Long term travel: camper, caravan??

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 08, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 632 Views:2531 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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We are hoping in about 18mths to start a long term working holiday of Australia (5yrs or longer). The problem I've had for some time is the decision of accommodation, a 4x4 camper, 4x4 caravan or tent it and rent when working. We would be looking at working only 6mths of the year and travelling the rest. We want to keep away from major towns and travel as remotely as possible hence the concern of towing a caravan. I'm really lost though, to travel to the places we want to means light travel but doing it for the long term in a tent or camper may get a little much. If you've already completed such a trip I'd be grateful for you views and suggestions.

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Reply By: Mark - Wednesday, Jan 09, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2002 at 01:00

We have not yet done a trip of this length but was talking to a couple recently who had retired and done a 10 month trip around Oz. They towed a caravan with a Landrover but when they wanted to go off the beaten track they would leave the caravan at a caravan park (apparently most let you stroe vans for a few dollors per day) and then used a rooftop tent for the less accessable places. We bought a rooftop tent a few weeks ago and just spent a couple of weeks touring Tassie, will never consider a standard tent for short durations again as the rooftop ones are up and ready in 5 minutes. In fact we pulled over on the Hume Hwy on the way back to Sydney at 2am and climbed up into the Tent at a Truckstop, try doing this in a normal tent. Got some funny looks from the Truckies though. As much as we like the rooftop I would not want to do 6 months in it, however with the pull out awning you can get a pretty comfortable setup. I should have some Pic's of the tent setup in a couple of days if your interested in seeing.

AnswerID: 1715

Follow Up By: Ray - Thursday, Jan 10, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Jan 10, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Mark,

Thanks for your reply other opinions help to make the decision a little easier. Considering the range of expense from minimal to over $100k to set up for a trip of this size it's a situation that requires the right answer. We will be in our early 40's when starting this adventure (I want to go now) and have been camping and 4x4ing for many years but the issue of which rig is perplexing me. I've been interested in the rooftop tent for sometime now and would like to see some of the photos of your set up my address is r.kearney@cqu.edu.au

FollowupID: 566

Reply By: Bill & Doreen King - Thursday, Jan 10, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Jan 10, 2002 at 01:00
Good Ray. W are in the early sixtys and have traveled this land for many years in tents and vans. Last yeay 2001 we got our self an of road van see On The Road Mag Aug.2001 page 36 for our right up on this van. We spend 6 months travelling when my health is good and only got the of roader as teant life is only good tor two months, if on the move that is. Our old van was to low to take of road much and as we are 4x4 people did not suit our life style. Go for it while your young, You can not beat a good of roader living out of towns saves heeps of doe.
Good luck.
AnswerID: 1721

Follow Up By: Ray - Thursday, Jan 10, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Jan 10, 2002 at 01:00

Thanks for the input, do you know of any good sites or books that give street wise tips on long term travel. For example free camping, cheap places for food, fuel, clubs to join etc.
FollowupID: 569

Follow Up By: Bill King - Friday, Jan 11, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 11, 2002 at 01:00
I could go on for ever telling you about great camp sites in this great land of our'. Books and travel guids will weigh you down. the free camp site around Oz are great but you have to get there early say AM to find a site. Please use a chemcal toilet the bush is full of night soil.
Get the mag ON THE ROAD about $6 good reading and book shop with all the information you want, or this web site is the best with all the info also
Happy traveling don't put it off. Travel with a good of road van you will go everywhere ext the canning
Regards Bill
FollowupID: 576

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Friday, Jan 11, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 11, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Ray, I can appreciate your dilema, as we have travelled for 2yrs continuosly, which is totally different to 6 or even 10mths. I have some thoughts to share with you...
1. there is no way you will cope with 5 yrs of putting up a tent every day.
2. to that end, there is little difference to putting up a camper trailer.
3. yes, towing a van will restrict you, since you say you are keen to really go bush.
4. your best bet is to plan to alter accommodation styles... 5yrs is a LONG time.
I would suggest that in the early days you'll just love tenting it (or swag?). Do the first leg of the trip light, setup your first work stint for 6mths and then you'll be a better position to assess your needs, before making the big purchase.
I am often surprised how people think that it all has to be planned from where you sit now - it doesn't, particularly for such a long trip. Just plan enough to get yourself going and then as your mind (and body) relaxes into the new mode of living, you will find you'll look at all these "dilemas" in a different light.We've met MANY other couples of all ages that have travelled for up to 9years! If you are seriously looking at longer than 1 yr you will find that what seems the right setup at the beginning of the trip may not be all that ideal by mid-way. We recently spent some time with a couple who have travelled for 9years. They have a troopy and tow a big caravan to get from A to B. They then leave the van in storage for 3 mths while they do more serious offroad stuff in season. They usually travel for 1 yr like this and then make their way to capital cities, rent a unit, arrange storage and work for 6mths while they save up for the next year of travel.We also stopped three times during our 2 years (4-9wk stops) for sleeping in beds and in homes, with hot running water... It is really re-charging. So my view is basically, travel light, then rest up big before going off again. Hope this helps!
AnswerID: 1724

Follow Up By: Ray - Friday, Jan 11, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 11, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Guys, Thanks for the reply the info really helps. It's been the same direction I've been thinking of for the past couple of months. I've done the complete cycle from your suggestion to campers then caravans and now back to traveling light. Your comments make sense and reflect my thinking and views, makes sense to leave the major purchase until you know what it is you need. This lifestyle change has been a goal for as long as I can remember and finally it's getting close. Thanks again for the tips and for the great site the work you guys are doing is really appreciated.

Best regards.
FollowupID: 574

Reply By: Phil - Friday, Feb 08, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Feb 08, 2002 at 01:00
We travelled from the HunterValley in NSW to Alice Springs in 4 months tenting all the way and it got to the stage where we nearly divorced. A caravan that you can leave somewhere while you go off tenting is the answer.
AnswerID: 2021

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