DIY campsite fixes: Part 2

Ali Millar — 24 January 2018
DIY camp hacks


Sure, you’ve got a light on the outside of your van, but what if you’re sitting around the fire or want some light further away from your rig? Create your own portable light with a 12V LED downlight, a length of garden lighting cable (10m is about right, but go for longer if you want more distance), a switch, a 12V cigarette lighter plug and a soldering iron. Solder the plug and the downlight onto the cable and install the switch. An empty yoghurt container makes a great shade to better disperse the light – just cut a hole in the lid and thread through the cable.


You’ve arrived at camp and discovered a creek stocked with yabbies but you’ve got nothing to catch them with. Disaster? Not at all! Look around your camp – you’ll be amazed at what you can pull together. For this net, Glenn used the shaft of the collapsible shovel as a handle, the arms of the jaffle iron as the frame for the net, a mesh fly net to trap the yabbies and lengths of cord to tie it all together. You’ll all be happy to know that he successfully brought in a haul of yabbies.


This one’s a camper's classic for storing fishing rods or extra awning poles and can easily be attached across the rear of your van or down the side of your car’s roofrack. Cut a length of poly pipe to size and glue an end cap onto one end. Use a screw-on cap for the other end for easy access to your gear. Keep your stuff secure by drilling a hole through the sides of the cap to fit a bolt. Then drill a hole through the threaded end of the bolt to padlock it in place. Attach it to your rig using hose clamps.


For even easier access to your rods at camp, strap up a couple of lengths of rope or bungee cord between the grab handles of your car and twist them around themselves a couple of times. Do two – one across the rear seats and a second in the boot area and then string your rigged up rods between them so they’re ready to go as soon as you arrive at your preferred fishing hole.


Our curtains provide privacy at camp as we often sleep in the car, but they’re also excellent for security purposes when you’re leaving the car parked full of valuables. Simply measure two pieces of fabric to run along the sides of the car from behind the driver’s seats to the very rear. Pin and then sew a loop along one length of each curtain to thread onto stretchy curtain wire and attach in place using the hooks.

If you’re not up for sewing, buy some cheap reflective window shades, cut to size and use double-sided Velcro to hold in place. It’ll keep the sun out as well as hide your valuables.


Perfect for lighting storage compartments or your campsite, you can buy a kit of LED camp light bars including the required wiring online for next to nothing. Rig them up using glue or cable ties wherever needed, then connect to a power source and you won’t be digging around in the dark anymore.


The last thing you want as you hook up a fish is to lose your sunglasses into the water in your excitement. Grab a short piece of thin cord or twine and knot it onto either arm of your sunnies – they won’t be going anywhere.

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #571. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month! 


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Glenn Wardle