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13 Tips For Hiring A Campervan In Australia With Travellers Autobarn

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Wondering what it’s like hiring a campervan in Australia from Travellers Autobarn? With so many campervan companies to choose from, I’m sure you must have your reservations!

Luckily for you, we recently went on a road trip to Broken Hill from Sydney and used a Travellers Autobarn campervan to experience a trip to the outback! So, I’m going to take you through everything I would’ve liked to have known, before I went on a road trip with this campervan hire from Sydney.


1. Why choose Travellers Autobarn

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Travellers Autobarn have a focus on budget travellers planning a self drive trip, which makes sense as it was founded by two ex backpackers. This means they definitely understand all of the little things you probably didn’t realise you’ll need on your Australia road trip.

Their website even compares the price differences between a bus ticket and their van hire so you can see the benefits ahead of obtaining your quick quote.


2. Road trip vs flying in Australia

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You can easily fly to all the major bucket list sights in Australia and have the best time. But in doing that, you may miss the beautiful regional towns and stunning National Parks in between that make Australia the unique place it is.

When you hire a campervan and plan a road trip, you feel that utter freedom to control your own schedule and explore to your hearts content. Plus, you never know, you might want to spend longer in some places rather than others.


3. What was I apprehensive about?

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Driving a vehicle that is not your own is always a bit nerve wrecking, especially if that vehicle is the size of a van. As budget travellers, the last thing you would want to spend your money on is accidental damage to your rental.

Travellers Autobarn campervan hire focuses on travel in the most cost effective way and offer packages to cover the bond costs and alleviate your worries.

It was my first trip with a new friend and naturally I was apprehensive about living in close quarters. But, you’ll soon see in this article that there was nothing to worry about!

Looking to do a roadtrip from Sydney to Byron Bay? Check out our 22 Places To Stop Between Sydney and Byron Bay!


4. Which van to choose

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One of the things that may be overwhelming is trying to work out the type of campervan hire you need.

We chose the Chubby, a Toyota Hiace 2 berth compact camper, with a lounge/sleeping area in the back and a kitchenette accessible from the boot which was perfect for a 6 day trip.

As we knew we would be travelling thousands of kilometres in a short time, we opted for a campervan without a high top, so we didn’t have to worry about potential high winds slowing us down.

Another compact option in Travellers Autobarn range would be one of their station wagons which is a classic Aussie 60’s car you can sleep in, a great vehicle for budget travellers looking for that camping experience.

If you are planning a longer road trip with a relaxed journey, a hitop, such as their Kuga van, may be for you as the kitchenette is inside the main area and there is space to stand in the van.


5. No Aussie Drivers Licence?

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If you are an international traveller or an expat reading this article, you must check the local license requirements as you may need to obtain an international one. As a Brit with a full UK drivers license, I did not need to obtain an international equivalent in Australia.

The Autobarn campervan is either manual or automatic transmission with no guarantee on preferences so make sure you are comfortable with both.

FYI, Travellers autobarn have a FREE APP, providing you with directions to helpful things such as free campgrounds, water bubblers, ATM’s. and gas refills for your gas cooker.


6. How much are the extras?

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Of course with all rentals, we must be covered for any accidental damage. Travellers Autobarn offer 3 options for protection:

  1. Standard Protection, $3,000 bond to be paid at pick up, $0 additional cost per day.
  2. Midway Protection, $1,500 bond to be paid at pick up, $20 additional cost per day.
  3. Protection Plus, $0 bond, $30 additional cost per day.Please note that the bond can be held for up to 14 days after your rental end date so account for this in your decision
  4. Standard Protection, $3,000 bond to be paid at pick up, $0 additional cost per day.
  5. Midway Protection, $1,500 bond to be paid at pick up, $20 additional cost per day.
  6. Protection Plus, $0 bond, $30 additional cost per day.Please note that the bond can be held for up to 14 days after your rental end date so account for this in your decision

7. What’s included

Travellers Autobarn

Travellers Autobarn is a cost effective way for anyone looking to explore Australia as their vans come with all the essential camping equipment you need. I will list the tools included in the Chubby van and most vans but there are also items you can pay extra for your comfort:

  • 2 Pillows
  • 2 Sleeping Bags
  • 1 Mattress Sheet
  • 1 Large Ice Box
  • 1 Gas Cooker and 3 Gas Canisters
  • 1 Tea Towel
  • 1 Sponge and washing up liquid
  • Kitchen essentials included frying pan, pan, kettle, 2 places, 2 mugs, 2 cups, 2 bowls and cutlery
  • Teabags, coffee and sugar
  • Tap with running water when the water pump is connected at camp sites
  • Electricity plug for campsites
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Bucket

8. Extras you can hire

Travellers Autobarn

Camping Chairs – If you are a sunrise chaser like me, then I would highly recommending adding these. Nothing better than sneaking out the van, putting up your chair and enjoying the sunrise view!

Outdoor Camping Table

Child Booster Seat

Fan or Heater

GPS – Might be wise if you are going to remote areas with no phone signal

Looking to escape Sydney on a weekend getaway? Check out our 45 Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney guide!


9. What to bring

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It’s hard to know ahead of the trip what you should pack for the van, so I’m going to help you out. These are the basics I packed from home for a short trip but you may want more comforts for a longer hire.

Please note, I haven’t included my items bought from the supermarket as these are personal preference.

But, I would say to be mindful that there is only a gas cooker, so anything that can be fried or boiled is the way to go. The Autobarn icebox would fit food to last 2-3 days.

  • Ice packs for the cooler
  • Salt, Pepper & herbs
  • Oil
  • Milk
  • Cereal
  • Towel

10. Luggage options

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Tips about clothes for those of you who overthink and overpack (me included); there is under seat storage but it is compact so I would recommend bringing an overnight bag rather than suitcase. Once the bed is up, it can be harder to access under the seats so I would put my bag into the drivers cabin for easy access at night.

I would highly recommend a pair or thongs or sliders that you can keep on the internal step in the van for those quick toilet trips at the campsite.

Another great tip would be to pack a smaller bag for walking to the shower blocks so you don’t have to balance your outfit, towel and toiletries across the campsite (honestly, I was a pro camper by the end of the trip)!


11. What my experience was like using Travellers Autobarn

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Wondering what my experience was like driving a campervan for the first time in Australia? I was really worried about reverse parking, but luckily our van had a reverse camera in the rearview mirror which actually made parking surprisingly smooth.

There is so much space in the drivers cabin and the middle seat turns into a table for a much needed coffee cup and snacks on a long drive. As soon as I plugged my phone into the USB socket to charge, it auto connected to the audio so I could play my favourite road trip playlists!

There’s also a phone cradle included so I could safely use Google maps.

Make sure you check your data coverage for remote areas and maybe download your route offline beforehand as a precaution.

Fear not though, you’ll find an atlas in the van as well!

Even though we had no issues with the van or breakdowns, it was a huge comfort to know the campervan hire included 24/7 roadside assist service. If you are nervous about planning your first campervan trip in the near future, Travellers Autobarn takes these worries for you so you can just focus on having that amazing experience!


12. What’s it like sleeping in the van?

Travellers Autobarn

As stated at the beginning of this article I was apprehensive about being in such close quarters with a friend (I like my space). However, I was pleasantly surprised by the space in the purpose built campervan.

The bed was super easy to assemble, the dining table comes apart and slides into the space between the lounge seats to create a bed base. The back seat clicks down all the way to the kitchenette to create an extra long double bed.

The standard size of a double bed is 1.4 by 2 meters but the bed in the camper is 1.5 by 2.3m which i’m sure would be a relief for tall adults. I wouldn’t know about that, but it was a relief to sleep with extra space to stretch out and know I wouldn’t kick my travelling partner.

The pillows are soft and the mattress is made up of the seat cushions used in the lounge set up.

Although thin, it is comfy and I was not sore at all at the end of the six day trip. But I would say, do not to expect the same support as a full mattress at home.

There are curtains for all windows and the driving cabin and once closed, you get complete privacy. There are two lights in the main area which can be set to blue night lights or full lights. If you hook up to a powered site, then there are two handy USB and plug sockets for charging your devices.


13. Exceptional service

Travellers Autobarn

One of the things that really impressed me about Travellers Autobarn is the level of service and communication they provided. Two days before returning, I received a friendly text from them with a reminder on how to return the vehicle to the Sydney drop off.

I needed to return with a full tank of petrol, relatively clean inside and outside and a full gas tank/canisters. They also offer a prepaid option for petrol and gas refills so you don’t have to worry about these at drop off.

Once they did their quick checks, I handed over the keys and filled out a service review and I was good to go. As said at the beginning of this article, the bond could take up to 14 days to return but I received mine back within 7 days.


Summary

Travellers Autobarn

The best thing about a campervan hire is the freedom it gives you if you are budget travellers, to be able to hire your vehicle and accommodation in one saves a lot of money.

If you are planning a self drive trip, no company would understand what you need more than Travellers Autobarn.

My favourite part of my whole trip was waking up in the spacious van before sunrise, making myself a tea from the gas cooker in the kitchenette, setting up my camping chair and watching the sunrise. You can’t get this experience from a hotel room.

Would I book again? I sure would! You can check out their van hire from Sydney, Melbourne, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Cairns and Perth, with Darwin and Alice Springs coming soon at the time of writing!

Big thanks to Travellers Autobarn for hooking us up with the campervan for our road trip to Broken Hill. We would definitely book with them again!


13 Things to know about hiring a campervan in Australia from Travellers Autobarn

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This article is written by Londoner In Sydney team member, Amii Freeman.

Hi I’m Amii! I’m from Darlington in the North East of England. I moved from London to Sydney in 2019 for a slower pace and to be by the coast, without having to give up my love of cities. My passion is in film and TV, I screen-write and act as much as I can. In my spare time I love trying new food, exploring new places, kayaking, hiking and cycling. Follow me on Instagram @amiifreeman!

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