•  ‘Carpet’ a ute tray

Line the tray of your ute with an old carpet remnant to keep your cargo from rattling or being knocked around and damaged. The carpet will make the drive easier on your precious cargo and on your ears.

  •  Shower curtain-rod dividers

A good way to keep things in place in the back of a ute is to set up a series of movable barriers. Try fitting a series of spring-loaded shower curtain rails at strategic points, wedging them between the sides of the ute’s tray. You can then move them around to push against any cargo and keep it from rattling or breaking as you drive along.

  •  On board catch-ails for 4WDs

Sometimes the amount of stuff that rattles around in a four-wheel drive that is needed to accommodate a big family knows no bounds. Keep the stuff under control by wedging a plastic milk crate (with a padded rim, if you have very young children) or laundry basket in a central spot in the vehicle, and urging young passengers to store their playthings and books there when not using them.

  •  Carry-along car wash for motorhomes and caravans

If you travel in a motorhome or tow a caravan and often stay at parks where water to wash your vehicle isn’t available, make a batch of washing fluid and carry it with you. Pour ¼ cup (60ml) fabric softener into a 5-litre bottle and fill it almost to the top with water. Cap the bottle and shake well. When you’re ready to wash your vehicle, put the liquid into a spray bottle and spray the vehicle at 1-m sections at a time. Let it sit for 10 seconds or so, then dry the area with paper towels or a chamois. You can also rely on this mixture during water restrictions, since it uses far less water than a standard wash.

  •  Keep mice out of your caravan or motorhome using steel wool

The access slots where you hook up a motorhome or caravan to a cable or hose are ‘step this way’ entries for mice and other small creatures. To take up the welcome mat in one fell swoop, wrap the cable or hose in steel wool before connecting it, making sure that the scratchy material seals the surrounding gap. With their entry barred, mice and other intruders should leave you in peace.