Beginners Guide to Campervan trips
Overview of campervanning
One of the most captivating ways to travel Australia is by having the flexibility to stop where you want, explore what you want and not be bound to a fixed location but having the freedom to make anywhere your home for the night. How you may ask? It is simple with a campervan or motorhome.
Australia is a huge country, meaning there are vast distances to cover but the distances are surrounded by scenic masterpieces with plenty of things to do and see on the way that will offer you different and diverse cultural and nature experiences.
Choosing the right campervan
We all want that piece of mind, and HIRING a campervan provides just that. Knowing your vehicle is road worthy and not having to worry about the what ifs and the extra costs that are associated with breakdowns make hiring a campervan easy and affordable.
To start, knowing how many travellers are going to be taking the journey with you is crucial along with understanding your budget and needs. There are all types of campervans to suit all types of travellers that we offer here at Australian Backpackers. Whether you are backpacker, want a little comfort or want the full shebang there is always a vehicle to meet your needs.
Understanding the finer details, for example is a fridge important or can you survive with an icebox will all play part into the cost of your daily rate. Your travel route will also play a critical role in determining what vehicle would best suit your trip. And also very important always request the transmission of the vehicle as you don’t want to turn up and have a manual when you can only drive automatic.
These are the general categories you can pic from:
What you need to know
Once you have secured your campervan or motorhome, make sure you understand these critical pieces of information. We always suggest writing it down just in case you need to job your memory.
- Know the dimensions and weight of your campervan or motorhome. Some roads in Australia will have weight and height restrictions and whilst you may not have a problem it is always good to know.
- Know how to operate and use the equipment and utilities of your campervan or motorhome. Spend time at pickup with the operator staff and spend time with them as they show you around the vehicle. Take your time and ask questions and ask to be shown again if needed, the last thing you need is to be on the road and not know how to do something.
- Know how long your gas, water and battery will last. This is critical to allow you to prepare accordingly.
- Know what kind of power supply and plugs the campervan or motorhome has.
Understanding your Insurance
Understanding your insurance is crucial. All campervan and motorhome hires come with insurance, but this is always the most standard and basic insurance option that comes with a very high excess/bond. All operators will offer upgraded insurance packages, and yes at a COST! It may seem like a very high cost but like any great insurance it is all about reducing the risk.
Generally, operators will all offer a package that will provide you with a $0 excess/bond or a very minimal excess/bond. These packages will also include extras like camp table & chairs and a filled gas bottle for example.
You never know what can happen when out on the open road, so our advice is to always take the highest insurance package as a $5000.00 bill can bring your campervan trip to a holt. However, if you are willing to take the risk, budget accordingly and ensure you have a safety net of the funds required.
Take advantage of freedom but plan
Flexibility and freedom is at the heart of campervanning but planning is still important and necessary. Whilst it is nice to get up, drive and explore, making sure you make the most of your time exploring Australia is the aim. You do not want to drive for a long period of time to spend an hour, figure out where you want to spend time and where you can maximise your time in the one location so you not always on the road driving.
When planning your route, find out where you can stay whether that be free camping or in caravan park. Use google maps and create your own route and most importantly down the fuel check app petrol spy to find the cheapest fuel whilst you’re travelling your route.
Having a plan that gives you flexibility to go with the flow is the best way to do it. Get your foundations set and have fun exploring.
Once you have booked your campervan or motorhome, understand what is included in your vehicle. Generally, most campervans and motorhomes will come with the essential kitchen utensils and pots and pans and bedding however budget campervans mostly won’t come without bedding and will be an additional cost if you hire it through them.
Once you know what you get, you can start preparing for your other basic necessities. Our advice is once you leave the depot your first stop should be the supermarket to stock up your campervan or motorhome before you start your journey. Knowing your vehicle will ensure you don’t overstock and have no where to store.
As per our advice above, knowing your equipment and campervan or motorhome is essential when it comes to this. Once you know what your fridge or ice box can store, work out a meal plan to cover as many days as you can with the amount of found you can store. This will stop you from wasting your days at the supermarket or having to detour to find one whilst on your route.
Campsites in Australia are in abundance and there are also free campgrounds at National Parks. When planning your route identify what is around and call and make bookings. Powered campgrounds are a treat but a bit more costly.
No More Personal Space
Most important factor of all, your personal space disappears. You are confined to a beautiful campervan or motorhome, but it only offers so much. The most important and crucial advice we can provide you is to travel with those you get along with and those who understand you. Spending days on end with one person or a group can be challenging let alone in a vehicle so choose wisely.
Your journey starts here
You like to go on a motorhome or campervan trip? We suggest using one of the following features: