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Despite stagnating sales figures in new passenger cars, the number of caravans and campervans is on the rise. Recent findings show that over 700 thousand such registered vehicles roam the Australian vastness. If you’re one of the lucky owners, you’ll know that like all vehicles, caravans, motorhomes and campervans need regular maintenance and checks, especially before starting that long-planned endeavour of exploring our country. One area of particular importance is checking the caravan electrics, to ensure that everything is in working order and that you’ll be able to safely use all appliances and devices you take with you.
caravan electrics

Caravan Electrics – The Basics

Caravans outnumber campervans by ten to one. One reason is the lower cost, and that most are bought as second-hand options. Checking for any signs of wear, like frayed cables or battery leakage, might mean you need to do some upfront maintenance, but safety is your priority here. Also, you don’t want to be stuck hundreds of kilometres from the next town without properly installed and wired caravan electrics.

Campervans tend to have all the electrics pre-installed, either in hidden recesses along the walls or in the roofline. Most will also have space for bigger appliances like fridges and microwaves that use higher voltage 240V AC current. Newer models are integrated units, meaning all electrics are taken care of. You just need to start the engine for your next adventure.
caravan electrical solutions

The basic distinction here is between 12 DC currents being fed by batteries and 240 AC currents that are usually the norm in newer, but typically more expensive campervans or motorhomes. What do the two different types of power delivery mean for you and the appliances you can use?

240 Volt systems

240 Volts systems use mains power, like the type you get in your home. This means that appliances that use a lot of power in cooling, heating and cooking can work properly. Aircons, stoves and fridges are found in many newer recreational vehicles but need heaps of AC power to work. If you’ve set up in a camp park, then this should not be a problem. Most throughout Australia will have mains connections that you can hook up to your vehicle or trailer. To get power to your caravan or campervan in a campsite, use the hook up cable. Make sure the isolating switches or breakers are turned off before plugging in. Connect to the correct socket type with the amperage of your hook up cable. When that’s taken care of, turn on the outlet isolators and you’re done.

If you have a combined AC and DC electrical system, then a mains charger with a connected Anderson plug is used to replenish power in used batteries.
electrical system

12/24 Volt Systems

Battery or 12 Volt systems are the ones used for most camping purposes. This will include a separate deep cycle battery in the caravan or campervan to feed the 12V DC current to smaller appliances and equipment. This includes all types of lights that you use both inside and outside. LED awning and sidelights to light areas besides your caravan when the sun sets, or smaller reading lamps inside. Taillights in different combinations, like pairs or led strips with separate amber and yellow lights can be fitted to new vehicles or retrofitted into older ones. Compatible switches are easily wired and connected. Lights use low wattage, so shouldn’t drain much battery power.

To use other devices, like small portable fridges, radios, TVs, signal boosters, portable fans, power banks and more you’ll need suitable USB inputs that connect by way of Anderson plugs directly to the battery or in the battery box inputs. Outlets with the right amperage are used in 240V systems for the bigger stuff.

Powering Batteries

Most campervans and caravans are moving toward solar power, as a backup solution in battery charging. Different types of panels are sold. From traditional rooftop panels to smaller and thinner flexible panels. If you’re fitting new panels to your vehicle, consider how much power you need and if you intend to use more power-hungry appliances at once. Solar professionals will help you install the right type of solar setup, with leverage for future upgrades.

Besides using mains chargers or panels, a good idea would be to get a trickle charger, to charge batteries overnight. Or, you can use a DC-DC charger to charge the caravan battery using your car’s starter motor. Get a battery monitor to show how much juice you have left, and whether you’re charging the batteries properly.
campervan powering batteries

In all cases, safety is your top concern, especially with kids, or when the weather turns bad. Everything in caravan electrics needs to be properly connected and insulated. Surge protectors, fuses and breaker boxes will keep the risks of shocks or electrical fires at bay. And any expensive gear will be protected. You’ll also avoid the embarrassment of causing power outages at the campsite.

Buying and Installing Caravan Electrics

You can find basic caravan and campervan electrical wiring and equipment, different chargers, batteries and battery boxes in most camping stores tailoring to 4WDs and larger vehicles. This is where to look for lighting and general cooking gear. For panels, your best bet is having a pro fit with panels from dedicated camping solar stores. As for camping devices and gadgets, online stores sell heaps of stuff.

Compacts and city cars never really took off in Australia like they did in Europe or Japan. We have different roads, and a huge landmass, so the shift to larger SUVs and 4WDs is more than expected. And this shows in the model lineups of almost every brand sold down under. Carmakers are quietly axing smaller cars. Possibly because of lower profit margins or the gradual shift in driver taste. Or a combination of both. Either way, even the few models remaining have seen huge price increases.

Toyota has been at the forefront of Australian car sales for quite some time. It has supplied reliable passenger cars good for daily driving, rugged utes for the workplace, and indestructible 4WDs that make easy work of the bush. It also offers a range of vehicle accessories that make their cars even better, providing both added functionality and improved appearance. To complement your Hilux at work, or any vehicle you take off road, like the Landcruiser, a fully-featured roof rack goes a long way. It will cater to your storage needs, something that we can never get enough of, while also taking care of the smaller details.

Driving your car should feel comfortable and secure. Noise plays a huge role in how comfortable driving feels, and yet, practically none of the cars are insulated against it. Sound deadening is such a straightforward way to ensure that noise will never bother you when driving, while also significantly increasing your comfort at the same time. Sound deadening is just one of many ways to make your car unique and personable, which is why it’s always recommended to sound dampen your car as soon as you can.

Reduces Interior Noise

car audio door insulation

Cars always make a lot of different noises when driving, which can make the drive very unpleasant. While we do often filter out those noises subconsciously, they still might end up causing some harm. Noises such as that can disrupt a conversation in the car or they might even take away your concentration from driving, which is definitely dangerous. On top of that, loud noises, in general, contribute to a feeling of fatigue and tiredness. The good news is that installing sound dampening insulation will dramatically reduce all the types of noises a car makes. It can be so effective that you might feel strange at first because there won’t be an outside sound in the car at all.

Increased Comfort


Car sound insulation has the extra benefit of significantly adding to the overall comfort level when driving. If you’ve already had a lengthy and tiring day, the last thing you want to hear when you get in your car is more noise. That can have a serious lasting effect on your health. Or, you might want to take a long drive someday, and you definitely want to avoid feeling more tired than you should be just because of general car noises. That type of comfort can’t be matched with anything else, especially since most cars don’t have sufficient, or any, sound deadening insulation.


If there’s one overlooked factor that makes car noise deadening even more worth it is the added privacy. Most people would not want their conversations to be heard on the outside by strangers. You might think that would be impossible when driving, which is true, but not everyone talks in their car only when driving. If you’re driving and talking to the speaker, there is also a significant chance that someone might overhear something. That might be a big deal-breaker for people who have to talk about sensitive information over the phone. Vehicle sound proofing will make sure what’s said in the car stays in the car.

Improved Focus when Driving

The number one thing that drivers should do when driving is stay focused on the road ahead of them. When driving in a loud cabin, maintaining focus is not easy, even if you think you’ve gotten used to it. Driving in such conditions can totally take away your focus, which in turn can cause a totally unwanted accident. Sound insulation can make that a non-problem because you won’t have to deal with any type of noises that distracts you, so you’ll be able to focus entirely on the drive. It’s a health hazard that you can totally avoid with ease.

Greater Audio Quality


A lot of the time, when people talk about sound dampening insulation for cars they neglect to mention how incredible it is for audio quality. Most people tend to upgrade their audio systems when the first thing they should do is install car noise insulation. When there aren’t any outside factors that reduce the audio’s quality, you get to experience the full audio potential of your audio system. It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to music, or podcasts, or anything else, you’ll always be getting excellent audio quality, which is another great factor why sound dampening insulation is so worth it.

Fewer Rattles and Vibrations

Rattles and vibrations are usually very annoying and distracting. They’re not exactly a noise, but they’re still present and can cause some problems. When there’s vibration from one of the panels, that might cause vibrations to other places in the car, and even when you’re barely driving down the road they can be a nuisance. Good vehicle noise insulation can easily take care of even the most persistent of vibrations.

What to Look For When Sound Deadening your Car

Auto car repair service center. Two mechanics - man and woman examining car engine

The first thing you should know when choosing automotive noise insulation is that shops know what they’re talking about. You can trust their judgement on what brand and type of insulation to choose. However, there are two common issues that might sometimes happen when soundproofing your vehicle. The materials might need to be stuck with stronger adhesive than the one on offer and whether or not the materials are thermally stable. If you can get a package that includes automotive thermal and sound insulation then that’s the best choice to make. That way you eliminate virtually any and all possible issues.

Utes are the most popular vehicle type sold in Australia in 2020, with the Ford Ranger topping sales lists in April 2021, according to recent studies. Utes are popular because of their versatility, providing just the right amount of passenger space, with the added functionality of large cargo bays. And they’re not just bought by tradies. With their added ruggedness and go-anywhere looks, utes appeal to a wide range of different customers.

Multiple car brands have established their core beliefs a long time ago, with Japanese automakers usually putting an emphasis on reliability and longevity. One of the most renowned Japanese carmakers is Toyota. They are a manufacturer known for making some of the most reliable vehicles. Toyota vehicles are also known for being quite competitively priced without missing out on the newest technologies.
You may not be driving a “luxurious” car, but when you own a Toyota, you will have a pleasant riding experience and an eco-friendly mode of transportation, since most of Toyota’s newer vehicles are hybrid. Toyota also makes vehicles that are capable of providing good traction on the road and usually, their 4×4’s are some of the most commonly seen vehicles off the road. But every off-roading enthusiast, no matter how experienced, needs some 4×4 accessories to protect their vehicle, and bullbars are the first accessory they turn to.

Why Install a Bullbar on Your Toyota?


The most notable benefit of bullbars is that they offer general protection from frontal impacts. Since they get mounted on the front grille of your Toyota bull bars protect the windshield and internal engine components from shrubs, rocks, trees, and so on. With Toyota bull bars, safety is almost always guaranteed, especially when it comes to more dangerous situations such as collisions with large animals like kangaroos.

toyota off road vehicle bull bar

Animal Strikes

Animal collisions can be quite dangerous, but with a quality bullbar at the front, you and your Toyota will be well-protected. If you drive through animal strike prone areas, then you should definitely get a bullbar. This doesn’t mean you can drive carelessly, and you should still be wary of animals nearby and try to avoid any collisions. The bullbar is there in case an impact does happen.

Mounting Points

If you want to equip your Toyota with extra accessories, a bullbar will allow you to do so. Most bull bars for Toyota come with multiple mounting points, with the most common being winch mounting points. This way, you won’t have to drill holes to attach extra accessories to your vehicle, such as LED lights or a UHF antenna.

What Style of Bullbar Should You go For?

toyota off road bull bar


First, you have the bumper bullbar which provides increased protection from the stock fender on your Toyota. This is your most basic form of frontal protection.


With a nudge bar on your Toyota, you get a form of protection that is meant to keep your vehicle safe from light impacts. Nudge bars are used more for aesthetic purposes since they are not mounted as a standard bullbar.

Single & Triple Hoop

A single hoop bullbar comes with one metal hoop going over the radiator and attached to the bumper. A triple hoop bullbar, on the other hand, has two more hoops going over the headlights alongside the centre one. The latter are haversack but offer more protection. Triple hoop bars are great at protecting you from animal strikes.


While similar to a bumper bar, Baja bars are made to provide additional reinforcement to the chassis. They can be used with high powered winches and in off-road competitions as well.


As the name suggests, these bull bars for Toyota are made especially for off-road competitions. The advantage of competition bullbars is that they are easily removed when they get damaged.

What Materials are Bullbars Made of?


The first option and the strongest one when it comes to selecting a bullbar material is steel. Steel bullbars are also the heaviest but that’s the reason why they provide the utmost protection and can sustain heavy impacts. 


While plastic bullbars may not offer a solid level of protection, they are the most lightweight option. As a result, they are great for your fuel economy and aesthetics, but not so much when it comes to protecting from collisions.


If you want to get a bullbar that is light but also strong you should go for an aluminium bullbar. With these bullbars, your Toyota won’t have its fuel economy affected, nor will it sacrifice safety. Aluminium bullbars are nearly as strong as steel bullbars, and almost as light as plastic bullbars. Unlike steel models, aluminium bullbars are also naturally anti-corrosive. This means you have to pay extra to have such a coating on your steel Toyota bullbar.

toyota off road bull bar

How to Fit a Bullbar

  1. While not every type of bullbar installation is the same, the main steps are not that different. The first thing you need to do when you remove the bullbar from the packaging is to crawl under your Toyota.
  2. When you’re laying down under the front of the vehicle, find the factory drilled holes meant for attaching aftermarket accessories such as the bullbar. You then need to bolt the bull bar brackets to the holes and torque them according to the installation instructions that came with the bullbar.
  3. When that is done, go ahead and mount the bull bar to the mounting brackets. You shouldn’t tighten the bolts fully, as you may need to do a few adjustments to ensure that you have the bull bar level and that everything is even. Once you’re done with that, fasten the bolts completely and double-check that everything is in order.

For many of us, cars aren’t just personal possessions. They’re a part of our identity and something we rely on and use every day. Because of this, it’s no wonder that we should take good care of our cars, making sure that everything is in order, clean, that the car is parked in a safe space, and so on. Still, as is the case with many things we identify with, there is always a desire to make our car stand out from the crowd and display our uniqueness. After all, we all buy factory-made vehicles which are all the same, so the urge is completely justified.

Most of us get a mean 4WD like the Holden Colorado to venture off-road. It’s nothing new, and it certainly ain’t a secret. Since there are a lot of Aussies with a similar goal, we have a large market of aftermarket parts for driving off the beaten track. These aftermarket parts are all different – some are just minor interventions, while others are proper upgrades that affect performance, the outline, or add a new aspect to your Holden Colorado. Now, the Colorado is a superb ute, designed and built for tough terrain. But you can tweak it even further to make it outback-proof.

Muddy trails, wet tires and filthy vehicles are what people think of when you mention off-roading, but this activity is much more than that. Contrary to popular belief, the off-roading community is quite a welcoming one and it helps in preserving the environment. Whilst off-roading requires you to get a powerful vehicle that spends more petrol to go off-roading in the outback, it isn’t as detrimental. With carefully selected trails that everyone must follow, the rest of the flora surrounding them remains untouched. Also, if there’s a fire going on out in the wild, who would potentially see it if not off-roaders? Again, it is not the safest way to travel with your Triton but you can make it a lot safer if you decide to go for one simple yet effective accessory – a bullbar.

Mercedes has long been a manufacturer that provides customers with vehicles that offer good safety features. Mercedes has always put safety alongside with comfort at the forefront. Owning a Mercedes means that you own a whole package of innovations that has been paired with phenomenal artistry to aid the driver and keep them safe whilst doing so. Newer Mercedes models now have the same performance levels but with less fuel consumption which makes them cost-efficient.

This prestigious car brand keeps its resale value high for a long time too. But despite being known as a manufacturer that leads in passenger safety it is till important to keep an eye on certain things yourself. One of which are the brakes. Car brakes like the majority of vehicle components need to work at a top level. Not being able to do so is not only unsafe but it can also affect and damage other parts. One of the more important parts that is responsible for the proper functioning of a braking system is the brake pad.

mercedes pads

How Long do Mercedes Brake Pads Last?

Usually most Mercedes brake pads will last you anywhere from 48000 km to 110000 km, depending on your driving habits. If you drive in heavy traffic daily and use your brakes often, you’ll need to get a new Mercedes brake pad more frequently.

How do Mercedes Brake Pad Sensors Work?

A Mercedes brake pad sensor works by breaking up a complete circuit when the pad has been worn out enough. The sensor gets in contact with the brake rotor and a warning light comes up on the dashboard. This indicates that your Mercedes brake pads need to be changed.

brake pads for mercedes

Taking Care of Brake Pads & Systems


In order to keep your pads working at their best and change them less frequently there are some thing you can do. The first thing is to check the pads and rotors on a regular basis. This way you can detect certain issues beforehand and fix them on time. This equates to less repairing and lower maintenance costs too. Whilst driving you can also check how the brakes and brake pads act. If for example, the brake should feel solid when you press on the pedal, you need to listen for any unusual sounds too. Observing the engine compartment is a good way to ensure that your baking system operates properly. This way, you can check for oil and add if there isn’t enough or detect a leak too which is known to cause even bigger issues.


One type of fluid other than the oil that needs special attention is the brake fluid. This type of fluid is important to keep the braking system running smoothly. To ensure that you’ll need to flush it. This will refresh the brakes as new fluid is being pushed through the lines.

Driving Habits

Something that requires less dirty work and more attention on the road are your driving habits. You should avoid stopping suddenly or too late as well as speeding up to stop at a stop sign. It’s best that you travel at ample speeds and use the brake as less as possible. Of course, don’t avoid using it for the sake of safety.

Warning Signs of Brake Problems

mercedes brake pads


Any screeching grinding and squealing noises that pierce right through your eardrum are strong indicators of worn brake pads. These occur when you apply the brake pedal and they shouldn’t be left unattended, This can cause damage to other components such as the rotors and make for more expensive repairs.


Vibrations that appear in the pedal or steering wheel indicate that a rotor is warped or area bout to get warped. If your rotors are warped, the metal on metal grinding can lead to costlier repairs which is why you need to visit the nearest mechanic as soon as you experience these vibrations and pulsations.


A pungent burning smell coming from the tires or near them is the worst thing that could happen to the brakes. This means that the braking system is at a great risk and could potentially cause an accident which is why it is recommended that you visit a mechanic as soon as you notice the odour.


A soft or spongy pedal means that there is air or moisture in the braking system or with the master cylinder. If your Mercedes has power brakes the pedal should stop anywhere from 2.5 cm to 4 cm from the floor. If your Mercedes pulls to the side when you hit the pedal there are issues with the calliper or a brake hose has gone bad.


If your brake pedal is soft, then you should also check under your vehicle. This could also mean that there fluid leaking from the master cylinder. Even if you don’t see any on the ground you should still bring your Mercedes to a technician to check the cylinder since it has the reservoir that contains the brake fluid.