Caravan vs Camper Trailer….Which is best for your next Australian road trip?
With international borders closed to Australian travellers, the itch to get out and explore our great nation has never seemed more urgent.
For the trip of a lifetime, a holiday around our great country offers a wealth of amazing landscapes, wildlife and weather to enjoy. If you’re planning a trip around Australia, you’re about to experience the adventure of a lifetime. But what would be the best way to travel?
Two of the most popular ways to travel Australia include by camper and caravan. Both offer advantages and disadvantages to travellers, but which is the best choice for your trip?
Trying to decide between the two options is really the tip of the iceberg. In today’s market, both options have so many variations that you can choose the comfort level and ease of use that best suits your travelling style, level of homeliness or adventure.
If you’re facing this difficult choice between choosing a camper or a caravan for your next adventure, here are a few questions to ask when making your decision.
How much space do you need?
One of the biggest factors to consider when choosing whether to use a camper trailer or a caravan for your Australian road trip is how much living space you will need when on the road.
While campers can offer plenty of living space to lay mattresses or cots, some require you to bring along your own cooking equipment and any furniture or beds that you plan to use for your trip. You may also need to pack up these items every morning and set them up each night, depending on the set-up of your trailer.
A caravan, however, offers fold-up beds that can pack away easily each morning and include built-in stoves, refrigerators, and seating, which saves a significant amount of setup time compared to a camper. The convenience also could extend to bathroom amenities in the caravan. This may be a complete luxury compared to the camper where you may need to utilise facilities at campgrounds and caravan parks.
Once you determine the amount of space your family or travel partners will need and the level of comfort you desire, you will have a better idea of whether a camper or a caravan makes more sense for your trip.
How long do you want to travel?
Your travel plans will also help to decide what will be the best overall option for your trip. Are you planning a series of short getaways or longer holiday adventures? Would you be looking at travelling for two weeks? Two months? Six months? The duration of your trip can influence the type of vehicle you decide to purchase.
While campers usually cost less, they do require significant time each day to set up and pack away, which can eat into your time to explore and enjoy your trip. Caravans, however, offer more convenience and require less investment of your time.
If you’re planning a shorter trip, then sleeping on mattresses and setting up your living space each night may not prove much of a hassle. If you’re planning to be on the road for several months, however, then you may appreciate the convenience offered by a caravan.
Where do you want to go?
From the wildlife to the landscapes, Australia offers endless adventure and beauty. The types of places you want to go on your trip and the distance you plan to travel can influence whether you buy a camper trailer or a caravan.
Both campers and caravans will require you to have a tow vehicle. Between your tow vehicle and your camper or caravan, you will need a significant amount of space at your campsite each night. Caravans, particularly, require significant space to park, as well as access to power hookup. While Australia offers many nice caravan parks, you may find the locations of these parks inconvenient compared to your desired itinerary. Campers, however, are smaller, lighter, and more mobile, allowing them to access smaller sites outside of caravan parks more easily, giving you greater flexibility for where you can travel or your trip.
If you plan to do any off-roading on your trip, accessing some of Australia’s more remote and difficult-to-access locations, you will need a tow vehicle with four-wheel drive. While some travellers do take their campers and caravans off-roading, it can pose a risk to the vehicle, requiring maintenance. If you plan to go off-road, you will want to buy a camper or caravan that has been specially designed for off-roading.
What’s your budget?
For most of us, budget influences our decisions. And this is true for your decision on whether to buy a camper or a caravan. More than any other factor, budget plays a major role.
Campers are lighter, easier, and cheaper to tow than caravans, but they do not offer the same conveniences as caravans. Similarly, off-roading vehicles, whether campers or caravans, offer greater flexibility as to where you can take your vehicle, but they cost more than vehicles designed to stay on-road.
Before you decide which vehicle to purchase – a camper or caravan or an on-road or off-road vehicle – you will want to think carefully about the type of trip you want and which vehicle will best provide you with that experience. Once you have resolved your decisions around comfort, convenience, cost and where you want to travel and how you want to experience that adventure, then you can set to work finding a vehicle to meet those needs.
Good deals on both new and used campers and caravans exist, so it’s worth taking some time to ensure you find the right vehicle for you.