Car Camping on an Extended Trip

Click here for details on buying a car in Australia For lots more detail on budget 4WDing in Australia and elsewhere check out Budget 4WD Travel blog

Have station wagon (estate car) or 4WD will travel. a cheap man’s (or woman’s) RV or caravan or motor home. Have a tent or sleep in the back of vehicle. Buy a cheap camp stove and an icebox and you are free to camp in Nationals Parks or in Caravan Parks. Australia is probably the classic for this type of trip – huge area, relatively poorly developed and expensive public transport network. Even shoestring travellers discover that they can buy a car for a few thousand dollars drive it for 6 months and even if they abandon it in the airport car park with the keys in it they will have spent less than a bus pass and seen a great deal more. Most hostels in big cities even provide some options on secure parking – though not always for free.

Is car camping for you?

Car camping suits those Car camping is not so good if you
if you are a couple or a group of friends on a very tight budget. Vehicles can have unexpected expenses
have some sort of mechanical ability with cars and some experience camping want to spend a lot of time in large cities. A car is hardly ever an advantage in a city.
if you don’t have experience make sure you are prepared to pay for an independent assessment of the vehicle pre-purchase can’t drive!
want to meet the locals
want to really see the countryside and wild places
you want to self-cater because of dietary restrictions, cost or preference

Best Car Camping Countries

Car camping works best in western countries which have a developed transport infrastructure but expensive or limited pubic transport. Classic car camping locations include: Australia and New Zealand.

Not-so good Car Camping Countries

In much of the developing world it is neither economic or sane to attempt to compete with the locals on the roads. Unfortunately in the USA registration and insurance issues appear to make it nearly impossible for a foreigner without a local residential address to buy a vehicle.

What has changed in the last 10 years

Fortunately buying and selling is well established on the internet and there many places to look for vehicles before you arrive – even if you don’t buy sight unseen its easy to establish the costs involved and get a feel for what you can expect to buy for your money.

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