Fold-down caravans

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The canvas screened walls on a fold down van provide lots of fresh air
The canvas screened walls on a fold down van can provide lots of fresh air

Fold-down caravans tend to be more popular with younger travellers than with long-term nomads. They’re made of lightweight materials and pack down to look something like a big box trailer when you’re travelling.

When you reach camp, the roof is lifted up mechanically and canvas walls magically appear.  The ends can be pulled out to make bed space.  Although these rigs are fairly easy for two people to put up and take down, most nomads shy away from the perceived difficulties and it may be a challenge for one person to manage.

Fold-downs are generally quite small and don’t provide the level of privacy and security that more solid vans do as the walls are mainly made of canvas. Storage space inside is also more limited and, although you do get cooling breezes when your windows are unzipped, you may feel at the mercy of the weather and your potentially noisy neighbours.  However, some people feel that they provide a genuine camping experience while also offering a more budget-friendly option.  And if you follow the seasons, Australia is a great place to live in the outdoors.

Fold-down vans range in price from around $10,000 to $30,000.  An added bonus is that their reduced weight and lower wind resistance make for a much smaller fuel bill at the end of the journey.

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