The Ultimate Campervan Road Trip

Hi guys!

Today I thought I’d share with you a little about one of the greatest ways to travel overland, especially if you have a decent amount of time on your hands.  A whole world away from dirt biking, I’m talking about a very simple motor vehicle, often used commercially, and one that can be easily transformed at relatively low cost, to a vehicle that will allow you scour your destination of choice on your terms.  I’m talking about the campervan or motorhome.

Travelling by campervan or motorhome has become increasing popular over the last decade, especially with longer-term travellers as the whole camper vanning experience becomes incredibly cost-effective the more you travel.  Naturally, the campervan doesn’t just replace your average bus, train or car as an alternative method from propelling yourself from A to B, but it also cancels out much of your dining and accommodation needs, at least on a day-to-day basis.

Campervans or Motorhomes?

The range and variety of campervans and motorhomes available these days are incredibly diverse.  From small scale ‘electricians vans’ with a fold out bed, a few cooking essentials and portable gas stove usually favoured by long-term budget travellers, to purpose-built fully self-contained road-going motorhomes complete with bathroom, kitchen and living room with extendable awning that are often snapped up by shorter term tourists who wish to travel by road and keep a degree of familiarity and comfort.  Then of course, right at the other end of the scale is the goliath-style towable flagship motorhomes that cost almost as much as an average-sized residential home, a ‘house on wheels’ basically, that you get to tow with you as you forge ahead majestically on your journey.  Motorhomes of this ilk naturally lend themselves to the lifestyle of well-to-do retirees with enough cash to stay in a penthouse suite and enjoy fine dining around the world for several years or more, but choose however, to see every inch of their destination at their leisure in a manner they see fit.  There are many more examples here

Mid range campervan 

I did this myself personally (at the opposite end of the scale of course) back in 2005.  I was lucky enough to procure an old electrician’s van that had been converted to contain a fold out bed, and came with gas stove, a few cooking utensils and a set of foldable chairs and table.  Once I had added a small 12volt electric portable fridge in the mix, I was completely sorted and spent the better part of a whole year snaking my way through the wonderful coastline and countryside of New Zealand – a time I’ll never forget. 

The Benefits

The point is, I guess, that travelling in this fashion brings with it a range of benefits exclusive to the lifestyle they offer.  For one thing, you are not fixed to any itinerary that most tour operators tend to shackle you to.  Secondly, you can choose to see and do all of the things that suit your interests and needs.  What’s more is that you can opt to dismiss the things that don’t suit you in order spend more time seeing and doing things that do, thus giving you the perfectly balanced, tailored holiday – automatically.  Another great benefit is having the facility and freedom to stay literally where you want to (depending on the country of course).  This could be right on the beach ready for sunset or sunrise, or it could be at a nice clearing on the bank of a crystal clean flowing river.  It could even be perched up in the mountains ready to take in the early morning views and magnificent scenery.

Campervan at sunset

The other benefit is dining.  While it’s nice to dine out and experience local cuisine, for long-termers on a budget it’s not always possible.  Shopping and picking up supplies regionally as you travel however and cooking out of your campervan once you arrive at your destination - next to a waterfall or watching a sunset for example - can be just as thrilling.  After all, some of the best spots you encounter on your travels will rarely feature a restaurant close by.  You can also cook when you want to, there’s no opening and closing times to worry about.

Travelling like this of course is not for everyone.  It does take a degree of resolve and risk-taking, as well as a few basic and essential skills like route-planning, vehicle maintenance, cooking and general all round protection.  Many people, especially who have more money than time, much prefer to use a reputable tour company who arrange the whole itinerary for you, take care of accommodation and dining needs, and who offer staff close at hand to deal with any questions or concerns.

Campervan in summer

In summary though, and especially if you are inclined as such, there really isn’t another transport option that would give you all this, for such exceptional value, and freedom.

I’ve been thing of rekindling this old passion for some time now, as I’m due a bit of a road trip early next year.  It’ll be a bit trickier as I live in Asia these days but the principles will be the same.  There are many options online of course, though buying would be the best option as I can always re-use or resell afterwards.  I found a great site that offers used campervans along with all sorts of associated equipment and accessories.  You can check it out here: http://www.for-sale.com/campervan