For those who own a motorhome (or campervan) or are considering purchasing one, it can be very easy to get caught up in the idea of the ‘ultimate’ trip. The journey around Australia; unchartered stopovers, unfamiliar towns and exploring the great unknown. It certainly sounds appealing to some. But for others, owning a motorhome simply means having access to a convenient way of escaping for the weekend.
Whether you choose to travel permanently, part-time or casually, take one long trip or several shorter adventures, motorhome enthusiasts are a diverse and growing community who come from all walks of life and travel in all types of vehicles. But they do have one thing in common: Enjoying the freedom to stop and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding countryside, travelling where the wind takes them!
Deciding the duration of your adventure does not have to reflect any ‘ideal’ other than your own. Self-contained motorhomes have their own toilet, shower, water tanks, fridge, solar panels and/or generator, allowing owners travellers to ‘disappear’ for up to a week. When visiting a new region, the only extra services required is a dump point, a water tap, somewhere to dispose of rubbish and somewhere to stop for supplies and fuel.
While many people enjoy travelling full time, or doing ‘the big lap of Australia’, there are equally as many who prefer shorter and less frequent trips.
Real Life Reports
Recently, a couple wrote into the Campervan and Motorhome Club (CMCA) expressing how happy they are getting away on the weekends in their motorhome. This particular couple, like many other members, are still working full time, but enjoy heading off to an unknown destination, not too far away, for breakfast. Richard Schafer and his partner Sonja Lynch said “It amazes us that we have such a fantastic country and that many people just don’t make the time to break that ‘routine’ and see it. Well we have and we’re loving it. Within a 10 kilometre distance we have now had breakfast in six to seven different locations.”
The great thing about owning a motorhome is that you can easily explore your own backyard. There are so many amazing places worth visiting in Australia, so why skip past your own state or local district? Short trips are ideal for many and even if you are planning ‘the big lap of Australia’ why not iron out any possible kinks on some short trips first?
Graham Sims, another CMCA Member said it perfectly, “There are beautiful places not necessarily far from home; freedom and enjoyment are personal concepts that sometimes need to be adapted to circumstances. As with life, it’s the journey, not the distance travelled, that matters.”
There are numerous misconceptions surrounding the RV lifestyle and it is important that these fallacies do not deter interested individuals.
In 1995 a phrase was coined to depict Baby Boomers who travel in any RV: Grey Nomads. This affectionate phrase became popular within society until the media began using the term and created a false representation of old people ‘trailing their RV across Australia, lazing on deck chairs, burning up their children’s inheritance’. The resultant negative connotations not only affected the RV tourism market, but created a stereotype based on a few, to represent many.
The Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association of Australia (RVMAA) offers statistics on annual RV production and demand and, perhaps coincidentally, 1995 recorded a significant drop in new RV sales. It is impossible to theorise the cause behind the low figure, however one could speculate that the detrimental effects of the term ‘Grey Nomad’ caused the large drop in new vehicle sales.
Organisations such as the CMCA are working to ensure that the former stigma surrounding Grey Nomads is replaced by a more positive and real representation of a growing and vibrant community, no matter how far their travels take them.
For the full article download Issue 17 of iMotorhome eMagazine by clicking on the link below.