Suggestions for a complete novice?

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 10:00
ThreadID: 136693 Views:2253 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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He'll guys.
Wife and I are early 50's who one day in the future may chose to do the caravan & 4WD thing. Thinking it might be time to dip our toe in the water, and consider an on road camper trailer.
Would be used primarily up & down the coast, caravan parks etc. with little to no free camping to start with.
At the moment only vehicle we have that would come close to towing one is our VY Commodore. So not only looking at a camper may also need to update a car?
Have a box trailer, so alternative is to fill that with a tent and all the necessary camping gear and start there.
Welcome thoughts overall, and suggestions on trailer, whether the VY would do for now until we decide if it is something we will stick with long term, and then upgrade.
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Reply By: noggins - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 10:13

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 10:13
The VY with a trailer is a good start.
Why spend heaps of the hard earned, only to find that you should have done the other .
I'd suggest getting a quick type tent that doesn't weigh a ton, a couple of huge tarps to sling over it between some trees with some spare rope and the basic sleeping / cooking / eating bits.

Then later on you will have some experience to fall back on when you decide if it's all for you or not.

I started with a sleeping bag in the back of the station wagon and that slowly evolved into a caravan of today over the last 50 years.

AnswerID: 618854

Reply By: Zippo - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 10:34

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 10:34
You didn't mention whether you have done any camping, caravanning or campervan stuff before. It sort of affects what to suggest. But if you have done nothing beyond tent-type camping, I would strongly suggest HIRING say a small pop-top van or CT and try it over a few weeks on your next hols. It's surprising how quickly that will either gel with you or not, and you can do your forward planning from there.

For peeps locked in the four-weeks-a-year-plus-long-weekend trap called full-time employment, buying a van has distinct downsides - mainly the economics. Rego, insurance, maintenance, depreciation, storage, the list goes on. (When our three critters were little we hired a Jayco Swan (?) for one trip, and bought a 7-berth van - on a buy-back deal - for another occasion. Did the sums, hire was the go for us.)
AnswerID: 618855

Reply By: Athol W1 - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 10:37

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 10:37
There is no reason to change the car at this stage, as it is quite capable of towing a camper trailer or small caravan (up to about 15ft) until such time as you wish to participate in some more adventurous exploring.
As you are saying that you do not intend to do much free camping to start with then there is no need to be equipped with shower and toilet at this stage. I would suggest that you do not go 'over the top' with your initial purchase, but also do not go so basic that you are not comfortable, as that can turn SWMBO off the idea very quickly.

You do not say where you are, but if in the Brisbane area you may find that you can hire a caravan. Some time back Kratzmans on Sandgate Rd did short term to 1 month hire, may be worth an enquiry.
AnswerID: 618856

Reply By: Gbc.. - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 13:14

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 13:14
There’s a website called private caravan hire or similar where you can find things the commodore can tow. Some will even tow them to site and set them up. Like you say, dip the toes first. We hired a van off there 3 years in a row which helped us to decide we were camper trailer people. Money well and truly well spent.
AnswerID: 618862

Reply By: mountainman - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 17:32

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 17:32
If you ever do go and buy a camper trailer.
Do go the offroad model.
You will find it easier to sell one day.
And by chance you want to get on the dirt , no need to sell and get a offroad.
I hope you have had some reverse experience with a trailer or get a chance to before entering a caravan park.
Some i think buy a van and its their first time at reversing a trailer.
Let alone the narrow places they offer you your camp spot !
AnswerID: 618867

Reply By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 19:50

Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 19:50
Hi Dasher,
What we did once was hire a camper trailer, that option would give you a feel for what you might like to do.
Always planning the next trip. VKS-737 mobile 1619

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AnswerID: 618870

Reply By: RobynR4 - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 19:24

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 19:24
Hi Dasher.
Hubby and I are sort of your vintage.
We're currently between vans until we move to our new house in a few months. Well, we had a little homemade trailer (a real ripper of a thing!!) and we are looking to buy a van next.

But we decided a month ago that we needed a holiday and NOW!!!
So we dug out the tent.
We did a 2400km round trip to Bowen over 2 weeks.
We had to really plan carefully (no stopping anywhere like we used to with the beloved trailer!) and the relocation routine was very restrictive, eg when we discovered we'd chosen a noisy site it wasn't a quick move to a quieter one when you're talking about moving a tent!
In a word..."hire".
Experience the varieties out there and make an informed decision.
Trailer or van.
How many extras you really need.
In Bowen we camped near a Hyundai i30 towing a little camper trailer from Melbourne to Townsville and they were having a great time. Set up camp in next-to-no-time. We were jealous.
The people in their vans made us even more jealous.

What you want to do will determine the car. We saw Pat Callinan do great stuff with the Kia Sorento about 10 years ago and we decided it would do us. It's got dual range and has been tweaked a bit and does us fine. We are not interested in doing Canning Stock Routes or Simpson crossings. The Tanami and Gibb River Roads were enough of an adventure for us.
But hire, research and decide what your dreams are by dipping your toe in the proverbial water.
And enjoy.
AnswerID: 618945

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