Deciding to travel around Australia is easy; choosing how, not so much!
Although the seed of the idea of buying a 4WD and ‘doing the Big Lap’ was sown in our minds in 2007, it wasn’t until we’d driven from Alice Springs to Darwin in a rented Toyota Camry – looking longingly at the many ‘4WD only’ road signs we reluctantly passed along the way – that we set about prioritising this purchase. That first trip into the Centre and Top End ignited a passion for the outback, and we planned to head back there the very next year for our annual August escape…this time in our own 4WD that could take us down all those tracks that were off-limits to us previously.
When we purchased our Mitsubishi Pajero, ‘Saj’, in 2010, we bought it to suit our weekend and bi-annual getaways, little knowing that four years later we would be setting off on our greatest escape yet, to travel around Australia indefinitely. We expected that over time we’d add a few accessories here and there to enhance our travel and camping experience, but once we’d committed to our escape plan, kitting out the car became a priority. Saj needs to carry us, our dog, and all of the gear required for a life on the road, to the many iconic destinations on our wish list. So it not only needs to be comfortable but practical, and, perhaps most importantly, reliable; it’s now one half of our ‘home on the road’.
The other half is our Cameron Campers Off Road Concept camper trailer (or ‘Cam’ for short!), which we collected – driving from Melbourne to Adelaide and back in one three-day weekend – in mid-December 2013. We’ve read many times that the hardest decision for any potential long-term traveller is ‘making the decision to go’. We found that very easy: choosing what to live in as we travel around Australia has hands-down been the most difficult and time-consuming part of our planning! As we intend to travel ‘indefinitely’ – or at least until we find somewhere we love so much we don’t ever want to leave – we agreed early on that the most important factors in our choice of accommodation were ease and speed of set-up and comfort of the bed. We considered caravans, tents, hard-floor and soft-floor camper trailers, and ‘hybrids’, going round and round in circles weighing up the pros and cons of each. Once we’d settled on a camper trailer as our new ‘mobile home’, though, the Cameron Concept camper – with its notable lack of guy ropes and pegs, along with the ‘no climbing over each other’ (and very spacious) bed design – was the obvious choice.