Campervans Members may use..................

Submitted: Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 16:26
ThreadID: 110850 Views:2565 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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My good lady has been dreaming again(yes I have too) about moving from our caravan to a suitable campervan for easier travelling all around. Wife's requirements are basically in place single beds or double (easy in/out) toilet & shower. Have read through article on buying vans etc but just trying to get a rough idea of types that are currently being used by any members, to help us out.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:56

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:56
Hi Kevmac,

Hmm, one would normally upgrade rather than "downgrade" to something smaller.
Well, maybe not.
We have just upgraded from a Campomatic Camper trailer to a Goldestream RV Vacationer Campervan. Boy is it big inside when set up. Because the beds slide out, all the area inside is Living space. We chose not to have an on-board toilet and shower, preferring the additional living and storage space over the convenience of a "dunny on demand".
We already have a pop-up toilet/shower tent, a Porta Potti and a Coleman Hot Water on Demand system we can use for showering, etc. It is no big deal for us to exit the Camper and walk around to where the pop-up tent is located.
We find we don't need a shower every day either and when one is bush camping, water is a premium for other uses than used for a daily shower.

The main reasons for choosing the "wind up camper" over a pop top or full height caravan, is the lower profile when towing and fitting it under our standard height carport at home, meant no additional cost in lifting the roof, or setting up another area out front to store it.

It takes 30 minutes or so to set it up but that is no time at all when you are on holiday:-)
The awning is additional time of course, but that is the same for any van so can be discounted.
After dropping the stabilizer legs, it is a matter of winding up the roof to its required height, pulling out the beds at each end and securing them, erecting the tropical roof over each bed, (a couple of poles and ropes) dropping down the top part of the door and securing it to the bottom section and that is about it.
While I set the Camper up, herself has erected the collapsible camp table and chairs (we like "living" outdoors when possible) and life is good.

I'm sure everybody has a different set of priorities when camping but we like our current choice and the extra flexibility it provides.

Best of all, our Camper has a breakfast bar where a large section of the left side can be rolled up, thus allowing the outside in.

We used our Camper for the first time during the Christmas break and now plan to travel the Great Ocean Road in a fortnight's time, over a couple of weeks, to give it a second, serious shakedown. This will be a combination of Caravan Park and Coastal Bush camping and we can hardly wait to get on the road again.

Sorry if I've prattled on a bit!


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Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 22:29

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 22:29
sorry if you misunderstood me, but what I call a campervan and what you and others call a campervan are entirely different. What u describe, I call a camper trailer whiche we had at one stage, and eventually progressed to the pop top caravan we have at present. When using the term CAMPERVAN I am basically referring to the Toyota Hi Ace stile camper ( as in all in one). Reason for going backwards for want of better way of putting it, is wife is getting to stage of not being able to assist much in the setting up, so a self drive camper seems the way to go.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:28

Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:28
Some relations had a Hiace camper van for many years, Kevmac, and they were rapt in it. Went virtually anywhere that a 2wd could go, even came out to see us at our earthmoving camp, on a station on Barkly Tablelands, for a few days.

However, from what I remember, the double bed needed to be made up each evening, so you may have to take this into account, in your circumstances. They too had scaled down from a van, but the ease of driving, parking and setting up of the Hiace, was a winner for them. No doubt fuel economy would be a plus too, and one could spend more on other luxuries, like a good bottle of red........or two.

Their vehicle was a petrol, don't think the diesel version was available then in early '80's. And it had a pop-top, so good to stand up in.

Perhaps one of the somewhat larger campers, that have the bed over the cabin might make setting up even less of a chore?


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Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:40

Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:40
Thanks Bob! The thought of having to put bed together each night bugs both of us, as does a bed where you have to climb over each other to get out(been there done that with vans). This means going to longer vehicles that would have permanent bed, which would then restrict where you can go places. Maybe will have to wait for that Lotto win to get what the wife wants. Thank you for your input.
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 22:45

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 22:45
Hi, without knowing how & where you want to travel making any recommendations is hard. However that said I am responding to let you know our thinking behind our recent ‘downgrading’ from a 7 metre bus based motorhome (which we owned for 12 years & used for an 18 month trip as well as numerous shorter holidays) to a 4wd & Tvan.
We wanted a rig which would take us to places the bus couldn’t go, & to be able to stay away from ‘civilisation’ for as long as possible. To that end we have solar which will run our separate fridge & freezer indefinitely & between Tvan & vehicle can carry up to 300 litres of water. Important (for us) was a comfy bed & the ability to be able to set up with minimum fuss. Every extra minute of setup time can become a chore. We have a queensize inner spring mattress in the Tvan, permanently set up, under a hard roof. Being fairly new to us we have only set up a couple few times & expect set uptimes to improve with practice. We have the flexibility of 3 set up modes.
Quick set up overnight stops take us under 1 minute. With the tent section set up 5 minutes - which gives us a large ‘indoor’ living area with ‘breakfast bar’ looking out of a large window, plenty of room inside for table & chairs & still room to move around, or with a full awning - about 20 minutes. We also have a large zip on en-suite for shower or port potti, but haven’t put it up yet. There is a fast erect smaller shade awning accesory option which we may get. Pressurised hot & cold water in the tow vehicle & 240v inverter power. Getting in & out of bed is ‘different’ to what we have been used to, better & worse. We no longer have to climb over each other, but do have to adapt to bending our heads to step down into the hard floored tent section.
The two biggest differences to life in the bus is that we now have a much more ‘outdoor lifestyle’ The kitchen is outside & we can no longer just pull up & walk back into the living area to access the kitchen or have a lay down on the bed - it is obvious to others & thus not appropriate in some places. In the bus there was many a time after a longish drive that we would be parked in a main street somewhere & I would lay down for a snooze whilst my wife shopped. We can no longer do that. However the fact that we can now go more ‘remote’ as well as access that nicer camp spot a kilometre down river from the crowds I believe make our choice worthwhile. Hope that helps a bit
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:09

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:09
This thread may interest you.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 08:29

Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 08:29

Seems to me that you are actually asking about Motorhomes rather than camper trailers.

I have slowly progressed from a backpack to large tents to camper trailer to caravan over a life time.

We find a shower and toilet necessary for health requirements. Can always just pull up and use the toilet if caught short. The shovel has long passed its use by date for us.

I've never had a motorhome but I imagine you would start by asking what roads you want to travel on etc. I can always unhitch the van and take the vehicle but some roads/tracks will prevent motorhome access but you may easily acknowledge that and have probably done a lot of roads anyway.

As we age (approaching 70) we are slowing down (shorter travel days - but not stopping our travels) and getting to see in depth the areas we used to just pass by in our restricted timetable.

Hope you find the answer to your needs and enjoy the great country we have

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Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:33

Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:33
we do wish to enjoy seeing this great country of ours, but wife feels need to modify how we go about it(medical reasons). She seems to think a campervan(read small motorhome) would be the way, but using your idea of shorter travel days may also work. Tell me Alan, do you ever put up a full annexe or do you just have an awning? We generally put up full annexe for that added room and privacy. Perhaps we may need to forgo that in the future so as to continue our travels. The other thing with the good lady is that she doesnt like travelling long whilst towing the caravan, but is prepared to drive a campervan towing a small trailer???.. I am sure we will work something out though, with help of the wonderful people on here.
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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:59

Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 11:59

Even when we travelled with our campervan we rarely stayed more than one night anywhere we kept moving to cover the most country in our restricted time. We have sure been to a lot of country.

With the van we have a rollout awning and use it for lunch stops even sometimes as it only takes a few seconds to rollout or put away. We don't have an annexe. If we do set up camp for a while we have a shade cloth type wall which we slot into the awning just to give a wall but no ends. Also use this to anchor the awning against wind.

In our van we still tend to change camps each night but not so far apart these days as time is not usually such a restraint

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