Not just in Australia but around the world, the motorhome craze is spreading like wildfire. You can’t swipe up your social media page without landing on someone’s trip through New South Wales, Tasmania, crossing the Nullarbor in South Australia or the iconic Gibb River Road in one of these travelling homes. It’s not a surprise that motorhomes are so popular. Motorhome dealers offer features like shape-shifting furniture, miniature kitchens and comforts of modern luxuries allowing travellers to enjoy the freedom of adventure.
While a road trip helps you discover new places and improve your knowledge, it also comes with many challenges which you must be prepared to tackle.
Let’s look at some of the things you need to consider before hitting the road in your motorhome.
Are you the kind of person who keeps procrastinating things until the last minute and then hit the panic button? Then this probably won’t be helpful. You need to invest sufficient time in planning a long road trip in your motorhome, at least 2 months ahead.
Even before choosing your wheels, it is best to plan where you want to go and what you want to see in Australia. After all, it’s a continent with varying climate and terrains. There are long stretches of road where there’s absolutely nothing – no petrol stations, no restaurants, no services, no mobile signals and no food or water. So don’t we all agree that one must be well prepared?!
Plan your route and itinerary well in advance, and it’s best to allow more time than you expect you will need. You might end up driving for days between some cities with only huge expanses of nothingness passing by.
Wheels – Hire or Buy?
It’s all about what’s right for you. If you’ve never been on a motorhome holiday, it might be worth hiring one from motorhome dealers. If your road trips are a once-in-a-while affair, then hiring a motorhome is the best option because buying needs a lot of investment. Those who hit the road more frequently can think of buying a new one or second-hand motorhomes.
A general guideline for deciding between hiring and buying is as follows. If your annual tripping lasts for:
Less than 8 weeks – best to rent, no matter what vehicle you choose.
More than 8 weeks – it’s cost-effective to buy a car, van or pop-top.
More than 16 weeks – cost-effective to buy a new or second-hand motorhome.
Whether you buy new motorhomes or second-hand motorhomes, you need a parking space for it to protect it from rain, heat, dust, etc. If you don’t have that extra space, then the “buy motorhome” is not a good option.
Facilities you Need in a Motorhome
A crucial factor here would be the size of your family or the road trip gang. However, if you have a big or small family, you need some basic facilities like washing, cooking and sleeping spaces. You might need a microwave so that you can heat up the food whenever you’re hungry. It should have some coffee mugs, pots and pans.
If you have kids accompanying you, then you might need to think of a cooler. You may go for a mini-fridge if you need to keep the perishables fresh. Equipment and conveniences in a motorhome vary and you need to make sure you have everything when you buy a motorhome.
Things like extra bedding, rechargeable head torches, roo whistles, rechargeable lantern, books and music (a lot of it) are the must-haves. GPS is a great companion in your long trips, but it could be fun to use old-fashioned maps and guidebooks. Of course, they are more reliable too.
Booking a Campground
Thanks to the popularity of motorhome holidays in Australia, camping grounds and caravan parks are almost everywhere. These places give you access to showers, laundry, cooking facilities, etc., and a variety of other amenities.
Also Read: A Guide to Buying Motorhomes in Australia
It’s always better to book campgrounds in advance to not only save money but avoid the last-minute surprises too. If you travel with pets, check with the authorities if they are allowed or not. Also, while booking a campground, don’t forget to ask them about any hidden charges and discounts and any offers they might have for the season.
Other Important Stuff
Keep a valid license on you to drive in Australia. For those who come from outside Australia, they should have an international driving permit
Pack healthy and long-lasting snacks and food for your trip, especially when you have kids with you.
Other important things you need to carry with you include tents, sleeping bags, swimsuits, foldable table and chairs. Toiletries like handwash, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush are essentials you need every day.
Australia is best experienced on the road and a road trip has long been an Aussie tradition. With amazing things to see and do, there’s a huge sense of reward when you plan and execute a long trip with your loved ones in your own terms.