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Post Info TOPIC: Caravan or motorhome


Veteran Member

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RE: Caravan or motorhome


Hiya Lily!

My wife and I started off camping with a motorcycle and a tent. Then we went to a Toyota campervan. Then a small caravan. Now we have a single axle 17.6 caravan with shower and toilet. We looked closely at buying a motorhome, but our finances will not allow us to have that plus a car for when we are home, so for us it was a no brainer. 

We stick to the tarmac as you will, and we have found the convenience of having a car and van so much easier when travelling. You park the van every so often, set it up, then you can abandon it for a day or a few days to go do other stuff. When we get back, it is all set up and ready to go. We found it rather tiresome when we had the campervan having to  pack up then set up time and again when we just wanted to even go off to the pub for a meal or a beer. 

If you plan to move around constantly then yeah, a motorhome is good. But if you are planning to stay in one area for a while, the van means you can go exploring every day without the constant unplugging of water supplies and mains power and rolling up an awning. Ok, you might be free camping, but what if you return to your spot that night and someone else has snagged it?

We generally stay in van parks. Costs more, but we find them more secure and we can use their facilities if we feel like it.

Our tug is a Ford Territory diesel, which is very capable with its all wheel drive, and it is very car like in its dynamics on road. It is not a 4 wheel drive, but it does exactly what we want it to do and does it with ease and in comfort.

All in all, there are good and bad whichever way you punt it. We just enjoy the extra freedom our caravan gives us. Whatever you decide, good luck and happy travels! 

 



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Less is more.


Senior Member

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Date:

Lesley F wrote:

Hi. As a solo older female I couldn't reverse caravan. I had lessons but failed. My motor home is 6.7 or old scale 22 feet long. I mostly manage, but don't ask me to do reverse parking!! At shoppjng ctrs. I park on the outer rim so there's plenty of room. Good luck with your choice and good luck travelling.


 Yes, I'm definitely leaning towards a motor home now I've done more research. It's 50/50 as other's have said but the main deciding factor comes down to my confidence level in driving and setting up and that's where the motor home wins out for me.  There are always compromises to be made and I will just have to work around those that I end up facing. Running out of milk isn't a deal breaker for me.

I'm planning on doing some garage sales after Christmas, clearing things out and getting moving. 

Hope everyone's doing well and whooping it up!

 

 

 

 

 



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Lily2018 wrote:
 Yes, I'm definitely leaning towards a motor home now I've done more research.

And, as I mentioned in my earlier post, if the motor home is going to be your only home... what will you do when, not if, it breaks down?



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We have stayed in ours while at the repairer on a couple of occasions. Most are very sympathetic.
Cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 960W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 310L water, 280L fuel. https://www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-public/569-oka196-xt-motorhome
 

 



Veteran Member

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Date:

Mike Harding wrote:
Lily2018 wrote:
 Yes, I'm definitely leaning towards a motor home now I've done more research.

And, as I mentioned in my earlier post, if the motor home is going to be your only home... what will you do when, not if, it breaks down?


 Then, Lily will have to deal with the situation, as have countless others who have had a breakdown in a motorhome. As have millions of other motorists who have neither a van or a motorhome and their conveyance breaks down. You cope with it. You call a motoring organisation and you get it sorted. Lily, you do what suits you best. Mike has his way of thinking, you have yours. 

If your heart tells you to go with a motorhome, then just go Nike and DO IT! Good luck and safe travels.



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Less is more.


Senior Member

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Date:

Hello again Anne,
Inskip is a beautiful place to stay but your two wee doggies may not be welcome. Something to remember, most National Parks don't allow pets, dogs, that is.
Free camp where there are other campers, introduce yourself. It's unusual for campers not to make another camper welcome or at least be helpful and friendly.
Cheers,
Roy.

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Mike Harding wrote:

And, as I mentioned in my earlier post, if the motor home is going to be your only home... what will you do when, not if, it breaks down?


 If a caravan is your only home, what do you do when it needs to go into a workshop for repairs?   I know of a recent incident where a storm damaged van was in the workshop for 3 months waiting for parts and repairs.

Campervan owner friend recently dealt with the campervan repair situation by couch surfing.   Generating too much anxiety considering 'What If?' situations gets to be self defeating and a block to enjoying quality of life.   What if you live on the road and have a fall and break your leg and end up in hospital for months?   Etc.......

Iza



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Iza

Semi-permanent state of being Recreationally Outraged as a defence against boredom during lockdown.



Senior Member

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Date:

Mike Harding wrote:
Lily2018 wrote:
 Yes, I'm definitely leaning towards a motor home now I've done more research.

And, as I mentioned in my earlier post, if the motor home is going to be your only home... what will you do when, not if, it breaks down?


I do see your point but I'd just have to work it out. Wouldn't it be much the same if I was simply driving in a car that broke down somewhere and had to wait for repairs? 



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Senior Member

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Jimmy Kwaka wrote:
Mike Harding wrote:
Lily2018 wrote:
 Yes, I'm definitely leaning towards a motor home now I've done more research.

And, as I mentioned in my earlier post, if the motor home is going to be your only home... what will you do when, not if, it breaks down?


 Then, Lily will have to deal with the situation, as have countless others who have had a breakdown in a motorhome. As have millions of other motorists who have neither a van or a motorhome and their conveyance breaks down. You cope with it. You call a motoring organisation and you get it sorted. Lily, you do what suits you best. Mike has his way of thinking, you have yours. 

If your heart tells you to go with a motorhome, then just go Nike and DO IT! Good luck and safe travels.

 

That's my thinking too. If I think of every problem that might happen, and there will definitely be some, I will never get on. Thanks for the reassurance. 


 



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Roy E wrote:

Hello again Anne,
Inskip is a beautiful place to stay but your two wee doggies may not be welcome. Something to remember, most National Parks don't allow pets, dogs, that is.
Free camp where there are other campers, introduce yourself. It's unusual for campers not to make another camper welcome or at least be helpful and friendly.
Cheers,
Roy.


 Hi Roy

My friends take their dog there and when I asked about exercise, they said they go to a more deserted part and let her have a run. Will quiz them more of course. And yes, having the pups with me will no doubt restrict where I can stay or visit, as you say National Parks but that's something I will just have to work around. If I particularly wanted to visit a place for the day, I would book them into a vet/kennel.

I'm very happy to introduce myself and join in with other campers. I think that's probably one of the major drawcards of life on the road. Getting to meet people, make friends, hearing other people's life story. I'm already really interested reading through the posts here what people are up to. 

Cheers

Anne 



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Peter_n_Margaret wrote:

We have stayed in ours while at the repairer on a couple of occasions. Most are very sympathetic.
Cheers,
Peter


 That's great to hear. I might be naive but I think most people would be sympathetic in the situation. 



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Izabarack wrote:
Mike Harding wrote:

And, as I mentioned in my earlier post, if the motor home is going to be your only home... what will you do when, not if, it breaks down?


 If a caravan is your only home, what do you do when it needs to go into a workshop for repairs?   I know of a recent incident where a storm damaged van was in the workshop for 3 months waiting for parts and repairs.

Campervan owner friend recently dealt with the campervan repair situation by couch surfing.   Generating too much anxiety considering 'What If?' situations gets to be self defeating and a block to enjoying quality of life.   What if you live on the road and have a fall and break your leg and end up in hospital for months?   Etc.......

Iza

Thanks for the encouragement Iza. And you're right, if I consider all the problems I could face, I'd never get out there. 


 



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I have no axe to grind here - my house settlement occurred yesterday and I'll be taking to the road once my caravan is built - you will, I'm sure, understand it is of no consequence to me what you choose to do, I simply offer advice from my research and thought on this matter because it will affect me too.

The first thing to consider is that there is a *world* of difference between people who *live* in their vehicles and those who use them for holiday purposes and I suggest you treat with caution advice from the latter group in this regard - they have a home to fall back on. For them vehicle failure is a problem... for people who live in their vehicle it's a crisis.

The problem with having your home and motor car combined is that *any* breakdown of your motor car potentially robs you of a home whereas a caravan is unlikely to breakdown in such a manner as to prevent its transport to a caravan site and/or use. It *can* happen but it's unlikely.

If the tow car breaks down it is a simple matter to have the van (your home) transported to a caravan park and await repairs or replacement of the car.

It is hard to think of anything, outside a road accident, which would make a caravan incapable of being transported to a park in order to provide a home.

A motorhome, with it's built in engine and other complex systems, may suffer myriad failures which would render it unusable.

Check back a few months on this forum for the woman who posted from Perth desperate for help as her, newish, motorhome had suffered a gearbox failure and was going to take six months to repair.

Or you could chat with my friend Mike who had to lodge in a caravan park for six months as the motor in his aged motorhome was repaired.

I would have thought all this was blindingly obvious.



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"I beseech you in the bowels of Christ think it possible you may be mistaken"

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Date:

Mike Harding wrote:

It is hard to think of anything, outside a road accident, which would make a caravan incapable of being transported to a park in order to provide a home.


 Not hard at all, Mike.   Not so recently, I put one wheel of the caravan hard up to a hidden tree stump and bent the sub-axle.   The caravan then spent two weeks sitting in RACQ yard at Gympie waiting for the assessor, then flatbed to Brissy manufacturer, then another three weeks to repair.   Quick look back through the forum posts will find all sorts of disaster stories of trees falling on vans to fires to broken A Frames to suspensions falling off and more.    I remember recent photos of the caravans of permanent residents of Van Parks floating away down river when Beenleigh flooded.   At least with a campervan, it is quite easy to move to higher ground.   Water damage to wooden caravan frames takes months to repair.   Bit hard to live in a caravan stripped down to bare frame.   

Other thoughts - a campervan like the VW transporter or Urvan or Hi Ace is much easier to find parking for at the shopping area.   Who wants to walk from the sometimes offered caravan parking to the shops on a hot day?   Or in the rain?   The smarter free camper also thinks ahead when passing shopping.   Easy enough to think ahead and stock up for a week or more even if you do not have a fridge.   Teewah Beach, Inskip, and even Woruma, for example, have a bread/milk/ice/gas/fishing gear/lollies/ ice creams/generator fuel truck through every day.   These examples also take orders for next day delivery.   And what's wrong with taking a walk to the shops, or your kayak or pushbike?   I took the Segway clone from Inskip to Rainbow one day but did have to eat the ice cream at the shop because it was a hot day and did not have an esky on the SBS.

I have no need to grind one side of my axe in this discussion.   I could tow my caravan with the campervan and have total redundancy.   The Mh or Campervan decision comes down to what might suit you best, not catastrophizing about what might go wrong and in what direction.

Iza



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Iza

Semi-permanent state of being Recreationally Outraged as a defence against boredom during lockdown.



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I am 61 and looking forward to a time when we can travel for long periods.  About a year ago I bought an older Transit van and we just fitted it out ourselves quite cheaply with already made stuff.  Like I bought a couple of those huge storage trunks from Bunning's made by Keter. I put mattresses on top and used them as beds and we can store heaps underneath  in them.  The little bar fridge just sits on a camp table, a sturdy one, and the kitchen is a second-hand commercial kitchen bench with storage underneath.  The sink drains into a large bucket and I will pump water up from a water storage drum underneath.  A butane stove and a camp toilet pretty much finish it off.  Just a suggestion for a cheaper option.  However, my big advice is. whatever your buy, if it used DO get it thoroughly checked out mechanically before you buy.  It cost me $5000 for a new gearbox within a few months of travelling.  I was stupid and rushed into a cheap private sale like a bull at a gate.   Just take your time and buy safely. You probably would, but it is just a warning anyway. Good luck and best wishes.



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Lyn


Senior Member

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Date:

Mike Harding wrote:

I have no axe to grind here - my house settlement occurred yesterday and I'll be taking to the road once my caravan is built - you will, I'm sure, understand it is of no consequence to me what you choose to do, I simply offer advice from my research and thought on this matter because it will affect me too.

The first thing to consider is that there is a *world* of difference between people who *live* in their vehicles and those who use them for holiday purposes and I suggest you treat with caution advice from the latter group in this regard - they have a home to fall back on. For them vehicle failure is a problem... for people who live in their vehicle it's a crisis.

The problem with having your home and motor car combined is that *any* breakdown of your motor car potentially robs you of a home whereas a caravan is unlikely to breakdown in such a manner as to prevent its transport to a caravan site and/or use. It *can* happen but it's unlikely.

If the tow car breaks down it is a simple matter to have the van (your home) transported to a caravan park and await repairs or replacement of the car.

It is hard to think of anything, outside a road accident, which would make a caravan incapable of being transported to a park in order to provide a home.

A motorhome, with it's built in engine and other complex systems, may suffer myriad failures which would render it unusable.

Check back a few months on this forum for the woman who posted from Perth desperate for help as her, newish, motorhome had suffered a gearbox failure and was going to take six months to repair.

Or you could chat with my friend Mike who had to lodge in a caravan park for six months as the motor in his aged motorhome was repaired.

I would have thought all this was blindingly obvious.

 


 Mike

Thank you for your replies to my post and I certainly have no axe to grind. I was simply asking for other peoples opinions on their experiences regarding their set up.  It's been both very interesting and helpful. 

Thanks to all who offered their views on this subject along with other tips about travelling. 

Think it might be best to move on from this now so happy travelling everyone and all the best for the future. 

Cheers

Anne

 



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Free camping with other people and barking dogs is not a good combination.
Cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 960W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 310L water, 280L fuel. https://www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-public/569-oka196-xt-motorhome
 

 



Senior Member

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Date:

Peter_n_Margaret wrote:

Free camping with other people and barking dogs is not a good combination.
Cheers,
Peter


 Hi Peter

I meant the dogs would bark if someone was trying to break in, not all the time. 



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Go for a motorhome it's easier to just jump into the drivers seat and take off rather having to hitch and unhitch a caravan, also safer than having to go outside the caravan to get to your car if need be and you also won't get soaking wet going from one to the other during wet and stormy weather.  Parking is a breeze in a motorhome.  If you stock up on food you won't need to pop into the shops every second day.  I am a single lady and I joined the RACQ in case of a breakdown and they will pay the cost of your accommodation in most cases if the motorhome needs any repairs, look into what they have on offer.  Just go for it and enjoy our beautiful country.  June C.  



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Thanks June and yes, I have decided on the motor home/campervan style. I would simply feel more confident driving that than towing a caravan. I've been doing a lot of research online about the different types of homes and taking note of the excellent advice people have offered here and narrowing down my choices. I will be going to some large sites to look at the real thing in the New Year. 

It's going to take a while for me to get on the road as I'm selling my house, off loading stuff to family, putting stuff in storage, selling other stuff... It's amazing how much a person can accumulate in a life time that in the end one doesn't really need. 

Cheers Anne

 



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Being on your own definately motorhome more secure and no time setting up etc WHY TOW A BED AROUND WHEN YOU CAN SWIVEL THE SEATS AND TAKE A NAP !



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As I can't afford a Caravan or a motor home so I have no experience with either but had you considered a slide on camper.


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Has anyone noticed that this thread is almost 5 years old?



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v



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Have now lol !!



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I was wondering when Anne will return with an update how her motorhome travels are getting on.



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Cheers, Richard (Dick0)

"Home is where the Den is parked, Designer Orchid Special towed by Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited"

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We have had both. Now have a 22ft Motorhome. Compromises with both but loving our Motorhome

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Lily2018 wrote:

Yes, I know of quite a few older people who have stuck with the house when they should have made the move to a smaller space years ago. I don't plan on being one of them. 

 

 


 I would strongly recommend that you do not sell your home, instead rent it out until you are ready to settle down again.   Then sell and purchase your downsizing property.  Or if you know you where you are going to downsize to, sell and purchase something smaller there to rent now.  But to my mind makes sense to rent your current house, as the plans as to where you may want to finally settle can change as you travel and experience new places. 

 

The reason being that you will then be buying and selling in the same market.  If you sell now and invest the funds, they will not keep pace with the growth in property prices and you will lose a lot of purchasing power.  Possibly so much that you will not be able to get back into the market.



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WindyHill wrote:
Lily2018 wrote:

Yes, I know of quite a few older people who have stuck with the house when they should have made the move to a smaller space years ago. I don't plan on being one of them. 

 

 


 I would strongly recommend that you do not sell your home, instead rent it out until you are ready to settle down again.   Then sell and purchase your downsizing property.  Or if you know you where you are going to downsize to, sell and purchase something smaller there to rent now.  But to my mind makes sense to rent your current house, as the plans as to where you may want to finally settle can change as you travel and experience new places. 

 

The reason being that you will then be buying and selling in the same market.  If you sell now and invest the funds, they will not keep pace with the growth in property prices and you will lose a lot of purchasing power.  Possibly so much that you will not be able to get back into the market.


 Good advice IMHO



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