So you’ve decided to travel around Australia now comes the most important part. It’s not trip planning or budgeting, it is picking your vehicle. Matt and I are intending to travel for 12+ months so for us buying something was the easiest and most budget friendly option. For shorter trips there are many companies that will hire out vans and cars for travelling around Oz or you could try your luck with buses and trains (few and far between).
Most of the blogs I read about this process are very sensible. They say not to buy the cheapest thing that you find and not to get something just because it works for your #vanlife aesthetic. Instead it recommends looking at sites like Gumtree regularly and preparing yourself to drive a lot of duds before finding The One. That did not happen for us. One morning in May for some unknown reason we were both on Gumtree, both looking for campervans and Matt found it, our perfect van, a 2005 Mitsubishi Delica 4WD, the ultimate adventure machine, 141,000 on the odo annnnnd it was converted as a campervan. Unbelievable luck.
The Universe had dropped this van in our laps and we had to see it so we organised a meet up with the German couple that had bought and converted it that night. Matt took it for a quick spin, we looked over it, and decided to buy it. A glorious white van that the Germans had dubbed “The Egg” because it looks like an egg from the back.
There was one problem…finances. Matt immediately started applying for a loan and I ended up chatting about the situation with my friends, one offered to lend us the money while we sorted out the loan (and it is her alone that we can credit for enabling us to get our van, thank you). There was a rush on the purchasing because sadly the Germans had to go back home to care for a sick family member, their freshly converted van handed on to finance their home flights. 5 days after seeing The Egg for the first time we drove out to a random house near Ipswich and picked it up.
I can not reiterate this enough, follow the advice of the other blogs, take your time, think about what you want and try lots of different vans. Purchasing a $20,000 vehicle that The Universe has dropped into your lap is ill advised, I’m glad we did it every day but that is not the sensible way to go about things…then again we aren’t very sensible people.