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Pet test Chloe camps with GoSee team, Ozpig and Oztent on Great Ocean Road

June 12, 2008
Pet test Chloe camps with GoSee team, Ozpig and Oztent on Great Ocean Road

Hello everyone my name is Chloe and I have been camping for the first time.

We stayed at Skenes Creek Beachfront Park, probably the only caravan park in Victoria between Geelong and Apollo Bay that allows dogs and camp fires. And it is right on the beach.

I explored and smelled everything. Camping is so attractive and interesting. I rolled in fragrant seagull poo five minutes after we arrived to get that original outdoors aroma.

Our GoSee tours always have so many objectives. On this editorial tour we wanted to know where I could take my humans camping and assess the good and bad of that for them and me.

We also tested a new Oztent and tried Ozpig cooking and its capabilities for future trips.

Next year, GoSee plans to take our Captiva diesel down the Canning Stock Route, Western Australias most remote and challenging 4WD adventure.

We did not have much time so we didnt have time to pack properly just chucked all of our camping gear in the Captiva and left home at noon Saturday.

There was too much stuff, a lot not used or necessary, but we weighed it all and listed the result so we can travel as light as possible in future. We have plans to reduce bedding requirements for cold weather and that should reduce the weight of our camping equipment for a similar trip by 15 kg.

We took the inland route, about two hours from home. Geelong, Birregurra, over the Otways through Forrest, a short visit into Len Spraug Reserve at West Barwon Reservoir and down the hill into Skenes Creek directly opposite the caravan park gate.

There were three other campers in the caravan park on the first night and two on the second night.

The first night there were two men from Melbourne and their their pet American Staffy Diesel or Dizzy for short.

They are regulars because it is only three hours from Melbourne. Dizzyis a large dog, boisterous and in my face and he scared me at first.

I might be small but I have to look after my humans so at first I showed him where to get off. But we finally became friends through sharing dried kangaroo treats and we happily snacked away together.

One thing is certain we pets bring strangers together through a common interest.

Our first attempt with the new Oztent reflects that our future requirements are for a tent that:

Big humans can stand up in.

Is easy to put up and down for one night stays

Doesnt need a lot of tent pegs

Not too cramped

Is weatherproof; and

It must be durable

Look what I did. Chloe has finished setting up camp
Look what I did. Chloe has finished setting up camp

The Oztent RV3 met our needs. GoSee inspected the Oztent range in New Zealand at the Hamilton Caravan Motor Home Show in March and purchased this one at Caulfied Supershow in Victoria together with the optional Peak Side Panels to give more outside undercover area.

The price $899is not considered excessive as the Oztentis just what we need. Colours: Khaki Green. Weight: 18kg. Packed Size: 2m x 0.30m x .015m. Sleeps: 3-4 people. Size Erected: 2.4m (w) x 2m(d) x 1.9m(h) + 2m Awning.

The Oztent RV-3 was the second of the Oztent models to be released. It incorporates newer technology and has separate World-Wide Patents.

The RV-3 is a bigger tent when erected (2.4m wide) but it packs to the same length in the bag as the RV-2 (2m). The erection and packing procedure is exactly the same (in 30 seconds) but the frame folds in a different place allowing for the same pack size as the smaller model.

It is made from high quality waterproof Rip-Stop Poly-cotton Canvas and a heavy duty heat sealed PVC floor.

All Oztents are guaranteed waterproof and are covered by a full two year warranty.

All new Oztent models now come with side windows and zippered power inlet.

Standard inclusions: Aluminium awning poles x 2, heavy duty pegs and a waterproof carry bag.

Shade cloth is the first camp set-up job
Shade cloth is the first camp set-up job

A hint for Newbys always use a piece of shade cloth under your tent. We have used a 6x4 metre piece for over 10 years now.

It is caravan park friendly. It saves the ground from wearing in high traffic areas and doesnt kill the grass.

More importantly it protects your tent from mud, sand and ground moisture particularly annoying when trying to pack up.

Sand on your feet falls through and doesnt get carried into your tent. It generally keeps your camping area cleaner and dryer in wet weather.

You can bang in tent pegs straight through it too.

Whilst Oztent claim that you can put it up in 30 seconds, yes you can, but add to that unpacking it all from the waterproof carry bags provided, pegging to the ground, zipping on the Peak Side Panels, staying the poles it could all happen in five minutes.

If you have never camped on Victorias Great Ocean Road, be aware that the weather can change in five minutes and that it will probably rain. It did and also blew through the night. We were glad we used all tie down points.

Setting up camp at Skenes Creek
Setting up camp at Skenes Creek

The tent is well made, durable and comes with a two year manufacturers warranty against defects in components, materials and workmanship.

It weighs in at 18 kg plus the side panels, extra poles and pegs it is a bit heavy and long to carry, but worth it for the convenience and space.

The Oztent makes the most of Velcro straps for sealing and venting shades. It also has a special zipped corner area to run a power cord through if required.

We even hung a stretchy strap over the top cross bar to dry our rain coats undercover.

For outside lighting, we used a $20 LED Camp light which will sit on a table or hang in the tent. Inside we used our old favourite, a battery powered magnetic light, the base on outside, light inside.

We cooked with the Ozpig

This is another product GoSee found recently through camping with friends.

The Ozpig is based on a professionally converted 9 kg lpg gas bottle modified with legs, chimney, spark arrestor, cooking plates and internal fire box.

LED light hangs from velcro strap
LED light hangs from velcro strap

We put the well seasoned GoSee camp oven on top and cooked a wonderful Number 10 roast chicken and vegetable in 65 minutes.

When finished, you can keep the kettle hot on the swinging side plates and sit around it for warmth just like a camp fire.

They are clean to use and come in a handy carry bag when packed up. The next morning the pig as GoSee calls it, fired up again and cook eggs and bacon directly on the fire box lid, then for evening meal, barbecue chops and chips in the same way.

You do need kindling, good wood and heatbeads. The heat can be regulated by the draft through opening the front door.

The chimney takes away any smoke. It can all be cleaned down with newspaper and packed up ready for the next trip. But please make sure the coals and Heatbeads are cold before emptying the firebox.

Ozpig is portable, collapsible and easy to transport. When transporting Ozpig, the legs and chimney will fit into the belly. Weighing about 16kgs, Ozpig comes with a vinyl carry bag.



Use with your camp oven

Heat can be adjusted with the hot plate

Cook with a wok

Boil the billy

Place boiler straight onto the flames

Cook jaffles on slow fire

A must have for any camping or fishing trip


9kg gas bottle converted into BBQ/heater

Detachable legs, chimney hot plate for easy cleaning

Galvanised steel legs, screwed in for safety stability (300mm long)

Chimney comes in 3 parts, each part 300mm in length

1 warming plate has diameter of 270m

Total weight is approx. 16kgs

Comes with multi-purpose tool for removing hot plate camp oven lid

Includes vinyl carry bag for easy transportation

Roast chicken in OzPig powered camp oven
Roast chicken in OzPig powered camp oven

Camping equipment

We used a timber folding camping table purchased recently at a market in Geelong.

It worked well, was sturdy, easy to move around and reasonably convenient to pack.

It is better than our previous table, a collapsible aluminium job which proved to be unstable in wind, glary and too hot to touch in hot weather

Camping with Pets

We found this pretty easy given there were not many other people or dogs around.

It would be considerably harder if the park was half full. We basically had the run of the park.

Remember, all caravan parks are different, all parks have different clientele and all caravan parks have differing Council/Owner regulations. So take careful note of the caravan park rules and adhere to them otherwise expect confrontation

I was nervous of new sounds. What my humans didnt consider was the effect of all these noises, particularly the constant pounding and crashing of the waves on the beach, even the wind at night whistling through the trees and road traffic.

Dine time for Chloe and her GoSee humans
Dine time for Chloe and her GoSee humans

I am a peaceful girl and used to quiet. So I need my toys, bed, blankets and favourite food. Camping is unfamiliar territory for a five-year-old Maltese Shitsu.

I need to be warm. I need to connect with familiar items. After spending two days at the beach, I was totally exhausted when we arrived home. Of course, like my humans the first job was a bath and for me, a blow dry.

We learned that whether pets are welcome or not in caravan parks is not always about the attitude of the caravan park.

On the Great Ocean Road for example it is often about council attitudes to pets on holiday.

Sometimes the caravan park owners are not consulted at all in the process of the development of pet policy.

There is one Great Ocean Road Top Tourist Parks of Australia chain member caravan park which is prepared to help travelling pets and their owners when it can provided the pet owners contact the park in advance.

Errol Morris of Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park in Cameron Rd told GoSee that nine pets and owners camping sites have been specifically developed at the popular Top Tourist caravan park to help pet owners.

Council No Dogs policy
Council No Dogs policy

They have power and water in an Anglesea riverside location beside a walking track But it is critical that pet owners book in advance, Errol Morris said.

It is all about availability, he said.

Peak periods like January and Easter are no pets times. Anglesea is only 90 minute drive from Melbourne, and is situated on the Great Ocean Road, at the foot of the Otway Ranges on Victorias Surfcoast

More camping hints:

Keep your food in a lidded box away from possums or straying dogs.

Keep all rubbish in a bag hanging high on a tent pole for same reason.

Keep your valuables locked in your car or out of sight in your tent.

Take a bucket for hot water and washing up, dont bother with the useless folding buckets that can be purchase in a handy carry bag, they leak and collapse, wasting the water.

How the camping weight adds up:

Actual weights two persons and one dog plus all the gear in the Captiva diesel totalled 317.5kg of gear. From our considerable collective staff experienceGoSee regards 200 300kg as a typical leisure vehicle load for camping.

Additional kg weight added to standard vehicle Holden Captiva LX Diesel Auto including about 50 litres diesel

General additional stuff in the car 5

1 set Rhino Roof Bars 5

2 Adults 154

Chloe the dog her stuff 5

32 litre Engel Fridge bag - fixed 24. Total 193

Camping equipment includes:

Double self inflatable mattress 9.5

Doona blankets 4

Camp Oven 11

OzPig 16

Wood 9.5

2 x Chairs 5.5

Oztent RV3 18

Optional Side Awnings poles, pegs 11.5

6x4 metre Shade Cloth 5.5

Picnic Set, saucepans etc 5 total 95.5

Food for 2 days 9

10 litres Water 10

Clothes personal effects 2 persons 10 Total 29.0

The GoSee Holden Captiva LX Diesel auto accommodated all our gear with one rear seat folded.

Our 32 Litre Engel fridge remains permanently securely fitted in the rear of vehicle.

For camping camping trips, GoSee purchased a set of Rhino Roof Bars suited to the Captiva LX model standard Sports Bars.

These were supplied and fitted by Umhauers Geelong 4wd Towbar Centre for $290. They also fitted the Hayman Reese Electronic Brake Controller to the GoSee Captiva which is used in our caravan towing trials.

Editors Note: Also See these related features:

OzTent awnings and tent windows
OzTent awnings and tent windows
Chloe guards the compact packed and ready to go Oztent
Chloe guards the compact packed and ready to go Oztent
Country girl Chloe is GoSee Maltese Shitsu camp guard dog
Country girl Chloe is GoSee Maltese Shitsu camp guard dog
Chloe enjoys her play time
Chloe enjoys her play time
Open beach and room to run Great Ocean Road
Open beach and room to run Great Ocean Road
Oztent folding mechanism
Oztent folding mechanism
Raincoats hang under cover to dry
Raincoats hang under cover to dry
Oztent has  tie down pockets
Oztent has tie down pockets
Setting up the Ozpig cooker, stove,heater gets it legs fitted
Setting up the Ozpig cooker, stove,heater gets it legs fitted
The Oztent awning sides zip into place
The Oztent awning sides zip into place
The useless folding buckets
The useless folding buckets
West Barwon Reservoir is a good place to take some time
West Barwon Reservoir is a good place to take some time
The GoSee Captiva easily accommodates all the camping gear
The GoSee Captiva easily accommodates all the camping gear