Family trip - centre and WA

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 23:33
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Hi all.
My husband and I and our 3 children aged 3, 7 and 8 are planning a 4 month trip from October 2013 through the centre and then around the WA coast back home. We have no camping experience and are currently researching whether to get a camper trailer, caravan or just tent it and stay in accommodation when needed. We want to keep our commodore vx wagon so are somewhat limited with towing capacity. Any ideas on best rig for us? Holidays limited so won't really get any practice runs. Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:43

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:43
The best advice I can give is to go to a camping show and see what is available. Your Commodore has plenty of towing capacity. Wife and I towed an 18ft Coromal pop top van around Australia with a VY Commodore and had no problems at all. You only need a 4WD if you want to go way off road.
Do your homework and you will have a very good time. My only query would be the ages of your children. A bit young for all that time in the car.
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AnswerID: 493155

Reply By: RodnSue - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 08:25

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 08:25
Hi TraceyM
Where are you travelling from? The centre of Oz is not the place to be visiting from October as it will be stinking hot. Too hot on your vehicle, you & the kids will most probably end up getting more irritable with each other, & when you get to a significant tourist attraction egUluru the temps will be pushing past 35* - so looking at these attractions will be really uncomfortable.
If you’re travelling from Victoria for eg, why not take the southern coastal roads to WA & go as far as around Carnarvon to keep the temps near or below average of 32*
Any where inland, even in WA will most likely be over 35* - 40*+.
The coastal areas are really pretty with some really beautiful beaches.

Go to a caravan show if you can & get a feel for what’s available. Between now & your trip next year, can you may be hire a camper trailer or 1 of those pop top vans that have pull out beds for a weekend to see what you do & don’t like. Staying in accommodation / cabins will be expensive for 4 mths.

Erecting a camper trailer up & down on a daily basis or every few days can be tedious as some folk I’ve met can vouch for – even with out kids to supervise.

There are many articles at the top of this page where you can start your search on nearly every thing with many links to forum questions. All you need is lots of spare time for some research.

I hope you find what suits you best. Many people travel with young children & hopefully some will reply to your questions. Happy searching & have a wonderful holiday as Australia is just beautiful.

Cheers Sue
ps I have a blog that you may like to read to whet your appetite on places to visit in SA (1/2 of SA) & WA
AnswerID: 493160

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 09:34

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 09:34
Sage advice from Sue on the weather - it can be fierce up there at the times you indicate. Agreed too re the coast of WA from Esperance right round to Carnarvon - so many wonderful natural attractions.... a great trip for the family.
AnswerID: 493164

Reply By: Member - Cruiser74 - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 11:20

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 11:20
Hi Tracey,

Currently being based in Perth I have spent 5 years camping and travelling around the south west in my VX Commodore wagon and have only just recently upgraded to a Landcruiser for various reasons including the fact I had exhausted nearly every spot accessible to a 2WD. As there is only my partner and I we had few space issues just travelling in the wagon alone but I think it would be a heroic effort with 3 kids for 4 months without a trailer or van if you are planning on doing any camping. Even if you only plan on camping some of the time you still need all the gear including tents, sleeping bags, chairs, cooking equipment, eskies, water etc etc. Take it from me these things alone will fill up the back of a Commodore wagon very quickly even with 2 people so I would advise a camper trailer for sure. There are a plethora of amazing spots accessible to a 2WD on the south west and south coast of WA. If you give me a rough idea of your itinerary and where you would like to visit on this coast I can clue you up on some great spots to camp. All the best.

AnswerID: 493175

Reply By: Troller - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 21:57

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 21:57
Hi Tracey,
Joined this forum so I could encourage you to go for it! We travelled up the centre and west coast leaving July 2009 and returning may 2010. We towed a 1982 viscount grand tourer and our four kids aged 10, 8, 6 and 3 (just). Best thing we ever did. We had to work for our money as the family allowance and rent from our house paid the mortgage and so as a result we were in the top end for the build up and 3 months of the wet season. The advantage of being in the off season is that the sites were heaps cheaper, especially on the west coast where a powered site cost $45 rather than $70 - $80 per night (really!!!). Best time to do this is when you don't have to school the kids, but financially it is difficult when only one person can work. For a rough budget, imagine $100 a day... Some days it's more, some days less.
We kept a blog if you were interested,

I couldn't do it without a portable air conditioner we bought in Darwin, have that side sorted before you go...
Good luck; the toughest thing is just going, after that it's awesome!
AnswerID: 493889

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