Motorhome vs Caravan for long term Australian travel

Which is best for long term travellers – a caravan and 4WD or a large motorhome?

Of course there is no “right” answer. Much depends on what you intend to do with the vehicle, where you plan to go and of course how much money you have to spend. For the purpose of this article I would like to narrow the criteria – I will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of caravans and motorhomes for long-term travellers (ie permanent living) while exploring as much of Australia as possible. I am not talking about following the bitumen from one caravan park to the camping ground in the next town. I’m talking about really seeing the country – visiting the out-of-the-way places and sea-side and outback camps accessed via rough, un-sealed roads and 2WD tracks (in a nut shell, the stuff we have been doing for over eight years).

Clearly the fundamental difference between motorhomes and caravans is the ability to separate the “driving bit” (the car) from the “living bit” (the caravan) and many people focus on this fact alone, missing all the other important differences.  I have broken the discussion down into seven categories where I think the differences are major.

 

(1) – Smaller driving vehicle

This is big one for most of the caravan proponents – the ability to leave the caravan behind and drive off to explore (or just to get a bottle of milk) in the towing vehicle.  Let’s face it; having a second vehicle with your motorhome is a major deal. You have to either:

  • A-frame it
  • Put it on a trailer
  • Put it inside the motorhome (as we do with the Moke)

None of these options are cheap or easy, but they all have a big advantage over a 4WD towing a caravan … you have a real second vehicle! If your 4WD caravan-towing vehicle stops when you are in a remote area, you have no choice but to call for help, there is no driving to the next station to seek help or to the next town to get parts (as you can do when you have a second vehicle). This fact provides great security when you are really outback.

A second vehicle with a motorhome setup is typically small. It is likely to be a far cheaper and more economical vehicle to run than the big V8 that you need to tow a good sized caravan. The fuel it takes to take your F250 to the nearest town will many times out-weigh the cost of the milk you went there to get.

However, A-framing or trailering a vehicle has a number of disadvantages:

  • The whole setup becomes much longer and harder to manoeuvre around towns
  • A trailer requires another yearly registration and insurance
  • It is hard to reverse (although probably no harder than reversing a caravan unless you are a-framing, in which case it is nearly impossible)
  • If you choose a trailer option, the trailer needs to be as robust as the motorhome with very good quality suspension

(2) – Weight carrying ability A large motorhome has the ability to carry many times more weight than any caravan. If we are talking about converted buses, they are typically designed with a GVM’s (gross vehicle mass) in the order of 12 – 20 tons. When you plan to live on the road full-time for months or years, you need a lot of gear. If you are travelling remotely you need tools and spare parts, extra fuel and communications equipment. If you plan to stay somewhere for a while you will need water … lots of water. Our bus carries about 500 litres of water and we can make this last for about 3 weeks – I would really like to carry a little more than this. Half a ton of water is nothing to the bus – it is a big deal to a caravan. Batteries are very heavy – we carry a lot of batteries because we need them – we could not carry our battery system in a caravan.  A motorhome will carry many times more weight than a caravan.

(3) – Towing ability If you tow a caravan behind your car, clearly you can’t tow anything else (unless you are a road-train). You could argue that if you have a car towing a caravan you don’t need anything else – but what about a boat? I have seen a micro-light aircraft in a trailer behind a motorhome, I have seen entire workshops, laundry’s, garages and even offices being towed by motorhomes.  In our experience more than 50% of large motorhomes on the road in Australia are towing something.

 

 

 

 

 

(4) – Security Firstly let me say that in eight years of travel and freedom camping around Australia we have never had any real security or personal-safety issues. Once or twice we have been unhappy with what was happening outside the bus (normally intoxicated people) and decided to move. A large motorhome is typically a big intimidating looking vehicle with very high windows that are very difficult to see into. With a bus, nobody can tell if there is a just little old lady inside, or the entire Australian football team.  In contrast to this a caravan typically says “older couple”.  It has low (often plastic) windows and its light-weight construction makes it trivial to break into. Furthermore, if you do feel threatened you’re going to have to get out of the caravan, and perhaps crank up the legs before you can get into the car and leave a bad situation.  For this reason, above any other, we feel that a motorhome is a far better option if you intend freedom camping and/or using road-side stops. The other thing to consider is what the scene looks like when you are not there. If you come across a caravan and there is no towing vehicle around, it is a reasonable bet that there is nobody in the caravan. A motorhome whose occupants have driven off in their a-framed vehicle gives no such clues to its emptiness and potential vulnerability.  

 

(5) – Robustness Even the most expensive, “outback” type caravan will never be as robust as a well-constructed motorhome. Having less of an issue with weight means that things can be built stronger and therefore more likely to cope with rough roads. However – all that added weight can be an issue in itself. If the motorhome suspension has not been designed to carry the weight of the vehicle and all of the contents, it is going to be very unhappy with corrugated roads. We have broken springs and snapped off shock-absorbers on rough roads. Each time we have made repairs to suspension parts we have made sure that the replacements were stronger and more robust.  Since adding airbags to the rear and replacing the rear springs, we have had no issues despite becoming even more adventurous and taking on rough roads (like the Great Central Road (twice)). When we crossed the GCR in 2010 we saw the remains of many caravans that had met their end on that road. While I am sure that motorhomes have met a similar fate on that road, we saw none.

 

(6) – Separation issues There are quite a few times when you would really like to separate the “house” from the “horse”.  This is where caravans win every time.  Here are a couple of examples of times when we would have liked to have had a caravan…

    • When we have to have work done on the motorhome, we have to leave the motorhome at the mercy of whoever is doing the work.  If the work takes longer than one day, you need to either stay elsewhere or arrange to stay in the motorhome inside the workshop or yard.

 

    • Our bus has a front-mounted engine. When I do work on the engine it is more or less inside our living room (mid-mount would be worse). Not many people like having greasy parts and black exhaust bits in their living room.

 

 


 
(7) – Driving

Driving a bus or large motorhome is a little different from driving a 4WD with a caravan on the back. If the vehicle weighs more than 4.5 tons you need a light rigid licence. If it is over 8 tons you need a medium rigid and if it has more than two axles you will need a heavy rigid licence.  None of these are difficult to obtain.

When I first started driving our bus I found it quite mentally tiring. You have to think much further ahead, you have to focus more on when to change gears and you have to be aware of your height and length. It was not long before all of this became second nature and now both Tracey and I enjoy driving our bus. The elevated driving position provides a great viewing platform from where to enjoy the surrounding landscape.  We prefer to keep our daily drive times to around 2 – 3 hours, but the odd times when we have elected to make bigger hops have not been a major issue.

 

Conclusion

As I said at the beginning of this article – there is no single right choice. Depending on what you plan to do, where you plan to go and how much money you have to spend, there is a right choice for you.

We are very happy with our choice. While I can’t say that we would have been less happy with a caravan and a 4WD, I think in our case the advantages of living and travelling in a motorhome have far out-weighed the disadvantages. We were very fortunate to have found a fairly special motorhome that allowed us to have a second small vehicle (the Moke) without all the hassles of towing.

Whatever vehicle/bus/caravan/motorhome you decide upon, I can guarantee you will love it! The most important thing is not to leave it too late (as far too many people do) – life is for living.

As Frankenfurter  (and Rob Gray) said “Don’t dream it – be it”.

 

Have you made your choice? What did you choose – caravan or motorhome?  What was the deciding factor for you?

Are you still deciding? Why not ask a question – I am sure we can help. Use the “leave a reply” box at the bottom of this page to leave your thoughts or questions – we would love to hear from you.

 

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38 Responses to “Motorhome vs Caravan for long term Australian travel”

  1. peter Says:

    gday
    we purchased our motorhome about a year ago after much research into what would be best for us .We like the idea of no set up required for those overnight stays and that we have everything on board we need i also thought that after spending a day at work in the heat i wanted to come back to something that was more like a home with more space.I hope we have made the right decision because we are about to head up to karratha for a couple of years living in it .
    cheers
    peter

  2. Hobo Says:

    Hi Peter,
    I agree – being fully self-contained is a big plus.
    You will LOVE Karratha (well not the town – but the area). At this time of the year it is fantastic.Good luck with the motorhome.

  3. Steve Taylor Says:

    Great article,
    We have had our jayco 26ft motorhome for a year and a half, we also A frame a suzuki swift, We totally love it, we have just sold our business and are on the road full time from the 2nd September heading north to see our kids and grandkids then wherever, hope to meet you both at some stage. The quote ” don’t dream it – be it” is so true. In fact we have decided to call our Motorhome ” Bit the Bullet” seeing that is what we have done. At 54 & 55 we have time on our side. Keep up the posts, I really look forward to your thoughts, information and advice. Cheers Steve & Sue Taylor

  4. James Says:

    Hey guys, Just wondering what diff ratio you are running and what brand of 6 speed gearbox you are using? I’m in the midst of getting geared up to head north at the start of next year and i have an old 32ft Comair. It had a 300 petrol motor in it that was tired so i’ve decided to go with a heavy duty 502 chev to try and keep the fuel costs down. The main problem with them is that bedford didn’t make gearboxes with a lot of gears because they were all mainly route buss’s and didn’t need to be out on the highway much. cheers for any info you have it will be appreciated. P.S -Looking forward to my brake problems!

  5. Sharyn and Peter Says:

    Hey, for the last couple of years we’ve been trying to decide which way to go, at the start we thought ‘caravan’, then it was ‘5th wheeler’, then ‘bus’, went back to ‘5th wheeler’ then back to caravan, when everyone thought we we’d finally made up our minds, we bought a bus. ‘Elwood’ is an 1989 10.2 metre long rear engine auto. We’re so excited to be making it into what we want. The seats are out, our son has helped us get the built in bench seats out with a grinder. (they were welded in) Now finally we can see where things will go. I’m pretty sure we’ll change our minds a few times but it will be worth it in the end. We plan to travel this great country of ours for as long as it takes, we’re in no hurry. Hope to see you guy’s one day on our way round.

    Shaz N Pete

  6. Marcel Says:

    Hey Gavin ‘n Tracey.
    Thank you so much for the motorhome v caravan article.
    I’ve been reading yor site for quite a while now and am impressed with the clarity of your info and ( read:jalous) with your experiences. We, my partner and I, are about to make the decision of: motorhome v caravan and this sheds a bit more light on the subject. I’m a city bus driver so the vehicle does not daunt me but the mechanics… Well that is another story ;(. we’ll be selling up and spend our ‘twilight’ years travelling around this wonderful country.
    Thanks again for the help you’ve provided.
    Marcel

  7. Jude & Tui Says:

    Hi Gavin & Tracey

    Great article! For those of you that are still deciding, this is our situation. We have now been on the road full time for just over 3 months and purchased an American Motorhome, a Foretravel, and tow a trailer specially built for our needs with a 2 Door Suzuki, Motorbike, Bicycles, Kayaks and all the tools Tui requires for both working around Australia and for repairs . It has a CAT Diesel 3208 Motor with an Alison Automatic Transmission. All up we are 18.5 metres long and still manage to navigate some quite tight spots.
    We also carry camping gear in the Suzuki for when we really want to go off the beaten track.
    Purchase price of the Motorhome was a lot less expensive a Caravan and tow vehicle and is more economical to run than Tui’s Nissan Nivara was. Extremely happy with our purchase, great life and thanks Gavin for continuing to tell us to “Just do it” and for your great articles! Happy traveling everyone and remember “Laugh more, live longer”.

    Cheers

    Jude & Tui

  8. Amandaf Says:

    I am in the beginning of researching what to do to get the family around this big country. I am tossing up the idea of getting an old caravan to renovate as a project while we are sorting out what we where we want to go and do. Thanks for all the great info.

  9. brett Says:

    hi Gavin n Tracey.
    We have been following your travels and love your website.
    we have just completed building our motorhome a 1973 leyland leopard psu3.We are really looking forward to the great open road/lifestyle.We also studied the pros n cons with caravan or motorhome and the pros really do out way with the motorhome.Our build has come to just over $50k and in comparison to a caravan we have more living room,weight bearing,storage,headroom,king bed,comfortable lounges and the part my partner says is the best is large shower room/toilet.We believe that for what we wanted in a caravan would have cost 3 to 4 times what we spent.We are so glad we choose to go with the motorhome.We are too looking forward to a long travel time around Australia in comfort.
    Keep up the good work on the website and who knows we might just bump into each other in this buetiful country Australia.

  10. Hobo Says:

    Thanks Brett, I hope we can meet up on the road somewhere, it would be nice to have a look at your rig and have a drink together.
    Enjoy your travels.

    Gavin

  11. SueW Says:

    Hi guys – just found your website (via Rob Gray) – love it. We too have been on the road fulltime (just gone 5 years) and couldn’t be happier with our decision to try the Nomadic life. Husband Barry was an IT geek (had our own business in Cairns) until we decided there had to be more to life ….so we took the caravan and 4×4 option – built our own caravan (mix of a Bushtracker/Kedron/Roadstar) and got the F250 to tow with – we are self sufficient (except for water) and rarely stay in van parks (except for now as hubby is working as a cane haul driver in Ayr, north Qld) I too love photography and I think your photos on your site are just wonderful and the whole site itself is great. The future may hold a bus for us too – but for now we are happy with our setup – there’s no better or worse option – we are all doing the same thing in whatever we choose to ride in…enjoy!

  12. Hobo Says:

    Hi guys – I agree 100% … it is all good. There are times that we have to pinch ourselves to make sure it is all real. Love to catch up one day for drink and a chat. Cheers
    BTW – how about adding your setup to our new “other rigs section of the site”?
    Gavin

  13. Terry O'Donnell Says:

    Hi Gavin and Tracey,
    My wife, Pam and I are still in between decisions as to our mode of travel.
    We were bus, then caravan, bus again, caravan, then after our yearly visit to the Caravan and Camping show – fifth wheeler, toy hauler (Jayco Base Station) and back to caravan again. I’m waiting for the next swing back to bus and will go out and make an irreversible purchase at that point.
    I like the idea of minimal set up, the ability to leave a bad area without getting out and traveling with two Golden Retrievers, a bus means that they have plenty of room to move around/sleep whilst on the road.
    Driving trucks every day as part of my job, I am also well aware of the view afforded to you when you can see above the concrete barriers.
    I like the stability of a vehicle that is designed to carry a great weight with a small trailer (compared to the bus) behind it rather than the exhausting task of towing a van that weighs more than the tow vehicle (a 2 Tonne Land Rover can tow a 3.5 Tonne van).
    I also like having a second vehicle for exploring/going to work/Geocaching – I plan on towing something like a modified Subaru Liberty wagon and a 6×6 Argo on a plant trailer.
    All good reasons for getting a bus!
    Hopefully Pam can be convinced of this!
    Happy Trails!
    Terry.

  14. Hobo Says:

    Good luck with the decision – not an easy one, I know. There are a lot more caravans on the road – but I know which I prefer for full time living. Ya just can’t beat the load carrying of a big solid motorhome.
    Cheers!
    Gavin

  15. Darryl Says:

    Hi guys I also went for a Bus set up and since i did the whole layout myself it suits me needs spot on and even when i do load my bus fully up to go camping i still have over 2 tonne to spare.I am thinking about putting in a extra 500lt tank for fresh water like you have.My bus is only 30 foot long(9metres)and i dont have a second vehical.Total cost $36k Cheers Darryl

  16. dave Says:

    Hi Hobo. Thanks for your prompt reply Could you elaborate a bit on your comment regarding hire caravans not being equipped for freedom camping? Also where are the best places to look for hire caravans? Thanks, Dave.

  17. Hobo Says:

    Most (perhaps all) caravans for rent lack the larger water tanks, toilet tanks and solar systems required for longer stays in locations that do not have facilities. This would make freedom camping difficult and/or environmentally unfriendly. Take a look at my article on setting up for free camping. http://hobohome.com/news/?p=217

  18. Roger Johnson Says:

    The quickest and cheapest way to discover which way you wish to go is simply hire a van and a motorhome. This is what I did. The cost about $800 – but cheap in comparison with purchasing the wrong type. After trying both and working out our requirements, we ended up with a Mazda T3500 motorhome. Now I’m getting older I would like to drive an outomatic so we are now looking for a replacement. And isn’t that difficult when you already have the ultimate vehicle for your needs!

  19. Paul Christensen Says:

    First I’d like to congratulate you on a “warts and all” appraisal of bus travel/living……very down to earth, informative site. The seed has been with me for some time but I had to wait for the better half to “come up with the idea”…..which she has. She wants to spend some time (at least year or two) traveling and working around the country…..I want to do it in a bus. I’m a ex-truckie/coach driver and she has an MR license so the vehicle side of things is not a problem.

    We’re looking at buying a pre-converted bus, it doesn’t have to be complete…..it does need to be able to maintain at least 80-90km/h. I have a couple of questions……did you have any ground clearance problems on roads like the GCH. I have done extensive commercial touring on roads in Central Australia but in a Canter 4WD tour bus. We’re not “stick only to the highways” people and we will be towing a suitably robust trailer with a small 4WD. Any advice you could give as what to look for in our future MH would be appreciated. 4WD buses are out as we need at least 30′ for long term living. We have a budget of $40k-$50k (not counting travel money) to start. Can we realistically get a suitable vehicle for that?

  20. Hobo Says:

    Hi Paul, it sounds like you have made the most important decision already – to Bunyan already converted (and registered) motor home. Some people are still determined to build their own despite the huge number of incompleted projects lying about Australia.
    Ground clearance is no issue for us (we have jacked her up with beefed up springs and air bags) but departure angle is something we need to watch. The bus has done the Great Centeral Road (twice) and the gibb river road – all without a problem. I think $40k – $50k should be ok, but you will need some to invest in making it robust if you plan to do the outback roads (the best bits). There are a number of articles on this site that will be of some help in selecting a rig.
    We have been living (more or less) in the bus for nine years and we still love the life style. If you are willing, work is very easy to get and there are really not too many issues to overcome.
    We are always very happy to help fellow travellers, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask (email, phone, blog).

  21. Paul Christensen Says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. I’m leaning towards rear engined at the moment, mostly because of the advantages of engine access and underneath bin storage. Definitely prefer a manual (auto just doesn’t seem right after years of Roadrangers and Eton crash boxes). I’m happy enough to buy one that doesn’t have everything provided it’s usable pretty much straight away…..I’m not averse to upgrading on the road but the basics must be there.

    Once again, thanks for such an informative site. There are many around that talk about the wonderful times they’re having and avoiding the downsides and problems that are always lurking in the back ground. I especially found the solar section and the section about living on the road costs to be invaluable. We are renting our house and that will cover all the house costs but leave little over for us so we will be travelling on a budget. The plan is to start on the harvest trail. Shouldn’t have any trouble getting road train work in the harvest areas.

    We’re still probably 12 months away yet but the planning is under way.

  22. Joanne Maas Says:

    Hi Paul,
    We have just left the boating lifestyle (last 3 years in asia) and will buy a motorhome. We would like to tow a small 4wd, any tips on which ones are suitable for flat towing? Have heard that the Suzuki Jimny terrible is on road, do you know anything about that?
    Found your website by accident, but love it, it is very infomative and helpful.
    Hope to see you out there one day,
    Joanne and Tony

  23. Hobo Says:

    Lost of two wheel drive vehicles can be flat towed – but very few 4WD vehicles will tolerate it. I don’t think the Jimny can be – but some Suzuki Vitaras can.

  24. PaulnSans Says:

    Hi Gavin & Tracy

    Thanks for your replies to my electrical queries 🙂 in another section of this site. Appreciated the good advice and sharing of your knowledge.

    My wife and I have travelled a little in NZ in a motor home then hired one over the Xmas 2013 break to head north (ex Perth) and coast hopped to places we just ‘found’ in our “Roads and Tracks of WA” book – final destination Karratha to see friends. There were some absolutely brilliant places we found just by being adventurous and bar two nights stayed in remote sites that on most nights were under 30 metres from the ocean. The two nights we did stay in Caravan Parks were due to the impending arrival of Cyclone Christine and we needed to keep an eye on her. We left Karratha when they went to ‘yellow alert’ and headed in to Millstream National Park (Another gorgeous oasis / deep fresh water pool in the middle of an otherwise dry landscape).

    Like yourself, I like to be prepared so took my own supply of tools and spares even though the hire people said they had 24 hour service backup. I took a good array including gaffer tape (the real stuff), hose clamps, and zip ties and wire. As an ex dirt bike / enduro racer I know that those four alone along with the usual array of hand tools can fix shite-loads of problems of a non major mechanical nature. We took our own Blue tongue compressor and tyre repair gear plus my own toolbox of what I call my ‘micro tools’ to fix all manner of small problems. And yes you guessed it. We needed all but the tyre repair gear!! Our remote locations were all down corrugated roads and this caused a number of problems in the M/home and it was a good feeling to be able to arrive at our destination, spend some time on the problem – then job done and time for a beer. Without our own gear we’d have had to have turned around and headed back into one of the major towns (Geraldton on one occasion and Canarvon on the other) to get the repairs effected.

    The motor home was a smallish VW Euro and we found that within two nights we made it totally workable for us and worked out things we liked and didn’t like. The ease of making and breaking camp were a big BIG plus as well as the ready to go facet of motor homing. The easy access to the house between the drivers & passenger seats was a really appreciated aspect (both for heading out or when already out n about) but we found we missed the ability to drive up the beach to good fishing spots that looked good to me and so I had to ‘leg’ it each time – plus when wanting to just do the ‘Terry Tourist’ thing – wished we also had the 80 series at our fingertips instead of having to drive the big ol bus everywhere (which is small compared to all you retired guys buses :)).

    Next year we’re doing the same sort of thing but hiring a caravan to try that out and see for us which is better – it’ll be towed behind our 80 series. We feel this will give us the freedom we’d need. However, we’re both only in our 40’s so our travels at this stage are just our holiday breaks so we won’t be getting into serious ‘outback’ locations – although both our hearts are into that lifestyle. I bow hunt wild goats (for the freezer) on a station in the middle of WA (& wild boar down south) and the pleasure we both get of being in the middle of nowhere during this time gives me my greatest memories and creates the yearning in us both to go further / deeper and for longer.

    Your points though are excellent and ones we didn’t think of when considering the caravan option. However, as we’re only renting it’s not going to be a big issue. However, considering the issues you’ve raised I reckon you’re right! A motorhome WITH the back up vehicle is the way for us to go when we finally get off holiday travelling and move into the full time ‘living-on-the-road travel’. You’ve raised some very seriously good reasons for going down the M/Home route – which have helped me lean more towards that without doubt.

    We’re envious of all you guys that post on here about your current or pending motor home builds and travels (yup including you and Tracy, Gav) so I wish you all happy flat tyres, shorting electrics and hope you all find that boggy outback mud hole – you lucky buggars :).

    Warmest regards
    Paul & Sandra

  25. Steve and Linda Says:

    Hi There,

    My wife is disabled, (Uses crutches or mobility scooter!) This is why we have decided to buy a 38ish foot motorhome. Required comfort… air suspension… luxuries.
    Question: We would love to visit WA but being in Victoria we will have to cross the Nullabor! Since we have not done this before and are newby, soon to be grey nomads, we would prefer to take on this trip with another big rig couple either who have experience or who have none but would still be there for guidance, opinions and moral support. Is there some way to hook up with someone to do this? Or do we just join all the online forums etc and hope to hear of someone else about to do this? Any opinion/guidance would be much appreciated!
    I have driven a 31 foot C class all the way across Texas to New Mexico (Wife is Texan)

    Regards

    Steve and Linda

  26. Hobo Says:

    Honestly, crossing the Nullabor is no big deal. We have done it quite a few times. The trick is not to view it as something to be conquered but as something to enjoy. The last time we crossed we took over three weeks to get from east to west – and had a really great look around all the side roads and even went up to Cook (ghost town).
    If you are worried about personal safety – get a sat phone, but the main road see loads of traffic, so you will only need it if you plan to adventure well off the main road.

  27. Bob Says:

    Motor homes are great and I’ve considered one a number of times. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages though compared to a caravan. My view is:-

    Pros – secure, robust, easily accessible, more potential campsites, less set up time, easier to park small motor homes, comfortable.

    Cons – Expensive to purchase, storage when not using, impractical for shopping, often cramped, may limit wandering about, climbing ladders for beds. Currently the 2014 RV market shows a continuing decline in Motor homes and an increase in full vans. May lose on resale.

    I’m sure others will agree/disagree but that’s what i see. I’ve ended up purchasing a full 18 ft. van.

  28. Greg Butler Says:

    Hi bob,
    i have spent 14 years building an old petrol 1969 bedford vam into a motorhome to tour the north island of tasmania. i built it to sleep 6 but it took me that long all the kids have left home. doesn’t matter more room for me and the wife. i have repowered with a 6bg1t intercooled and man has she got grunt.need to do rear springs, have fitted new ones to front and she is running up hill, so looks like new ones for the back. spent 60k on it and don’t care if i lose out on resale as i plan to spend at least 5 years touring or longer. have a heavy duty tandem car trailer to put my 1500 intruder bike on and our little awd 3 door rav on . can’t wait to get started ,just have the engineers report done for rego to be passed and will be ready to rock and roll. keep an eye out for the BUT-MOBILE.
    regards greg & christine

  29. Joy Says:

    Hi there,
    I have been thinking for some time now of selling my house in the country and buying a small to medium sized motorhome to live and travel in. I am female, 63 years old and have done a fair bit of travelling with others using a 4wd and towing a windup camper trailer. This time I would be travelling alone. This fact does not deter me as I have lived alone for a long time and have done some travelling and camping on my own in the past. Your site interests me, in particular your reasons for choosing a motorhome (bus) option as opposed to towing. I did not enjoy towing in the past and felt that the added security and convenience of being able to stop in free camping areas and walk through to the living area of a motorhome far outweighed any disadvantages.

    The reason I am writing to you is to ask if you have come across many other solo travellers during your years on the road? In the past I found that the majority of people travelling were couples, mainly retired ones. Sometimes it was hard for me to feel that I ‘fitted in’ and felt a bit unwelcome when it came to things such as Happy Hour.

    I have been looking at a small motorhome which is called a Sherwood, based on a Toyota Hilux chassis. Anyone out there had any experience with these? Have also been interested in the Sunliner range of medium sized motorhomes. I want to get an Automatic one and I know that my choice of motorhome will restrict where I can go, but I don’t think I would feel confident driving anything too large and I have very limited mechanical knowledge for fixing up an older bus. I doubt that I will get ‘on the road’ for approximately 12 months from now as I have to sell my place and then find the rig I wish to buy. Still, if anyone has comments both negative and positive to share about females travelling solo, or motorhome information, etc I would be glad to read them.

    Thanks for establishing such an interesting site and if you have any comments I would appreciate them. Safe travels to all on the road.
    Joy

  30. Jason Says:

    If we have to rely on other countries to produce our products, I’d want Australia to be the producer of our products. I’d rather buy an Australian built caravan than an American built travel trailer.

  31. Hobo Says:

    We have met a few single travelers – some have been really amazing. I remember a single woman who was 76 years old – she drove a full sized bus and was on her way from Perth to Brisbane to see her grandchildren when we met her. She was amazing.

    The CMCA (Motorhome club) has a special interest group for single travelers. This group seems to be a good way for people who are traveling on their own, to meet up and socialize, they are also a good source of information and help for single travelers. You need to be a member of the CMCA to join.

  32. Joy Says:

    Thanks for the info on CMCA. Also your mention of the travelling 76 year old female is definitely encouraging. I haven’t felt nervous in the past when travelling and have done quite a few bushwalks on my own but I do make a point of mentioning to people, where possible, the direction I am taking. I like the idea of having a tracking device so that my family can see whereabouts I am. I haven’t read all the info on this system yet, but it seems like a good idea. Thanks for putting this website together and continually updating and adding to it; a valuable resource.
    Joy

  33. John and Jo Says:

    We are currently sell our small business in Hahndorf and the house and are looking at travelling around this great country of our on a working holiday. We are looking at a motorhome. DO you believe it better to get bigger or stay medium size. I have a MR licence. Any help would be good, even brands of homes would helpful as there are so many out there

  34. Hobo Says:

    We think that for full time living a large motorhome is quite important. It may stop you from visiting some places, but it is far more comfortable.

  35. Steve Says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for your answer to our question about crossing the Nullabor. Great news to here it is safe. An update on our motorhome purchase… We finally bought a 40 foot Volvo B Series Automatic Bus that has been beautifully converted to a motorhome inside. We purchased it from someone in Brisbane and brought it back to Victoria. We have since spent about $25000 on mods and upgrades to add even more luxury and to get a Victorian roadworthy. Linda and I can’t wait to get started on our travels next year after July and hope to meet some of the great people we read about in this forum! Watch out for us on the road in our unique bus called “OUTNABOUT”. Sorry I can’t show pics on here though.

    Cheers

    Steve and Linda

  36. Wayne Says:

    Thanks for the comparison info. Just what I was looking for.
    One thing I would like to know is how would each compare on the basis of fuel used?
    Cheers Wayne

  37. Hobo Says:

    It is actually very hard to compare fuel usage due to the enormous number of variable factors. Let me say this … we have spoken to lots of caravaners towing large vans with big 4WD vehicles, they seem to get about the same fuel economy as us or slightly worse. That is not bad given that we weigh almost twice as much as they do (and carry twice as much food/water/crap 🙂 ).

  38. Trayson Evans Says:

    I agree with the point that the article makes about being able to separate the “house” from the “horse”. I can see myself wanting to park the caravan in a spot for a week. But I wouldn’t want to go to a store towing it around. It would be really nice to detach my truck and just take it without having to maneuver the caravan.

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