We hit the road in a seriously sexy 6-berth motorhome from Let’s Go Motorhomes to find out why a home on wheels provides all the ingredients for an ultimate family adventure.
The kids have been begging to get back on the road and have been hinting that they’d like a taste of van life. And by hinting I mean gesticulating wildly and squealing every time we pass one and literally begging for it. Enter the awesome folk at Let’s Go Motorhomes and a week of road tripping in luxurious style.
Our Let’s Go Motorhomes Jayco Conquest is a six-berth behemoth with enough space for us all to travel in comfort. And style! Because along with space, this gorgeous beast is kitted out with gorgeous leather upholstery, sleek interior styling and a layout that is literal genius. But more on that later… let’s talk about the beast bit.
She’s big. I’m talking 7.99-metres-long, 2.39 metres wide and 3.12 metres tall big. And my stomach is in knots at the prospect of manoeuvring her buxom proportions through the city.
Driving a 6 berth motorhome
A thorough briefing left us feeling more confident about handling the hefty 6 berth motorhome. Let’s Go Motorhomes are staffed by some of the friendliest people in the business and boast one of Australia’s most modern fleets, so we know our vehicle will be in tip top shape.
Between the promise of 24-hour roadside assistance and the Let’s Go Australia App – packed as it is with everything from vehicle help videos to route maps, campgrounds, things to do and even where the next public loo was (not that we actually needed one because the motorhome even has her own bathroom) – we are ready to rev her up and hit the road.
As for handling the hefty 6 berth motorhome… well, all my worry has been for nought as it turns out a hefty motorhome is as easy to drive as a regular car. I mean, I’m not talking fanging her around corners or doing burnouts here, because a motorhome does take up more space on the road and the best approach is to drive them slow and steady, but she’s surprisingly easy to drive. The front cabin is roomy, and the high seats offer not only comfort but a good view of the road. Sugarpuff also swears the cabin doubles as a comfy breakfast nook.
There’s an automatic transmission, power steering, plus plenty of mirrors and a rear view and reversing camera to ensure we stay safe and in our own lane.
The kids are strapped in around the table in the back, where there’s belted seating for four, and ensconced in a raucous round of UNO before we’ve even exited the Let’s Go Motorhomes parking lot. It’s important to note that every passenger within a motorhome is required by law to occupy their own seat and wear a seatbelt at all times when the vehicle is in motion. Tiny travellers will also require the appropriate restraints.
Cruising in comfort with Let’s Go Motorhomes
For this adventure we decided to let the kids choose our route. They fastidiously planned a week of road tripping along the coast from Sydney to Gippsland, with plenty of stops for beachside fish and chips, farm gates and fun factored in. But at the eleventh hour a COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne throws a spanner in the works and Victoria is off the agenda. We needed a Plan B. But, of course, that is the beauty of a motorhome, all we have to do is point our accommodation on wheels in another direction. But which direction?
This time we let the fates decide (with the assistance of a map, a dartboard and the kids’ questionable darts skills). Raff’s attempt is a washout, literally, as road tripping in The Pacific Ocean sounded a little soggy, but Sugarpuff nails her shot! Coffs Coast is the winner.
The seven-hour drive is breezy, even with long weekend traffic, and our Let’s Go Motorhome proves comfortable even with the long drive. There’s plenty of leg room in the front and the kids are spread out all over the place (though safely strapped in), a bench seat each in the back, as they alternate between playing card games, planning what we’re going to get up to at our new destination and catching up on the latest episodes of whatever it is they’re into this week on Netflix.
We stop for lunch and make easy roadside stops to utilise our in-built facilities at the whim of my daughter’s hummingbird-size bladder, instead of the usual out of the way loo quest we usually have to undertake. The entire trip is bliss and we arrive at Coffs refreshed and raring to set up camp for the night.
Living and loving the van life
Or not set up… as is the case. All we have to do is pull up to our allocated site at NRMA Darlington Holiday Resort and plug in the power and water. There’s no putting up tents, unpacking or even looking for the nearest camp kitchen, because everything we need is at home. Holiday ready, the kids shoot straight off on the scooters we’d stashed in the motorhome’s ample storage to check out what is on offer in the park.
I’m more interested in checking out our luxurious, air-conditioned 6 berth motorhome. There are two permanent double beds, one at the back (and very comfy indeed) and another raised over the driver’s seat to maximises space. A dinette also converts into a double bed. It’s more than enough space for this family.
Let’s Go Motorhomes also supplies all bedlinen including sheets, pillows and doonas. Plus, they stock the motorhome with tea towels, bath towels and mats. They have left nothing to chance. Speaking of bath towels, there’s a decent shower in the bathroom that I mentioned earlier.
As the inhabitant of a home that is almost entirely devoid of storage, I am giddy at just how much there is in the motorhome. There are little hidey holes all over the place (inside and our) and we are able to pack away everything we’ve brought with us and still have enough storage space left over to stow the kids (jokes).
The kitchen is almost as good as ours at home, with a sizeable two-door refrigerator and freezer, a four-burner stove and grill, microwave oven, toaster, kettle and sink. The cupboards are stocked with crockery and glasses for six, plus cooking utensils and cutlery. There’s even a coffee plunger and teapot for those who like their preferred brew properly prepared to start their day. And there are plenty of power sockets for us to charge up the plethora of devices we seem unable to leave home without these days.
We’ve stocked up the fridge with the makings of all the kids’ campsite camp food favourites like our easy campfire paella, but there’s so much space we’ve also been able to fill shelves with fresh fruit and vegetables and a few sneaky treats.
Time to relax
By the time the kids return – flushed faced and beaming after testing out the park’s jumping pillow and begging to be allowed to sign up for archery – hubby and I have set up the (supplied) outdoor table and chairs and are lounging under the massive retractable awning, bevvies in hand, to enjoy the sunset.
“There’s something missing”, declares Sugarpuff urgently, running into the van and coming back with her daypack. She pulls out a massive string of lights she appears to have flogged from our Christmas decorations. “We need these!”
Her all-important fairy lights strung across the awning, powered by one of the two power points on the outside of the motorhome, Raff grabs his guitar to add to the soundtrack of bird song. Clearly the local wildlife are music lovers because his playing attracts a couple of local kangaroos, who stop by for a brief roo boogie before hopping off into the nearby bush.
We fire up our barbecue and munch on surf and turf burgers, heaving with salad, grass fed beef and fresh prawns we’ve picked up on our way through at the local seafood co-op, before toasting marshmallows over the embers. We play cards and laugh under a sky painted with a million stars.
When it gets a little chilly we pop popcorn in the motorhome microwave, snuggle up on the converted bed, the kids hanging from their roof top bed cave, and settle in to watch a DVD on the motorhome’s flat screen TV. Roughing it? Us? Not even close.
On the go with Let’s Go Motorhomes
Morning sees the return of our marsupial mates, who join me for a cup of tea right while the rest of the family sleeps. Only the smell of bacon and eggs sizzling on the hotplate in the motorhome kitchen is enough to rouse the rest of our crew from their blissful slumber.
Then it’s time to quickly unplug our house and drive her off to explore Coffs Coast for the day. What could be easier? We spend the next few days between our NRMA Holiday Park and exploring the neighbourhood. Taking our time on the route back home, we make an overnight pitstop in Port Macquarie and stop again to stretch our legs at Lake Macquarie.
Being able to explore at our own pace, staying where we want, for however long we want – without packing and unpacking – and being able to head off without a backward glance is, for me at least, what makes a motorhome experience the ultimate in family road-tripping. For the kids? Well, they just love that it’s a great, big cubby house on wheels.
Disclosure: We were hosted by Let’s Go Motorhomes on our road tripping adventure but all van hanging, fairy lighting and opinions are own.