I first saw the Campervan during my visit to the United States back in 2007. It was fascinating for me to think of a mini home being driven across the country. Though I have seen campervans in movies this was my first real-life encounter. I always wanted to have the campervan experience but it didn’t work out during my visit. However, after 13 years I finally took the campervan here in Sydney and it was amazing. I felt like a kid exploring my new home where we would spend the next 2 nights.
Before we get into further details let’s try to understand various terms used. You might have heard the term RV. This means “recreational vehicle”. These can be towed by a vehicle, driven by itself or even build on the bed of a truck (ute). Thus, RVs include motorhomes, campervans, caravans and camper trailers.
Motorhomes – The are self-driven RVs built on a truck or bus chassis. The motorhome has well-defined spaces and is considered more comfortable. However, these are big and requires good driving skills with appropriate license the drive.
Campervan – These are self-driven vans converted to include most of the required amenities during camping. They are smaller in size as compared to motorhomes but are easier to drive and requires a normal car license.
Caravan – These are considered as mobile homes. They need to be towed by a vehicle. Sizes differ based on requirement and require towing skills in driving such RVs.
Camper Trailer – These are much smaller and unfolds into a tent including camping essentials. Such trailers need to be towed by a vehicle. Overall, these are compact and provides necessary amenities at the campsite.
Some RV providers also have 4WD options in their vehicle line-up for Adventure Campers
For our first experience, we took a campervan from Apollo Campers. This was the Hitop Camper with 2 adult occupancy. There are multiple options to choose based on requirement and budget. The Hitop does not come with a bathroom/shower. Our campsite had these facilities so we were comfortable with this option.
So how was our Apollo Hitop?
The van was automatic transmission with petrol option making it easier to drive. It includes a sink with water supply from external water storage. There was a good number of utensils and cutlery and sufficient storage. The 2 burner gas works from an LPG cylinder which you need to purchase separately or use your own. The mini refrigerator works using the 12V battery which also powers the van internal lights. The microwave works only if the campsite has a power supply which you can plug into the van. The seating arrangement converts into a bed with a mattress. Blankets and pillows are also provided but I would recommend carrying sheets and covers.
When you drive there is a lot of external noise coming inside so was difficult to hear any music. We just enjoyed the drive and the outside nature. You can drive most of the Campervans and Motorhomes at Apollo using your car license. The Hitop cost per day was around $50. There are multiple insurance options with additions. You need to review and decide on your comfort. There is a cleaning fee. I recommend you take this for your first campervan experience. The best part of the drive was we could take a break anywhere and have our tea prepared inside the van and enjoy nature.
Treachery Camp Seal Rocks
This campsite is around 300 km north of Sydney. Initially driving the campervan in the city was a bit tensed because of the size, but once I hit the highway it felt comfortable. It took us quite some time to reach the campsite as I was driving a bit slower than the recommended speed. The van is tall to give the extra height but that has its challenges while driving through narrow roads with trees. We checked into the campsite and met our friends who had already secured a fantastic spot (Remember to reach early during the day to find your perfect spot).
The campsite also offers cabin options which you need to book as per your requirement. These are comfortable but does not provide a real camping experience. In the morning we started exploring the campsite. The place is simply astonishing. With the forest on one side and the beach on the other, it provides such a picturesque beauty which is difficult to capture in a camera. If you are lucky you may even spot a whale or dolphin from the beach.
You can spend a good amount of time at the beach enjoying surfing, fishing, playing your favourite sport or simply gazing the white sand and blue water. The campsite has a small café “Tim’s Cafe” which offers great coffee and all-day-long breakfast. You get to buy wood at the campsite for your campfire and enjoy cooking at the barbeque. There is a walk to explore the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. The view from this place is simply mesmerizing. If you are a 4×4 junkie, there is a good beach stretch to have fun. (Remember there is a difference between AWD and 4×4. This is only suitable for 4×4 vehicles.) Mobile network connectivity is really bad and that gives you a break from social media to enjoy nature and have fun.
Hope this gives you some information to plan your first camping. Watch our first campervan experience in this video.
You can use the below to book your campervan experience
Our Campsite – https://www.treacherycamp.com.au/
Find your next campsite – https://www.campermate.com.au/