A fully self-contained motorhome truly is one of the most convenient and comfortable way to road tripping and probably the most luxurious way of being on the road. Of course, this also means it is the most expensive way of getting around!
The perks of having a self-contained vehicle are a lot. Below I’ve covered some pros and cons I learned on this trip so you can be better prepared when you embark on your own travel in a home on wheels. It’s been an outstanding experience however somehow different from what I was expecting.
You can cook
In a motorhome there’s a fully equipped kitchen so you don’t have to eat cold sandwiches all the time. Just keep the basics and then shop as you go. We used the stoves a lot and it’s been a huge pro factor. Instead we saved up on energy switching off the fridge – so we only bought ice-cream when we stayed in a powered campsite in Byron. If you know you’re going to have plenty of electricity available then you can go grocery shopping like at home.
Apollo Euro Star motorhome has two double-beds so plenty of space for a comfortable sleep. Plus we had pillows, bed sheets and duvets included. This last ones are ESSENTIAL if you travel in winter in New South Wales and stay in free campsites. Temperatures go as low as 6C at night so trust me, it does get freezing cold. Our motorhome was amazing as we had air-conditioning and heating as well, although this works only when you are plugged in a 240v power source. We used it again only in Byron Bay and it was a bliss to sleep in a warm space after a few freezing nights.
You don’t have to pull off a highway and find the nearest gas station, there was a toilet with us wherever we went. Same applies to a shower, just make sure you have enough water in your tank.
Easy to drive
Surprisingly, a motorhome is very easy to drive, specially in highways so don’t worry about that, it is nowhere near as scary as you think…or as I thought. Parking it is a bit more challenging as you really need to have a spotter who helps you.
Ok, so it can’t all be rainbows and sunshine. Here’s the downside on what to expect on your first motorhome road trip.
Driving at night
It’s absolutely a bad idea to drive at night outside of towns and major cities. A lot of Australian wildlife comes out at night, specially kangaroos. Kangaroos usually rest in the shade during the day and come out to eat in the late afternoon and night when its much cooler, that’s why it’s best to stay completely off the road after sunset.
Where to park?
Parking options are more limited for a motorhome. Generally you can’t just park up where you feel like it to camp overnight, however you will find many designated areas that do allow free or low-cost camping. Unfortunately, there are some tourist places, such as Byron Bay, that strictly do not allow free camping, and if you want to be anywhere close to the town center, staying in a paid site is necessary.
Plus the vehicle most likely won’t be 4WD, which restricts a lot of the wilder places you can get to. A motorhome is mostly suitable for places that don’t require off-road exploring.
Before embarking on your road trip across Australia, I would recommend downloading an app called Aircamp. It is a really useful resource for locating free and paid campsites, as well as facilities you may need such as dump stations, fuel stations, even where you will find WiFi! Photos and reviews from other fellow travellers included.
Stay in powered campsites whenever possible
The thought of camping close to the beach or up in the mountains is all very romantic and it’s great for a couple of nights but if you really want to take advantage of all the amenities a motorhome provides you then you need to have a constant access to electricity and water. It won’t be long before you miss hot showers, washing the dishes in your motorhome rather than using that outdoor small sink, listening to the radio, watching a movie, charging all your electronics, get access to wi-fi. All this comes to a cost of course so consider this extra costs while budgeting your motorhome trip.
Nine Days. Over a thousand kilometres. Two girls. One beast of a motorhome. It’s safe to say that our travel along the Eastern Australian coastline was one of the most memorable adventures I’ve been on this year.
Let me know if you’ve ever travelled in a motorhome or campervan and if you can relate to these pros and cons of this amazing way of travelling.
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