Many travellers like the idea of having their own bedding but do not want to tow a regular size caravan. Here are a few lightweight towable options.
Reg and I have had wonderful tours with a mattress in the back of a wagon style car or a van with and without, side mounted annexe or a freestanding marquee for an undercover room. Both these options were inexpensive and it gave us the best quality mattress, which we knew was free form vermin. The traveller’s plague of bed bugs is not something I fancy. I personally have never encountered them in my travels; my sister had an unpleasant experience on a cruise ship with these annoying critters. I was in my thirties when I swore, ‘never again’, to sleeping in strange beds, mostly due to the difficulty getting a good night sleep on a less than ideal mattress. Just because I was camping did not mean, I had to do away with my top of the range, pillow top comfort.
Our very first caravan was our Avan, ALiner which was a 2000 model custom built on a cruiseliner chassis. They used to carry a huge range of vans to choose from, I think they mostly sell Jayco caravans now, so I would recommend going to Avan in Frankston to see the range and that then gives you a base price and extra fittings idea, so you can then shop around. Reg and I paid $20,000. In 2003 for a year 2000 off highway model with all the extra fittings, solar panel, all the extra windows, the set up we bought three years old, would have cost us $29,000. new price. The $20,000. expense came as a shock to us as we went out looking for a $15,000. Avan but in using this van over several years we know that all the extras that van had, were for us, essential extras and it would not have paid to have cut back.
Although we now have what we consider to be a better, and more expensive van, I would still recommend the Avan ALiner off highway model and on the cruisliner chassis this model had a large front storage boot. The boot frequently is not added to the ALiner these days; people have a tendency to disregard maker’s instructions to not overload the boot. The front of any caravan should not be used to carry heavy weight.
Here is what Avan, has to say about the ALiner.
Avan Aliner is our most popular model. The Aliner is designed as a high mobility travel trailer that is well suited where a short overall towing length is desired. Six floor plans are available with single/double bed configurations.
It was because off our love for the brilliant design of the AVan A Liner that Reg and I took the next step and went with confidence to the Eco-Tourer, Slipstream, caravan as soon as we had a more powerful towing vehicle. I applaud great design.
Ryn Shell writes stories of crime, love and Australia.
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Formerly Kathy Shell of Buninyong Gallery.
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