Spoiler alert: we don’t know yet.
Right now we are exploring some ideas around selling Ripley and buying another Campervan/motorhome. It is not that we are unhappy with her, in fact, she is fricking awesome. It’s just that we have done a lot of travelling all over Australia now, and we are interested in accessing some places where Ripley simply cannot traverse.
What we would be looking for is something with a slightly smaller footprint (ie something that could squeeze into a normal parking space without too much overhang), higher ground clearance, perhaps 4WD capability, and a more stealthy overall appearance (ie doesn’t scream out: people sleeping overnight in this vehicle).
We want to be able to explore up all those promising dirt roads/tracks we currently dare not take*.
Australia is a vast and rugged country, some of her best-kept secrets demand a bumpy, hilly, don’t-bring-your-front-wheel-drive-biggie-in-here ride.
We want to be able to park in urban areas (or anywhere for that matter) with a little more overnight invisibility. There is nothing worse than that 2 am knock at the door.
Finally, we want to be able to manoeuvre and park in tighter, smaller spaces. Turning Ripley into any small street alleyway or track on the fly requires equal parts high situational awareness and a finger-crossing brow sweat that you are not going to get stuck (or engaged in an embarrassing peak hour 357 point turn as I did in a narrow city street in Tasmania —thanks Google Maps).
As I said, we are vacillating over this decision.
With the post COVID popularity of van-life travel, now would be a premium time to sell. Ripley is in exceptionally good shape with low km and plenty of features. We should get a good price.
Ripley’s large size is well and truly equalled in volume by the sheer number of incredible memories we have generated travelling in her. She has been so damn good to us, and shown us around in style. We are very reluctant to risk losing something we trust for something that may or may not live up to our expectations.
Moreover, asking prices on other 2nd hand vehicles will also be high right now.
Waiting times on orders for new motorhomes/camper-vans can be easily 18 months.
Even if we did find something available sooner the entire searching process would see us without a home-away-from-home for some time to come.
That’s where we are. Prudently, we will mull this over some more. Discuss the pros and cons over large quantities of coffee and croissants and examine all the options.
What do YOU think? Should we be thankful for what we have and keep her, or level up to something that might offer us a whole new palate of adventure?
*There are plenty of travellers who DO take motorhomes similar to ours up some pretty rough tracks in search of the perfect isolated campsite. Some get themselves into trouble, many do just fine.
We are just not those people.