Travelling Australia; weight and size vs accessibility
When it comes to travelling Australia, you have to find a setup that works best for your situation. Inevitably, there will be some form of compromise required, I guarantee it. Everyone wants the luxury of a full size caravan that comes in at the size and weight of a camper trailer, and unfortunately, nothing like this exists.
At some point in time you are going to have to cross the bridge of size and weight of your setup versus the accessibility that you want to have. For example, the most accessible setup for long term living is probably a 4WD, but you soon realise that having a bit of extra space and weight capacity is hugely appreciated.
The moment you tow something, your accessibility is going to go down. Even if its a light weight trailer, its completely dead weight behind you and on soft beaches where your 4WD already has a hard time, its going to struggle even more.
Go up the ranks a bit, and get a camper trailer with a bit of weight in it, or a hybrid camper that can be anywhere from 1500 – 2800kg, and your accessibility goes down even further. On top of the weight, the bigger your setup is, the less places you’ll be able to go, and if you do push the friendship here you will end up with more damage to your setup.
How much accessibility do you want?
A lot of people travelling Australia are happy with being able to day trip to beaches in their 4WD, or jump from caravan park to caravan park. If that’s the case, you need limited accessibility when towing. If however, you want to camp on remote beaches, next to pristine lakes and away from the bulk of the crowds you will need more option, and this is where the compromise starts to take place.
Those who own a big, off road caravan, Unimog, 4WD truck or even the Yank Tanks know that you simply cannot go the same places that you can with a normal size 4WD. It’s not the end of the world, but it is a limitation that might be frustrating.
I know people who refuse to tow anything at all, because they are so intent on going to the locations way off the beaten track that most trailers would restrict, or hinder you getting to.
Why are we keeping the hybrid?
For us, we are fairly firmly in the improved access category, and are willing to make some sacrifices to allow us to travel more places. We’ve gone down the route of a Reconn R2 hybrid which is not quite as comfortable as a caravan, but its much lighter, much smaller and can go off grid for much longer than the average van.
If you are comparing, you can check out the post we wrote on Caravans vs Hybrid Campers.
Of course, we might find that the extra accessibility isn’t really worth it, and then we’ll find ourselves in the caravan buying line, and probably the new 4WD line too, so we can tow it legally and easily.
Life is full of compromises
Every choice you make has a list of pro’s and con’s, and what you travel in around Australia is no different. For us, we are just glad to be able to travel in relative comfort, and its easy to get caught up wanting something bigger, and better.
When you travel though, you have a fairly similar experience regardless of what you travel in, and we’re happy with our Reconn R2 for now.
What do you travel in? Does it restrict where you go? Did you have to compromise?