Caravanning around Australia is an adventure that many people dream of completing at least once in their lifetime.
Australia offers many unique attractions and caravanning through diverse terrains is not a journey to take lightly. You’ll need the right preparation and a tough caravan that can handle the Aussie outback. However, with the right planning and equipment, your caravanning trip can be safe and successful.
Before starting your trip make sure your caravan’s fully loaded weight (Aggregate Trailer Mass or ATM) can be properly towed by your vehicle. If you’re having issues, you can always rent a vehicle with a stronger towing capacity or try reducing the loaded weight of your caravan.
Fuel can be one of the biggest expenses when caravanning. Keeping to a constant speed just under the road’s limit can help to conserve your car’s fuel while driving. When towing your caravan, it’s also important to keep an eye on the traffic behind you and to your side, as strong winds can be created from cars and trucks passing in the opposite lane.
Drivers should also try to drive with the wind blowing behind them if possible, as driving against the wind can increase fuel consumption and make towing your caravan difficult. To combat this, consider timing breaks to wait until the wind drops or changes direction.
What to Take
While still important, taking enough food and water for your trip is only one part of stocking your caravan. Other important items that will help ensure a safe trip include:
- Correct towing aid for your vehicle
- Wheel chocks
- Fire extinguisher
- Caravan jack
- Towing mirrors
- Extra coolant and oil
- Spare fan belt
- Insulation tape
When it comes to consumable goods, travelling with two to three litres of water per person per day is essential. Bringing enough fuel on your trip is also important as some roads may not have fuel stops for up to 375 kilometres.
Having a CB radio in your car can also be useful. As outback driving can often be single lane and high speed, this will enable you to contact trucks and other motorists to avoid dangerous driving situations and will also come in handy for emergencies. Two-way radio ‘walkie talkies’ are also a good addition to your car and can help when reversing and parking your caravan.
Planning Your Route
If you’re planning to travel around coastal Australia, be prepared for a journey of roughly 14,000 kilometres, not counting diversions or detours. The ‘rim route’ is best travelled counter-clockwise, driving from west to east at the bottom of the country and east to west along the top. This will help take advantage of wind patterns and reduce your overall fuel consumption. This route can be completed along ‘Highway One’, the only fully made up road around the continent. It also has rest areas with toilets roughly every 100 kilometres.
Climate in Australia varies most from north to south. The top end of Australia will be much hotter in summer, while the bottom of the country can get to freezing temperatures during winter nights. Planning to avoid the wet season (roughly from November to March) up north will also make your travels easier, severely reducing the chances of floods and cyclones limiting travel.
Planning Your Stay
Mapping where you’re going to stay ahead of time can help you prepare and plan your journey. Powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites will give you a safe place to park your caravan and enjoy the community of other campers.
The campsites you visit may also have shared amenities like bathrooms, showers and laundries. These are great opportunities to refresh yourself from the road, especially for those with smaller caravans which may not come equipped with showers or other amenities.
Campsites can also have their downside. Washing lines and other shared amenities can fill up quickly or be left in bad condition, while the early morning noise and lack of privacy may leave you eager for your own space.
Caravan and other campsites can let you rest and recharge while also providing activities for the kids. Check with campsite operators ahead of time for further details, such as if pets are allowed.
With the right plans in place and a quality caravan to travel with, your trip across Australia will give you the experience of a lifetime.
If you’re looking for caravans, insurance or camper hire for your next adventure, contact the friendly team at PMX Campers today.