The following is Blog 2 of an exclusive series by Fred from Caravan & Motorhome Magazine.
What have you learnt from a lifetime of RV travel? That’s a bit like being asked how long is a piece of string, but the question made me stop and reflect on my many experiences.
So for what it’s worth here are some thoughts that came tumbling out:
- You don’t have to be rich to enjoy the RV lifestyle as it’s for everyone.
- Climate is a vital factor when planning trips.
- The road less travelled is often the best.
- Travelling through Aboriginal lands involves permits as we all need to be treated with respect.
- Take with you what you need, not what you want.
- The journey is just as important as the destination.
- Travel can be addictive and one big lap around Australia is never enough.
- Pace yourself because our island continent is a very big place.
- The outback is not so far away as it once was, but still needs respect.
- Driving early in the morning or after dusk is a recipe for animal strike.
- Water is most important as we can’t live long without it.
Many more jumbled thoughts followed, but my mind ultimately comes back to ‘just do it’ and ‘a great journey begins with a single step’. Because really, that’s the most important lesson that any vanner can impart – let your fears go, take the plunge and hit the road. You won’t find a single traveller that regrets this decision!
Remember to think about how you want to travel this beautiful country – consider how much or little free camping you’ll enjoy, will you be heading offroad, or attempting off-the-grid living? All important things to consider so you choose the perfect van that ticks all the boxes the first time around!
Around Australia and even in the outback, we are never as alone as we might think, but it still pays to do your homework, be prepared and use common sense. You might be surprised at how many times I’ve headed out bush, only to find beginner remote campers that have set out beyond the black stump only to realise they departed without enough fuel and water.
Our RV lifestyle is unique in that it is an egalitarian one, where travellers readily share information and are always prepared to lend a helping hand. So many times you’ll find yourself getting out of a pinch with the assistance of fellow vanners, or through knowledge you’ve acquired from the bush telegraph, or learnt from the experiences of others.
Today, as never before, we have access to quality products that can enhance our journeys and provide safety and satisfaction. I remember my first time vanning as a young boy with my mother and father, and the steel icebox was probably the smartest bit of kit we had! From advancements in towing equipment for a safer, more comfortable journey, to the convenience of fully-stocked kitchenettes and ensuite bathrooms, travelling today has certainly become somewhat of a luxurious lifestyle.
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of van you travel with. From those that travel in resplendent comfort, to those touring with the bare basics – we all share the same passion for Australia and love of travel.
Yes, we definitely are living in the lucky country.