Researching

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 09:46
ThreadID: 11229 Views:1787 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi all,
We are a couple of NZer's planning our big trip around Oz. We are looking at 1 - 2 yrs on the road and are currently researching rigs and combinations. As well as doing the coastal route and staying in camp grounds, we are also keen to get off the beaten track and bush camp. We are both experienced campers, but not 4WDer's. My question is what sort of rig would suite us best. We've been over to Melbourne to check out caravans, but how restricting is towing a caravan? Should we have camping gear as well? We do like a bit of comfort in our old age. I would love to hear from others in a similar position who have done what we want to do.
Cheers
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Reply By: Diesel 1 - Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 10:16

Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 10:16
G'day Richardt,
Your question - 'what sort of rig would suit us best', is like asking how long is a piece of string. There are so many variables to consider in setting yourself up with a rig to do the big trip around Oz and it really comes down to doing a lot of research. I would suggest checking out the trek notes on this site and really work out a rough plan on where you think you might be going. Once you have worked out 'degrees of difficulty', you can then put your thoughts into what sort of vehicle would suit you best. My recommendation would be to forget about a caravan and go for an off-road camper trailer - better value for money and will get to spots that a caravan wont.

Diesel 1
AnswerID: 50274

Reply By: miker - Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 10:44

Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 10:44
Richardt,

Due to the boad nature of your question you'll get a wide range of responses. My suggestion is to work out a general itinerary and match your rig the challenge. Will we be able to do this, go there etc.? Once you've narrowed it down I think this site could be of much more assistance.

My wife and myself did a similar trip some years ago (still in our 20's) spending a year on the road. We had a diesel Troopy and a 16x7 caravan (avoid an 8ft wide van). We took basic camping gear with the idea this would enable us access to areas unsuitable for vans. However this never happened. We either got the van there (nine tyres for the trip, van & 4B), or were reluctant to leave our "home", from a security point of view. The van was bigger than I originally wanted but in hindsight, the extra comfort and room it provided for such a long time on the road was a God send. I don't think the cook would have gone the duration otherwise. I recall sitting out nearly two solid weeks of near gale force wind and icy rain at Albany at the bottom of WA - try that in a canvass camper trailer. Good luck on planning your adventure.

Miker.
AnswerID: 50276

Follow Up By: Lynn2 - Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 12:46

Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 12:46
Hi Richardt,

I agree with miker. A camper trailer is good for shorter trips away and you can probably tow it to less accessible places, but for a long trip, setting up and pulling down all the time is a pain in the *****. We hired a Kymberley Kamper and, altho' we enjoyed it a great deal, when it came to buying something for more permanent use, we opted for an off-road caravan. It gives a few more creature comforts - air con (for when you are up north and stay in caravan parks - this makes all the difference, believe me!), external shower, microwave for when it's too hot to cook (or too windy or wet).

We also bought a good tent and an engel fridge. When we want to go somewhere a bit more challenging (Cape York etc) we will leave the caravan (lots of caravan parks will allow you to stow your van there which is very secure for about $3 a day). The best of both worlds, I think.

Lynn
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FollowupID: 312089

Reply By: marcus - Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 19:34

Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 19:34
Hi Richard,
There could be many varied replies to your question but i learn't a few things on my big trip last year.My camper is very comfortable and spacious when set up but for overnight stops was too much setting up.Even on diesel when towing the economy drops so weight and wind drag are a consideration.
One camper that addresses most of these problems is the Goldstream Crown RV.
It is very spacious for two people,sets up in minutes by winding down four legs and winding up the roof.Is lower than roof height of the car so little wind drag and has all the luxuries for long term travel including hws and external shower.It has the heavy chassis and springs for rough roads.
Would recommend a look.
Cheers Mark
AnswerID: 50314

Reply By: Willem - Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 08:58

Monday, Mar 15, 2004 at 08:58
Richardt,,

I would suggest a small to medium sized 2 wheel drive diesel camper vehicle to start with.

I would estimate that 95% of Australia's outback is accessible by a 2wd vehicle and it only the extreme areas such as the High Country, Desert areas and selected wet areas of Northern Australia where a 4x4 is required. These latter places are crossed by tracks which would require a high clearance vehicle. You can also still access the outer fringes of these areas with a 2wd vehicle.

We spent 5 years on the road towing a 27ft Caravan with a 4x4. The caravan was too heavy and too awkward to get in to certain camp spots and even caravan parks but it was comfortable. Towing a van or trailer is a pain if you are on the road for a length of time.

Cheers,
AnswerID: 50359

Follow Up By: Moose - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2004 at 14:38

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2004 at 14:38
Agree with Willem. Depends on your cash situation but the campervan type of vehicle will get you around all the easily accessible areas. Then you can hire a 4WD for the odd trip to the other areas. Don't forget to do a 4WD training course before leaving home and then you'll feel more confident getting off the beaten track.
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FollowupID: 312336

Reply By: richardt - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 19:28

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 19:28
Thanks people for your time and trouble in answering my 'broad' question. Lots to think about, but I'm getting impatient to start. Will do some short trips and a course before heading too far off the blacktop.
Cheers and thans
Richard
AnswerID: 50733

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