Setting Caravan/RV up for Free Camping in Australia

Are you thinking of travelling around Australia and not sure what you will need?  We have done two trips around Australia and like everyone we are still learning new tricks all the time.  So I thought I would let you know some of the my tips, so you will not make the same mistakes that we did.

If you are reading this then you have either already bought your caravan/RV, Motor Home or off-road trailer. All of these are great fun to explore Australia in. The only difference is the big price difference for each one. If you have not already bought something then this article may help you choose the right caravan before you outlay money that you cannot afford.



This is a map of one of the many trips we have done over the years

Australia is a big country with miles of open territory. If you have never traveled through the outback then you will be amazed just how spread out the towns are. Make sure you carry enough water, food and fuel as in some places you will not have stores to top up at for three hundred kilometers. So be prepared.



This free camp is Niagra Dam which is between Menzies and Leonora in Western Australia

Free Camping

Personally we love free camping anywhere and everywhere in Australia, where it is possible. some people prefer staying in Caravan parks for security. It is so relaxing when you stop in free camps, without being stuck on other people’s doorstop. If you would like to free camp there are a few things you will need to organize first.

The chimneys  Queensland

We had a great free camp here at the Chimneys, stayed for four days and saw two big Lace Monitors. They were pretty tame just wondered around between the campers

You will need:

  • your own power source
  • Gas for cooking and fridge
  • Lighting
  • Battery back up
  • Fresh water
  • Food

Power source

You have two main choices when travelling:

  • Solar Power
  • Generator

To give you an example, we have solar panels on the roof of our car and caravan. The  160 w  solar panel on the car roof, runs our fridge/freezer through an inverter in the car. Plus we have an extra battery in the car to store the solar charge. With reduced sunshine your solar will still charge although not as much.

We have another inverter in the caravan with 3 solar panels on the roof (total of 320 w). We also have 2 batteries to hold this charge. This runs all our lighting, TV, Laptop, phone recharging, and our Access satellite TV.  Our fridge and hot water system runs on gas. We never use our air conditioner so that is no problem.


You will also need an inverter to plug things into -This is for charging up your Laptop, phone and torches, and other low powered electrical equipment.

Generator Power

These are heavy, and smelly, and you need to carry petrol in a container.  We used one on our first trip and dumped it. Although this is our personal choice.

If you require the use of a microwave, air conditioner or boiling the kettle then a generator is a necessity. Beware never place a generator under an open window because the carbon-oxide fumes. (the same effect as placing a hose on your exhaust with the other end in the car).

Tip: Please be considerate when using a generator, because they are noisy, turn them off early. Also because of their noise many people have long leads and put the generator miles away, they cannot hear them but, is it now next to another camper? They might want to sleep to, so be considerate of other travelers.

Gas for cooking and fridge

When camping out, you will normally use this for your stove to cook and to keep your fridge cold.  Make sure you have enough gas, fill up in bigger towns as it can be expensive in the smaller ones.

Tip– ask the price first-if too expensive and you still have enough gas then leave it until next town.


If you have a caravan, I suggest that you change all the globes to LED’s. This will save you a lot on power usage.

Solar lights are brilliant to take when free camping.  Put them out during the day to charge, and use instead of your 12v at night.

Battery’s for back-up charge

I know we all need to watch the weight we put into our caravans so we are not overloaded, but at least one battery is important for storing your power from your solar panels or power generated from your car.

Fresh Water

It is very important to have enough water for your stay. Do your research and see if your free camp has access to fresh water. If near the ocean, you can use that to wash your dishes. If camped by a river boil the water, and use for drinking or dishes, if you are short.


Think about the weight you are loading in to your caravan/RV when loading the food.  Tinned food weighs heavy, packet foods like noodles and powdered milk is lighter.

Last but not least – Overloading the Caravan/RV

When you buy your caravan you will be told about the amount of weight you can carry. PLEASE try to stick to that weight.  When traveling in the Eastern States they are stopping vehicles and weighing them.  If your caravan if overweight they can make you unload things onto the side of the road. Plus if you have an accident, you will not be covered by insurance either.

Okay that is it. Now, once you have all that organised, you had better start packing and enjoying your free camping or staying in caravan parks. Remember to do your research before deciding where to spend your holidays.

List of  Free Campsites from Perth to Bendigo if you are looking for somewhere to camp for the crossing



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