Where do we even start?
What even is a caravan? GVM? Amp Hours? Sway control? What Tow vehicle will we be getting? What caravan?
Should we even get a caravan or do some sort of truck camper? Or back of the Ute camper? A bus?
Wow. To say it is all overwhelming is an understatement.
Daniel is a massive research fiend, so when it comes to buying things or making big decisions like this, he goes to the nth degree and try and find out all our options and what everything means. We think it’s his technical background?
So we know that for his photography, we really really like staying as close to the most beautiful spots that we can. Day tripping to a beautiful spot is ok, and good for most people, but for his landscape photography, sunrise and sunset are the two times of day that the light really changes and it can add a lot to an image. This was our number one criteria when deciding what to get.
We have previously completed two motorhome trips, one around Victoria and one in New Zealand, for Autumn colour photo’s. Motorhomes are amazing, awesome pieces of gear, that really let us get to where we want to be safely and comfortably, and setup and stay there for the night right next to where he is taking Sunset and Sunrise photos. Aria and I can even stay warm in bed and asleep while he is up taking photos early in the morning!
BUT! In Australia, a lot of the best places to go to and look at require a pretty decent off-roading setup which Motorhomes and buses are not made for. Other considerations before writing off a motorhome and bus were:
- Having to pack up each time you wanted to day trip or go shopping/quick trip somewhere
- Not being able to leave one of us with Aria and the dogs at ‘home’ while the other ducks out to gets something done
- Breakdowns with a motorhome means you’re not only without a vehicle, you’re without a house too.
The next option we considered was an Expedition Truck. To get a setup on the back of a truck to suit us is super, super expensive and when you need a dual cab truck to fit Aria and the doggies, the space left on the back for the accommodation part leaves a lot to be desired, especially if we are looking to stay on the road for a year or more. This also has similar considerations for everyday life as a motorhome.
So Motorhomes, Buses and Expedition trucks are both written off unfortunately!
We looked next at Camper trailers as an inexpensive way to have lots of creature comforts, in a package that can get really far off-road. We decided against them because we both feel that with our doggies and Aria, we want to be as comfortable as possible for the vast majority of the time, and that involves 4 solid walls, a roof, storage space, cupboards, a real kitchen and not having to pack and unpack anything. We also did a tent/swag trip whilst trying to consider our options and this was a complete failure and we felt that a camper trailer would be similar with dog claws and possible escape routes causing the most stress for us.
So, camper trailers, gone!
And then we were left with the humble (or not so) Caravan.
Everything in this sort of travel is a compromise, especially with our unique needs. So we went with a Caravan as the best option for our family with the option to set up our truck for short overnight trips for the hard to get to places that the caravan can’t get to. We wanted one that is big enough to let us live in comfort, and yet has enough off-road cred to let us take it pretty far down the unbeaten path. We wanted each of us to have space and be able to cook, work and relax as needed, including the dogs.
So the compromise for a caravan is having it’s length or capabilities restrict where you can take it, or park it, but at least once you’ve parked you can leave it for the day to explore or get jobs done. You also can’t stealth free camp as much as a motorhome or bus can, but stealth camping is usually for 1 night stays which we don’t plan to do very often anyway.
So a Caravan it was! And we have been really happy with our choice. I sit and write this on the side of the Allyn River, under our awning, while Aria (Our daughter) is inside on the bed having some downtime watching Winnie The Pooh! A caravan really can give you a lot of living spaces.
Phew. Any other questions about this let us know, we are happy to share our experiences and help other get out there and live the dream.
How we chose our caravan will be coming up in another blog post soon.