When you think about going on a van adventure, it all sounds like a cheap way to holiday. Once the outlay of the van is covered campsites are reasonably cheap, you can cook on a BBQ and go on many free exploration adventure, but there are costs that will get out of control quickly if you don’t plan ahead.
This is an obvious essential and you should have factored it into your budget, but there are ways you can save big on your fuel costs. Think about your tow vehicle to start with. If it’s a big petrol engine you are likely to blow out your fuel budget very quickly. You’re best to make sure your car is economical in the first place. Once you have this organised make sure you have a planned route when traveling so you avoid having to backtrack to towns or rest stops. You can also use a fuel saver app such as Gas Buddy or Motormouth to find where the cheapest petrol is in your area. Think ahead and plan your fuel stops and you can save hundreds.
It’s great that there are free BBQ areas all over and you have a kitchen in your caravan or motorhome, but these aren’t much good if you don’t carry your own food. Restaurants and roadside cafes can add up if you keep stopping there for lunch on the road or lazy dinners out. Make sure you pack snacks and easy to prepare meals for the nights you don’t feel like cooking This will stop you eating out all the time and spending your money on cafes.
DIY is the cheapest way to get things done. Before you leave, take a minute to learn the basics of your van and how to fix the small stuff. You don’t want to have to hunt down a mechanic and stay in hotels while they fix a water leak if you could have carried some tools and just done it yourself.
RV’s like caravans, motorhomes or campers need regular maintenance but most of this can be done by a competent person with some general knowledge so brush up on your skills and make sure you take your toolbox with you. Make sure you give yourself rest days to wash down you van and keep it free of road grime that can clog important parts.
This one is common sense, hunt around. Insurance can vary dramatically between providers so its important that you hunt around and do your comparisons before buying caravans. Make sure you look for discounts and offers that will make it cheaper and easier to get a hold of them on the road. Also, make sure it covers you in different states in case you need to call on it on the road.
Where to stay
If you plan on staying in parks your entire trip, you’ll find that cheap accommodation ends up adding up quicker than you imagined. There are plenty of legal, free campsites for van all over Australia and all you need to do is find them. Most are a little more remote with less facility so make sure you carry your own food and water. There are plenty of social media groups and apps like wiki camps that can point you in the right direction for some free nights accommodations while on the road.
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