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Campervans - Your Home Away from Home


By Richard Moore

Campervan HireIt is fair to say I like a bit of luxury and even when younger eshewed backpacker dorms for a more secure room to myself.

I made the excuse I was travelling with cameras and so needed somewhere to keep them safe but, looking back, I just don't like sharing my space with folks I don't know.

No for me it is touring around in a four-wheel drive and then turning up at a hotel or motel complete with restaurants, hot water and a comfy bed.

However, on our journey down the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, I thought I'd try something different and hire a campervan.

I looked up at the options online and thought a little two-berther van would be okay and we could stay at caravan parks - powered of course - to provide us with the amenties that make life on the road so much better.

By that I mean clean loos.

Our long-term plavs are to eventually transport TikiTouring.co.nz to Europe and spend a year or two, or three, or four, driving around taking photographs and writing stories of the places and folk we meet along the way.

So the Great Ocean Road trek would show me if my dreams were workable, or whether my increasing dislike of enclosed spaces would preclude me from the campervanning option.

The folks at Drivenow.com.au were a great help - their website has everything you want to know about the vans available - and the rates seemed very reasonable indeed.

As said the two-berther looked the goods and the lack of an inboard shower and loo really was no issue. Fortunately for us Drivenow's associates - Tourism Holdings, which runs the brands such as Maui and Britz campers, thought we'd be better off in a larger unit. It still had no toilet or shower, but that suited us so the upgrade was all sorted.

We trained out to their Braybrook base in Melbourne's near west and it was only a short five-minute walk from the Tottenham rail station.

The paperwork took us about an hour to complete and if you want to be worry free on the trip take out insurance against the $7500 excess.

It saves so much expense if you do have a crash that for $45 a day you should just wear the cost.

Anyway, we went outside to see our medium-sized buggy - only to discover it was on a course of peptides and had grown into a campervan that was the size of many flats.

It was a Voyager and it was huge.

I'm no titch - standing 185cm and weighing in at over 105 kilos but next to this thing I looked like a peewee.

The Voyager is the perfect unit for cruising with the family or friends.

There is a double bed compartment in the bubble over the driving cab and the seats in the rear of the campervan can be converted into a queen-sized sleeping area.

It has an area for a small table behind the driver's seat, a good-sized kitchen with oven, microwave, sink, fridge, extractor fan and cupboards for Africa.

Everything for cooking is provided so when you drive away all you need to do is stop and buy the food and detergent.

Across from the kitchen is the bathroom area which has a loo, basin and shower in a neat little cupboard.

We didn't use them - as we were staying at camping grounds - but they were there just in case.

It doesn't take too long to transform the living area into a bed at night, nor vice versa in the morning.

The Voyager fits everything away into various cupboards and shelves so when packed up you are left with a large and comfortable living area.

Access into the driving area is straight between the driver's and passenger's seats and makes it easy to get behind the wheel without having to go outside.

The Voyager has all the modern conveniences you could want in a mobile home - TV, DVD player, air-conditioning and a rotating attenae for better reception!

It also has a roll-out awning and you can hire an outer table and chair setting for al fresco dining.

When I first saw the Voyager I was a tad concerned about driving a beast that is about three times the size of my Mitsubishi Pajero and stands 3.7 metres high.

But, it has to be said, I quickly picked it up and for the first hour or two was constantly checking my wing mirrors to make sure I was driving within my lane.

And those wing mirrors do stick out a bit so be careful when pulling in to park anywhere near posts, trees or folk standing around on the side of the road.

After that I had the Voyager's feel and we zipped about like a tourist bus.


The Voyager is a very comfortable vehicle to get around in with plenty of grunt and good front and side window views.

Reversing can get interesting, but there is a rear-view camera that helps when you can't interpret your partner's frantic arm-waving signals.

Now despite its size, the Voyager has a very good turning circle - much better than my Pajero - although to be safe its always best to park side on to the pavement and facing the way you want to leave when at visitor spots.

For someone who has never canmpervanned before I found the entire experience an absolute pleasure and am looking forward to the next time we climb aboard.

I shall miss our Voyager, I could almost live in one ...











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