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What’s permanent touring really like? #vanlife wisdom

The idea of selling most of your possessions and touring Australia in a caravan, campervan or motorhome can be daunting, to say the least. However, for those who treasure freedom, it’s more of a calling than a choice. If you’re considering taking the plunge and setting off on a long-term or permanent vanning adventure (advanture, if you will) there’s a lot to consider.

To help you make up your mind, we’ve found tips from real Aussie’s who are living (or have lived) on the road permanently. Here’s what the nomads say.

On the permanent touring lifestyle

Living on the road permanently couple

“Better than living in a house, much less cleaning and you get to see Australia and meet a lot of like-minded people. If you’re thinking of trying it then you should. It’s the dream lifestyle, stop wherever you want.” – Joan

“Amazing and s### all at the same time.” Kylie

It’s great until you get too frail or sick. – Maxwell

“I can’t see myself wanting to live in a house (bricks & mortar) again. Our van is our home.” – Cazz

“Best thing we ever did.” – Janine

“I’ve been on the road full-time for 15 years. I’ve had caravans, buses, vans, camper-trailers, slide-ons and even just a small car. You don’t need to spend thousands on a new rig – just buy what you need for the type of travel you want. There’s always that balance between comfort and freedom. Life is not about just working. Simplify your life, get rid of all material crap you don’t need and have a lot of freedom.” Daniel

Touring permanently in an Adria caravan

“It’s a great life, but I worry what will happen when I get too old.” – Julie

“Once the nomadic lifestyle is embedded it is hard to turn back to our old/mundane suburban lifestyle.” – Kevin

“When I get home I’m always glad not to be worrying about what neighbours are about to pull up next to me, and I enjoy my own toilet! I need a home base and somewhere to go if I get ill.” – Michelle

“It’s awesome!!! Over two years now, just my son, my dog and myself. I can’t imagine doing anything else anymore. So liberating!!” – Brooke

On working on the road

“We’ve stopped twice for 5-7 months so hubby could work and top up the kitty and are on the move again.” – Sarah

“We got rid of our stuff and are travelling in our van and chose what and where we go. We found house sitting helps – we get to spend lots of time in one area. We have saved some $20,000 in not having a house and all the things you need to pay for.” – Dave

“Pick a place, find work, move on – Australia is your oyster.” – Vickie

On selling or keeping your home

Touring with several Winnebagos

“Best thing we ever did was to sell the house, it was huge and on 5 acres…far too much for us to look after. Now we just go where we want to, when we want to and do what we want to.” – Sharon

“Try to keep your house. once you are out of the market for a while it could be difficult to get back in. Down the track you could have problems health wise and a solid base of property to use as collateral then could be important. I have seen many on the road who have sold up years ago and now have an old van, an old tow vehicle and bugger all else.– Michael

“When you get old and go into care you will need to sell [your home] anyway.” – Di

“Like so many others we sold up. When not housesitting we live in our converted small bus, been doing it for nearly three years now and still loving it. Hopefully the savings will last till we can get the aged pension.” Neil

“We sold our family house a few years back and now live in a small but conveniently placed apartment. We can shut the door on it whenever we want and go touring.” – Shirley

On touring with others

Touring permanently with family

“Just meet up with friends occasionally. We all have different interests and touring together can create tension.” – Gwen

“I won’t lie, working playing and living with the same person can be tough sometimes. It’s all about compromise by both.” – Kaz

“I have been known to go out in the rain with my trusty rain jacket to prevent cabin fever!” – Robyn


And there you have it, wisdom from people who have walked the talk and embraced #vanlife! Do you have any advice for those considering permanent caravan touring? Tell us in the comments!

*Source: Everything Caravan & Camping Facebook group.  Comments have been edited for spelling, grammar and clarity.


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