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First Time Nomads – How to Pick your Perfect Van

19 Mar 2020

A new intriguing destination awaits every week, sundowners with like-minded travellers are the nightly norm and, travel tips from friendly park managers keep extending your on-the-road plans.

The nomad lifestyle sure sounds appealing!  

Spending time getting to know your Aussie backyard is an exciting prospect. But, putting your city life on hold in exchange for a van can seem a little daunting. So, to make you feel a little more comfortable about making the big decision to embark on such a life-changing ad-van-ture (see what we did there?!), we’ve put a list of the most common recreational vehicles together to help you find the perfect ride.

By choosing the perfect camper to cruise the wide-open roads, with your significant other and dog front-seat driving, it’ll make you one free wheelin’ happy camper.



The original and most common option on the market. But, don’t be fooled, the facilities they can include are anything less than common with van prices ranging from $45,000 to $100,000. Most hard tops come standard with a shower and toilet as well as household safety features (circuit breakers, smoke detectors). And, depending on how luxurious you want the comforts of home to be while on the road, they can be custom built with a specific layout, full kitchen, full ensuite, comfortable bedding, air-conduiting and ample storage.

Once you’ve arrived at one of our holiday parks, there’s little set up involved. Of course, there is an art in reversing this type of vehicle in to place but, once your mastered this, you just need to park the van and unhitch the car. Or, to make things even easier, some of our holiday parks have drive through sites so, no reversing (or expensive divorce) required. This also leaves your regular four-wheeler free to explore the region without the added weight.Caravan on Site at Discovery Parks



Like a hard-top Caravan, these come with the same features and facilities, and can be customisable. They are however slightly smaller, lighter to tow and, because of these features, provide less wind resistance increasing fuel economy. Another advantage of the smaller size is that they are easier to store and can fit under most carports while not on the road. Purchase price ranges from $12,000 to $80,000. Pop Top Caravan on Site at Discovery Parks



This is a great option for those first-time caravanners, as the tow is compact, lightweight and easily drawn by a regular sedan or SUV. Models and floor plans vary and, in turn, so does the price tag from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the build, design and inclusions selected. Once the box trailer is reversed onto site and its set up opened, the living area is adequate. Regardless, this option is more suited for travelling couples than families. As its name suggests, it is a tent but with a few added comforts of home such as bed with mattress and small cooktop with sink. There is no built-in ensuite, so you’ll need to book a powered ensuite site at our holiday parks if you want bathroom privacy. Storage while not on holidays is easy, as the trailer will fit in a standard garage, shed or carport. 



This vehicle is a cross between a Caravan and a Pop-up and, is a more luxurious version of the Tent Trailer. It’s pretty much a tent on wheels, as the pop-up annex is made from canvas and you can bring the outdoors in by opening the flyscreens. There’s a wide choice of models with different floor plans, and standard features include comfortable mattresses with sleeping arrangements from 3 to 8 people, gas cooktops, fridges and a dining table with seating. Set up is the same as the Caravan, once in place you can unhitch the car and are free to explore without taking all your belongings. The only difference, you’ll need to book an ensuite site for bathroom facilities. Upon your return home, the Camper Trailer can be easily stored in a standard garage, shed or carport, adding more appeal to this option. The price won’t leave you over-whelmed either, ranging between $18,000 to $55,000.Camper Trailer on Site at Discovery Parks



The king of the road! The biggest advantage of this model is that there is no towing required so it’s perfect for those who aren’t comfortable with lugging or manoeuvring a big rig on the road or around camp sites – it’s simply drive, park and enjoy. While the living space is sizable, it’s more suitable to couples, not families. Most come standard with the luxuries of home including oven & cook top, fridge, bedding, lots of storage, TV, ensuite and air-conditioning. While there are lots of positives to this on-road model, this one does come with a hefty price tag, starting at $100,000 upwards to $500,000. You also need to take all your belongings with you if you are keen to go exploring the region you are holidaying in.Motorhome on Site at Discovery Parks 


If you have your heart set on the Motor Home but aren’t willing to part with your super savings, this is a viable alternative. Ranging from $60,000 to $120,000, it’s still a comfortable home-on-wheels for a maximum of 2 people with bedding, fridge, kitchen and storage. There’s no power-source or built-in bathroom, so you’ll be needing a powered ensuite site at our holiday parks to make your getaway extra comfortable. Again, no towing is required and set up is minimal. Camper Vans are modelled on passenger or small commercial vehicles so have all the on-road safety features of a regular car and the dual functionality of becoming your everyday vehicle when not on holidays.


Want to try before you buy?

Discovery Parks is part of Australia's leading caravan and camping loyalty program, G’DAY REWARDS. Enjoy the value of in-park and partner benefits from some of the most trusted brands in Australia including a range of Travel & Holiday Partners specialising in campervan and motorhome hire. Just $50 for a 2-year membership, you can put the nomad lifestyle to the test for a much smaller investment.


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