Best Way to Road Trip in Australia – Caravan or Camper Trailer?
You’ve chosen a destination, attractions to explore and mapped out road trips. But what’s the best way to get from A to B?
Between state-of-the-art caravans or camper trailers and the humble tent, camping in Australia’s great outdoors has options for any budget and lifestyle needs.
Each camping rig comes with its own set of benefits and challenges for travellers to consider. However, identifying the pros and cons of individualcamping styles usually comes with trial and error.
If you’re after comfort, many good caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers can provide it. For adventurers who prefer to rough it out, camping vehicle options offer the basics to luxurious homes-away-from-home.
Australia has some of the best road trips to drive. For the ultimate trip, your mode of transportation is one of the most critical decisions to make. Ready to explore what Aussie’s outback has to offer? Here are the pros and cons for each:
Caravans can be put into main categories, pop-tops and full.
Pop-tops have a lifting roof section, designed to reduce wind resistance on the road. Whereas the benefits of a full caravan areits solid design and minimal to no set-up – simply unlock the door and step inside after a day of exploring.
However, with the extra amenities, luxuries and comfort of a caravan comes a higher price tag.
Caravans are popular because of theirlarger living areas. They also offer:
• Kitchen space
• Double, queen and/or single and bunk bed options
• Plenty of storage solutions
• Hassle-free camping as no setup required
• Variety in size and luxury features
The cons include:
• Restricted access to some locations, National Parks and roads
• Harder to park and store
• Pricier than other camping alternatives
• Heavy and may require a larger vehicle to tow it
When You Should Choose a Caravan
If you’re after extended comfort or taking a longer road trip around Australia, a caravan can be an ideal choice.
Anyone travelling extended journeys or families bringing along the kids may benefit from higher levels of comfort, space and amenities caravans offer.
The Parkes 13 is a compact hybrid caravan designed for couples. These caravans offer enough comfort for short or extended trips, and push the limits of travel with an independent suspension system for off road adventuring.
On the higher end of the price and luxury scale, the same range also caters for familieswith up to two kids and anyone who wants to create a home away from home.
Important Considerations when Buying a Caravan
Off Road Travel
If you want to go off road, then choosing a caravan made specifically for the purpose is critical.
Regular caravans are not designed to safely tackle the conditions of unsealed roads. Nor do they have the right suspension. Off road caravans have a higher ground clearance, heavier chassis, all-terrain tyres and stronger cabinetry for rough-road travel.
Carefully consider how you intend to use the caravan and the space you need. The caravan manufacturing industry caters to a variety of requirements. Make sure to check the layout of your chosen model to ensure it’s right. Some caravans will also offer the flexibility to add extra storage, amenities and features.
Make sure your vehicle has enough power to tow the caravan. Every car and caravan have critical towing-related numbers on the compliance plate or manual. These figures must be cross-checked for safety and braking considerations.
Plan Your Stay
Caravans are much harder than camper trailers to park and store. Plan your stay ahead to find the best caravan and camping sites for your road trip. You can find some more tips for caravanning around Australia here.
Camper trailers offer versatility and adaptability, and can be a practical option for those with smaller budgets and requirements.
From the humble, basic box-trailer to off road ready and power-packed with modern luxuries, camper trailers fold multiple ways to cater.
If you choose to travel around Australia in a camper trailer, there are three types to weigh up.
1. Flip-over Campers: Features a sealed hard top midst travel which becomes a suspended off-the-ground floor once unfolded
2. Soft Floor Campers: Ideal for one-night stays, these campers are set up by removing the vinyl cover, pulling the canvas out and extending the internal frame
3. Windup Hard Floor Campers: Have the closest interior layout to caravans out of the camper styles and involves mechanically lifting the hard roof to set up and expose the canvas sides and off-the-ground floor
You’ll find many variations of these camper trailer types to choose from based on your camping style, comfort levels and where you plan to take it.
The benefits of camper trailers include:
• Lighter and safer to tow than caravans and motorhomes
• Offers a closer-to-nature camping experience, with canvas roofing and sides more open and flexible
• Accesses more off road locations
• Consumes less fuel
• Easier to store
On the flipside, cons of campers are:
• Less storage and cupboard space
• Time consuming to set up and pack down (allow at least an hour)
• No instant access to interior if you pull over on longer drives
• Canvas walls offer minimal privacy and can encourage more bugs inside
• No amenities such as a toilet or shower
When You Should Choose a Camper Trailer
Despite their size, many modern camper trailers are still power-packed with essentials.
For creatures of comfort, consider windup hard floor campers which offer similar features to a caravan including beds, an indoor kitchen and living room area for a fraction of the price.
If you’re exploring Australia’s outback, here are the top five off road camper trailers to choose from.
Travellers contempt with less comforts will benefit from flip-over or soft floor campers. Soft floor campers offer more floor space than flip-overs, but can be a hassle for one person to set up and pack down. For this reason, solo travellers may prefer other caravan or camper trailer alternatives.
Whilst the fundamentals of camper trailers are similar, the biggest cost over a basic camper trailer is the options and accessories offered.
Buying a caravan or camper trailer is a big expense. But with the purchase comes endless adventures and the flexibility to be able to head off whenever the next trip calls.
At PMX Campers, we are camping and caravanning enthusiasts with over 8 years’ experience selling off road camping solutions. To find out which options are best for your needs, chat to our staff for more information.