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RV Classes – Find the Right RV rental for your travel

An RV (recreational vehicle) is a vehicle that can be used as a home away from home when you go on vacation. It’s more than just camping. It’s for anyone who wants to travel and stay in their own space without worrying about renting a hotel room every night or finding somewhere safe to park when they’re tired of driving. So how do you know which one to choose?

Self-contained vs a non self-contained RV?

A self-contained RV, also known as a “fully equipped” or “fully loaded” RV, is a recreational vehicle equipped with water, sewage, and waste storage systems. This allows it to be self-sufficient and independent of external sources for these services, making it suitable for extended travel or use in areas without access to campground facilities.

Self-contained RVs typically have a more complete set of amenities and features. These may include a living area, kitchen, bathroom, and storage compartments, as well as entertainment features such as a TV and DVD player. They may also have additional features such as a generator, air conditioning, and heating.

A non self-contained RV, also known as a “dry” RV, is a type of recreational vehicle with no water, sewage, or waste storage systems. This means it relies on external sources for these services, such as campground facilities or public utilities.

Non self-contained RVs are typically smaller and more lightweight than self-contained RVs, and are often more suitable for shorter trips or use in campgrounds that provide the necessary services. They may include features such as a living area, kitchen, and bathroom, but these may be more basic or limited than those found in a self-contained RV. These types of RVs are typically less expensive than self-contained RVs, but they may be less convenient to use in areas without access to the necessary services.

What is a motorhome?

A motorhome is a type of recreational vehicle (RV) that is self-contained and equipped for camping and travel. It typically includes a kitchen, sleeping area, and a bathroom and is designed to be driven and lived in while travelling. 

A motorhome is an RV that has a drivetrain. That means it can be driven like any other car or truck instead of being towed behind another vehicle. It also has more amenities than other RVs, so it’s better suited for long-term use, travelling with multiple people or for those wanting to travel in style and comfort.

A 4-6 berth motorhome is perfect for families and larger groups of people. It has two double beds, two single beds and a sofa bed that can be converted into an additional single bed. The kitchen includes a fridge, oven and microwave. The bathroom has a toilet, shower, vanity mirror, and storage space underneath.

A 2-4 berth motorhome is a good option for couples or small families. It has one double bed and one single bed, plus a sofa that can be converted into an additional single bed. The kitchen includes a fridge, oven and microwave. The bathroom has a toilet, shower, vanity mirror, and storage space underneath.

A motorhome is a good choice for anyone who wants to travel long distances. It’s also a good option for people who want more amenities than a campervan provides and don’t mind paying extra for them. This allows you to explore more remote areas as it gives the freedom of being self-sustained for several days on end.

2-4-berth Motorhome
4-6-berth Motorhome

Note: Images are for illustration purposes only, and features vary among suppliers.

What is a campervan?

A campervan is a smaller type of RV. They offer a more compact and maneuverable option than larger motorhomes and can be a more economical choice for those who do not need as much space or as many amenities. Campervans can be either self-contained (with their own water, sewage, and waste storage systems) or non self-contained (relying on external sources for these services)

A campervan generally has sleeping space for up to three people and has less storage space than a motorhome. They can come equipped with bathroom facilities such as a shower, toilet and basin, depending on the size and model. They often include small kitchens and living areas as well. Campervans also come with the added benefits of being more affordable and easier to drive and park than a motorhome.

Generally, campervans come in two sizes: Small and large. The small size is often referred to as a “single-berth” campervan, while the larger ones are called “twin-berths.” Both generally include a bed for 1-2 people, although the larger models usually feature an additional sofa bed.

Single-berth Campervan
Twin-berth Campervan

Note: Images are for illustration purposes only, and features vary among suppliers.

A hi-top campervan includes an elevated roof, making it easy to stand up inside and move around more freely. In addition, hi-top campers are often longer than regular campervans, providing extra room for storage, making them ideal if you bring recreational items such as bikes. Most hi-top campervans have a small kitchen area with a sink, refrigerator, and stove. Depending on the size, some models also come equipped with a small bathroom with a toilet, sink and possibly a shower.

Hi-top Campervan

Note: Images are for illustration purposes only, and features vary among suppliers.

Pop-top campers are smaller campervans with a roof that can be raised or lowered. When the top is raised, it provides extra headroom and sleeping space, and when it is lowered, it makes the campervan more compact and easier to drive. 

Pop-top campers are often used by long-distance travellers keeping to a budget who just want a comfortable place to sleep without all the bells and whistles of a motorhome or larger campervan. Most pop-top campervans have a small kitchen area with a sink and stove. Some may also have a microwave oven.

Pop-top Campervan

Note: Images are for illustration purposes only, and features vary among suppliers.

What is a 4WD Camper?

A 4WD campervan, also known as an all-terrain campervan or off-road campervan, is a type of recreational vehicle designed for rugged terrain and off-road conditions. These campervans typically have four-wheel drive and may also have features such as high clearance, sturdy tires, and additional suspension to help them navigate rough terrain.

4WD campervans are often equipped with some of the typical amenities and features of a traditional campervan, such as a mini kitchen, sleeping area, compact storage space and outdoor solar shower capabilities.

4WD Camper

Note: Images are for illustration purposes only, and features vary among suppliers.

Motorhome Rental in Cairns

Motorhome Choice provides the best deals from the most trusted rental providers, so planning your trip from start to finish has never been easier.

Escape the mundane and embark on an incredible Australian motorhome holiday in Cairns, in tropical North Queensland. A motorhome rental holiday offers travellers a perfect combination of comfort, flexibility and freedom while on the road, whether you’re looking for something compact and budget-friendly or modern and filled with all the creature comforts of home.

With a motorhome rental from Cairns, you can explore the regions of Far North Queensland, known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and Kuranda Scenic Railway. Cairns is also a gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, home to an incredible array of flora and fauna.

If it’s your first time campervanning, come for a short stint and see for yourself what Cairns has on offer! Campervanning is like a mini-holiday in a box; it’s a holiday without the hassle, without putting your life on hold. And if you’re a seasoned campervanner – make it another memorable one with Motorhome Choice!

View of Cairns from the Esplanade
View of Cairns from the Esplanade

See captivating Cairns from your motorhome rental

Cairns has something for everyone. This list of attractions is perfect for families, couples and solo travellers. Here is our list of the top attractions that will be sure to leave you wanting more.

Cairns Esplanade, markets & lagoon – The Cairns Esplanade is a popular tourist destination located in the heart of Cairns. It stretches along the waterfront, offering stunning views of the Coral Sea. The Esplanade is home to several attractions, including the Esplanade Lagoon, a large, man-made swimming pool in the centre of the park. The Lagoon is a popular spot for swimming and relaxation, and the grassy areas provide a spot to enjoy picnics and outdoor activities. There are convenient amenities like toilets and showers located here also.

The Cairns Esplanade also has a number of walking and cycling paths, as well as many restaurants, cafes, and bars offering a range of cuisine and drinks. The Esplanade is also home to several events and festivals throughout the year, including the Cairns Festival and the Cairns Show.

The Esplanade in Cairns with swimming lagoon and the ocean, Queensland, Australia
The Esplanade in Cairns with swimming lagoon and the ocean, Queensland, Australia

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway – This is a must-do when visiting Cairns. The cable car takes you through the rainforest and over Kuranda, giving you views of the surrounding area that you can’t get anywhere else. The trip lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and runs every day of the year except Christmas Day.

Gondola leading through the rainforest in Kuranda, Australia
Gondola leading through the rainforest in Kuranda, Australia

Cairns Botanic Gardens – Another popular attraction in Cairns because of its beautiful plants and flowers. You can spend a lazy morning wandering around here, exploring every nook and cranny! There are also plenty of picnic areas to sit and relax after exploring the gardens—a great place to bring the family for something fun and educational during your holiday in Cairns. 

Atherton Tablelands – If you’re looking for someplace to go a little further out of Cairns, about a 2hrs drive, then this is an option for you! There is plenty to see and do in the Tablelands, including hiking and camping in the many beautiful national parks, visiting the picturesque lakes and waterfalls, spotting native wildlife in their natural habitat, and exploring the charming small towns and villages. 

Daintree Rainforest – A visit to the Daintree Rainforest is a must for anyone visiting Cairns. This beautiful rainforest covers an area of approximately 4,000 square kilometres and is home to some incredible wildlife species, including the cassowary and crocodile. You’ll also find many rare plants here that grow nowhere else in Australia!

A creek north of Cape Tribulation in the Daintree region of Queensland, Australia
A creek north of Cape Tribulation in the Daintree region of Queensland, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef – The Great Barrier Reef is a large coral reef that sits off the coast of Queensland and stretches for over 2,000km. It’s home to over 1,500 species of fish and many beautiful corals. There are many ways to experience it, including snorkelling or scuba diving and there is no shortage of tour operators to get you there by boat for a day of fun in the sun! You can also take a helicopter tour from above or sail through on a luxury catamaran.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Palm Cove – Palm Cove is a picturesque beachside suburb about 30 minutes north of Cairns. It is known for its beautiful palm-fringed beach, which stretches for several kilometres. The main street of Palm Cove, Williams Esplanade, is lined with a range of restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops, offering a range of dining and shopping options.

Port Douglas – A popular holiday destination located about an hour north of Cairns, known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and tropical rainforest. There are several points of interest in Port Douglas, including Four Mile Beach and the home to the Daintree Rainforest, a World Heritage-listed site and home to an incredible variety of plant and wildlife species.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to hire an RV in Cairns?

A basic campervan can cost as little as AUD $40 per day (plus fuel), whereas a luxury motorhome can see prices soar upwards past AUD $500 (plus fuel) per day. The following can impact rates:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Features

When travelling to Cairns, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is the type and size of motorhome rental you want. So first, work out what is best for your needs and budget. Then our comparison tool will do the hard work of sifting through Australia’s most trusted RV suppliers to find the best choice and rates.

Can I rent a motorhome at Cairns Airport?

Unfortunately, no RV rental companies are based within the terminal at Cairns Airport. However, most depots are just a short drive away (3-8 km).

Many suppliers offer a complimentary shuttle service with your rental, which requires booking in advance. Otherwise, there are public buses, shuttles, and taxis available.

Are one-way motorhome rentals possible from Cairns?

Yes, many companies allow one-way trips to and from Cairns with depots in many locations all over Australia.

One-way motorhome rentals usually incur additional fees calculated at the time of booking. Our support team can assist with a one-way rental booking.

Can you sleep anywhere in an RV in Cairns?

Australia has strict rules on sleeping in an RV overnight that is not in a designated camping area.

Motorhome Choice recommends parking overnight in campgrounds which are geared toward RV’s by providing convenient amenities such as electrical and water hook-ups. These hook-ups allow campers to power their vehicles and use the on-board facilities such as the refrigerator, lights, electrical appliances and showers. Some campgrounds may also have dump stations where RV’s can dispose of their waste water and sewage.

In addition to these practical amenities, many campgrounds also offer a variety of recreational activities and facilities that can make your trip even more enjoyable. These may include swimming pools, playgrounds, hiking trails, and recreation areas. Some campgrounds may also have on-site stores, cafes and rental facilities where campers can purchase supplies or rent equipment such as bikes or kayaks.

What licence do I need to rent a motorhome in Cairns?

To hire a vehicle, all drivers must have a current and full driver’s licence. Foreign licences are acceptable if they are in English or accompanied by an accredited English translation. Otherwise, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required.

Does my motorhome rental come with unlimited mileage in Cairns?

Yes, unlimited kilometres are generally included for standard vehicle rentals in Cairns. The comparison tool will show whether your preferred vehicle has unlimited or restricted kilometres.

How old do I need to be to rent a motorhome in Cairns?

Most motorhome rental companies in Cairns require the driver to be 21 years of age or older to access their full range of vehicles.

Some companies will rent to drivers between 18 and 21, but only specific models may be available. In those cases, additional insurance may be required.

Enter the driver’s age into our search tool, and we will filter available vehicles to match.

Are there pet-friendly motorhome rentals available in Cairns?

Several pet-friendly motorhome rental companies in Cairns allow you to travel with your dog or cat. However, advanced prior approval is required and will usually incur a fee to cover the extra cleaning cost. Contact our support team to check if taking a pet on board a specific vehicle is possible.

Note: policies vary from supplier to supplier. Always check the T&Cs for your rental.