Tips for picking the right Campervan or Motorhome in Australia

Tips for picking the right Campervan or Motorhome in Australia

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A motorhome trip can be the holiday of a lifetime, but like all successful road trips planning will ensure the experience is stress-free, fulfilling, and fun.

Your destination is obviously the first decision and narrowing down an itinerary and duration will mean you know where to pick up and drop off your vehicle. Then you need to pick the vehicle that best suits your needs and budget. Be assured that all the vehicles available to hire all around the world are easy to drive, you don’t need a special license or any experience, and even large RVs in North America don't need a special license.  There are age restrictions and they vary from supplier to supplier and even then between vehicle types. Even at 21 years old you will find a supplier and a vehicle you can hire.

Ask yourself these questions: -

  1. What facilities do you want in your motorhome or campervan?  In particular toilet and shower, but also oven, fridge size, and whether you want a bed that is permanent, or you are happy to assemble each night?
  2. How much space do you want? Some couples like a 6 berth because they are traveling for a month, other families of four like to fill all the beds.  Kids love a camper holiday, it’s like a cubby on wheels to them, they won’t mind sharing beds or climbing ladders to get into them. 
  3. How many people are traveling?
  • If you’re a larger family, you will find a motorhome is best. Consider both the seating format for daytime traveling and bed formation for evenings.  You can look at the schematic layouts and get an idea of how the vehicle will work for you. 

Example:- 'Maui Beach' from the outside and the layout night and day. 

           Day layout

           Night layout

  • Couples might find a Campervan more suitable. They come in different sizes, some even have bathroom and shower facilities others are more basic but cheaper because of that.

4. When do you need a 4WD camper? This depends on the area of Australia you want to travel to and if you need to travel on unsurfaced roads. Most suppliers will let you travel for a short distance (10 km) on an unsurfaced road but if you want to do the Gibb River Road in WA or go up to Cape York in Queensland you will be on dirt for most of your trip and this is when you need the 4WD camper.   Again, they are many and varied in style and price. No fancy onboard toilets or showers here, but they are still well fitted out for the purpose, especially where eating is concerned because remote road-tripping means limited places to provision.

5. How much do you want to pay? Remember you are paying for your transport and accommodation costs in one bundle, so they are always good value. Even if you have decided that you want a 6-berth motorhome with a bathroom/shower, oven, fridge, and microwave, there are still different price points depending on the age of the vehicle.  If you make sure you are only using reputable brands all the vehicles will be well maintained and work well regardless of age.

6. Some suppliers will allow you to take your fur baby with you and save on kennel fees. You just need to check where you can stay with your dog.  National Parks generally don’t allow them. Your itinerary and how much Fido likes car rides will dictate if this is for you.

7. How do you decide between brands? Use a specialist agent like DriveNow who deals, literally 24/7, with Motorhomes and Campervans and all the reputable brands across the country. We know all the vehicles, all the pros, and cons and you can talk to them about any special needs, get unbiased advice, and cut through all fine print with our recommendations. Any problems, we are also your advocate. If you want to do it all virtually you can do all your comparisons easily on our site.  We won’t pester you after a search, so you’re free to play around on the site and get all the information, availability, and prices to get you started.

8. Get yourself a convoy!! Only one thing is more fun than going on a Motorhome road trip holiday with your family and that’s going on one with your best mates in a second vehicle.  Best fun ever!

Useful Advice

  • Get the best deal by booking well in advance and don’t travel in school holidays unless you must.
  • If your itinerary is set pre-book your campsites and use the discount holiday park bonus’s that come with some of the rental companies.
  • Check your motor club (like NRMA, RACV, etc) to see what affiliations they have with holiday park brands, and don’t let those savings go begging.
  • Travel with soft bags so you can stow them easily.
  • If you love it think about taking a trip in NZ, the USA, Canada, Europe, UK and Ireland, or even South Africa. 



Shelley Richardson

Shelley Richardson

Shelley has been working in the travel industry for over 30 years, in aviation, for tour operators and since 2016 for DriveNow. Having travelled extensively worldwide, alone, as a couple and with her family, Shelley has experience to share about how to make the most of your holiday, especially road-trips to amazing destinations.

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