There are different types of camper trailers you can travel around Australia with:
A flip-over camper mostly has a sealed hard top when travelling and opens to the rear to become the floor which is suspended off the ground on legs.
Soft floors tents are set up usually by removing the soft vinyl tonneaux cover, pulling the canvas out & extending the internal frame.
A wind up with a hard floor and roof like our Jayco Swan. Some have beds that come out the ends. The interior is then similar to a caravan.
PROS of a camper trailer
Generally cheaper than caravans.
Lighter to tow, consumes less fuel and not as slow as caravans.
Safer to tow – more vision to see out the back and less fish-tailing.
Closer to nature with the canvas roofing and sides – more open so natural air can enter.
Easier to store.
Can access more off-road locations due to size.
CONS of a camper trailer
Time-consuming to set up and pack down (typically 90 minutes for us) Because we run a full-time online travel business often we found ourselves moving every 2-3 days and having to constantly set up then pack up became exhausting over 12 months. If you are time poor like us and move frequently, bear this in mind. These campers are more suited to spending at least 5 days in each location.
Lack of storage space means cramped living and less conveniences
More gaps, means more bugs keeping you awake at night
No amenities. Nothing beats your own toilet in the middle of the night and a shower when campsite amenities are filthy
Less privacy as the walls are canvas and easy to look through.
Less storage – small bar fridge, limited cupboard space!
Not so great in bad weather (high wind, rain, extreme heat). We had no air/con and suffered for a month in the Red Centre with temps over 40 degrees. And one of our beds broke in high wind in Denham, WA.
Can’t pull over on long drives and have instant access to the interior.
Dust easier to enter.
Travelling around Australia in a CaravanCaravans come in all shapes and sizes. Do your research to decide on what brand, size, and floorplan suits you. Our friends had a New Age Caravan, which I liked a lot. (And so did they. ) We travelled with them for nearly six months so got to know it. Other friends we spent a lot of time with had a Jayco Expanda. PROS of a caravan
Much less set up and pack up time!
More storage space to have everything in it place / full fridge, so no need to set it all up when you arrive in a new place again.
Can pull over the side of the road and you’re ready to sleep, or you can grab yourself a cuppa and a snack (cheaper)
Easier to be self-sufficient.
A bit more luxury with air-con, TV’s, and separate bedrooms and bathrooms (you can go even more lux with some!)
Less cracks and screen doors keep the critters and dust out.
CONS of a caravan
Heavier to tow – meaning a potentially bigger and more expensive vehicle.