Beginner’s guide to campervanning

All you need to know before hitting the road.

Feeling nervous about using a campervan for the first time?

Don’t worry, this guide will leave you feeling like a seasoned pro.

Learn the lingo
Don’t know the difference between a campervan and a motorhome? Then the first step is to find your van style. Soon you’ll be speaking in dimensions and about fuel consumption faster than you can transform your van’s dining table into a bed. Before taking off, take note of heights and weights to ensure you have enough clearance for bridges, car parks and petrol stations.

Enjoy planned spontaneity  
Since you’re officially travelling in a hotel on wheels, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of setting your own holiday pace rather than rushing to make reception hours or chasing the sun to meet check-in. It’s a good idea to stay the first night somewhere close so you’re not rolling into your first stop after dark.  

Handle the van like a pro
Start your road trip by knowing your RV inside and out. It’s just like driving a supersized car but there are a few quirks when it comes to highway driving. Since you’re carrying an extra tonne or two, you’re not going to be as spritely on the highway as you’re used to. Be courteous to other drivers and always be sure to double-check steps and awnings are fully retracted before setting off.

Holiday park etiquette
If you were worried about fitting into the van community, all fears will be quashed the minute the handbrake goes on in a holiday park. Armed with a few standard questions like “where are you going” and “what are you driving”, small talk quickly slides into story-swapping around the campfire. Like-minded travellers are just one perk of staying at a holiday park.

Remember to breathe
The best part of a road trip holiday is that the journey is all part of the adventure, so slow down and enjoy the pace. Swap smartphones for storytelling, queue audio books and playlists, and create personalised games that will later become family folklore.  

RACQ members save 10% off the daily rate including Apollo special deals! www.racq.com.au/apollo