The best way to see Australia…. is by campervan – hands down.
Travelling by campervan allows you to have total freedom, a real authentic experience and in general, just a great road trip. To ensure that you travel safe & sound and are not hit by any nasty surprises at the end of your travel we’ve put together a list of most typical mistakes made by campervan customers…
Picked up a campervan at 2 pm – drove into a car park at 2:30 pm – stuck at 2:31 pm….always always know the height of your campervan and don’t end up getting stuck in a car park or drive-through. It happens more than you think and our best advise is to always park outside of any shopping malls or drive-through. BE AWARE – most roof-top damages are not covered by travel insurance or excess reduction packages so you end up with a heavy bill. HINT – should it ever happen – stay calm – call your rental company and release some air pressure on the tyres – this will lower the height and will allow you to drive your campervan out of the car park!
PARKING FINES – TOLLS – SPEEDING FINES
#1 rule – if you are picking up any fines on the way – PAY THEM IMMEDIATELY!!! All car & campervan rental companies will charge you an admin fee if any fine comes back to them…they can be anywhere between $50 to $150 for each individual fine. This is to cover their paperwork – you will end up paying the admin fee plus the fine will then be sent to you back home by the Australian government…and they won’t forget about it either! FOR TOLLS Australia sadly doesn’t have the ‘pay cash’ option so you need to register your vehicle online or call the road toll company directly. Most of the campervan rental companies will provide you with the necessary information…do not take this lightly. It will only take a few minutes to register your vehicle so take the time…
IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS – CALL
Should you have any issues with your vehicle – discovered a minor scratch or dent on your camper – inform the rental company. Nearly every car & campervan company worldwide has the same policy – “please report any issues within 24 hrs to your campervan provider otherwise you void any refund/excess reduction package”. Just because you think you are fully covered for all accidents doesn’t mean you can continue to drive after an accident and only inform the company when returning your vehicle….3 weeks later
TAKE YOUR TIME
“I would like to hire a campervan from Melbourne to Cairns – 10 days please”….Australia is a very big country, it’s bigger than Europe and nearly the same size as the US – so please take your time. Australia has only one highway that goes all around the country…often with only one lane…so all the traffic will be on the same road! Do your research and don’t try to cut corners by driving at night (lots of active wildlife around on Australian roads during night time) or speeding. You don’t just want to end up spending 75% in your van & 25% actually enjoying Australia. Our suggestions would be – Sydney to Cairns 21 days – Perth to Darwin – 21 days – Sydney to Brisbane 10 days – Melbourne to Brisbane 14 days…
ACCIDENTS (HOPEFULLY IT NEVER HAPPENS)
We all hope that it never happens, however, a few unlucky ones will be challenged with an accident. ALWAYS call the police! Always call your rental provider! Get as many details as possible of the other driver – driving licences # – rego number and so on. Take photos – the more information/evidence you have the better. EVEN BETTER – avoid accidents under any circumstances – of course, easier said than done – so below are our hints to be as safe as possible:
Take your time – don’t speed
Don’t drive at night time – Australia has lots of active nightlife on the road
Drive safely around corners…
Don’t drive on dirt roads, beaches and so on…
If you are faced with heavy rain/wind – stop the car – take a break
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.