A couple of year ago we were given the chance to tour the Mornington Peninsula in a Maui motorhome. I had actually won a competition that gave us a week in a Maui, from anywhere in Australia. As caravanners, we had to adjust our normal way of thinking, we had to plan ahead more than we normally would.
As I mentioned, Maui allowed us to take the motorhome from anywhere in Australia, so we decided to use up a few frequent flyer points, fly to Melbourne and head down to the Mornington Peninsula and Philip Island.
We checked in online, this gave us a big head start with most paperwork sorted and a variety of information videos to view prior to the trip. They also supply a terrific vehicle overview and familiarization on pick-up. We were given one of the biggest units, the Platinum River, the rear double bed was permanently set up as was the dining area near the front, so not a lot of setting up on our travels.
I thought the motorhome was so big when I first jumped in and for the first hour or so when driving, I was very aware of it’s overall dimensions, but I soon got used to it. In reality, it’s way shorter than my 4WD and caravan combined, and not much wider.
I don’t think it’s necessary to give you all the details of our journey, just to say that we visited many cafes for coffee, limited ourselves to one bakery, enjoyed some top restaurants and had a couple of pub feeds. Phillip Island was fantastic, we particularly like Cowes.
The caravan parks varied, a couple of places we looked at were more set up for permanents or regular holiday makers, with only a few powered sites available. Average price was $40 per night for a powered site, but we were at the start of the school holidays so prices were starting to rise, as was the lack of positions.
We discovered the Mornington Peninsula foreshore camping, open for about six months of the year at a variety of great spots.
Highlights of the trip were Sorrento, Portsea and the Red Hills Markets with beautiful local produce, clothes and knick-knacks.
We liked the motorhome, it was surprisingly easy to drive and park and the fuel consumption was pretty good. One of the downfalls was that we tended to stay indoors more than we would in our van, maybe because we didn’t want to setup a lot so we could get away easier every day.
The caravan we owned at the time didn’t have a toilet or shower, so we continued to use the caravan parks facilities as we would normally. We noticed the rear double bed was smaller than our vans and it took a night or two to get used to, but we did.
Gallery of images
This did change our view of motorhome travel a bit, the longer we had it, the easier it became, in fact driving was so easy we forgot the height and almost didn’t make it down a few street with low hanging branches.
However… I’m afraid we’re still caravan people, we much prefer the freedom it gives us, the ability to check in, then head off exploring. I guess we could throw a small car on the back, but to my way of thinking that defeats the purpose. Everyone is different and a motorhome is a fantastic option when touring if that is what you want. I think it’s probably a good idea to hire one if you are interested in purchasing a motorhome, or like us wanting to experience something new in touring.
Written by Andrew Kennedy, Similar content that Andrew wrote can be found on Snowys and RView Blogs.