Keen to hit the road with everything including the kitchen sink? There are a few options out there for you if you’re ready to make tracks and explore the vastness of this absolutely glorious country of ours - that is, caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers.
But which one should you choose? What are the differences between them you should be aware of before taking the plunge and making your purchase?
Don’t stress - we’ve got it all covered in this article, including pros and cons for each, so you’ll be able to make the right decision when it comes time to pull the metaphorical trigger.
There are a couple of styles to choose from, being full caravans with solid walls with a full roof or pop-top vans which, as the name suggests, the top raises up once you’re ready to camp. Full vans have more storage opportunities due to being able to offer overhead cabinets and the like, while the pop-tops may reduce a bit of wind resistance and therefore reduce fuel consumption (albeit slightly).
Whichever style tickles your fancy more, there’s generally enough space for a double bed, toilet, shower, kitchen and dining area - and that’s the smaller models.
Pros to buying a caravan:
- Easy to set up. Just park it, level it, plug in the power/water/gas and you’re all set.
- Lots of storage and living space.
- Plenty of amenities for more comfortable living. Fridge, TV, air con, shower, toilet… the list goes on. And you can add in whatever else you want either when purchasing or post-purchase.
Cons to buying a caravan:
- You need the right vehicle to tow it. And while this is technically a con, it’s also a very convenient excuse to buy yourself a new ute/4WD. Use our online car finance quote tool now and check out how low your repayments could be for your brand new 4WD.
- It will inhibit your ability to get really off the beaten track. Their size means you won’t be able to take it up the 4WD track to Cape York, for example.
While it may look a bit daunting to drive from the outside, motorhomes are usually a really simple, straightforward driving experience. There’s a hell of a lot of technology that’s installed into them to help make it almost seem like you’re driving a sedan (well, a bulky one, but still).
There are heaps of different brands and sizes out there, so if you’re thinking of going down the motorhome pathway we strongly recommend doing loads of research to make sure you don’t buy something too big or small.
Pros to buying a motorhome:
- Easiest and most convenient of the three to set up at camp. With a motorhome, it really is as simple as stopping at your destination and putting it in park - then you’re ready for a cool drink!
- You’re ready to head off at a moment’s notice. Just pack some essentials and away you go; no need to hitch anything up, check the lights are working, or anything else.
Cons to buying a motorhome/RV:
- They’re pretty bloody expensive. By a decent margin, you’ll be paying quite a lot more for a motorhome than you would a caravan (let alone a camper trailer).
- They can also be very inconvenient. While they’re a cinch to set up camp, if you’re in need of any groceries or you’d just like to go for a cruise along a track nearby you have to pack everything up to do it. Which can really end up being a pain if you end up having to do it a few times.
When you’d rather keep your spending to a minimum but still want to take a bed, (basic) kitchen and some more storage capacity with you in tow on a trip, a camper trailer might be right up your alley.
There are seemingly endless options from a flurry of brands in terms of sizes and added extras available. Head into the showrooms and ask the salesperson to open everything up - you’ll be able to not only see what it’s equipped with but also time how long it takes for everything to get set up.
Pros to buying a camper trailer:
- Go pretty much anywhere with no dramas. You can even take an off road-ready camper trailer down the famous Gunshot on the way up to the tippy top of Cape York!
- Very economical to purchase. Compared with caravans and motorhomes, a camper trailer is a very affordable way to take your swag with you on a trip.
Cons to buying a camper trailer:
- Can be quite time-consuming to set up. This is especially a con when you’ve been driving for an extended period of time and are really tired when you reach your destination.
- Cramped living space.
- Very few amenities in comparison to caravans and motorhomes.
The choice really boils down to your particular needs. Use the above to help you consider all of your requirements and find the perfect match to take you where you want to go with everything you need on your adventures.
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