Traveling by motorhome with children requires a bit of advance planning. After you have chosen your destination and decided you want to do a self-driven tour, you will have to choose the camper model that suits you best. In this article, we give an overview of the best family motorhome models, so you can find one that caters to your needs.
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How to choose a motorhome for your family?
In order to choose the right motorhome model for your family, there are some criteria to take into account.
Number of passengers
It goes without saying that if you are a couple with two children, you will need to rent a vehicle that seats four people comfortably. You should maybe even consider getting a 6-seater, just for the extra space. To give you an idea of the layout, car seats for children in a camper are installed on a bench that turns into a bed. This means you have to remove the car seats every evening and put them back on every morning. Because of this, it might be more convenient to get a vehicle with three double beds instead. That way you can use one of them as seats for your children, and the other two as beds.
You should also think about the season of your trip. If you are traveling in winter you will probably spend more time inside the vehicle rather than outside, which makes a larger vehicle more convenient.
Motorhome equipment / flexibility
The most important question here is whether you need your vehicle to be equipped with a shower and toilet. If so, you’re looking for a motorhome rather than a campervan. Motorhomes offer more flexibility when you are travelling. They not only come with facilities such as a shower, toilet, and kitchen, they are also better equipped in other ways. With motorhome batteries, you won’t need to connect to power at caravan parks as often. They are often equipped with a second battery or solar panels, so you can enjoy a nice hot shower or leave the light on for a while without having to worry about the battery level of your vehicle.
Vehicles without a shower or toilet are called campervans. These are much cheaper to rent or buy, however, in a campervan you have less flexibility and comfort. If you want to shower frequently and use a proper toilet, you will have to stop regularly at campsites. While you can often find public toilets and showers on roads in Australia and New Zealand, this will obviously restrict your travel somewhat.
Depending on the season, the age of your children, and your ability to travel without needing too much comfort, you can easily travel with children in a classic campervan.
Suitability for children
This is a pretty important point to note, because some vehicles aren’t suitable for small children.
If you have young kids, your vehicle needs to have a fastener (anchor point) for the installation of car seats, which not all models do. For example, in some models you can install a booster seat (for children 4 years and up), but not a baby seat (0 to 4 years). Remember to check the regulations for car seats for certain age groups, which differ from country to country.
Keep in mind that car seats are never installed at the front of the vehicle.
Motorhome rental prices vary widely between smaller, more basic models and larger, fully-equipped motorhomes. Other criteria that influence prices are: the age of the vehicle, the equipment included, availability and the time of year (avoid peak seasons: summer, school holidays etc). The duration of your trip also determines the rental price (the longer you rent the vehicle for, the lower the price works out per day).
Motorhome and campervan rental prices
Motorhome rental prices in Australia are based on the YIELD Management system, a pricing strategy in which prices vary according to demand. The sooner you book, the better a deal you’re going to get – we recommend booking at least 2 months in advance of your trip. You’re not very likely to find last-minute deals, and there may be very few options available if you leave it too late to book.
Due to the high competition among rental companies, you can get better deals in big cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. Remote locations such as Alice Springs, Broome, Airlie Beach or Townsville are not the best option.
The average price of a 4-seater motorhome is about $100/day in low season, or $200 a day in high season. The average price of a 6-seater motorhome is $280/day in low season, and $380 a day in high season.
📅 Departing in July (low season)
Motorhome insurance prices
When renting a motorhome in Australia, you should always get basic insurance included in the rental price. This insurance covers any bodily injuries to third parties.
In order to cover any material damage caused to your rental vehicle or to that of third parties, it is important to take out additional insurance. There are basically three different options for this:
- Insurance through your rental company
- Private insurance
- Credit card insurance
If you don’t want to take out full comprehensive insurance, you will have to pay a large deposit to your rental company.
Price comparison tool
Comparison website Motorhome Republic allows you to compare various models of motorhomes, see prices and get the best deals. You can also book online through them. So easy!
Motorhome and campervan rental companies
There are many different motorhome and campervan rental agencies in Australia. The biggest and most popular are Britz and Apollo, who both offer a wide range of vehicles. Overall the two companies are similar in price/quality, but Britz is often a bit pricier than Apollo. However, Britz sometimes offers more comprehensive insurance cover (but beware of the high deposit you’ll have to pay if you don’t opt to take out insurance – this can range from $3,500 to $7,500!). Motorhome companies are usually located in proximity to the airport.
- High/medium budget companies: Apollo, Kea, Maui, Britz and Cruisin Tasmania
- Lower budget companies: Wicked Campers, Travellers Autobarn, Spaceships, Mighty, Jucy, camperman, Awesome Campers, Hippie Camper, Lucky Rentals
Best motorhomes for a family of 2 adults and 1 child
Vehicles without a shower/toilet: Campervans
Campervan Apollo: 4 seats
Campervans are great for people that don’t need a lot of comfort, especially when you aren’t travelling for long. With a campervan, you get the basics: a kitchen, table, and two double beds. You will have to use public toilets and showers during your trip.
Vehicles with a shower/toilet: Camper, Motorhome
Apollo Euro Camper 4B
2 + 1 Britz Venturer 2 plus
With these vehicles, you can enjoy the flexibility of a motorhome and a minimum of comfort. These models come with a small bathroom with a shower and toilet, a bench that converts into a bed, and a kitchen area. Depending on the model, you can opt for 3 or 4 beds.
Best motorhomes for a family of 2 adults and 2 children
Vehicles without a shower/toilet
Mighty Double Down
These two models let you install a baby seat or a seat booster (usually for children over 4 years old) at the rear of the vehicle. Note that there is no safety net. So if you are traveling with a toddler or baby, an adult will have to co-sleep with them.
Vehicles with a shower/toilet
Apollo Euro Camper 4B
With this vehicle, you will enjoy the comfort of a shower/toilet. You also have a bench that converts into bed and a kitchen area.
Best motorhomes for a family of 4-6 people
Vehicles without a shower/toilet
Here are a few examples you can opt for:
Camperman Paradise 5
This campervan lets you install two baby seats at the bottom of the vehicle. This is not ideal for very young children, especially if you need to be able to reach them quickly.
Traveler Autobarn High Five 2
Vehicles with a shower/toilet
Apollo Euro Deluxe 6B
This model gives you all the comfort and space you need. It is pretty big though, so make sure you’ll be comfortable driving it!
As you can see, there are many different models available for your trip. You can choose the model that suits you best, depending on your situation and your budget.
Frequently asked questions
Traveling through Australia in a motorhome with family is an adventure that comes with its own set of questions and considerations. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by families planning or embarking on such a journey:
The best time to travel depends on the regions you plan to visit. For the northern parts, the dry season from May to October offers comfortable weather. For southern Australia, the summer months from December to February are ideal.
Generally, a standard car license is sufficient to drive most motorhomes. However, for larger vehicles over 4.5 tonnes, a Light Rigid (LR) license may be required. Always check the vehicle’s requirements and your home country’s license validity in Australia.
Apps like WikiCamps Australia, CamperMate provide comprehensive listings of campsites and caravan parks, including amenities, prices, and reviews, helping you find family-friendly options.
Yes, Australia has regulations on free camping. While many areas allow it, some places require you to stay in designated campgrounds or caravan parks. Always check local regulations and signs, and consider using apps that identify legal camping locations.