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Post Info TOPIC: Looking to buying campervan need advice from Solo Ladies


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Looking to buying campervan need advice from Solo Ladies


Hi All

 

I have made the decision and starting to look at campervans.  My question is do I need a 4WD?  I am looking at 2003 Kombi Van ATM.  I do not want anything big, something simple.  Can any of you ladies respond with what sort of rig you are travelling in?

Thanks

Janis



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Guru

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Why restrict your question to women?

There is a wealth of experience here (most of it posted by men) and there is a great deal more to consider when buying a motorhome for living/touring? than does it need 4WD.

I suggest you tell us your situation (in general terms) and intentions of travel and we'll be in a better position to advise.



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"Sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home." - Gillian Triggs, April 2017



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Hi Mike

 

Yes, you are right, I was just trying to get a woman's point of view I guess.  My situation is, I want to travel around Australia.  I am single, not mechanical, just basic knowledge like I know how to check oil and water.  I think I will stick to main roads and parks as being Solo camping remotely seems a bit daunting.  I am looking at Kombi's and Hiace campervans ATM.  But just wanted suggestions on what I should look for in long term camper for travelling.  Any help from Anyone would be greatly appreciated.

 

Happy travelling..

 

Janis

 



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Hi Janis :)

Thanks for the extended description, it makes a response much easier.

No, you do not need 4WD - the reasons for my answer are manifold but I suspect most will agree.

You can happily travel around Oz in a Commodore, many do, but a motorhome will be more comfortable. Most NPs will be accessible to a 2WD to some degree and you probably would not wish to visit those areas which are not 2WD accessible.

My suggestion to you is to consider all the other aspects of such a journey:

What do you *want* from it?

How long will it last?

What are your finances?

Do you seek solitude or prefer to have other in calling distance?

What level of communications do you seek? (Radio type)

How long do you wish to reside in the "bush"?

And there are many more... but you have started an interesting thread and I suggest we sit back for a few days and let others add to it - I guarantee you will be surprised by all the things you (and I) haven't thought of :)

Most often these forums do not provide definitive answers but frequently raise questions... and that is good.

I hope your journey goes well :)

MH



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"Sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home." - Gillian Triggs, April 2017



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Welcome to the gang Janis, enjoy here and out in the playground.

I'm solo but a man, well I think I am anyway confusebiggrin I have been solo now since 2011 and out here in the playground enjoying what comes along. Being solo is not my choice but Cancer decided otherwise.

I travel in what is listed below and have done since 2014. Before that was in the baby of the Avan family but had great times in it, part time. When I decided to go full time in 2014 I got what I have now, as wanted something bigger and my own shower and toilet.

I thought about Motor Homes and Camper Vans but liked the idea of setting up and leaving van while I gallivanted. I have not regretted it once. I love my choice and will continue as long as my health lets me. I think that is catching up slowly though. I hope to keep it slow too.

I spose what I am saying in a way is, make sure you will be happy and comfortable in the size you are thinking off. That said. I have seen and met many, many solo ladies out in the playground travelling around in exactly what you are thinking about and enjoy them and feel safe doing so. I have also met many solo ladies that prefer something slightly bigger and chose a small motor home, like a small Winnebago sort of thing, heaps on the road. Those ladies love their choice and also feel safe. I have also met many ladies that have decided on a caravan, some small, some big and they too love their choice. There are also many solo men out here as well. Just thought I'd chuck that bit in to equal it up a little biggrin

While travelling around in the playground and when you decide to pull up for the night or longer, have a look around and see if others are set up, if not go with your gut feeling, if it looks safe and you feel safe stay, if not, move on to the next place.

If you decide to stay in a caravan park, ask if they do a solo rate, some do, some don't, more don't though. You don't know if you don't ask, they won't ask you.

The most important thing is,

 

Keep Safe on the roads and out there.



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Hi Jaylynn, welcome to the forum

Although I am a married man, I sometimes travel on my own, so I know just a few of the trials and tribulation, of travelling solo

As it has already been said, you do not require a 4 wheel drive vehicle, to travel around Australia
I towed a caravan with a normal Ford Falcon car, around Australia in 2013/14, and my current vehicle is 2 wheel drive

If you plan to stay in free/donation/low cost camp sites, (I use them 99% of the time), then being self sufficient is a bonus, as not all camps have toilets etc.
A lot of small campervans carry a port a potty, type toilet, and a toilet/shower pop up tent

If the vehicle/s you are looking at, have 3 way fridges, ask them to start it up on gas, then return in about six hours, as not all small gas fridges, work very well in the heat

A deep cycle battery, and some means of charging it, such as solar panels/DC to DC charger etc, is always handy, to keep your phone/tablet/laptop charged

Ask as many questions as you want, as there are plenty of friendly and helpful people, on this forum

Hopefully it will not be too long before some of the ladys come along and give their point of view


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Tony

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Also a bloke but I suggest you have a look at Caravan Council of Australia's website www.caravancouncil.com.au/ and download all the free technical articles regarding the purchase of an RV.

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Thanks everyone for their advice. I am particularly interested in looking at solar panels. The van I am interested in as 12V,240V & gas Fridge. So I will be looking in deep cycle batteries and panels. I am not very confident driving something bigger, so I think a van should suit me. Initially, I will be planning a 6 months trip. Have any of you travelled with dogs?? I either have to get a housesitter or take her with me. I know there are books on how to travel with dogs that lists all dog friendly parks. Cheers, Janis

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Hi again Janis

I suggest you buy a smartphone (or tablet) Apple or Android (Android is cheaper) and download Wikicamps:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.angryrobot.wikicamps&hl=en_AU

This software is a crowd sourced database with extensive details and locations of thousands of campsites across Australia, it costs about $5. The individual camp listings indicate whether dogs are allowed.

Dogs, technically, are not permitted in National Parks except for the purpose of travelling through the park so you would have to leave your dog with a sitter when you visit a NP. There is a lot of "travelling with dogs" advice in the "Travelling with Pets" section of this forum.

Solar and batter: as you have a three way (gas) fridge you won't need a lot of solar, I'd suggest a second battery (your vehicle will have a "starting" battery) of AGM 100Ah rating and about 150W of solar panel mounted on the roof of your vehicle with an appropriate MPPT controller - total cost around $500 plus installation.



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"Sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home." - Gillian Triggs, April 2017



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I have travelled all over this country with caravans from an early age. My parents were great caravanners and we did many of the outback roads, that in those days, were little more that goat tracks. All with a 2wd. So unless you are towing something of reasonable size or intend doing things like the Canning Stock Route, a 4wd is not needed. I currently have a 4wd simply for the tow capacity although we have used it to get into some of the more remote sites but not with our van in tow. The important thing to look at is the towing capacity of your vehicle verses the weights of your intended van. This can be a bit of a mine field so be careful. What the van salesman tells you may not always be correct. There is good advice out there including on this forum so seek that out before you commit to buy.

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Greg O'Brien



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Last year I drove from Sydney to Perth to pick other half up from the airport after her 2 months in Europe. I was in Tassie for a month earlier in the year. We have no issues traveling on our own.

As others have said, you do not need a 4wd, but it is a big investment & you want to get it right. It is a nice option to have but the reality is that you can get to most places in a 2wd, & it will be cheaper to run.

Have plenty of funds just in case things go wrong, peace of mind!

Don't overload the vehicle, it is all too easy to take far too many wrong things. Too large a fridge. How many plates, cup & saucepans does one need!

Once you have the vehicle do a week trip, then a 2 week trip, then a month, by then you will have worded out all the items you can chuck out of the vehicle!

We sleep in our car & everything gets chucked in the front overnight so we have to very careful not to carry too much. Nevertheless after doing a spreadsheet & weighing everything on kitchen or bathroom scales we were over our 500kg payload, so things had to go.



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