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Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

  • March 15, 2018
  • By 50 Shades
  • 22 Comments
Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

I have recently returned from a six week caravan trip and although it certainly hasn’t been my longest one, it’s still a fair amount of time to be traipsing around in a tiny little home on wheels. For those of you that have never travelled in a caravan, campervan or been on a camping trip here are the truths about travelling in a caravan long term.

Personal space – forget it!!

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

When you find a long stretch beach like this you have a lot of personal space.

I guess this is the biggest challenge for some, because when you’re living in such close proximity to your travelling companion 24/7 in a 16 foot caravan, there is absolutely no such thing as personal space. So if your’e adverse to togetherness and being cooped up in a small space for weeks or months on end, then caravanning is not for you.

My tip is to try to have time out from one another by going for long walks or by sightseeing alone from time to time. Fortunate for us, my husband took his bicycle so he took off on many long rides for some alone time. We also normally take our dog along with us on most caravan trips that gives us a reason to go on long walks alone (or even someone to talk to when things get testy!)

Luxury it’s Not!!

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

A bottle of wine riverside and a tub in the Murray River for both man and beast!

Caravanning, no matter how big and flash your van may be, is not 5 star luxury accommodation! Generally lack of space and weight issues means that you have to pack lightly. Believe me you won’t need a vanity cupboard full of beauty products and makeup. Nor will you need your high heels and good frocks. There is also no room for your coffee machine, food processor or wine collection, so leave them at home.

You must be a lover of the great outdoors

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

Me enjoying the great outdoors on Kangaroo Island, SA

And I don’t mean the TV show “The Great Outdoors”! I’m talking about the purpose of taking a caravan trip. To me that means getting out into nature and seeing all the wondrous sights that this country has to offer. So be prepared to hike, swim, sit by a campfire, trek to mountain tops for the view, interact with native animals and climb up remarkable rocks. Don’t expect to be sitting around in your caravan all day watching TV or reading a book because that is simply not camping!

Some parts of the trip may be boring

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

In the outback of NSW there’s not much to see on the drive between towns.

Don’t expect every place you visit, or the drive between to be scenic or spectacular. Australia is a vast country and there’s lots of open spaces and distances between towns. Some of the countryside is dry and barren, but what makes up for it is the final destination, whether it be a river, a beach or natural attraction.

You meet the most interesting people

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

Catching up with friends we made on our last caravan trip at Normansville, SA

I think what I like about caravanning throughout Australia are the people you meet along the way. Because we’ve travelled extensively we have formed some great friendships with fellow caravanners and as a consequence on consecutive trips we have dropped in to visit them along the way. There just seems to be this instant bond between Aussie nomads and it’s so easy to strike up a conversation. Australians are in general, extremely friendly and accommodating.

You will experience freedom

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

It’s a great feeling getting away from the stress of daily life in the city

Yes you certainly will! Gallivanting around Australia in a caravan gives you such a sense of freedom. Everyday that you wake up you feel excited, because you don’t know what the day will bring and where you’ll be that night. This is the best part of travel. There is no set itinerary, no timetable and you can go wherever you please – within reason! You can pull up on a river bank, a beach or in a National Park and just camp here for the night.

Caravans are now well equipped

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

We’re very comfortable in our little house on wheels with lots of mod cons

Caravans have come a long way since we first started about 15 years ago. They now have almost every mod con you need to make you very comfortable. A lot of the newer caravans have ensuites with toilets, showers and a vanity basin/cabinet. Some also have large fridges, microwaves, ovens, built-in BBQs, washing machines, TVs, radios and air conditioning. Even the beds are more comfortable with inner-spring mattresses.  So although they’re not quiet as comfy as being at home or in a hotel, they are a lot better than they used to be.

Truths About Travelling in a Caravan Long Term

A beautiful sunset at the caravan park at Normansville, SA

In summing up, of course I acknowledge that caravanning or camping is not for everyone, but I think unless you’ve tried it at least once, you don’t know what you’re missing.  To be able to escape the rat race and really get out into some of the countryside and wide open spaces of Australia is the ultimate experience. To me it’s liberating to be in the middle of nowhere away from the crowds, breathing in clean air and being in awe of breathtaking scenery that our country is renowned for.

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset.

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

Lyndall from Seize the Day Project
Deb from DebbishDotCom
Min from Write of the Middle.
Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit
and of course me, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age


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By 50 Shades, March 15, 2018 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

22 Comments
  • Anne Downing
    March 15, 2018

    The caravan has to be more comfy than our camper trailer! Travelling can be hard at times but it is well worth it.

    • Kathy
      March 15, 2018

      I’ve seen some pretty flash camper trailers in our travels that would probably put our caravan to shame! Yes camping can be difficult at times, but it is totally worth it to escape the rat race. #TeamLovinLife

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    March 15, 2018

    I’ve never gone caravanning. I’ve stayed in a caravan several times but never gone tripping around caravanning. I LOVE nature and I think I’d love the freedom you describe. I do need lots of personal space and alone time so that is one thing that concerns me a bit but I think there are ways to accommodate that. I love your photos – makes me want to up and go NOW! :-) #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      March 15, 2018

      I think caravanning is one of the best ways to see our country. Although it can be tough being in one another’s face 24/7, there are ways to resolve this. I tend to take lots of walks and do heaps of photography. I absolutely love getting out and about into the great outdoors! #TeamLovinLife

  • Vanessa
    March 15, 2018

    This was a great read. It’s something we’ve thought of doing (and I wrote about this recently) but I need my personal space! I don’t understand why caravans can’t at least have a door (not a curtain!!) between the living and bedroom space. Absolute deal breaker for us.

    • Kathy
      March 15, 2018

      Vanessa I have seen some caravans and motorhomes that have that dividing wall, but they are generally on the very large side with a large price tag to match. Yes I agree that division between living and bedroom would be great. Believe me, you do survive! #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie filogomo
    March 15, 2018

    This is how my mom and I used to go vacationing back 40 years ago. And it was a blast to me at the time. I’m not sure I’d love it now….but who knows…
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Kathy
      March 15, 2018

      Yes I caravanned with my parents when I was a youngster too and I loved it. It is a great way to see your country, but as I have acknowledged it’s not for everyone! #TeamLovinLife

  • Lyndall @ SeizeThe Day Project
    March 15, 2018

    Modern caravans are quite luxurious compared to the 1960’s version I stayed in as a child! Not sure I could handle the lack of personal space either. It would only be my hubby I’d be travelling with, so maybe we’d have to try a few shorter trips first :) x #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      March 15, 2018

      Yes that’s how I started with my hubby – just small trips to start off with and then the big 7 month stint. There were times I almost jumped on a plane to fly home, but I got through the 7 months somehow with my marriage still intact! I love caravanning now and I’m certainly looking forward to doing more of it in the years to come.

  • Christine
    March 15, 2018

    This was interesting to read this, given we’ve so carefully considered – and finally rejected – this idea for us. The thought of the long drives between places does my head in a bit. Maybe some time in the future ….

    • Kathy
      March 15, 2018

      The driving isn’t too bad really. It depends where you travel. Some drives are incredibly scenic, for example The Kimberley in WA and the East Coast of Australia. It’s only when you get out into the outback regions that the driving gets a little tedious. I think caravanning is still the best way to see our country. #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    March 15, 2018

    I’m getting convinced little by little. Not there yet though, LOL. One day #teamlovinlife

    • Kathy
      March 15, 2018

      I’m glad I’m convincing you Leanne! That is entirely my goal. Maybe one day when you’re a little older you may grow to like the grey nomading lifestyle!

  • Jo Tracey
    March 15, 2018

    I’ve never caravanned & part of me really wants to – that’s the part that likes the outdoors, freedom & the idea of connecting with other vanners. The part of me that needs my space, my airconditioning & a flushing toilet in the middle of the night is wary. But oh man am I tempted! Especially when I read your blog & see your pics.

    • Kathy
      March 16, 2018

      Most caravans are air conditioned these days and many have flushing toilets, but the space is the issue. I think you adjust to living in a small space fairly quickly. You just need to learn to pack lightly and go without a few luxuries. I find caravanning thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    March 15, 2018

    My husband had a caravan when his children were younger and I have been on one holiday in a caravan. These days we prefer driving holidays but staying in hotels/motels. I do love the freedom you have with a caravan and my stepdaughter and her family go everywhere in theirs. It isn’t for me, although you have certainly tempted me, but I’ve so enjoyed looking at your photos Kathy and you look so relaxed.

    • Kathy
      March 16, 2018

      Yes I acknowledge that caravanning isn’t for everyone Sue, but I do feel it’s one of the best ways of getting out into nature and experiencing everything our beautiful country has to offer. I also love to stay in hotels and have all the luxuries in life too. I guess it’s all about having a mixture of travel experiences for me. #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo
    March 18, 2018

    We’ve done quite a lot of camping but not for long stretches of time. I’d love to caravan around Australia one day, and love the valid points you make pointing out that it might not be for everyone, although lots of people dream about it! The lack of space, and the ‘testy’ moments, and just not being able to sit and ‘chill’ alone are real challenges – but the upsides are all that lovely outdoors and waking up somewhere different nearly every day. Great post :)

    • Kathy
      March 18, 2018

      I remember when I first travelled in our caravan down the coast of NSW for two whole weeks and I thought at the time it was far too long to be away! So you can imagine my hesitation in travelling around Australia for 7 months! However in saying that the good times outweighed the bad and once I’d experienced the wonders of Australia I got a taste for more. I highly recommend it Jo. #TeamLovinLife

  • Janet
    March 26, 2018

    Ohhhh you’ve reminded me of what a great time we had on our caravan holiday around Australia when the kids were little. We are definitely going to have to do it again!

    • Kathy
      March 26, 2018

      You’re in the perfect age group and set of circumstances for a caravan trip Janet – no kids at home and you’re still young and fit enough to do all the adventure stuff. Happy travels! #TeamLovinLife

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