TENT OR CAMPERVAN? WHICH IS BETTER FOR SOLO CAMPING?
I have been a solo traveler as long as I can remember. This year I had the opportunity to pack up and take an RV from Sydney to Cairns over the space of three weeks. It was the first time I had ever solo camped in a campervan, always preferring to use tents before. I took the smallest RV I could find. It was 16 foot and could sleep 3, at a push. It came with a little kitchenette and bathroom and had full electrical, water and toilet capabilities.
SOLO RV CAMPING
A campervan is like a mini self-contained apartment. If you rock up at a campsite with hookup capabilities, you have everything you need right there. It doesn’t matter if the campsite restaurant is rubbish or the facilities are basic, you have it all in your RV.
You can also lock the doors at night, which as a woman, made me feel more secure. I have never had any problems with security when in my tent, but the feeling of protection put me at ease. Getting dressed was much easier and privacy was never an issue.
However, RV travelling is much more expensive. The fees are around $30 for the night even if you only have a combie van. Much more than for a tent. Also, many of the RV camping areas were like glorified car parks. Unlike in a tent where I have woken up among the trees in the forest, or on a beach, every morning I was greeted to the view of grey tarmac and the neighbours chasing their dogs around. The people were incredibly friendly, but were often a lot older and therefore went to bed early, leaving socialising in the evening a little limited.
You can get much closer to nature while tent camping. You can camp in harder to reach spaces and because the tent is really only for sleeping, you spend the whole day outside. This encourages me to fill my days with activities and I’m constantly exploring and out and about.
The campsite maintenance required for tent camping is much more basic. Collecting firewood and washing dishes are the daily chores. In the RV, there was cleaning, emptying the toilet system and changing bed sheets. The routine was fine, but I prefer to have less to do around camp and fill my days with outdoor pursuits.
Of course, it undoubtedly comes down to personal preference and where you are in your life. I understand why veteran campers eventually made the transition to campervan. It is much safer and it makes for a more comfortable experience, but for now I am still happy to get down in the dirt pitching tents and sleeping with just a small sheet of nylon separating me from the outside world.
I am sure one day I will make the transition to four-wheel camping and embrace the jobs and pace of life it entails. But, given the campsite prices, I had better start saving now.
What are your thoughts or experience? Let everyone know through the comments section below.