In 2020, international borders closed due to the global pandemic, dramatically limiting the ability of Australians to travel. As lockdowns slowly open up, more people are hitting the roads like never before. Now the interstate borders have eased restrictions, domestic travel is on the rise again, along with the purchase of new and used caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers and RVs. If you’ve been considering making an RV purchase or scheduling a family road trip, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Increased Domestic Travel
With international borders closed, more Australians than ever are taking to the road and planning domestic road trips. In fact, 67% of Australians are more likely to consider an rv or camper trailer purchase now than they were in the past. Holidays are an Australian national passtime and the holiday overseas is now an option that most are opting out of. Hence, the increased surge of camping and caravanning. The purchase of RV’s create an individual, safe, bubble for families to live in on the road. There’s no need to expose yourself to viruses by flying or utilizing mass transit when you can instead hit the road in your own vehicle. Planning out an organized road trip for your family is a great way to escape the day-to-day routine, and Australians across the country are getting in on the fun.
COVID-19 Campgrounds/Caravan Parks Accommodation
As you travel from one location to another in a caravan, you’ll likely notice that many campsites have adjusted their guidelines to account for COVID-19 to adhere to government guidelines and to keep visitors safe. Many locations will have enacted physical distancing requirements, limiting the number of parking locations that are available within the campsite. Shower blocks and bathrooms may have restricted occupancy as well. Shared kitchens may be closed, so you’ll need to plan for cooking outdoors or cooking in your caravan. Pools and playgrounds may also be closed or have limited occupancy, so you’ll need to be prepared to entertain your children in alternate ways. These distancing guidelines help limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep you and your fellow travelers safe on the road, so be sure to follow them as closely as possible.
It is best to make sure you contact locations ahead of schedule to ensure you can secure a location, as the limited positions in caravan parks and campgrounds due to the restrictions. You can find most campground and caravan parks for free using the Free Web Directory or Free Online Maps inside the FRC IOS and Android App.
FRC Directory & App Links
Used Caravan Purchases
Many Australians are opting to purchase used caravans, RVs and camper trailers, because 1, the demand for new RVs has escalated due to demand, and 2, they are cheaper. These vehicles can be a great option for your next camping adventure allowing you to have an option for travel and lodging all in one. However, because so many purchases are being made, there’s a growing issue in Australia with unscrupulous individuals opting to flip caravans that aren’t in the best condition. This makes it especially important to pay careful attention to any purchases that you make and inspect their condition carefully.
Making a Wise RV Purchase
As you evaluate a potential caravan purchase, there are numerous elements to consider. You should have the overall condition of the caravan evaluated, including its mechanical condition. Examine the caravan for water damage, and ask the seller if it’s ever been in an accident. If you intend to make a purchase, it may make sense to have the caravan evaluated by a mechanic so you know how much money you’ll need to invest in the vehicle to get it road ready. It’s important that you plan for this so that you can budget appropriately for the purchase. Otherwise, you may wind up purchasing a used caravan that requires far more work than you’re financially prepared to complete.
We recently release 3 great articles on the Status of the Caravan Industry in Australia, written by Colin Young of the Caravan Council of Australia. Check them out on the links below.
Plan a Safe Road Trip
When you’re ready to hit the road, spend some time planning out your road trip in advance. This helps you know where there are safe camping areas, where there may be road closures, and what types of wildlife are in the areas you’ll be driving through. It’s also a wise idea to plan to have more than one driver for the trip so that you can take breaks before anyone becomes overly fatigued. Investigate road conditions before you head out on your adventure, and be sure you’ve planned out safe spots for photo opportunities instead of waiting until the last minute to snap pictures in potentially dangerous locations.
Each Australian State releases information in relation to closures, hazards and other updates on the respective campgrounds they manage. Make a note to check out those sites to keep abreast of information on locations you are looking to travel to.
As you plan out your next camping, caravanning road trip, keep in mind that it’s essential to make keep abreast of the latest information on destinations, to ensure you keep you and your family safe throughout your trip. Doing so will help ensure that you can have a holiday that everyone will remember for years to come. A well-planned camping is something that everyone involved can enjoy, allowing them to get out and enjoy everything that nature has to offer.
If you are looking at doing a Big Lap, or a prolonged period of travel around Australia, why not check out the book FRC co-authored, the Grey Nomads Ultimate Guide to Australia. We have received some amazing feedback on the book from people who have purchased it.
Very good advice and preparation is the first thing that is so helpful the book is simple explanation of practical advice and guidance to make your trip or trips an experience to enjoy. I am getting the premier app also to find the free off-road campsites.
I have travelled a lot over the years and learnt some of this the hard way and never knew where a lot of these free camps actually are.
Looking forward to checking some out. – Neville Williamson
Great little book that gives plenty of tips for anyone starting out on the “grey nomad” adventure. Although I’ve been a nomad for a few years there were still things that were useful to me. Good value – Steve
What a most useful book. We bought our caravan before we retired, and it has been a steep learning curve each time we used it. Now we want something smaller that will fit into any town’s car space. We have reached this with the help of the “Grey Nomads Ultimate Guide to Australia”. We haven’t even finished the book yet that takes us through so much so far that I can’t imagine what we will learn from it before we do our big trip.
Thank you for this book – Trevor Bennett