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Dreaming of taking up permanent residency in your van? Before you call the real estate agent, doing your homework about living in a caravan is your next best move. And as we’ve been lucky enough as a family to spend a lot of time living out of ours across sunny Queensland, we’ve got a few pearls of wisdom to share.
Today, we’ll cover a few of the essentials for living in a caravan, including the special rules we Aussies must follow. Plus, share some tips and tricks to make those first few months of Van Life a little easier to manage.
Can You Live in a Caravan in Australia?
Of course! But living the caravan life in Australia comes with some restrictions. Although you can legally live in a caravan, you can only do so on private property for up to 30 days. If it’s anything longer, you’ll need a permit. Otherwise, you can pay long-term site fees at a van park or similar setup if you plan on living in a caravan permanently.
During our travels around Queensland, we found some local councils have different rules. So, it’s worth checking them out before taking residency somewhere. But wherever you end up, you probably won’t be alone.
According to the ABS’ most recent data from 2021, almost 60,000 Australians were calling a caravan home on Census night. And in addition to those living in their vans, plenty use them for occasional fun. Australians took a whopping 12.7 million caravan trips by the year ending June 2022. All those people must be onto something!
Caravan Living: Things You Need to Know
Van Life is a skill, and as you spend more time caravan living, you learn more about it. We’ve been travelling as a family for years and picked up a lot of useful stuff along the way. Unsure what to expect? These tips might help.
Choose A Van Fit for Permanent Living
Some caravans are great for weekends at the beach, and others are better equipped for permanent living. Our recommendation? Choose a van with good heating and cooling to help you deal with the weather, enough storage for all your stuff, and room to move around. The ideal van will look different for everyone, so make a list of your must-haves before you start shopping around.
Spend Some Time with Your Caravan First
As enticing as it is to sell your house and leave the next day after buying a van, it’s not always wise. Use this time to get to know your caravan (good and bad) and brush up on your skills. A few shorter trips away will teach you everything about your permanent new home so you’re ready when the big day finally arrives.
Be Prepared for Anything
The law of caravan life is that anything that can go wrong probably will. Be prepared for leaks, repairs, bad weather, getting lost, and even going a bit stir-crazy. Talk to other van owners about their experience, and you’ll get the idea. But even with all these potential problems that can pop up, there are a stack more reasons why you should buy yourself a caravan.
It’s Okay to Miss the Creature Comforts
Living in a caravan isn’t all glitz and glam. But a love for the simpler life is what draws most of us in. After downsizing and organising to make way for your new way of life, you could feel yourself yearning for the big screen TV and split system aircon. But don’t worry. These feelings are totally normal. A peaceful sunrise or a refreshing dip in a secluded creek will remind you why you’re doing it.
Stay On Top of Maintenance
Just as you took good care of your home, you need to take care of your van. And this is especially true if you plan on buying a second-hand caravan. So, regularly servicing your van is a must. Equip yourself with the basics of van maintenance and repairs, so you know the major signs of trouble to look out for. But for everything else, you can call in the pros at The Caravan Guys.
The Caravan Guys: Your Go-To For Van Life
Dreaming of living in a caravan in Australia? We get it. Whether you’re permanently on the road or travelling it occasionally, The Caravan Guys can help. Our friendly team can come to you with a free onsite quote, so book in here. Or get in touch and let us know what we can do.