Self sufficiency when travelling Australia is made possible through having the capability to carry plenty of drinking water, having enough fridge space to carry and keep perishables, having enough battery power to recharge devices, run lights and fridges, and generally having enough solar power, or a generator to keep the batteries healthy and topped up.
Being self-sufficient and having the ability to stay in free camping or budget camping areas will save you more money than anything else on your trip. If you are relying on caravan parks for the entire trip, then it is possible to pay more in site fees per week than you would to rent a 3 bedroom home, especially when there are some caravan parks charging over $80 per night for a family to stay on a powered site. Even the average cost of around $45 per night for a family camp site can eat into any income or savings fast.
That is not to say that caravan parks are not to be enjoyed, there are some amazing parks out there that provide a great space for travellers and families. For some people, staying in a caravan park is ideal for them, and the way they prefer to travel, and there is no right or wrong way to plan your lap around Australia, it’s just reality that to stay in caravan parks every night is going to cost you a lot more than to choose free camping options where possible.
Most families tend to do a mix of both, especially in the areas where free camping isn’t an option. While setting up with these extras may feel like an expense you don’t need when trying to save for your trip, the price of preparing for free camping before you leave is much less than the extra expense of long term caravan stays.
In order to make the most of free camping where possible we have:
- Porta-potti & pop up shower tent.
- 2 x 100Ah Batteries in the caravan
- 200w solar panels for the caravan
- 40w solar panel for the car
- 1 x Deep cycle in the car plus our main starter battery
- 60 litre water tank in the car
- 82 litre water tank in the caravan + spare 20l drum.
- 60 litre Fridge in the car.
- 90 litre Fridge in the caravan
- 800w generator
By making the choice to include all of the above in our travel set-up, we have allowed ourselves the flexibility to camp for extended periods without relying on powered campsites or caravan parks. A couple of thousand dollars in set-up expense will be quickly repaid in saved campsite fees; trust us!
This post is an excerpt from our book “How to fund your trip around Australia” if you’d like to know more about making the most of life and hitting the road, head over to our store and grab your copy now.