Penguin Our Jayco Penguin: Tug and Van weights

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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#1
Hi,
we picked up our new Jayco Penguin Friday 18th November, now officially known to us as 'Jayco Day'
This is our first caravan.

Bought it from Bayswater Jayco. Optioned with:
100Ah Battery,
3.0m Fiamma awning
Drop-down Al-Ko jacks,
Jayco mudflaps

Bought a 3.4 m shade cloth for the off-side to keep the sun off the refrigerator (and us!)

Already taken it out for a test run over the weekend to get used to towing it, setting it up, and pulling
it down.

Also finding out where to put everything. First step is just to put in all the stuff we usually took car camping.
Well, except for the tent, sleeping mats, sleeping bags etc.

What luxury, being able to stand up when you get out of bed!!!!!

Mike


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Dobbie

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2014
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#2
You sound more excited.....I like the offside fridge awning. It will be good in wet and windy weather as well.

Good for privacy and heat.

I'd be interested how you find the Fiamma awning.

Our Swan had one of those difficult bag awnings and we'd considered the Fiamma but never got around to it. Now, for a new van, we're getting a Fiamma awning and AFK.....so, are they sturdy enough?

Easy to set up?

Enjoy your new family member.
 

Scrounger

Active Member
Oct 7, 2016
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Shoalhaven
#3
Dobbie
I had the Fiamma 4 mt on a Goldstream Storm wind up, it was great and fast to set up and take down but a little fragile used on its own like all things it had its limitations ( wind strength), after getting the AFK those limitations expanded considerably and I was well pleased with it.
This comment is based on 9 years of using an Aussie Traveller Coolabah Awning that are a pain in the butt to put back on the van when bolted to a BT ( only the height from ground you needed a pair of steps) but they are as strong as an ox, I would have one again.
 
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mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#5
Hi Dobbie,
thanks! Yes, getting much happier as time goes on. It got its first bath today!

We bought a 12 month old demonstrator Falcon and it only saw its first
wash after 12 months!

The fridge awning is a Privacy screen from Australian RV accessories. It has a 2-year warranty.
Comes complete with 4 guy ropes and pegs.
Bought it from Award RV for $56.
It only fits the standard track.

There is another brand(s) that fits
both the stand track and the smaller track found on the Fiamma awnings.
We didn't buy this one because we could fit a 3.4m shade cloth on the off-side, but that would
have been too long for our 3.0m Fiamma awning.

We used a Fiamma awning for five weeks in a Mobile Home and loved it.
Really easy to set up.

One thing, try to get the legs down and the weight of the hinges
when you have extended it about 1m. I found the easiest way is to put the legs down,
not vertically, but a further out, so as you wind further, the legs hold more of the weight.
After that, you can decide whether to keep the legs on the ground or attach them
to the clips on the van.

The main issue is wind. So we will not go away from the van without winding it back in.
If it looks a little windy, we will peg down the legs, rather then rely on the van clips.
If it is gusty, we just wind it in.
With the potential for substantial damage to the awning and possible the van roof as well,
it is just not worth the risk.

Apparently, they pool water easily, but you can buy a centre strut that reduces the problem.
We never had it out when it was raining, so I have no personal experience yet.

Mike
 

Dobbie

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2014
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#6
Thanks for that.
Pretty much what I'd thought. We had the rollout carefree on the previous van but the new one has the wind out type....and we've never had one of these.

I've been a bit iffy about it wrt wind, size, strength etc so that's encouraging. We'll do the usual of pegging it down securely and so on and it'll be strengthened by the antiflap and, possibly a central support to stop the water pooling.

So....all good.

Now get out and enjoy the Penguin as much as possible. Does it have a name yet?

Peter?
Popeye?
Paulina?

:cat:
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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#7
Yes: "The Penguin"
It started out as a temporary name, but I think it has now stuck. Probably boring.

We name our tent the "Tassie Tent" after our first long hike together on the Overland Track in Tasmania.
Naming our camper trailer "Kurth Kiln" after where we camped last weekend, just hasn't caught on!

Already thinking about where we will go next weekend. Trying to go free camping somewhere along the Victorian coast,
but all the places we used to camp at are now not free: Aire river, Joanna beach, Bear Gully.

Mike
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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#8
looks good

I had a bag awning on the off side as well, on my Flamingo good for shade on hot days,

good stuff
Hi Bigcol,
since we don't have pull out beds, we will probably have to sort something out for the ends.
We parked facing North and had to have the windows up and the curtains closed to keep the sun out.

Mike
 
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Dobbie

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2014
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#9
Hey @mikerezny

What about Percival?

Wasn't he the pelican in "Storm Boy", that gentle movie about the boy and the pelican on the Coorong?

:fish:

(Just ignore me....I'm trying to get some more storm clearing done here....only 15 dump runs in the last week ...so feeling frivolous)
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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#10
Hey @mikerezny

What about Percival?

Wasn't he the pelican in "Storm Boy", that gentle movie about the boy and the pelican on the Coorong?

:fish:

(Just ignore me....I'm trying to get some more storm clearing done here....only 15 dump runs in the last week ...so feeling frivolous)
Hmmm, not bad at all! I will pass in on for further review :)

Mike
 
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bigcol

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2012
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Swan Valley Perth
#11
Hey @mikerezny

What about Percival?

Wasn't he the pelican in "Storm Boy", that gentle movie about the boy and the pelican on the Coorong?

:fish:

(Just ignore me....I'm trying to get some more storm clearing done here....only 15 dump runs in the last week ...so feeling frivolous)


Mr Percival - thank you

wouldn't it be better with
"Skipper" from the Penguin movie

"Pingu"

"Sgt Pepper"
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#13
Nice one!
We picked up our brand new Swan Outback two weeks ago. Haven't taken it out yet.
We are considering buying the centre strut for the Fiamma.
Hi,
can you let me know how it goes.

I was reading the owner's manual this morning and there is a bit in there stating that the
four guy ropes must be fitted to the roof eyelets if a Fiamma awning is fitted.

What do you think?

Mike
 

17triton

Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2013
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Ballarat
#14
Hey @mikerezny

What about Percival?

Wasn't he the pelican in "Storm Boy", that gentle movie about the boy and the pelican on the Coorong?

:fish:

(Just ignore me....I'm trying to get some more storm clearing done here....only 15 dump runs in the last week ...so feeling frivolous)
WTF does Percival (Pelican) have to do with a Penguin ??? :noidea:
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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#15
Hi,
about time for an update on our Penguin.

Since we picked it up on 18th November, we have made 6 trips around Victoria lasting from 2 to 8 nights at 11 different camping spots. 9 were free camping and two were in campgrounds: Walkerville and Princetown. We have been out 23 nights in two months.

We are absolutely loving it! No major worries and no problems with the axle replaced under the ALKO recall.

As expected, we have a few problems we hope to get sorted when it goes in for its first service on 20th February:
The most serious is the leaking door: water leaking between Fiamma awning and roof just above the door, the upper half of the door is misaligned and water gets in at the top of the upper door unless the inside catches are closed, the 'J' strip above the door was not installed!

The breather hose from the top of the water tank is run with a long loop under the main beam before it goes through the floor.
This caused a problem since when it gets filled with water (sloshing in the tank when moving) it causes a vacuum in the tank when the air cools down and subsequently causes an air lock when you try to pump water (air comes from the filler hose).
I reran the breather hose through a cutout in the C cross member and there is now only a minimal drop. No further problems drawing water from the tank.

The 25mm sink drain hose runs from the passenger side to the driver side and is held UNDER the C section cross member with cable ties and I am worried it will get damaged from rocks or low clearance. I have re run the hose inside the C section.

I have made many changes to the Dometic fridge to improve the performance in hot weather. Shade cloth, fridge fan, added insulation, use a crisper tray and other containers in the fridge to reduce the cold air being lostr when the fridge is opened.
With the fridge running on 12V, I have a 0.7V drop from battery to the fridge terminals. On trips over two hours, the fridge will cool by around 2-4 degrees.
The fridge still struggles on days over 35C. The main problem is that we have to open the fridge at least twice around lunch time.
Initially, we would loose 4-6C, so after lunch the fridge would go up over 10C, and then take most of the afternoon to get below 6C. After we added the crisper tray on the bottom shelf, and other trays on the other shelves, the temperature increase is much less and the recovery time is also much improved. I have just done some further insulation around the back of the fridge but yet to see the effect. The other trick I want to try in hot weather is to keep a freezer block in the freezer and to put it in the fridge after lunch to help with recovery. Then put it back in the freezer just before going to bed.

We have never had any trouble keeping ice cream cold. The freezer seems to sit between -12C and -16C whenever I look. I only have an internal mechanical gauge, so I only look at it when I need to open the freezer door.

The brake shoes are now bedded in and downhill on a loose gravel road I can get them to just lock up at 6V, which is 100%.
When we first got the van, I could hardly get any braking at 12V.

Found that other drivers especially trucks have been most courteous. In a normal car, people usually allow for L and P platers, but other drivers don't know that a caravan is being driven by a beginner, hence the slower speed. I usually sit between 80-95kmh in 100kmh zones and never had any agro. The main thing I found is that when changing lanes, once I put my indicators on, it is clear that people behind have given me plenty of room to move across.

Oh well, the holidays are over, and our trips will be limited to 3 day long weekends until April. Then, with a bit of luck, we will get away for two weeks.

To all those on this forum who have contributed so much to reduce the stress with our steep learning curve: Many Thanks!!!

best wishes for this year
Mike and Barbara
 
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Dobbie

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2014
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#16
Good on you...getting out and about and improving things all the time..

The advice you've been given has been worthwhile, it seems, and you've got to the "non-novice" stage very quickly.

As most here would say, we're all learning all the time so you can look after the rest of us very soon.

I can't remember where the fridge is on the Penguin...awning or off side?...but if it's the offside I'd look to adding a bit of sail track to the side and using some shade stuff to keep the fridge out of the sun as long as possible. I know that worked well on our Swan.....and it's cheap and easy.
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#17
Good on you...getting out and about and improving things all the time..

The advice you've been given has been worthwhile, it seems, and you've got to the "non-novice" stage very quickly.

As most here would say, we're all learning all the time so you can look after the rest of us very soon.

I can't remember where the fridge is on the Penguin...awning or off side?...but if it's the offside I'd look to adding a bit of sail track to the side and using some shade stuff to keep the fridge out of the sun as long as possible. I know that worked well on our Swan.....and it's cheap and easy.
Hi Dobbie,
the fridge is on the off-side on a Penguin. On all the current models, the roof has a sail track on all four sides.

We have a 3.4m shade cloth on that side running the full length of the Penguin.
I agree with you that it works really well, keeps the sun off the fridge vents and that side of the van.

There have been very few places where we have not put it up. We took it down once in strong wind since it was flapping around too much.

cheers
Mike

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Dobbie

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Jun 18, 2014
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#18
That's the one...glad you've got it.

and the ice block idea works as well.

Interesting, isn't it, that free camping means you spend almost all your time in camp working out how you can improve things for yourself? No need for much else and just about everything you do you do for yourself and let the rest of the world cope for themselves.

We're very selfish free campers for that reason.
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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#19
That's the one...glad you've got it.

and the ice block idea works as well.

Interesting, isn't it, that free camping means you spend almost all your time in camp working out how you can improve things for yourself? No need for much else and just about everything you do you do for yourself and let the rest of the world cope for themselves.

We're very selfish free campers for that reason.
Hi,
completely agree.
Following on.....

My current project is to use wood energy more efficiently.
Does anyone remember the old chip burners?

I saw one built from an old paint tin some years ago. A handful of small twigs and branches was enough to boil a kettle.

I have just built one using a BBQ charcoal starter ($9.95 from the green shed) and cut a window in the side to feed in the twigs. Made a small trivet to on top to hold the billy. Eventually I will find a kettle to cover the top completely. And the lid of a biscuit tin to catch ashes on the bottom, so I can use it sitting on grass without causing any damage.
One sheet of newspaper was more than enough to get it going.

Tried it out on Thursday, works really well. Boiled 4 cups of water with a handful of twigs in way less than 5 minutes.
Still had enough heat to toast a slice of bread.

I have since bought a small cast iron plate to fit on top. Next task is to see how well it will cook bacon, eggs, mushrooms and toast muffins for two.

Then, if this is successful, onto steak and chops!!!! I may have to add a few heat beads to get this working.

Sorry, but this is not likely to be heading in any way towards chilling beer. Waeco and Engel seem to have that already covered.

cheers
Mike
 
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