Caravan Research


“Through travel, the world becomes the classroom”


There is so much choice. So many options. Features. Benefits. And most of all, a overwhleming sense of what do you actually need.

Our initial research into a caravan, camper trailer or motorhome has been met with enthusiam and anxiety. Most of our holidays over the last decade we have stayed in hotels, resorts, motels and the occassional cabin, so this is very foreign to us. When I was much younger we use to camp in tents, and it’s that outdoor experience we want to give our daughter.

Both of us are due for long service leave in the next 18 months, and we are considering taking a roadtrip across parts of Australia with a van in tow.

But which van?

We have ruled out a motorhome at this stage. For the places we would like to see, the convenience of a vehicle outweighs the convenience of pulling up for the night with no set up. But we must say, there are some amazing motorhomes out there in the market; just not so sure they are suited to us!

Jayco’s Expanda (Photo: Xplore More Caravan Hire)

Everyone has their own opinions. Forums are full of different views on so many different Rigs (as we now know they are affectionately referred to as!). We are not sure there is any right answer, other than what suits us for our trip and beyond.

We have some experienced caravaners amongst our family, and there advice would be to look for a relatively new second hand van as they generally have been well cared for. And if we decide caravaning is for us in the future, we can always upgrade. Sound advice indeed.

Siena will be around 3 years old, so her needs are important too. It’s clear we will need some home comforts for her inside the van, so space is important. Balancing that with fuel economy of towing, and weight issues (ATM or GTM anyone?) – you have whole lot of issues you need to consider.

The first thing we discovered is our current family wagon, Mazda6, probably can’t tow too much at all. Well, nothing that is going to be suitable for a more extended trip.

America’s great RV (Photo: Winnebago)

That’s a cost we will need to factor in, as a change of vehicle (or tug) will be needed to tow our home on wheels. In the past, that would be a ‘no-brainer’ it would be a V6 Commodore or Falcon, but these days, it’s more likly to be a Prado or Range Rover.

Really all comes down to personal preference and our needs. We haven’t settled on a route nor how long we would go for. Could be anyway between 8 weeks and 4 months. Might just be the route north to Far North Queensland or could include a lap to Darwin.

A lot lies ahead for us, and one of the first decision will be which van or camper trailer will suit our trip. We are looking forward to the challenge, and interested to hear from you around what type of van you have for your trips. Any tips?

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