

Contact us any time if you have further questions.

Safe travels,

Kevin & Adele Hockey
Indefinite Leave

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Where to Find Us

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Robyn Kelk

    December 16, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Fantastic information from you again Kevin and Adele. Very much appreciated. Our van doesn’t arrive until April but I now know who I’ll be calling. Safe travels.

  2. Melissa @ All Around Oz

    December 17, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Great article Kev…..we had our camper trailer insured through Arthur J Gallagher and always felt they gave us a good deal. We will certainly look at them again when we get our van next year.

  3. Colin Ross

    January 28, 2018 at 11:00 am

    We also have done our insurance on our Longreach motorhome through Arther J Gallagher as they did agreed value for $1800.00 whereas Apia and CIL wanted nearly $2600 and a lower agreed value and no windscreen .

  4. Annette

    January 28, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Just looking into this right now. Thanks for the information. Will get a quote from Arthur J Gallagher. We are with the RACV with our car at the moment….looking for insurance for the camper trailer.

  5. Gary

    September 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Can you put contact details up for Arthur J Gallagher please?

  6. Www.steam4clean.Co.uk

    November 14, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Hello.This article was really remarkable, particularly because I was
    investigating for thoughts on this matter last week.

  7. Eileen. Farr

    August 13, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    A big hello to you. I ha e a 2010 Jayco Conquest motor home. Prestly with A P I.costing me $1350.00 for a m.h. yearly valued at $47.000 Inquiring as to you comprehensive insurance. Regards Eileen Farr

    • Indefinite Leave

      August 13, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Eileen, we don’t do insurance, you need to talk to an insurance agency. Details of Arthur J Gallagher are in the article 🙂

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Adventurers Diary

Life is no dress rehearsal!!

Life is no dress rehearsal – we all only have one life!

It’s been a long time since we packed up our home to leave our stresses behind and start an adventure that has been so amazing. We had no idea just how much we were going to love our new life.

We had worked so hard for so many years. 7 days a week, year after year, decade after decade.

With each success came catastrophic failure. From financially crippled at 32yo to massive financial loss at 48yo.

Life is no dress rehearsal
Life is no dress rehearsal - Honeymoon Bay

Adele and I were burnt out. Emotionally drained, totally cooked.

Find a new purpose in life as life is no dress rehearsal

We needed to find our purpose in life.

Our son Matt was looking for personal change, chasing a new life, embarking on finding new friends. He came too and he had no idea just how much the adventures were going to change his life forever.

Hardy Reef

MACKS our Golden Retriever must have sensed what was happening and at 14 she found a whole new lease of life. She swam her way right around the country and enjoyed every day of her travels.

Until one day we had to say Good bye….

We were shattered.

Figure 8 Pools
Life is a dress rehearsal - Loving Hyams Beach

Our travel mates picked us up, hugged us and supported us. These guys are now family.

We had a dream to explore our country and we never want to stop.

You can do this too.

If we can do it anyone can.

Break the chains, be free, find the real you.

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Humpback Whale Swim in Exmouth remains one of our ultimate highlights of our time around Australia. We highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Tasmania’s best tours is the Tasman Island Cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys out of Port Arthur. Three hours of cruising the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoying an up close look at hundreds of seals as well as dolphins and birdlife.
Top of Australia - Mt Kosciuszko
Life is no dress rehearsal - Fraser Island

Embark on an adventure as life is no dress rehearsal!

Go on an adventure that will change you. Find new friends you will want to be mates with for the rest of your life.

Push yourself to extremes you never knew you could achieve.

Interact with amazing animals.

Climb mountains, walk through Gorges, explore National Parks, stroll along extraordinary beaches, all one at a time.

Climb every mountain
Climb mountains, walk gorges as life is no dress rehearsal
Ningaloo Reef

Swim in ocean waters so crystal clear you won’t believe it.

Live from the ocean catching Fish, Lobsters, Squid and Crabs.

Don’t hesitate, get on the ride of your life. No one ever said “I wish I hadn’t
spent money on that epic, life changing adventure”.

Someone once told me, “I wanted to travel when I was young but life got in the way, now I want to do it before death gets in the way”.

Live the Life you’ve always wanted

1 Life, 1 Opportunity, make every moment matter.

Spearfishing at Haycock Point
Sandboarding at Sandy Cape

Don’t think of it as a holiday, make it a big adventure.

Turn up the music, stoke that fire, live the life you’ve always wanted.

Dare to Dream!!

Australia is waiting, it’s big, it’s beautiful and it is truly amazing.

Swimming with Humpbacks in Exmouth
Life is no dress rehearsal – Be adventurous, swim with Humpbacks and Whale Sharks!

Hitch the van, fire up the engine, get the RV out from the shed and put the pedal to the metal.

Follow the bitumen or go off road. Follow the path of others or go where no-one has been before, it doesn’t matter.

Visit the towns affected by the bushfires and give back where you can.

Life is no dress rehearsal - Swim up bar at Ccobbold Gorge
Sunrise at Cape Moreton

Experience the amazement of swimming with sharks, spotting Salt Water Crocodiles or the views from top of Ubirr looking out over the vast lands of Kakadu.

Camp under the stars, watch in awe at the epic Sunrises and Sunsets that will leave you wondering if you’ll ever witness something so breathtaking again.

Just do it!!

Travel Australia, it’s the greatest country on the planet!!

Check out these other great stories about our adventures:

Pin – Life is no dress rehearsal!!

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

______________________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

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Adventurers Diary

How to Save Money on Fuel

One of your biggest expenses when travelling Australia is always going to be fuel so any tips on how to save money on fuel will be valuable.

Along with Food and Accommodation it’s going to be in your Top 3 costs when travelling the country.

It’s a big country too, with so much to see and sometimes long distances in between, to arrive at your next destination.

How to save money on fuel when travelling
Barrow Creek Roadhouse

Up Mountains, across tracks and over sand, it all takes up more fuel.

We’ve been around the Country, up and down and right across and have found some ways which we have been able to save fuel.

Here’s How to Save Money on Fuel when Travelling Australia:

Let’s see if any of these tips can help you reduce your costs when travelling Australia.

Use Fuel Map App to check on how to save money on fuel

Using a Fuel App is a great way to Save Money on Fuel

There’s a number of fuel apps now to help direct you to the closest fuel station at the lowest price.

They are only as good as us as users to update these apps but for the most part they are an excellent source to find the cheapest priced fuel near you.

I like Fuel Map Australia. It’s Free and is my preferred app that I use all the time.

Petrol Spy and MotorMouth are two other popular apps and there are others also. The NSW Government released their own app called NSW FuelCheck.

Threeways - How to Save Money on Fuel
Threeways Roadhouse NT

GasBuddy is considered the most accurate in Victoria.

Whichever Fuel App you use, they are a great way of buying cheaper fuel when travelling.

Discount Fuel Cards

Woolworths and Coles are the obvious options here rewarding you with 4c a Litre off every time you spend $30 or more in their store.  Use your Rewards Card when you fill up with fuel at a Coles Express or Woolworths Petrol Station and receive the discount off your fuel.

We never go to Coles Express any more, we now find their fuel over priced.

Our preferred fuel at the moment is Woolworths. However Puma provides us 4c a Litre off as well just for being members with RACQ. We find Woolworths compete on bowser price and then with the discount it can be significant savings in the cost of the fuel.

Check with your Royal Automobile Club membership what discounts they have associations with.

Costco have great fuel prices however if you’re travelling it is of no real benefit. There’s an annual fee to join and very few stores around the country.

How to save money on fuel - Fill up at the United Whycliff Well
United Whycliff Well

United Fuel

A brand that we found were mostly available right across Australia and had the best value, we found was United.

They were consistently lower in price than any others in most regions we travelled.

United Fuel is the former Esso brand which changed name back in 1993.

In some areas, specifically NSW we found Metro Petroleum was often quite cheap.

Carry Jerry Cans help you save on fuel
Sceptor Jerry can

Utilise Jerry Cans

We carried fuel drums with us as we travelled. If the opportunity arose, we would use our drums to store great value fuel.

When we came across fuel that was significantly cheaper then “normal” price for the area we would fill up and fill our Sceptor Jerry cans too.

Along the Stuart Highway just south of Devils Marbles was a tiny town of Wycliffe Well. The fuel station at the time was exceptionally cheap in a region of typically high priced fuel so we ensured we topped up as much as we could.

Hughenden in Qld was another where we found a self serve fuel station with cheap fuel and there have been many others during our time on the road.

Read about our: 47 Caravan Motorhome RV & Camping Accessories

How to save money on fuel on Fraser Island
Diesel price on Fraser Island

Going to islands such as Fraser Island where fuel is $2.30 – 2.45 a litre, Moreton Island which is $3 a litre or Kangaroo Island where it is approx 30c above mainland prices is expensive! These are certainly times you will want your Jerry cans full and with you to save money on fuel costs.

Turn off your air con and wind down the window when driving at lower speeds

Whenever I am driving below 70kmh I prefer to wind down the window.

I’ve always done it as I prefer the fresh air and better power. When I’m driving around 80kmh it is too noisy and less pleasant so I put the window up and use the air conditioner.

Who knew it was actually proven to be better for fuel consumption with what I was doing.

Any tips on how to save money on fuel when traveling are valuable

It turns out that at higher speeds aerodynamic drag from the windows being down negatively effects your fuel consumption.

At speeds below 80kmh it is better for fuel economy to have your windows down than it is to use your air conditioner. Over 80kmh it is better to use your air conditioner and close your windows.

5 Essentials – 4WD Accessories

  1. 4WD Recovery Tracks will get you out of most situations, especially in sand. We bought a pair of these generic branded tracks that have worked well whilst other brands include the Australian made TRED or the Australian Designed and made MAXTRAX 4wd Recovery Tracks.
  2. For our 4WD we went with this EDECOA 1500 3000w Pure Sine Wave Inverter which has been excellent value and works great.
  3. I’m a massive fan of my Victron IP65 15a Battery Charger. I use it often to give batteries a boost and it really is an essential part of my tool kit.
  4. When camping my Kings 200w Solar Blanket gets a lot of use and works really well. Only downside is it doesn’t work with Lithium batteries.
  5. Brass Tyre Deflators are a fast and easy way to lower your tyre pressure to your desired level. Perfect for when you are hitting the beach.

Check your Tyres Often Helps Save Money on Fuel

There are obvious benefits to regularly checking your tyres.

Checking there is no significant wear on your tyres will ensure your safety and reduce the likelihood of a blowout. However also checking tyre pressures will save you money on fuel.

Always maintaining the correct tyre pressure for your tyres and vehicle will provide better fuel economy.

Barkly Homestead

Fuel saving methods for your tow vehicle

Limiting Weight

The more we take with us the more fuel we will use.

We constantly review everything we carry in our Motorhome and cull what we aren’t using. This should be every travellers constant review of their travel rig.

Our goal is to always be limiting our weight to only what it needs to be.

When towing a van with your 4WD you have a lot more to consider when it comes to correct weights but the same principles still apply, the lighter you are the less fuel you will consume.

Wind Resistance

Consider the affects of protruding items such as kayaks, bicycles, surf boards and boats with regard to wind resistance and the potential extra fuel costs.

How to Save Money on Fuel

A wind deflector on your 4WD if you are towing a full size Caravan may provide a significant benefit. They may look a bit odd but the savings are genuine. A deflector will provide better performance when over taking or climbing hills.

When towing it is wise not to use cruise control. Your vehicle will accelerate hard to maintain the set speed especially in head winds or hill rises and therefore use more fuel.

It is recommended that you don’t use cruise control when towing.

Reduce Weight in your Caravan

Once again, correct weights in your Caravan are vital with towing and you will therefore be governed by weight distribution around how you travel with water in your tanks and other matters regarding what you carry.

It still stands to reason though the more you have in your Caravan the greater your weight, the heavier you are and the more fuel you will use.

When we leave our camp for a new destination we will assess how much water and fuel we are carrying and where possible leave it until we arrive at our next stop before filling up.

Fuelling up the motorhome

Not Leaving your Vehicle Idling Saves Money on Fuel

It’s best to turn off your engine when stopped even for short periods.

When starting your engine it uses about the same amount of fuel as it would if it was idling for 30 seconds.

If you need to pull over to answer your phone or if you have situations like me where Adele says she’s just running into the shops and will be super fast which turns out to be 20 minutes, it’s best to turn off the engine to save on fuel.

Our friends we travelled with lamented to us more than once about the Caravan owners next to them waking them up early in the morning with their engine running as they hooked up the Van to leave.

This seems to be common where vehicle engines are left running for a period of time during the hooking up and finalising pack up before leaving camp.

How to Save Money on Fuel when travelling

There used to be a time where Diesel engines were best warmed up before driving however with new technology that’s no longer necessary for any longer then 15-30 seconds if at all.

Leaving the engine running for longer then 30 seconds simply uses more fuel, it’s best to turn your engine off.

It goes without saying not to do this in normal driving situations. When stopped at lights, railway crossing or similar do not turn off your vehicle engine.

You don’t need to buy Premium Fuels unless your Vehicle Manual suggests you should

This RACV article discusses the issue.

Grades of Petrol and Diesel

There are so many options for Petrol now with E10, 91, 95 and 98. The numbers represent the level of Octane with 95 and 98 considered Premium fuel.

There is no need to use a Premium fuel if it isn’t required, 91 will perform appropriately.

Do some research of the use of E10 for your vehicle before using it.

Mystery Bay in NSW

How to Save Money on Fuel by Maintaining a Consistent Speed

As previously discussed, if you are towing it’s best not to use Cruise Control however when not towing it can help ensure you maintain a constant speed and therefore reduce fuel consumption.

This is especially the case on generally flat highway conditions where you may have no stops, can maintain a constant speed with few significant inclines

You could Slow Down your Travelling

By staying in one place longer and not moving as often you will reduce fuel costs.

Bathurst
Bathurst Pole Position

However for most travellers on their Big Lap of Oz they have a limited time of just 1-2 years and it’s a huge country with heaps to see and do.

That means for most people, stopping for lengthy periods in one place just for fuel economy isn’t really an option.

If you do have the opportunity to travel slowly and stop for extended periods this can certainly improve the amount of fuel you use while travelling.

Drive a Diesel rather than Petrol

Diesel engines use up to a third less fuel than Petrol.

That is a massive saving however it should also be compared to potential higher fuel cost at the pump and higher cost for the vehicle where Diesel engines are generally more expensive than Petrol.

Buying second hand vehicles can potentially negate this issue.

How to save money on Fuel - Filling up on the Nullabor
Filling up on the Nullarbor

There’s a lot of advice around driving Diesel or Petrol vehicles. Carsguide for instance states “If you’re going to be towing a boat or caravan regularly, it’s a no brainer because a Diesel will do it better and use far less fuel at the same time”

All research will tell you a Diesel will perform over the long term more economically than Petrol when asked to perform for long periods under varying conditions.

The bowser price for Diesel also tends to be consistent rather than the continual fluctuations of Petrol prices which helps for budgeting and targeting the best price.

More Expensive Fuel does not Necessarily Mean Longer kms and Therefore Greater Economy

Trying to test this is always challenging because you don’t drive the exact same conditions each tank of fuel.

Weights, highway to city driving, uphill, offroad and a range of other factors will always differ each time we drive. Therefore potentially it will affect the fuel economy with each tank of fuel we use.

Fuel is one of the top 3 expenses when travelling

However I did recently do a test using BP Diesel, the fuel long regarded as the best for longer distance, compared to Woolworths where it was approximately 7c cheaper.

BP didn’t provide any greater distance from the tank of fuel but the saving of 7c a litre or more with Woolworths is obvious.

I am still recording my fuel and will finalise my thoughts on this in the near future however I found no benefit from using BP over any other brand.

Keeping control over your fuel costs will help you maintain your budget when travelling.

Use the savings to see more of our amazing Country!

Pin – How to Save Money on Fuel

Read more on How to Save Money when Travelling Australia:

Do you have any other tips on how to save money on fuel travelling Australia?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

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Adventurers Diary

Feeding the Dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay

There are a few places around Australia where you can enjoy the experience of an organised feeding of wild dolphins but by far our favourite was feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe in Tin Can Bay Queensland.

Dolphin Feeding at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay

Feeding the Dolphins at Barnacles Cafe is a close up Dolphin Feeding experience without the big crowds.  Everyone that wants to feed a dolphin can and it’s as little as $10.

There are 9 dolphins that visit and they have been named Mystique, Patch, Ella, Squirt, Harmony, Aussie, Valentine, Chompy and White Fin.

Kev's Mum feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe
Mum feeding a dolphin

There’s no telling how many will come in each day or if any at all will visit but each time we have been there’s been a couple of dolphins come in.

Parking for Dolphin Feeding at Barnacles Cafe

It’s important not to park in boat trailer bays or you may receive a fine. The carpark in front of Barnacles Cafe is designated for fishermen and their vehicle and trailer.

There is allocated parking at the rear of the carpark behind the swimming pool and you can easily walk over to Barnacles Cafe from there.

Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre & Cafe
Dolphins swimming among the volunteers
Tin Can Bay Dolphins

How far is Tin Can Bay from Rainbow Beach?

Barnacles Dolphin Centre at Tin Can Bay is just over 30kms from Rainbow Beach in South East Queensland.

This particular morning we had a bit of a wait before any dolphins came in. It was around 8.30am before the first Dolphin arrived.

Volunteers from Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre & Cafe in the water with the dolphins
Wild humpback dolphins at Tin Can Bay
Dolphins at Tin Can Bay

Mystique was first in from the wild and hung around during viewing time and only later was joined by 3 other dolphins including Ella and her 15 month old calf Joe.

Baby Joe is not able to be fed any fish until he is 2.5 years old. Mum Ella is very protective of her calf Joe at this stage and they were inseparable the entire time.

We were fortunate to end up seeing 4 wild humpback dolphins at feeding time during our visit.

Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre

First time Dolphin Feeding Experience for Kev’s Mum

We have been to the Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Centre to feed the dolphins several times, once taking Kev’s Mum with us who was quite reluctant about getting in to the water.

Afterwards she was so thrilled at having done the experience and it was so great to give Mum a new achievement at her age.

Mum is not used to being barefoot in the water these days so the lovely lady volunteers were kind enough to help her while we took some photos of her experience!

Volunteers get to know the dolphins quite well and vice versa, the dolphins get quite familiar and comfortable with the volunteers.

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Humpback Whale Swim in Exmouth remains one of our ultimate highlights of our time around Australia. We highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Tasmania’s best tours is the Tasman Island Cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys out of Port Arthur. Three hours of cruising the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoying an up close look at hundreds of seals as well as dolphins and birdlife.
The start of the dolphin feeding
At Barnacles -Adele feeding a dolphin
Adele enjoying feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay

There is no touching the Dolphins, not even the volunteers have any physical involvement with them.

What time is the Dolphin Feeding?

The Barnacles Dolphin Centre opens at 7am with viewing time between 7.00am and 8am, and then feeding from 8am.

Barnacles Dolphin Centre & Cafe is also where you can have brekkie before or after feeding the dolphins.

Be sure to arrive early to purchase dolphin feeding tickets and get the opportunity to go in the water for viewing time between 7am and 8am.

One of the wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay dolphin

How much does it cost to feed the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe?

To view the Dolphins the cost is just a $5 entry fee. To participate in feeding the Dolphins at Barnacles Cafe, it cost only another $5. Pensioners are just $7.50

Once the dolphins arrive the staff will organise a line where you can collect a fish to feed a dolphin and then wait in the feeding area for you to have your turn.

Crowds gathering for the dolphin feeding
People watching the dolphins

How to get to Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre & Cafe

Follow Tin Can Bay Road through the main town, along the Esplanade all the way to the point where you will arrive at the Tin Can Bay Yacht Club and boat ramp.

From Hervey Bay to Tin Can Bay it is just and hour and 15 minutes drive.

Follow the signs to find a park to the right at the back of the carpark.

Read about: Our Trip from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

After feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay Dolphin Centre

Tin Can Bay Accommodation

There are a couple of places to stay in Tin Can Bay however we usually choose to set up at Rainbow Beach where we stay at the Rainbow Beach Holiday Village.

It can accommodate all visitors whether it’s camping or staying in the cabins, it has great facilities and is very close to shops and the beach.

At the water's edge in Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay

Things to do in Tin Can Bay

Fishing and Boating

Tin Can Bay is a beautiful quiet seaside town best known for it’s fishing and boating.

If you don’t have a boat of your own you can hire one from Tin Can Bay Boat Hire.

Tin Can Bay Country Club

The Tin Can Bay Country Club offers an 18 hole Golf Course or play bowls before enjoying a meal and drinks in the restaurant.

Fraser Island

Take a tour to Fraser Island and see the Worlds Largest Sand Island. Leave your car behind and relax as tour guides take you to visit all the highlights of magnificent Fraser Island.

Read more about Fraser Island: Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island

Beautiful Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island
Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island

Pin It!

Have you experienced feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

______________________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

Continue Reading

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