Which caravan or motorhome should I buy?
I’ve been asked dozens of times which rig to buy for an Australian road trip. We’ve spent more than three years on the road in a variety of rigs, so I’m happy to share a few bits of advice, but first, a little note about peanut butter.
“Anyone who wants to do a big trip in a caravan, should do a little trip in a caravan first.”
Keep in mind all these things
- tare weight, ball weight, can your car handle it?
- on-road, off road, semi-off road
- resale value
- warranty, location of service centres
- length, height (will it fit in your carport?)
- licence required (ours requires a medium rigid)
- insurance, licensing requirements
- set up for free-camping or for caravan parks only
- number of beds, seats, fridge space, water tank capacity
- extras like bathrooms, air-con, solar systems
Try before you buy!
So, how does this help me choose my own rig?
Then try it all with a tired baby on one arm/or a muddy toddler/ or with a migraine or whatever constitutes a tricky day for you. Try getting organised enough to get up for a sunrise viewing. Try drying wet clothes. Try not shopping for three days and still eating well.
Is this really necessary?
Hiring something and learning all these things for yourselves is so very useful.
- Go to a caravan park at beer o’clock and wander slowly saying hi to folks. As you get chatting, ask them what rig they are in and why. Write notes later.
- Follow a few blogs or travellers on instagram. (Here’s us) Maybe one bus family, one caravan family, one camper trailer family, one without a bathroom, one with. Or one with a dog, or a FIFO worker, a single parent family or whatever it is that matches your situation. Write comments and get to know the families. Ask questions. If you ask nicely, people will often even share their travel budget and how they keep to it!
- Set an alert in gumtree for example ‘caravan bunks under 35 000’. Or ‘camper-trailer, solid floor under 15 000’ or ‘motorhome WA registration’ And watch what comes up until you are ready to buy. Go have a look at at least 12 options.
- Go to the caravan and camping show. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING. Just learn learn learn.