Why we chose to travel in a caravan

Caravans, vans, troopcarriers, camper trailers, buses, tents and swags. We’ve seen them all. What made us decide on buying a caravan?

Long story short, we thought back over our previous travels and analysed the good, the bad and the ugly.

Over the last four years we have done countless roadtrips in tents and swags. Some short weekends away, some as long as four weeks. Some in the middle of winter, and some to North Queensland in the middle of wet season (YES it was very hot and humid!!!).

We loved travelling in swags and tents and have so many incredible memories from our trips. But, after a while we decided if we were going to keep travelling we would need something a little more sustainable long term. The swag wasn’t always a great idea. Like when it was over 35 degrees at night and you couldn’t get cool. Or when you just wanted to get changed with a bit of privacy. Especially not when it was pouring rain and you had to tie tarps off the side of the ute to keep everything dry. Or when you needed to stop in an area that wasn’t exactly safe. So what would our next setup be?

A caravan was hands down the best choice for us. Here’s why:

1. We can still 4WD

For a while we loved the idea of a van or a bus, but we spend a lot of time driving off road. We really didn’t want to have to avoid going to places because our vehicle couldn’t handle beach driving, dirt roads, rough tracks and corrugations. It’s awesome being able to unhook the caravan, leave it put, and then take off in the ute (sometimes with a swag in the back) to get to some of the more remote places we have here in Australia.

2. There is LOTS of space

We live on the road full-time. This is our home. We had thought about getting a troopy (it fits our 4WD criteria) but we decided against it for a few reasons. The main one being that there’s just not a lot of room. We didn’t want to be cooking outside all the time, or having to move things around to make up the bed each night, or just being stuck in such a small space when it’s pouring rain for three days straight. Our caravan is over 21 feet inside and we can both be in there together comfortably. It’s also nice having a decent sized bed, a proper dining space, a bathroom and a ready to go kitchen. It really does feel like home!

3. It has an ensuite

This was a big winner for me. We have a shower, toilet, sink and washing machine in our ensuite. It makes living on the road so EASY! We don’t need to worry about finding public toilets (or finding a bush in the middle of the night), or staying salty long after an ocean swim, or putting on makeup in the rear vision mirror. The only downside is having to empty the toilet cassette (Yuck!).

4. Free camping is easy

It’s a great feeling knowing you can stop and camp safely literally anywhere. We can pull up at a truck stop, hop inside the caravan and go to bed. There is minimal setup, it’s safe, and very low hassle. We have a bathroom. And water tanks. And a kitchen that is ready to go. We don’t need power or lots of camping gear. Everything is at our fingertips.

5. We can leave the caravan to go and explore

This was another huge point for us. The ability to park up in a spot for a while and LEAVE IT THERE. We didn’t really want to have to pack up our vehicle every single time we wanted to go somewhere. It’s so much more practical for us to just unhook the ute when we want to go grocery shopping or to visit a beach etc.

6. It’s super quick and easy to setup

If we’re staying somewhere overnight, it’s as simple as opening the door and walking inside. If we’re parking and unhooking the ute, it takes us about half an hour to fully setup. This includes unhooking the ute and putting out the braces, connecting to power and water, and unfolding the awning. We had seen the time involved with setting up a camper trailer and decided that wasn’t for us. If we are moving to a new town each day, the last thing we want to do is spend hours setting and packing up.

We have been living in our caravan for about four months now and we LOVE it. There is no doubt in my mind that buying a caravan to travel was the right choice for us.

For anyone who is planning on travelling via road trip I would suggest considering where you plan on visiting, what are the roads like getting there, what camping facilities are available where you are headed and what you plan on doing there (eg beach driving). Then list out what things would be important to you, for example if you are looking for the real outdoors camping experience, maybe a swag or a tent would suit you. If you want to go off road but want a little more luxury, then I’d look at a camper trailer or an off road caravan. A van might be a more budget friendly option than buying a caravan and a towing vehicle. Although keep in mind that there are budget options for every type of vehicle I have mentioned.

Safe travels!

Emmalene

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