10 reasons to caravan in Queensland (even if you never imagined you would)
Move over grandma! Caravanning is the new black of the travel world.
Statement vans in baby pink, neon green and bright orange are making tracks down Queensland’s laneways (and arterials), in a movement dubbed #vanlyfe.
Don’t resist the movement, join in! It’s cheap, spontaneous and more retro than a green juice served in a Mason Jar.
If you’re still looking for excuses to give it a go, here are 10 reasons to hook up the caravan and take a camping and caravanning holiday in Queensland.
1. No pesky prep or pack-down
Forget carting camping equipment to the car, setting it up, cleaning it and then lugging it back inside at the end of a weekend adventure – caravanning is the pre-packaged food of the camping world.
Everything is already done! Simply roll up and slip straight into that holiday feeling.
Between home and van site, you need to pack an overnight bag, stock a fridge (yep, no Esky here) and make the double bed, which means more time spent on the road than in the garage getting ready for the weekend adventure.
2. The road is your holiday oyster
In the caravanning world, home is where the steadies (caravan legs) stand… but if the location doesn’t blow your skirt up, steady up, steady down and wheel yourself to a new site.
Chase the sun, find a better spot, escape the noisy neighbours – it’s all possible – which is especially good if you are a spontaneous traveller like me.
A flat surface is your friend and if you’re happy to go without power, you can take these things anywhere (provided you check with the caravan park owner first).
On a recent trip to Stanthorpe’s Country Caravan Park, we ditched the power in exchange for absolute waterfront views and dropped the wheels by the weir to watch the sun go down over the water. #instantromance
3. Cook up a storm
Forget the perils of trying to light a Trangia, change a butane canister mid-cook or worse still, stoke a fire long enough to cook a porterhouse steak. Caravanning = kitchens.
Cooking enthusiasts can put their oven mitts up for joy with caravan kitchens packing four-burner gas stoves, ovens, and microwaves on board.
You can make anything your heart desires… provided you are happy to wash it up in the caravan-sized sink.
4. Colour me pretty
Caravans are so much more than boring-beige fibreglass shells these days. Modern caravans come in cute colours, which make you stand out from the crowd.
None more chic than the Winnebago Minnie*, a cute van that can be personalised with a vibrant green, orange, pink, yellow or grey exterior.
If you want to stand out like Coeliac in a brewery, choose the fairy floss pink – so delightfully femme and fun that you won’t want to hand it back. Lord knows my boyfriend loved the attention of this statement van pulled behind his ute as we drove it through Brisbane City.
5. Flushable toilet
Your own personal throne – needs no further introduction if you are accustomed to camping life.
Depending on what size van you go with, you’re likely to have a toilet and shower ensuite combo or in a bigger van, completely separate toot and shower, which is the height of luxury in the caravan world.
Be prepared for people in the caravan park to ask you what sort of loo you’re towing. It’s a real talking point in a caravan park.
6. Electric dreams
There’s nothing like the option of electricity, should you choose to accept it.
Running off both power and battery, you’ve got options when caravanning that you don’t get in traditional accommodation or camping.
Sure, taking a digital detox camping can be fun but when your phone dies just as an Instagramable rainbow appears, you realise digital detoxing is just like an actual detox: painfully annoying.
It’s not just the phone charger you have access to – reading lamps, free-to-air TV and a microwave make holidaying that much easier, especially when conversation runs a little dry.
7. Dandy cupboards
Did I mention the storage?
With more cupboards and drawers than an Ikea display centre, it’s amazing how much you can fit into a van, even if it’s only 4.8-meters long like our Winnebago Minnie.
There’s no rummaging around for the bottle opener or paper towels in this setup – it’s nothing but soft-close release drawers at your fingertips.
And if you’re not impressed by drawers, I challenge you to find me a dining room table that converts into a bed at a flick of the wrist anywhere else!
8. Technical towing is easy
Gone are the days that towing was only open to drivers who looked like extras on an episode of Ice Road Truckers.
Tow bars, couplings and safety chains have come a long way, making it easier for newbies to pull a van.
Once you brush up on a few caravanning terms, you’ll look like you’ve been doing it for years as you swap stories with other ‘vanners about payloads, laden weights and hitch locks.
For a bit of fun, try chatting to your new caravanning friends about the size of your ‘tongue and ball’ while keeping a straight face. The innuendo is endless.
9. Firelight and stars bright
There’s no need to lose your Bear Grylls calling – the best part of caravanning is that you can build a camp fire outside and retreat to heated comfort on the inside. I’d like to see you try that in a hotel room!
#vanlyfe (it’s totally a thing) is as much about living outside the van as inside, leaving the evenings open to kicking back in a camp chair, enjoying a cheese platter and glass of red.
Given your off-the-beaten-track capability, you can escape the city light pollution and set up camp under the stars. It’s like going ‘bush’ but with all the mod-cons.
10. A road trip with amenities
There’s something nice about a road trip with all the creature comforts on-board.
You can spend more time getting from A to B, rather than scoping for public toilets or an open bakery for a snack.
I’m not going to lie, the thought has crossed my mind to ditch my fixie and tow a caravan in my daily commute. After all, I do get a bit peckish in peak hour traffic.
Ready to get hitched and go caravanning? Check out some of the best spots to park your van in Queensland.
*This writer is very fond of the Winnebago Minnie and openly admits her bias because the van is pink.*