Choosing a Camper Van for Your Aussie Road Trip

The best way to explore Australia’s raw and untouched beauty is by getting a camper van and spending a few months crossing the country.

A long journey like that gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace, stop in little towns that catch your eye, and basically go wherever the wind blows; but first, you need to choose your home on wheels!

Choosing a trusty camper van is a very personal matter, but there are certain things every first-time buyer wishes they had considered with more scrutiny, before making their first rental or purchase choice.

This article will share a few tips on choosing the best camper van for you so that you can be on your way and begin exploring Australia:

Galley Accommodation

Refrigeration and a propane hob/cooktop are welcome for even the most rudimentary of meal preparations. Cooking appliances can include cooktops and microwave/convection ovens that run on generators or inverters.

Flickr Creative Commons License 2.0 – Michael Theis

Refrigeration units often operate on shore power, batteries and propane, but whichever you go with, you’ll want to make sure it’s as energy efficient as possible.

Tip: be mindful of which refrigerator units must be level for reliable operation when in use.


From toilets with removable cassettes that hold waste to others with installed holding tanks, they are a very welcome relief to any traveler. A toilet in a camper van helps with privacy and security when nature inevitably calls.


Unlike larger caravans, camper vans are leaner on the available square metres of space. Toilet and shower areas are usually combined into what is known as a “wet-bath” in industry parlance.

This term refers to where the shower, toilet and sink are in a self-contained unit.

Tip: make sure the tallest person can comfortably use the facilities before renting or buying.

Overland Campers

Big four-wheel drive camper vans are available for adventures off the beaten path into areas where there may not even be any roads. Space is usually tight, and you need to be able to carry all of your food, water and fuel to get you there and back.

Keep in mind that the bigger the vehicle, the less fuel economy can be expected.

Tip: off-road driving should only be attempted by experienced drivers.

Consider Fuel Type

Petrol and diesel engines not only differ in overall fuel economy, they also differ in costs to maintain. Diesel engines typically last longer, and diesel fuel provides more energy per litre than petrol.

However, you may be shocked to learn that a typical oil change in a diesel vehicle may be up to five times as much as one for a vehicle using standard unleaded petrol.

Other things to consider for your camper van is ease of handling, power to get up to highway speeds quickly, blind spots, parking and how long you can boondock, which is camping without resupplying or having access to shore power connections.

If you can, rent the style of camper van you wish to purchase for a short camping trip before buying. You will only then truly know how it feels to drive the campervan and there is nothing better than first hand experience.

Taking into account of our points above will keep you in good stead when taking in the sights and hitting the road in Australia. One things for certain, whichever camper van you purchase remain safe and keep your eyes on the road at all times.

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