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Post Info TOPIC: Caravan or motorhome


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Caravan or motorhome


Hi all

New to the forum but have been reading through all the posts and this looks like a great site.

I'm in the still thinking about it stage but the plan would be to sell my house and just go travelling with my 2 wee dogs. I figure what's the point of keeping looking after a house and garden year in, year out and going nowhere just because that's what I'm used to doing.

I'm 61 and if I don't start now I'll never get there. I would plan on staying in one place if I liked it for a month or more, especially if it's a beach. I live in central NSW and love the ocean but rarely get to spend any time there. 

As other's have said, getting rid of all the 'stuff' is going to be a headache but will cull heavily and put the essential things in storage.

A basic question I'd like your opinions on, should I look at a caravan and new car or a motor home? My gut feeling is a motor home if only because I wonder about dealing with the hooking up etc business. 

Would love to hear your views and look forward to reading further posts. 



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Had both . Have motorhome now . Find it more secure when we free camp . Not interesting in going into bush or 4 wheel drive tracks . Both are good . Just depends on individual set up . Weight and licence .. YES get out there ENJOY !!

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Hello Anne,
Welcome to our interesting group. I am now a solo vanner but when my late wife and I discussed whether to buy motorhome or caravan 16 years ago, the caravan and 4WD won out as best for our needs.
One of the things to consider is if you are ever set up in a camp (free camp or van park) and you need to go to shops, drive into town etc, if your car is already disconnected, no problem. With a motorhome, it is a different matter altogether. If you ever want or need to drive some road or track not suitable for motorhome or caravan, with caravan you can unhitch.
Many, perhaps most, modern 4WD cars have a reversing camera and this makes hitching up a caravan relatively easy.
Another thing to bear in mind is if you sell your house now for $xxxK, in 2 to 3 years time when you've had enough of traveling OZ and you go to buy your house back or a similar one, you may have to pay up to 50% more than you sold it for.
Another point is, I believe, you can buy a reasonably priced 4WD car and caravan for about the same price you'd pay for a motorhome of similar size to a caravan. When you're done traveling, either temporarily, semi-permanently or finally, the 4WD will still be of use to you even if you sell the caravan.
Good luck, Anne. I hope you end up totally enjoying whatever choice you make.
Cheers,
Roy.


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Thanks so much for your thoughts. I don't plan on going on 4wd places either. I have friends who do it all the time but they are a couple and he is a very good mechanic. I plan on staying in places where I can call the NRMA when necessary!



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Re selling the house: I would keep the capital invested and would be definitely downsizing in the future either way. I don't use half of the house now.

I don't plan on going off road. As I replied to Aus Kiwi (sorry, I can't work out where to find your names!) I plan to stay within calling distance of the NRMA etc.

I can see your point re still having the car and selling the caravan when I'm finished. Will have to look into courses dealing with reversing etc. 

So much to think about. I've read other posts here about the difficulty and stress of making these life changing decisions and ain't it too true!



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I went through the same dilemma and ended up choosing motorhome. No regrets so far. Having to duck out to the shops is a furphy if you are organized. Setting up and packing up is much quicker in a motorhome than a caravan.
I am lucky that i can keep my house and rent it out. I know not everyone has that option but you can only operate within your own circumstances.
Keep doing what you are doing. Research, research and plan, plan and plan!

The very best decision I made was to put a date on my departure and then work hard towards it. I will actually beat my departure day by 15 months when I roll out of my driveway in February next year.


Whatever you do, dont die wondering what if. Just do it! Good luck.


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Hello Lily

I'm doing the same thing. The house has sold and I have just another 10 days to clear out all my stuff then I shall move in with my son for a few months whilst my caravan is being built.

If you are going to *live* in the vehicle as opposed to doing trips (even long ones) from your home base then in my opinion a caravan is the only way to go.

The big problem with a motorhome as your sole home is that if (when) it breaks down you are instantly homeless. Even a simple breakdown could well take a few days to be repaired and a bad breakdown (major mechanical engine failure) could take weeks. Where are you going to live during that time? And how do you feel about all your worldly possessions being in the unlocked motorhome in a workshop?

With a caravan; if the tow car breaks down the RACV (et al) will tow the car to a repair shop and the caravan to a nearby caravan park and you can wait for car repairs, if you buy the top level of roadside cover they'll even provide a hire car.

Good luck :)



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If we want to leave a sight etc . We just drive ., only need to pull in the awning . If out and that takes 30 seconds to roll up . Besides we have found over van ?You can park and QUIETLY stealth camp overnight .. Which is more obvious when had caravan .

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Hi Lily, Starts off like a song.
Welcome to GN's - before you consider any type of motorhome or caravan I strongly suggest you download all the free helpful and technical advice at www.caravancouncil.com.au/ Also check out some of the horror stories on Lemon caravans and RV's facebook site www.facebook.com/groups/lemoncaravansinaus/

When you have had a good look at all that, consider coming back to this site to get specific information. There is thousands of years of knowledge (some rubbish) lurking behind keyboards here, all waiting to help you.

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I'm new to this forum. Speak to your accountant before you do anything as you will have your assets in the wrong place which would then affect the pension. If you sell a house you are more than likely to get zero pension. These days you don't have to have too much in assets other than your own home and things really bite!

I've done two lots of three months of travelling in the last twelve months. As much as I like travelling, it's nice to get back under a solid roof. Almost a holiday!

 

But I would still start a clear up to the house in "preparation" as it's hard enough to do without a goal!



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Hi Lilly2018, welcome to the forum

I can try to answer the following part of your question

Snip
A basic question I'd like your opinions on, should I look at a caravan and new car or a motor home

In my opinion, it is six of one, and half dozen of the other

I done a lap as a solo, with an old car and old caravan
I was self contained in respect that I carried a pop up shower tent, and a porta pottie
I adapted to what I had, and enjoyed travelling

I returned home, and started to make a few improvements, to the caravan

The wife realised that I was fair dinkum, about future travelling, she demanded that I buy a motorhome, so that the cat could walk from one end to the other

We purchased the motorhome, in my Avatar, and I have adapted to it, and make improvements after each road trip

There are obvious pros and cons, about caravan/motorhome
In my honest opinion it is about 50/50

I can advise from experience never to buy a Fiat motorhome, as service centres and spare parts are few and far between



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We owned a caravan for a few years back in the 80s. Never again.
Many make the change from caravan to motorhome, especially as they spend more time on the road and get older and hitching and unhitching becomes a chore that they can do without.
Very few change from a motorhome to a caravan.

Cheers,
Peter

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Thanks so much to you all for your replies. I will have to have a good read through and investigate the links given and get back to you all.

Such a great site to get feedback from people with experience as this will be my first time on the road so I'm a total rookie.

Cheers
Anne

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Do any of you who have sold your house and plan to live on the road for some time come to regret the decision? I don't have any family at all where I live now. I live here just because it's where I was born and bred while any family I do have live on the coast and I rarely get to see them. While I would never try to follow them around where they might choose to go, at least having some type of mobile home would allow me to spend time with them while not invading their space.

I have a good few years until I get any sort of pension and would have the finances to survive on the road for some time. I don't need a lot to live, have no debts.

I know that I would always be welcome to park and live with my sister and her husband.

I've had a really tough few years so I'm just looking at the alternatives. Nothing is going to be perfect one way or another.

It's just trying to choose between what I'm used to and a totally new way of living.
Cheers all.



-- Edited by Lily2018 on Monday 5th of November 2018 08:47:19 PM

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Getting out of all real estate and then tying to get back in again can be a problem, so if you can, it might be a good idea to rent the house rather than sell it, even if you never want to live in it again.
Cheers,
Peter

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I have the choice of either. For solo travel it is the campervan every time. Easier to free camp. Much easier to get out of limited turn around opportunities in car parks and down rural tracks. Much easier on fuel. No thinking about WDHs and load distribution for optimal ball weight. Park and roll into the bed for a rest when tired. Get up and slide into the driver's seat to leave when ready. Porta Potties are not more than a different form of the cassette toilets seen in many caravans. For single women, the added safety of not having to unlock the doors to get from driver's seat to living area and bed can be a advantage. I see lots of older single women out there in campervans/MHs but not so many towing caravans. Recently spoke to an 83 year old women heading back to town and family after lots of years on the road, solo.

We take the caravan because my Precious likes the shower and toilet and space to take the sewing and quilting stuff. Space to move around a second person is a definite consideration when thinking of MH vs caravan.

Which ever way you go, seriously consider being self-contained.

In regards selling the house - if that was going to happen as part of a downsizing plan, better to do it now than when older, plus who knows what you might find out there while seeing a bit of the country.

Iza

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Oh the stamp duty , commission etc buying and selling !! To think they bagged banks for charging for things that cost them nothing !



-- Edited by Aus-Kiwi on Tuesday 6th of November 2018 10:38:13 PM

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Love the 83 year old travelling solo for years! Gives me hope.



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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. 

Can anyone point me to a thread that discusses costs of living on the road? I don't want to start a new thread if one already exists. Thanks. 

 



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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. 

Can anyone point me to a thread that discusses costs of living on the road? I don't want to start a new thread if one already exists. Thanks.  


Gday...

There have been many threads discussing 'cost of living on the road'.

However, the 'cost of living on the road' depends entirely on your personal financial circumstances, how you choose to travel (camping off the grid/van parks etc), type and age of vehicle/van and your personal needs and requirements in lifestyle.

I came across this spreadsheet some time ago and all you need to do is populate the yellow fields with your own wants/needs/requirements/circumstances, <TAB> through to each cell and it will give you an idea on how much it is likely to cost you to live on the road. 

If the first outcome suggests you would need more money, you can go back and re-think the amounts you are either committed to - or that you could modify.

Hope it helps in some way.

Cheers - John



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Senior Member

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Thanks for the reply and spreadsheet. I would most likely stay in one place for quite some time if I liked it and it was near family I wanted to see. I certainly wouldn't be constantly on the move. 

I would really only need a place to park the van that welcomes two older dogs. 

Cheers Anne. 



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Welcome Lily,

My experience is from my first caravan 40years ago to my current motorhome.

 

11 vans and 3 motorhomes later, I am interested in the grey nomad forums.

Being a woman on my own for the last years, I have had a campervan then a small motorhome, then a larger motorhome.

All of the various clubs have frienship lists and you are able to to contact and visit people who invite fellow travellers to stay. The rallies that are available both with the CMCA and the RV Touring clubs provide an interesting venue where you can enjoy the company of other like minded people.

 

Choice of motorhome or caravan really depends on your abilities and your finances.  These days there is lots of information to be had and the best advice I would offer is this,Try before you buy.  If you can afford a rental it will soon open your eyes to the your own capabilities.

 

I found it a worthwhile exercise many years ago, and I was taught by a caravan trader to tow and reverse.  Practise makes , well al most perfect. lol

In forty years on Aussie roads, I have only had to escape twice.  Being able to get out of bed, into the driving seat and drive is a huge safety measure for a woman travelling alone.

When healthy parking and walking is good for us, but I have had times when I was not well, and had to rely on others for transport.

So it really depends on your individual circumstances whether to have a tow vehicle and a caravan, or a motorhome. 

 

Good luck and safe travels.



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Lily2018 wrote:

Love the 83 year old travelling solo for years! Gives me hope.


 Interesting lady I met in a free camp in Jericho.   She and partner had done a fair bit of travelling in a caravan before he died.   Not wanting to give up the freedom, her word, she sold the caravan and bought the campervan.   She had been around Oz three times in the campervan, interspersed with visits to the extended family.

Iza



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Its funny how we adapt to our surroundings ? Including what we live in . I thought camper trailers where the next best from a tent . Until trip in NT & Centre . Boy was I surprised how great camper trailers have become over the years . A winch at the front, the whole camper is set up . Light and packs away for easy towing .. This goes with anything we use . We custom make things over time to suit ourselves too . Like light fittings , better battery, charging etc . Just enjoy the great easy going life !! What we used to a few weeks away while we worked ., Can Be way different to full time living . A few weeks away and permanent income we can stay at caravan parks . While free camping could be the better option ? When full time out there .

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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.

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Another thought. Culling is cleansing. It's amazing what we don't need. Two saucepans, cutlery etc. Just the basics and you'll feel liberated. As long as u are not to hot or cold, and have a nice place to sleep, you'll appreciate the better things in life, nature and wildlife, not necessarily the happy hour type of wildlife lol lol joking guys!!

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Thanks for all the thoughts. Spoke to a friend yesterday who has travelled a lot and now I'm back to being in two minds (isn't it always the way!)

We went over the pro's and con's of caravan versus motorhome and now I'm sort of leaning towards small caravan. Another friend has just bought an Avan 555 which I haven't seen yet but is supposed to be great. They got it as demo for $46,000.

Reason for caravan is trading in my old car for a new one and then having the ability to unhook when I stay in one place for a while and drive to town for supplies rather than having to move a motorhome.

Ah, decisions, decisions!!!


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Too true re the culling which I'm quite good at. I really don't need much at all, the problem being I have a house loaded with stuff. I am trying to get family to take some, and then there's all the inherited stuff that I love but really don't use. I will put some in storage for when I have a home again but there's going to be some garage sales coming up!

 

 



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I would definitely look at free camping as long as it was spot with plenty of other people around. Friends spend the most of winter at Inskip in QLD and love it. I would plan ahead and make sure I'm not on the road in the middle of nowhere when night comes. 

My 2 wee dogs might bark a lot but doubt they would be much help when it comes to defending me!



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Oh I am definitely looking forward to Happy Hour wildlife!!



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