Buying a camper - dealer or private?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Buying a camper - dealer or private?

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1. Posted by Steve-Kay (Budding Member 24 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!


We are in Perth at the moment and want to buy a camper to travel up to Darwin and then down through to Adelaide and then maybe across to Sydney....

We know NOTHING about mechanics so we're thinking of buying an ex-rental vehicle from Travellers Autobarn or Wicked Campers as we're thinking it would have been well-maintained and should come with a warranty...

Has anybody done this? Do you think this is a good idea or are we just paying more for nothing??

2. Posted by johannacam (Budding Member 9 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi there.

I'd recommend what you are doing. It will give you piece of mind. Yes, you pay a bit more but it could cost you way more if you buy a camper that breaks down on you.

We went through autobarn and bought a van then they bought it back from us at the end for a guaranteed price. Another good thing.

As long as you plan to have the van for 3 months or more it's better to buy than hire a van.


Sounds like you have an amazing trip ahead of you - enjoy it!


[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

3. Posted by Appro (Budding Member 41 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I've read many posts from people moaning about rental vans, so don't expect anything extra if you're buying from them.

I'm also planning to buy a van. I'm going to buy privately and get a mechanical check done before I hand over the cash. You'll get more van for your money going private.

4. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Ex-rentals will probably be high mileage and driven carelessly so it might be worth steering clear of them. Remember most wicked vans are ex-tradesperson vans (you can sometimes see the stickers under the wicked paint job) and so have been used and abused twice. If it comes with a warrenty for the duration of time you'll be driving it then it might be worth looking at but I agree with Appro, you will probably get more van for your money if you buy private and get a mechanic to check it over.

5. Posted by Steve-Kay (Budding Member 24 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

OK, thanks everyone. We're going to have a look at a few and make a decision - if we go private we'll definitely have a mechanic check it over, although there doesn't seem to be too many around at the moment to choose from in our price range (we're looking for a hitop).

The warranty with Travellers Autobarn doesn't sound that great to be honest - It's a 5000km warranty for engine and gearbox, and a 2-week total warranty (both only up to $1000), but if you break down outside of a 50km radius of the CBD (Perth) you have to pay towing costs yourself...

We've definitely decided against Wicked though - as timtravels said, they're ex-commercial vans and have obviously been used and abused!

6. Posted by DutchBoy (First Time Poster 1 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!


not going for Wicked is definitely a good call - the Travellers Auto Barn warranty is probably still the best on the market (even so towing costs can be a real pain - but then again, you would face the same if you buy privately privately). Definitely a hard choice - probably check out a few different campers from private sellers as well as dealers and then make a decision.

I guess it all comes down to the fact what to do when your van really breaks down - you will be relieved if you are able to call a dealer then who will look after you. Good luck.

7. Posted by travelyack (Budding Member 23 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I have bought a number of ex rental cars and never any problems as they are so well maintained, by reputable companies Check out or and see what they have for sale.