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Buying van/ camper? - Touring Aus?
6:36:34 PM
OK, so I'm looking at visiting your fair land around early March next year for 4-5 months of touring/sightseeing/climbing so I'm looking at buying a cheapo van that I can use as a camper. I'll be on my own so all I need is something to throw a matress and cooker into although if I can get something set up at a good price I'd seriously look at it. I'm thinking of flying into Melborne and using public transport for about a 2 week visit to Tassie then poss back to Melbourne to buy the van, spend around 3-4 weeks at the Grampians/Arapiles, poss a week+ at Mt Buffalo and working my way north as far as Darwin through the winter. I'm fully equipped with gear inc. rack & ropes, if i can find the odd climbing partner thats fine otherwise I'm confident with rope solo leading up to 20 on trad and a shade harder on sports routes
My question is, does this sound like a plan?( timings re weather etc.) and if so where is a good place to go van shopping ie am I likely to find something thru the various backpackers (Other tourists selling up ) or is there some hot spot to target?
8:56:10 PM
Yes, it sounds like an OK plan, SJ. In Sydney, I have noticed many adds for vans and
station-wagons for sale on the notice board of the YHA office in Kent St, opposite the
pricey outdoor shops. Similarly at the very large YHA at Central station (the multi-
storey one, not the converted rail sheds near Ralway Square bus stop.
Maybe you could snail-mail an eye-catching 'wanted' ad to the larger hostels prior to
your arrival, or email them from Tassie to let you know what's for sale a couple of days
before you get to Melbourne.
6:58:05 AM
Thanks for that Wollemi, thought that may be the case, it can be over here if you're in the right place at the right time, thanks again.
Anyone have any info of spots in and around Melbourne?
2:42:19 PM
there's a few options for buying vans in melbs. I don't know the name but there's a place on Elizabeth St (in middle of melb CBD) that sells vans to backpackers and then agrees to buy them back when you've finished with them...sounds dodgy but a friend said he didn't lose much cash doing it that way and they also insure the van for you if it has maintenance issues ect when you're using it...

You also may want to look at Wicked campers for hiring a van. if you buy one in Melb you will have to get a roadworthy and register it and all that shit which'l cost you a bit (unless you go with the guys mentioned above). Otherwise you could buy one in SA where you don't need a roadworthy, plus everything is way cheaper there. A mate bought a 94 mitsubishi magna wagon for $900. The downside is that you will have to dress in flannelet while there and possibly marry your sister/daughter in order to get a locals rate.

I'd think a cheaper way to do it if you want to visit Tassie as well is either hitchhiking around if you're up for doing walks and such...heaps of people gave me lifts there when doing Overland track, Walls of Jerusulam and Freycinet and such. Otherwise if that's not your scene, you'd be better buying the van first, then ferrying across and driving around from there. If you use guides to drive you to the start of walks (public transport doesn't head out that yonder), that'd cost you the earth.

Also araps will be cooking in our summer so you'd get better climbing in if you did araps first then headed down to tassie for climbing in summer...

forgive the spelling, I have a hangover from 'nam
3:32:33 PM
great info PC. Hear what you're saying with the buyback outfit, I've heard it can work out well though I'm not sure it will work for me as I intend to finish up in Darwin or there abouts so unless they have a branch up there it could be a problem.
Can anyone tell me what the cost of registration & road worthy certification, also the cost of taking a van across to tassie?
Probably wouldn't be at araps till near the end of March, is that still too hot or is there potential for it to be starting to cool off. If its any better I can delay my arrival until early April and be at araps towards the end of April?
9:32:07 PM
vans are really dear to buy for what they are $10000 probably wont get you much . A large car wagon is really cheap as nobody wants them as they use more fuel but you wouldnt use $1000 extra fuel in fact probably less fuel than a van . In vic roadworthy is $80 rego about $500.00 if you have to pay it and stamp duty on transfer $8.00 per $200 of the price of the car . transfer fee is $31.20 . the car should come with a road worthy or the plates removed which means you have to buy new plates as well as pay rego and road worthy as well as get the car up to standard (see VicRoads site ) The market in darwin isnt too good as lots of people end up there to sell but not many few buyers The car needs to be in good mechanical order as distances between centres is huge and repair costs and times are very high in the remote areas
11:04:39 AM
To take a car on the ferry cost $80 on top of your ticket price - at least last time I took it, check It's relatively cheap as it is subsidised by the Federal Govt (to compensate Tassie for the lack of an interstate highway). However the ferry tickets aren't so cheap.

4:49:16 PM
On 21/09/2008 lacto wrote:
>vans are really dear to buy for what they are $10000 probably wont get
>you much .

I bought my van a couple of years ago for $1650. It had 10 months rego. I have done about 30,000 kms in it and all I have had to do to it is buy some new tires and new spark plugs/leads.
It was already set up with a bed and storage space underneath and is excellent for road trips.

So, I think you can find vans for less than $10,000 if you have a good look. I got mine on an internet car sale site. Auctions may also be worth a look.
6:24:46 PM
Thanks for all the info guys, its going to be really usefull once I get there. I'll have plenty of time so will be able to have a good snoop around before settling on my purchase.
I'll probably look at picking up something like yours wallwombat, I'm not to worried about spending more or less the same again getting it to a reasonably reliable condition.

Just for interest sake, is there any issues taking a vehicle interstate?

There are 9 messages in this topic.


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