It can be a tad daunting investing in your BYO accommodation with so many forms of recreational vehicles available boasting so many sizes, features, layouts, optional extras and prices to consider.
Your form of accommodation whilst touring Australia may come in many forms. Caravans come in a variety ranging from pop tops, campervans, full vans and fifth wheelers. Then there are camper trailers, slide ons, tents, swags and luxurious motor homes complete with all the creature comforts.
When you invest in a house, you consider the basics such as how many beds are needed, what storage space is available, lounge and dining room size, fridge size, cooking facilities, bathroom, laundry, bench space, visitor entertaining area, air conditioning and even the colour scheme.
At least when choosing a suitable accommodation to drag around the countryside you can eliminate determining gardens, pools, spas, driveways, carports and garages, water features, fencing, location, proximity to shops, schools and transport and which aspect it will be facing. Neighbours will not be an issue either, they are yet to be discovered and they may be short term or long term. It will be entirely up to you.
Some may be happy to be crammed in a double swag with no toilet, shower or stove and quite content having to collect firewood to light a fire to boil the billy. Others would be mortified at this method of travelling and may indulge in a flash RV with a price tag equivalent to a two storey brick home located on the outskirts of a major city.
Basically you are determining what level of comfort you have in mind times how many people you intend travelling with. The next consideration would be the lifestyle you intend to use it for. Will you be on short, long or indefinite trips? Do you plan to be in remote or heavily populated areas? Are you planning on sticking to the bitumen or does the adventure of putting your rig off road sound more like your cuppa tea? Do you want something that takes time to pack up or do you just want to hook up and go? Most importantly - what are you prepared to spend?
The overall design is another thing to consider. Are you after something less wind resistant? Can it be stored easily when not in use? Is it something you are able to tow according to your vehicles towing recommendation?
Is it worth hiring the product you are considering before committing financially?
By now you may have determined how many beds you need and the fact you like to religiously cook a roast dinner for eight people every Sunday. Do you need double beds, an island bed, single beds, bunks, air beds or swags? Does your BYO accommodation have an oven allowing two size 12 chickens, spuds, pumpkin, sweet potato, onions and carrots? Does the cook top provide you with enough burners to make that irresistible gravy and heat the frozen peas and corn?
Do you need a toilet and shower or would you prefer to use facilities provided by a caravan park? Are you happy to travel with a shower tent, solar shower bag, a fold up toilet seat or a toilet roll and compact shovel? Can you happily exist for days on end washing with a flannel and a bucket of water? Have you discovered salt water soap that allows you to lather up using sea water? Do you need lights at night or do you find the campfire provides you with enough glow and ambience?
Finally you feel you have the ultimate product after doing a lot of research and legwork. But here are a few more considerations you might like to take on board.
Can your BYO accommodation be set up quickly and with ease? Is it easy to position and level? If stopping for a quick cuppa tea and a sanga, are you able to easily access your rig? Do you definitely have enough storage? Is it built for the roads you intend to travel on?
Before you outlay any coin, research on what the manufacturer offers is something to look into as well.
First it is recommended to ensure your rig of choice meets all Australian standards and design rules, especially to cover you insurance wise in the event of an accident or incident.
Quality involving the materials and construction of the overall build of your rig needs to be investigated. Look into the quality and build of the chassis and suspension, seals, tyres, awnings, etc. Look into how much storage there is for water, power sources, refrigeration and safety features such as smoke detectors, fire distinguisher, fire blanket, earth leakage and security locks.
Keep in mind what optional extras you require such as entertainment and restroom conveniences, solar panels, satellite dishes, stone guards, storage for spare wheels, a jack, jerry cans, roof racks, water purifier, tool boxes and navigation equipment.
Depending on the weight and size of your chosen BYO accommodation, you may be required to obtain either a light rigid or medium rigid drivers licence. However a standard C (car) licence is all you require to tow camper vans, camper trailers and most caravans. Keep in mind you may find participating in a towing course an invaluable and worthwhile experience.