View Full Version : Hiace Camper

20th December 2013, 03:36 AM
I was made redundant as of today after 42 years working for the same agency - albeit a few name changes during that time. The redundancy provided a bit of extra cash so last night I brought 2006 Hiace pop top camper with 40,00km, auto so SHMBO can drive it and petrol. Photo of same vehicle attached as I don't pick it up till later today.
It is fully kitted out and only thing I want to fit is a reversing camera, GPS and CB radio. BIL is looking for a Coaster Bus and we plan to travel in Tandem so the future looks great for both of us and the spouses.
This is new to me and I was wondering what is the deal on TV reception and what is required to pick up stations in remote areas?

dai sensei
20th December 2013, 10:34 AM
Looking good :2tsup:

I have a unidirectional aerial on a 5.6m pole (3 lengths that slide within each other) that is fine for most areas where there is TV reception.


Once you get out to remote areas where there is no reception the only way is a satellite dish. These aren't cheap and prises vary considerably. I have one of these iTechWorld - Your Number One Specialist for Portable Satellite TV and Solar (http://www.itechworld.com.au/index.php?option=com_rokecwid&view=ecwid&Itemid=98#!/~/product/category=2249701&id=14890467). See front of car in photo


Biggest problem with satellite dishes are that you must tune them in, unless you have a huge $$$$ automatic, which is a PITA. Also, the satellite is only in one spot, although varies depending on where you are in Aus, so if there is a tree/hill/building in the way you are stuffed.


20th December 2013, 12:52 PM
Thanks Neil,
Thanks for the info and I will probably go with the local reception and use memory sticks for out of range areas.
I like your setup.

20th December 2013, 01:31 PM
Looks Good Rod! :2tsup:

I have a 2008 HIACE diesel as my day to day ride and I like it a lot. After many years of tenting and then hiring a range of campers and vans ofor camping we decided to go the pop-up van (Avan) route (see couple of threads back) as we now have 2 dogs to travel with and are now likely to stay more in the one place these days. The Avan came with a very nice extendable aerial pole and bat wing aerial and all wired for TV but we have removed it from the van for now so I have no idea how well it works.

Might see you on the road.

20th December 2013, 02:18 PM
Hi Bob,
The Avon looks good and reminds me of the A frame houses they built in the 70's. I saw a bit of the Hiace in your photos.
As I said this is all new to us and we are not sure where it will take us but buying the vehicle is a good incentive to get out of the shed.

8th January 2014, 04:54 PM
Hi Rod

We had a HiAce camper similar to yours before our present unit, and had a great time travelling 90,000 klms.

Regarding the “deal with TV”.

In remote areas, reception is always available via satellite, but I doubt if you would have the space to carry it. I don’t have experience with caravan type satellite installations.

We relied on Free To air TV when we could get it, and ABC radio when we could not (sometimes via short wave, eg Radio Australia).

The recent ACMA “restack” of TV channelling means that most metro stations now use VHF and country uses UHF.
We carried a very small LCD HD TV and a collapsible yagi type combination antenna for VHF+UHF, and a UHF mini phased array for UHF only, and mounted on slide extender poles.

The combo antenna was a cut down Antsig #521 caravan antenna ex Bunnings, and the UHF unit was the UHF half of a Phaselink #RV30 type caravan antenna (the VHF unit on this is not very good, but the UHF is fine, although it has a design “compromise” in the feed).

Other travellers use omnidirectional antennas and signal amplifiers.

I also carry a “Happy Wanderer” signal finder, with a “rabbit ears” test antenna, to see if it is worthwhile even erecting my antenna, after stopping for the night. This is a very good device, with quantitative signal measurement, so you know whether you will get reception or not.

But apart from tech talk, there are a few considerations.
1 - In a campervan or caravan situation, except when you have short line of sight to the transmitter, you are always in a marginal reception situation.
2 – yagi antennas are always superior to omnidirectional antennas, all else being equal.
3 – signal boosters are always worth considering.
4 – poor connections, connectors and cabling constitute most of the reception difficulties, provided enough signal is available for reception. Use good connectors and good quality TV cable in short runs.
5 – mount your antenna as high as possible, and swing for best reception; the best signal may be a reflected signal.

You will hear stories from travellers that they swear by antenna “X” and “Y” and use this and that, and always have good FTA TV reception.
That should ring suspicion bells.
They probably spend most of their time in metro caravan parks.

I have been in country town caravan parks where the travellers next to me get TV and I don’t,
As an ex professional radio techo, I know that my installation is technically OK, but marginal reception situations do occur.

Get used to the idea that away from large towns, FTA TV reception can be difficult, and carry a good radio and 5 metres of external antenna wire for FM and SW.
ABC Radio is our best friend.

Cheerio, mike

7th February 2014, 10:48 AM
Hi Mike,
Thanks for taking the time to type your reply. It is good to have the technical detail and practical experience of a well traveled camper.
I haven't done anything yet except looking at ebay listings and thinking.