Not sure if you’re more camper or glamper? Hiring an RV and taking a road trip might just be your perfect middle road.
If you’ve already a camping and caravanning enthusiast, or you are keen to take a road trip in style, there’s a third contender in the house-free holiday market you might like to check out. RV’s, or recreational vehicles, encompass motorhomes and campervans, and are basically motorised homes on wheels and come in everything from a basic two person affair through to larger vehicles that can cater for six guests.
Those looking to hit the road with their family or a few friends will find the motorhome their best bet – being a larger two to six berth vehicles. These bigger RVs generally include kitchen and bathroom facilities, as well as other features typically found in a home, including televisions, DVD players and air conditioning.
If you are travelling solo or as a couple, campervans are a smaller house on wheels typically offering limited extras and sleeping for two to three people.
For those that really want to take it to the next level, the US version of the RV are the mansions of homes-on-wheels and often have luxury appointments and finishes - some even expand at the sides when parked for additional living space.
Getting on the road
The real beauty of an RV holiday is the range of experiences are endless – you can visit bushland, deserts or even the beach (or all three if you have the time.) The Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) has thoughtfully introduced a program known as the RV friendly towns initiative – basically a status ascribed to towns around Australia that meet the following criteria:
• Must be able to provide access to 24 hour medical and pharmacy services.
• Appropriate short-term parking close to a general shopping area that supplies groceries and fresh food.
• A mechanical service centre which is able to provide tourists with basic vehicle repairs.
• Visitor Information Centre with appropriate parking facilities for RV’s.
• A prominent map of the town which shows RV facilities and essential services.
• Easy access to clean drinkable water.
• A dump point for sewerage waste and grey water tanks, within 50km of the town.
• Provide an easily accessible short-term parking area for 24, 48, or 72 plus hours.
• Provide longer term parking for RV’s within 5 to 20kms of the town centre, such as Showgrounds or Caravan Park, at a reasonable rate.
Planning your route ahead is a good idea- you will want to ensure you don’t have too far between petrol stops.
What to take
As well as the standard camping and caravanning essentials (think torches, batteries, first aid kit and plenty of food – and don’t forget the can opener and cooking oil), ensure your RV contains safety gear including flares, tools kit, tire pressure gauges, jumper leads and extension cords. The other key items that vary between rentals include pots, pans, plates, cups, bowls, knives, forks, spoons and cooking utensils, as well as blankets, pillows, towels and sheets – and if you are picky about any of these items, bring your own along.
It’s generally a good idea to bring along sunscreen, hats for everyone, spare water, a backpack for any day trips and insect repellent. Last but not least, little extras including outdoor chairs, books, card games, pens and paper will make for a fun trip.
Where to go
There are an endless range of RV road trips you can take around Australia – Maui Campers have put together a comprehensive list of options including everything from a few days in Darwin to a couple of weeks along the Great Tropical Drive in Cairns. Check out their list of driving routes here.
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