Going on a campervan adventure under the Australian sun demands careful preparation to make the most of the journey. From the vast Outback to picturesque coastal drives, understanding and packing the right sun essentials is crucial for a safe and enjoyable road trip
In a previous article, we covered the basics of how much you should expect to spend renting a campervan in Sydney, including considerations like insurance, fuel, and campsite fees.
Today, we’ll outline the must-have items to shield yourself from the sun’s intense rays, so that you can ensure that your campervan trip becomes a memorable exploration of Australia’s breathtaking landscapes without compromising on comfort and well-being.
Campervan essentials for your next trip
Portable Fan or A/C
In Australia, the most popular time for campervan trips is usually during the summer holidays, around December to February, which are also the hottest months of the year. If you’re unfamiliar with how hot Australian summers can get, it’s not uncommon for extreme highs to reach over 40°C. This can make for an ideal beach day picnicking on the shores of Scarborough Beach, but it also means you'll need adequate preparations to stay cool while driving or sleeping in your campervan.
To avoid sweating away your trip, consider bringing a portable fan or air conditioner on your trip. An affordable option for this is the three-in-one mini USB air cooler available at Bunnings. Made for on-the-go use, the portable fan features a filter, ice pack, and 275 ml water tank capacity that can last up to six hours.
Reflective Sun Shades
Reflective window shades are another low-cost way of reducing heat inside the campervan. By reflecting sunlight, they help maintain a cooler and more comfortable interior, making the journey more enjoyable and preventing potential heat-related issues. Plus, they can be used as a privacy shade for when you’re parked in public spaces like the Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales.
Check out the highly-rated EzyShade Windshield Sun Shade with Shield-X Reflective Technology available on Amazon. It comes in a few sizes and can be folded for easy storage.
Though the majority of Australians are familiar with the SunSmart mantra “Slip-Slop-Slap-Seek”, many are unaware that their eyes are just as susceptible to sunburn as their skin. As such, sunglasses are crucial for a campervan trip in order to protect your eyes from the harsh UV rays. Not only do they enhance visibility in bright conditions, but they also reduce glare, ensuring a safer and more comfortable driving experience. Additionally, sunglasses help prevent eye strain and long-term sun damage, making them an indispensable accessory for your journey.
For this, we recommend buying sunglasses that are ideal for driving and are tested according to Australian standards, such as Oakley’s Trailing Point sunglasses fitted with Prizm Road Black lenses. These specific sunglasses are designed to improve colour and contrast for greater road safety. Wraparound styles like the Field Jacket are also a great option for preventing light from entering the side of the face.
Australia has some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world. In fact, UV radiation is strong enough to cause sunburn in as little as 11 minutes on a fine summer day. However, UV radiation cannot be seen or felt and is not related to temperature, so it’s critical that you monitor the UV index rating even if the weather is overcast and gloomy, and always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
If possible, avoid aerosol sunscreen, as research has suggested that aerosol sunscreens are not as effective for sun protection due to difficulties with even application. Instead, go for simple lotion-type sunscreens like Australian-made Ultra Violette Extreme Screen Hand and Body Sunscreen with SPF 50+. As you prepare for your campervan trip, remember that sun protection isn’t just a choice, consider it as a travel companion.
From UV-protective gear to sunscreen, these essentials will keep you comfortable on the road and safe from the sun.