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Camper van in oz - rent or buy?

P&C

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  • Added on: January 24th, 2007
Hello, Me and my partner are planning to drive from Darwin to melbourne along the west coast. Leaving Feb 08 for 2 months.
Do you think it would be better to hire or to buy and sell a camper van?
Is it easy to pick them up in Darwin in Feb?
Is it easy to sell in Melbourne in April?
Thanks

Mim

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  • Added on: January 24th, 2007
Hi there,

BUY!! If you hire a van they cost the earth and they slap lots of conditions on you like "not allowed to take it on a dirt road"!

Vans are easy enough to buy already set up, you can sell easily for a fair price in Melbourne - maybe even better in Sydney. You can take it wherever you like - big bonus - especially when you are taking the route you plan. There is no bigger bummer than not being able to drive the 10km from the paved road, over dirt roads to the beach / lookout / river / caves, etc. Make sure you drive it around a few days to check it out properly before doing a long-haul drive.

Take 2 extra wheels (rather than the normal 1 spare) in case of flats or tred coming off. You also might want to look into signing up for roadside assistance - shouldn't be expensive. The rest is common sense - talk to people before you go and get an idea of the conditions. Find out if there are others going your direction and be friendly with them - they could save your life. Don't go bush-bashing at the top end from December through to April. That's the wet season when rivers rise mighty fast for no apparent reason.

Happy driving.
Mim
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paparazzonina

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  • Added on: January 24th, 2007
Some good points there and a few more
. February is nominally hottest month and can be searing in NW, very dangerous and has been known for people with broke down cars to have died because not much traffic about especially away from highway.
. Also wet season with possible cyclones and flooding will make for far less travellers and vehicles for sale in Darwin, and cheaper ones can mean problems.
. Give travelling details to police at each point of departure and make a check in plan.
Maybe have a look here

P&C

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  • Added on: January 24th, 2007
Thanks guys,
Some good advice and thoughts there ;o)
Any idea of specific van dealaships?
Also which companies provide roadside assistance?
Pete

Outback Dobbs

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  • Added on: January 26th, 2007
To rent a campervan for that long would cost somewhere between $4500 to $5000 Australian dollars. So if you can find a campervan to buy and then resell to where you save money underneath this quoted amount than it would be better to buy. However you do risk buying a lemon and repairs may be costly compared to renting where the campervan company is responsible for recovering and repairing the vehicle. Also keep in mind registration and insurance as well that would need to be purchased if you buy instead of rent. You just need to figure out which option fits your budget better.

P&C

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  • Added on: January 27th, 2007
Thanks,

I will look into it some more, I think a crash course in mechanics and buying it will be the way forward Red Face)

Mim

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  • Added on: January 28th, 2007
This is the roadside assistance people you should talk to. When you get to Darwin go in and see them there. I don't know of specific dealerships but it will be easy enough to look up a few in the Yellow pages. They are likely to be situated close to each other too - car dealerships tend to do that - very handy habit. If you are really worried about being stuck and broken down, get yourself a CB radio installed in the car and write your callsign on your car so other drivers know who you are. The grey army (hordes of 50+ couples doing their drive around Australia) all have their callsigns painted onto their caravans and trailers. However, as Papparazzonina pointed out, there won't be very many of them as it will be quite hot in Feb.

Automobile Association of the Northern Territory (AANT)

http://www.aant.com.au/
Mim
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midlifetravel

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  • Added on: January 29th, 2007
Why a campervan - why not just get a cheap old Holden staion wagon which you would be able to sleep in the back of anyway, and a tent and camp? A lot of campervans arent self-contained anyway (no loo) so a tent plus stove plus eskie (cool box) will give you the same options for a fraction of the cost. If its raining (which probably will be up north ) you can always stay in cabin or onsite van at most camping grounds
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paparazzonina

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  • Added on: January 29th, 2007
Buy/rent, camper/wagon or tent I would also suggest that you see if you can organise a week away camping or whatever where it will be hottest mext European summer, say Spain or Italy and have your comfort level meter running.
Double, treble or more the result to get an idea for Darwin down westcoast and across Nullabor in February and March.

Many people in Australia at that time of year have been known to forego a house where it is not airconditioned and do a night on the beach, sea breezes giving some comfort.

And flies!!!!

JoseMX

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2014
Hi guys,

I've tried both options.
A few years ago I rented a camper van to travel around the Northern Territory. We rented the van with Travellers Autobarn. I also bought a van in Gumtree for another trip to the west coast.

The decision of buying or renting depends on the duration of the trip.
I would say the main advantage of renting is that you don't have to worry much about repairs as they are covered in the contract. However, for longer trips buying is definitely the most economic option.
While buying you need to take into account a few extra costs for insurance and other documentation required for the car. Here is a link to an awesome guide about buying a van in Australia. I hope you find it useful!

http://blog.gumtree.com.au/backpacker-guide-buying-van-aussie-road-trip/

Mark Grogan

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  • Added on: November 20th, 2014
Well first thing is wish you luck on your journey, no matter what you choose to do. I think it's commendable enoug hto pack your things into storage for 2 months and do the trip! Something that I've been wanting to take time out to do but can't seem to find the time to! Anyway, I'd also do a bit of research on what you intend to DO on the trip as well, different vehicles might give you a little more savings than others. And you can also think about whether you intend to do road trips like this on a regular basis afterwards. Good luck!



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