Why on Earth Would You Hire From Travellers-Autobarn?

By Tim Ahern

Travellers-Autobarn rents campervans, cars and motorhomes in Australia.

The cars are station wagons and small sedans, the campervans are 2 and 3 berth vans and the motorhomes are sub-hired from a 3rd party.

Their range of campervans is broad enough to cater for a couple of different price ranges within the budget model, but in general, they are aimed at people looking for a cheap vehicle rather than luxury. The "Chubby", going out for approx $40 per day, is at the cheaper end of the scale, through to their "Deluxe" going out for around $60. And whilst they rent motorhomes, they really only sub-hire them from another company. It is definitely worth checking prices with Travellers-Autobarn for motorhomes, but you will also want to get prices from other suppliers.

The "Chubby" budget van, is based on the Mitsubishi express, as are most budget models in the Australian market. Each Chubby is individually painted for a sense of creativity and uniqueness. The age range is of the vehicles is 3-4 years and the fittings are pretty much industry standard: sleeps 2, esky (ice cooler) for cold storage, kitchenette sink, food storage at the back and cooking with the rear door up. There are a handful of companies that are adding awnings/tents to the back door to protect you from the elements whilst cooking, the Chubby is one of these. The "easy to assemble" awning comes standard with the hire and can save you getting wet if you have to cook whilst it is raining. Overall, the awning is the main thing setting this vehicle apart from its closest competitors as there is very little difference between them otherwise. One final thing to note though is that they have a headphone jack in the CD player to plug in your iPod. These are excruciatingly rare so keep that in mind if the music you listen to in your travels is high on importance agenda.


Comes with the rear door awning

iPod jack and CD player

Under 21 rentals



No pop-top or hi top option

Mitsubishi is not as reliable as Toyota

The Hi Top is the next price level up at around $50pd. This model is for those that want a little more room and a little more luxury. Seating and sleeping 3, the Hi Top allows for sleeping "upstairs" and "downstairs" - 1 up and 2 down. Great if you have a child or friend coming along. Cooking facilities allow for entirely inside cooking and it comes with a fridge and a microwave. The microwave will only run when connected to mains power like when camped a caravan park or similar. The fridge is dual power so will run on the house battery and the mains. Like nearly all budget campervans for hire, it is a manual gear vehicle (stick shift), so if you can't drive one of those, you will have to move up a price range or 2. The beauty of the Hi-Top is that you can stand upright in the vehicle. On longer trips, or for taller people, this is a fantastic option. It also allows for extra storage in the area above the drivers head. Never fear though, this vehicle already has plenty of cupboard space inside. The downside of the Hi-Top is that the extra height causes extra drag on the vehicle and the fuel economy is reduced. If doing a super long journey, this will have some impact on fuel bills. Also, you have to try and remember that you have a very high roof and not smash it in to things like undercover park park roofs and low signs.


Extra people capacity

Stand up inside

Cook inside


Fuel efficiency not great

Can't park in undercover car parks

The top of the line campervan from Travellers-Autobarn is the Hi-Top deluxe at around $60pd. The difference between the normal and deluxe Hi-Top is the newness. The deluxe vehicles are newer and hence have overall less wear and tear. The fittings and upholstery are nicer and any recent design improvements are going to be found in these vehicles. One new design element is the slide out bench that pops out through the side door, but that is hardly a deal maker. Generally, there are more lights, prettier laminate on the cupboards, thicker cushions and even carpet on the ceiling but overall design of the vehicle is the same as the normal Hi-Top. So if you like a little more "pamper" on your journeys, this is the one for you. Stupidly, if you want to be able to play your iPod, you will have to rent the Chubby, because you can't plug in to the hi-tech AM/FM radio.

What you are best off doing is buying one of those little local transmitters that plugs in to the cigarette lighter socket and broadcasts your iPod to the FM radio.


Newer and nicer than any other in the range

3 people

Cook inside


Most expensive

Not the best fuel economy

As mentioned earlier, the 4 berth and 6 berth motorhome are sub rented from a 3rd party. They don't really mention that in their literature, but a keen eye will tell you from the photos that they are getting them from Around Australia Motorhomes, so if you are getting a quote, do yourself a favour and check directly with AAM for a price as well.

Remember, if hiring a campervan in Australia, to drive on the left and that you are most likely to hit a rogue kangaroo on the roads at dawn and dusk - so slow down in those times.

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