Camping in Australia: caravan or camper trailer?By Clark Rubber | 17th October, 2019
Camping in Australia doesn't have to mean struggling with a tent. If you're planning a road trip around Australia and you don't want to have to rely on hotels, buying a caravan or camper trailer could be ideal – but which one?
There is no easy answer, as it depends on the type of trip you're planning, your budget and the level of comfort you want. Here are some reasons to consider when travelling around Australia on your own schedule.
Travelling Australia in a camper trailer
Camper trailers are a popular choice for a budget Aussie Road trip. Not only are they cheaper than buying than a caravan, but they are also much lighter to tow. This improves fuel consumption and means you don't need to hire a larger car.
When you have reached your campsite, you simply unfold the trailer and sleep inside the canvas walls and roof. Nature lovers can appreciate breathing in the fresh air – as long as you're not downwind of a campfire – but gaps between the sides mean that bugs and dust can enter more easily than in a caravan. The thin canvas walls also mean less noise resistance, less privacy and less protection against strong winds.
The smaller size of camper trailers means they can access areas caravans are unable to, as well as being easier to handle on the road. However, the lack of storage space and toilet facilities could be a deal breaker for first-time campers.
Travelling Australia in a caravan
Caravans are a bigger investment than camper trailers, but owners will tell you they are worth it. Their sturdier structure offers all-weather protection, safety and security, the privacy of a hotel room and the comforts of home. Higher-end models can come with a range of luxury comforts for a five-star camping experience.
The major downsides of a caravan are its bulk and weight. They need to be towed by a more powerful vehicle, which increases fuel costs, and more difficult routes may be inaccessible even in an off-road model. Parking and reversing can also be a challenge in the city.
For even more comfort and convenience, you can travel around Australia in a campervan (or RV). With your accommodation and vehicle all in one, you and your family can move back and forth between the cab and the living area, bedrooms and bathroom without having to pull over.
Getting a good night's sleep on your road trip
Caravans and camper vans can offer a more comfortable sleep than a camper trailer, but it's still important to park somewhere you're not likely to be disturbed.
A restless night's sleep will affect your ability to drive safely the next day, so you should also avoid caffeine and other stimulants and choose a good quality caravan mattress or bed to improve the chance of a restful sleep.