round oz- caravan or camper

if you were heading around oz for 18months with 3 kids, what would you choose and why. we would still take swags with us for remote/ rugged parts of the journey. cheers
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:01

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:01
As a guy who's spent many of the last 12 years traveling with a camper trailer, I can assure you the answer for you, is a CARAVAN

Reasons are just too various and many to nominate here

Hire a camper for the weekend, take the 3 kids and pack it up each day and move even if it's just to the other side of the park, you will very soon understand my reasoning

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 419201

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:34

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:34
As someone who has kids, i find that the routine of packing up a camper trailer is something they actually enjoy. It's our family time, where teamwork can be learnt and they actually can achieve something and feel they are helping (even if i need to correct the setup later :)) Rocking up to a location and letting them disappear without needing to do any chores is making our kids lazy IMO. Hard work never killed us, and the setting up of the campsite is not hard so why not.

It all depends on the kids ages, where you are travelling, how your kids react to a family-orientated event, type of camper trailer etc.

Caravans may save time, but time is not everything when spending quality time on the road with kids.

YMMV.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:36

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:36
sorry, posting meant for below.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:37

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:37
is a real bugga to do when it's raining

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:47

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:47
yeh, you're right :)

Andrew
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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 11:26

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 11:26
... and is a real bggr to do if it is windy, hot, cold, moist, early, late - it only takes a minor injury to really add inconvience...
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Reply By: John and Lynne - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:24

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 08:24
I would also recommend a caravan, especially as you have swags etc for the odd trek into remote places. Most places you will want to go and can manage in 18 months will be accessible by a dirt road (sturdy) caravan. It will be wonderful when you stop to have the kitchen and beds all ready to go. It will be wonderful to have screened doors and windows when you are in fly or mozzie country (mosy of Australia) and you will be up above the creepy crawlies too. An awning will provide plenty of outdoor living - an annexe is a lot more weight to carry but perhaps good in miserable weather and for long stops as extra living space. I would suggest doing without one to start with.
The weather will not always be good and packing up a lot of canvas in a camper trailer in rain and then trying to dry off three kids as well as yourselves will soon lose its charm.
We found tents and camper trailers good for camping holidays but a serious pain when touring. By the sound of it you will be doing a lot of packing and setting up on your touring trip! A caravan makes it very easy.
A caravan also would have a bigger fridge and well organised storage to make life simpler.
There are some good family vans with three bunks around. If your kids are old enough you could consider using a small and simple tent beside a smaller van (tent suitable for your remote trips too) so long as the kids can set it up and pack it easily! However don't forget the mozzies!
Have a wonderful trip! Lynne
John & Lynne

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Reply By: fugwurgin - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:19

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:19
hi
i am currently 3 months into our trip around oz, we have a 2 year old. we considered a caravan but we ended up choosing a camper trailer. so much more room than a caravan. we have a full annexe that is great for him to play in especially when it rains. the camper trailer was a lot cheaper too! sure there is a little more to setting up and packing up, but like someone else said, kids do find it rewarding if not a little fun, being able to help. you get a routine going and its not a hassle. my little fella distributes the tent pegs and ropes. great team building excercises. i find there is more storage in the trailer than we could get into caravan, the only difference being you need to have a storage system, we use large plastic tubs that slide out the tailgate for clothes, kitchen stuff, electricals etc.
its also lighter to tow which saves money.
when we stay for longer than 2 nights we set the annexe up, if not we just fold out the tent section, litterally takes less than 10 minutes. just take the trailer cover off, fold tent over, 4 pegs in the ground, extend the 2 internal pole and put the rear stabilser leg down. we then have a nice size room and a queen size bed ready to use (we leave the bed made when we pack up to make it easy). we carry a portacot in the front box on the drawbar for our 2 year old.
IMO a caravan is great for a couple travelling or small family on a short holday, but for long term travel, take a camper trailer and get a routine happening and enjoy the extra space and the money you have saved.
enjoy your trip in whatever you choose!
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 10:27

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 10:27
I've struggled with this question many times and had the experience of both.

The shortest and easiest answer relates to your budget. If you can afford a caravan that will go the places you want to see then there is your answer, get a caravan.

If the budget doesn't stretch that far, get a camper trailer. You still get to the same places (and more) but with a little more hassle packing and unpacking.

The real hassle with camper trailers is when it's wet. But hey, that could be half the fun as well depending on your sense of humour!!!.

If your thinking about doing Cape York, the Gibb River Road, Bungles and alike...then you probably need a Camper trailer or tent set-up.

These are all the questions we need to ask ourselves in this wonderful country. Boy, what a hassle! LOL.

Caravan Advantages:
1. easy set-up (virtually none) just stop and get in.
2. Stop for lunch..just get in the van, boil kettle etc.
3. If its raining when you reach camp...who cares.
4. If its raining when you leave camp...who cares. Just shut the door and drive off.
5. You can get models with shower/toilet...this could be a real bonus.
Disadvantages:
1. Heavy to tow. (well, heavier than a C/T)
2. car uses more fuel.
3. limited where you can take it.

I could go on but it comes down to comfort, dollars and where you want to go. We all fit those categories differently and have different opinions. You'll have to decide.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 419213

Reply By: Flightless Birds - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 11:58

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 11:58
Hi Molzy,

We are 16 months in to a 2 year trip and have an adventure camper which we love. We have a 2 and a half year old and have setting / packing up down to a 15 min job. Even if we have to pack up in the rain (only happened a couple of times) we are set up again by the arvo and it dries out within 30 mins usually. We have loved the freedom of being able to take our home off the beaten track - often having entire beaches or bush to ourselves. I think a caravan would be easier but the camper will pretty much go where ever your 4WD does. Swags would be good for short trips but for places like Cape York, you could easily spend a month looking around. Good luck!
AnswerID: 419222

Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 13:32

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 13:32
Start with the camper trailer they keep you fit. You can always up grade as you go. How old are your children. We have many eo members that have done the lap Matt & Caz 3 children in big van, and a chappy that now resides in Tas they did it with two kids and camper. We sold our van and went back to a camper 3 kids. Unless you bush camp its way to expensive in caravan parks, some want $400 /week family of 5. That pushed us back to a camper. The caravan we did not want to go too bush with and wreck it. The camper we can take almost anywhere and there isn't so much cash tied up in a depreciating asset.
Good luck with your decision.
Cheers
AnswerID: 419229

Follow Up By: molzy - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 15:48

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 15:48
kids will be 7,5 and 3. thanks for the replies so far, keep em coming. it really is a hard decision to make!
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 15:56

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 15:56
If you have a Caravan you can also have a large annex depending on the size of the van so more than doubles your living space.

Also give an extra area for kids to perhaps sleep in.

Van is more comfortable warmer or cooler if airconned in heat.

No brainer really.
AnswerID: 419243

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:50

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:50
Having gone from a tent then building my own camper trailor to a bought one then a caravan all with children of growing ages.
I would advise if you have the cash then go a Caravan with an annex.
Although dearer if the weather is crook and sometimes it is very crook the van then is invaluable.
Remember 18 months is a long time with kids and sometimes they get sick as I have personal knowledge of and then this is another time when the van is king.
But it is still a money thing so go with the best you can afford.
In any case you will love the trip.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 419258

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:52

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:52
Having gone from a tent then building my own camper trailor to a bought one then a caravan all with children of growing ages.
I would advise if you have the cash then go a Caravan with an annex.
Although dearer if the weather is crook and sometimes it is very crook the van then is invaluable.
Remember 18 months is a long time with kids and sometimes they get sick as I have personal knowledge of and then this is another time when the van is king.
But it is still a money thing so go with the best you can afford.
In any case you will love the trip.


I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 419259

Reply By: Jeep_fan - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 23:05

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 23:05
If you are going to do some on and off orad traveling then one of the new range of camper / caravans in Australia would be a really good chioce. They been on the South African market for 8 years and have really good reviews from their owners.

Imagine Campers

1. These units are lightweight 860kg.
2. The ComforVan has a biult-in shower and toilet.
3. They will go absolutely anywhere.
4. No need to backtrack to pick up the caravan.
5. Carrying 170 litres of water.
6. Easy to setup.

I wouldn't mind getting one for myself... One day.

AnswerID: 419457

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