Motorhome or caravan? The classic conundrum

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Grey nomads and motorhome or caravan choice
Carron and Geoff are delighted with their choice of rig.

Carron and Geoff Stevenson had been dreaming of hitting the endless open road for decades, but it took a serious health scare back in 2014 to persuade them they could afford to wait no longer.  As Carron freely admits: “We were almost too late!”

However, after a three-month travelling trial run to check they were going to enjoy the lifestyle, the couple rented out their home and were finally ready to begin living the dream.

And the rest, as they say, is happy history.

After four years of criss-crossing the country, they have never felt the urge to return to the bricks-and-mortar lifestyle. Indeed, they are more aware than ever of just how much there is to see and how much they still want to see.

“We certainly haven’t seen everything yet, and probably never will,” said Carron. “Currently our only forward plans are sailing on the Spirit of Tasmania shortly and returning mid-February, and then we’ll probably head back up the east coast via all the little towns.”

Apart from the fabulous people they meet, it is the sheer sense of freedom that the Stevensons most love about life on the open road.

“It’s just getting up in the morning and asking ourselves where will we go today, or shall we stay another one?” said Carron. “For example, we were only staying a couple of nights in Griffith but stretched it out and stayed for the start of the Orange Festival to see the Orange Sculptures.”

Like most grey nomads planning to become full-time travellers, the biggest decision the couple wrestled with was whether to get a caravan or motorhome. In the end, they opted for a motorhome for three main reasons:
• Safety. As keen free campers, they liked the idea of being able to quickly slip behind the wheel and drive off if they ever felt they needed to.
• Length of stay. They generally only stay a maximum of three nights, and say packing up a motorhome each day is easier.
• Layout and ongoing costs. They like that their front seats swivel round to form part of their living area, and that they only have one vehicle to insure and say fuel consumption is lower than if they were towing.

Having decided to join ‘team motorhome’, the Stevensons plumped for a near new Jayco Conquest which they have been delighted with. So, with so much still to see and do, do they ever see themselves ever parking up permanently?

“While we’ve rented our four-bedroom home out, we have only stored enough to furnish a two-bedroom place when we do decide we need a fixed base again,” said Carron. “When those faraway places with the strange sounding names stop drawing us towards them, we’ll find somewhere to live but, when and where that will be, we don’t know!”

  • Are you in ‘team motorhome’ or ‘team caravan’? Why?

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7 Responses to Motorhome or caravan? The classic conundrum

  1. Question, my father in law, who is 81 and not in the best of health is looking at motor homes, he wants to go around Australia, how do we talk him out of it

    • Rent one instead but if that’s what he wants then so be it

    • Why stop him. Its his life and he should be able to choose what he wants to do. If he dies in the bush due to his ill health, at least he will die doing what he wants to do.

    • Maxine I think if he wants to buy a motor home and head off into the sunset he will, irrespective of what you and his son think. You know us old fellas, we don’t like being told what to do by the kids. If it’s too much for him even after a week or so he will say I’ve given it a go. Don’t be too hard on him, he might know he’s nearly finished the big trip.

  2. We were the same when we choose our motorhome. Also our lifestyle dictated what to purchase. As we are keen motorcyclists and we wanted to take the bikes with us, the MH was better suited in that. Also we tow a car with a boat on top when we are doing bigger trips. Can’t do this if your towing a caravan.

  3. Caravan, as We have a 4wd that can access off the beaten track. Some of the most wonderful country in our 2 1/2 years travel has been on roads that are not accessible with motor homes.

  4. For us it’s our caravan, a 2004 Jayco Freedom. I would love a motorhome but simply cannot afford one.

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