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HOT TO GET THE BEST CAMPING SPOT IN A PAID CAMPGROUND

  1. Be friendly, clear and descriptive with the reception staff. Tell them exactly how many days you’ll be staying and what you want out of your camping spot – quiet, close to the bathrooms, private, close to the beach etc.
  2. Ask reception staff to mark any spots that are available for your stay on a park map (and ask them which they think would suit your needs/description above).
  3. Have a good look at the (most likely unreadable and badly photocopied) map and work out:- Where the toilets are (it’s nice to be close but not TOO close or you’ll be woken by people all night).
    • Where the tent area is (these are often groups of ‘younger’ people or backpackers who are likely to be noisier, try to keep away).
    • Where the main roads are (try to avoid parking near main roads or roads that visitors use to enter/exit the park).
    • Where the playground is (some kids get up super early, if you want to sleep in stay away!).

vw campervan for sale

4. If you are staying more an a few nights you might take the time to scope out the park/spots on the map on foot or with your van BEFORE you commit to one at reception when checking in. Most staff will let you take a look around and come back once you’ve decided on a spot that you like.

5. Once you’ve decided on your spot check that your neighbours look good (read: quiet!). We avoid: anyone with a baby, P plater cars or younger groups of people.

Got some tips or anything to add?  Please comment below and we’ll update our blog accordingly!

 

WHAT TO AVOID WHEN LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CAMPING SPOT 

Here’s our checklist, most relate to free camping.  You can thank us later! 

-Are there any No Camping or No Sleeping in Cars signs?  This is only a deal-breaker if…

  • There are loads of backpackers around + 
  • Does it look like there’ll be police patrolling overnight?  Is there a local police station?
  • The signs say No Parking between 1-5am (this signals a backpacker infested and hjghly patrolled/fined area!).

-Does it look like there’ll be hoons or young people coming there at night (are there empty bottles around/burnouts/broken glass?) 

-Will there be much/any passing traffic overnight? 

-Are there any big bins or a collection of bins that might be picked up very early in the morning and wake you up? 

-Is it a surfing break carpark?  Again this isn’t a deal breaker but keep in mind you’ll have loads of cars arriving early in the morning with people checking the surf.  Again, this may not be a problem if the locals seem nice and you don’t sleep too lightly (or you surf)! 

-Is there a boat ramp nearby? (same as point above). 

-P plate cars or groups of young people together (couples are ok!).  Some might also avoid people with babies and young kids, and for this we don’t blame you! 

 

 What are your tips on finding a good spot to sleep paid or unpaid in a new town?  Please share them with us so we can add them to our list. 

 

 

The Thule camping rubbish bin

That’s right, I’ve written a whole blog post about a rubbish bin.

Am I crazy? You decide…

If you’re a free camping or national park camping enthusiast then you’ll understand the importance of rubbish removal in campervan travel, because you’ll have experienced THIS along the way…

Waking up in the morning to find your rubbish and food scraps from the night before strewn all over your campsite as surprise, surprise, there WAS an animal that could somehow get on top of your campervan while you were asleep and managed to not only open the expertly tied together rubbish bag that was placed up there but also make a rubbish tip of the entire campground.

This, along with putting leaking week old rubbish bags inside our van when we finally moved on to the next camping spot was enough for us to spend some time thoroughly researching rubbish removal options for campervan travel.

Although technically a 4wheel drive product, the Thule bin is the best we’ve found so far.

  • It packs up extremely flat so takes minimal storage space when not in use.
  • It includes a connection point so that you can hook it onto the outside of your van.
  • It has a handy ‘animal proof’ opening/lid, which makes it easy for you to throw rubbish away, but impossible for birds and other marsupials to get to.
  • It’s made of sturdy, waterproof material, which makes it easy to hose down.
  • At a price of $80 it may seem like a big commitment but in the name of easy campervanning waste management we think it’s worth it!

For more information on this product visit:

http://www.thule.com/en/gb/products/rv-accessories/storage-solutions/organizers/thule-trash-bin-_-307622

Campervan or Caravan? Take our quiz to help you decide.

Find out if a campervan or caravan is the right vehicle for your travelling style by taking our multiple choice quiz.

1. Circle one answer per question.

2. Mostly A’s mean you are best suited to Caravan Travel, more B’s = Campervan Travel. 

 

Will you be going on a trip for an extended period of time ie 6 months or more?

A. Yes

B. No

How much time do you plan on spending inside your caravan or campervan?

A. A lot, I would rather be inside at night watching TV etc than outside.

B. Not much, I prefer to spend as much time outside as possible.

Do you plan on staying for extended periods of time in colder weather?

A. Yes

B. No

Do you plan on doing a lot of cooking inside you van or do you prefer to cook outside?

A. Prefer to cook inside.

B. Love cooking outside.

Do you have the storage space at home for a caravan?

A. Yes

B. No

Do you have or can you afford to buy the correct vehicle with tow bar to tow a caravan?

A. Yes

B. No

Are you a confident and skilled driver that will easily tow a large trailer while driving to places you’ve never been before?

A. Yes

B. No

Do you plan on visiting/spending time in cities or bypassing them?

A. Hate cities.

B. Love visiting cities.

Do you plan on spending more time in national parks/off the beaten track or in paid caravan parks?

A. Paid caravan parks on popular routes.

B. Want to travel off the beaten track/stay in national parks. 

Have you checked the difference in cost to stay in a caravan park with a caravan as opposed to a campervan and calculated this cost for the duration of your trip?

A. Yes and I can afford the additional overnight fees.

B. Yes and I want to save $ by paying less to sleep in caravan parks and national parks or nothing by free camping.

Have you calculated the fuel cost of taking a caravan as opposed to a campervan on your trip?

A. Yes and it doesn’t bother me.

B. Yes and it works out too expensive for us with a caravan.

Why would I buy a caravan?

Campervans have ample storage space if you are 2 people and planning on travelling for up to a couple of months or even longer if you are only going to be staying where it’s warm or are a minimalist at heart! If you are taking 6 months off or longer and will be living in your van in different climates then you may decide you’d like more storage space and comfort plus the ability to do more complex cooking in your ‘kitchen’. In this case you may decide a caravan will better suit your needs.

Why would I buy a campervan?

You can sell your everyday car and replace it with a campervan, meaning a minimal expense initially. It is extremely economical to travel in, if you have a diesel campervan petrol costs are kept to a minimum and you are able to stay in free camping spots and National Parks so can keep accommodation costs down too. You may struggle towing a caravan and don’t want to be restricted to missing interesting travel spots and cities by the size of your trailer.

SUMMARY

  • A campervan is by far the more economical option, initially and ongoing.
  • A caravan might be a better option if you are a family or two people who plan on ‘living’ in your van for an extended amount of time (grey nomads we’re talking to you!)
  • Consider your skill and confidence level when driving before you purchase a caravan and whether you want to travel ‘off the beaten track’ or stay in National Parks as this will be more difficult with a large trailer.

And as a last thought…

Caravan quiz