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When planning for retirement, you need to be practical.

Updated: Apr 29

"If you change the way you look at thing, the things you look at change". Wayne Dyer

Confused person wants v's needs
Needs v's Wants which way to go.

In life, when planning for retirement and buying a van, you can want for so many things but sometimes you just must be practical.

I love to drive a 4wD and the freedoms that go along with having a 4X4 vehicle. I have been doing so for over 15 years. So, it was only natural that when I wanted to get a Motorhome, it had to be a 4x4. To get a new van that is 4X4 is very, very expensive and it would take all my super to buy one. That is not only unpractical, but also silly. I would have nothing left to live on!

The next closest would be an AWD which when you have owned a 4X4 for many years, an AWD does not compare and will not get you to all the places a 4X4 would., but it would be better than nothing. I did like and was quite excited about the 4 Motion gear box on the VW's but later when all the red flags started flying, in Australia, there would be an issue, which I will explain later.

When I first started the whole van/retirement journey with my projected superannuation (which has not evolved) my budget was $150,000. When I fell in love with the VW in July, I was quoted 163,000, 13,00 more than my budget... it had everything and more, and I liked the idea of a 4Motion Van, if I couldn't have a 4x4, the 4 motion was the next best choice. I stayed in contact with the dealership, in October whilst trying to organise to pay a deposit for the next round, I was told, there would be limited orders and the price would be going up in December. when I asked what the new price would be they couldn't tell me, but the salesman did say 'todays price is 184,850! A difference of 21,000 + in 2 months and I was even not told, even though I had been in regular contact with the dealership!

Since then, I have heard many horror stories of break downs unable to be fixed, can't find mechanics to fix the 4Motion gear box and the latest was YouTubers in UK (VW very popular in UK), who are VW van people, having difficulty accessing parts. Don't get me wrong, I still think that the VW Crafter Kampervan was the perfect vehicle, the universe was saying a BIG NO to me! Because the Crafter Kampervan WAS my plan... when I needed to regretfully change that plan, I was lost. I wasn't sure which way to go. My plans were shattered.

Get Back to a plan

Back to the drawing board as my dad would say. Back to the book of planning. This when I really had to do a lot of soul searching and reality checks. I looked at every scenario of getting a van from buying an old van, converting a van to buy new but different. I decided that I had to be sensible and go back to my original budget of $150,000 for buying a van. Then again, being sensible, it really came down to WANT, NEED and MUST HAVE.

Chalkboard with arrows Want Need Must Have
Planning Want and Need v's Must Have

Must Have

I started with this one because this was easy. As mentioned in my Day Trip Fingal Head vlog, when it came down to it... the 'Must Have' for me was to have 4 seatbelts. Having 4 seatbelts was more important than having 4 sleeping berths.

This MUST HAVE really reduced down the type and model of RVs available. Most Camper Vans and Motorhomes are only 2 seaters. Some have 3 seatbelts and the ones with 4 seatbelts are very rare especially in Camper Vans. For me, 2 or 3 seatbelts drastically reduces who can go with you.


Well, I know what I wanted ... I mentioned it above, a beautiful 4x4 camper van set up for off grid living and with every accessory you could think of. Not practical or sensible. My dream of having a 4x4 was to be able to access all those wonderful beaches around Australia.

Red Spoiler Alert sign
Spoiler Alert

Most of those amazing, off the beaten track beaches, that I wanted to go to experience 'that' amazing view out the back of the van, are in National Parks! What is banned from National Parks? Animals!

When I travel, I will be travelling with my dog and my cat! So, the reality of visiting those beaches are off the cards, because of the choice I have made of travelling with pets. Don't get me wrong, I will still be having those Instagram moments when I travel, but those places will be pet friendly and in I will be driving a 2x4, with good all terrain tyres.


The whole idea of retiring, buying a van and selling the house was to reduce my stress levels and get healthier by living a simpler life. Get back to nature, living the minimalist lifestyle. I need a van that is practical and has enough room for myself Kahra and Nahla yet small enough to be easy to drive and easy to move. I need the van to be able to go off grid as much as possible. Power from the sun, not a power point. Learning new and ingenious was to save and utilise water. It needs to be reliable and be able to be fixed easily if required. it needs to have everything I need for myself and the girls to be comfortable (toilet and shower).

Did I find a van? I sure did...❤️

Comment: What do you think?

Have I made the right choice?

Have you every had to change your plans and go back to the drawing board and look at your Wants, Needs & Must Haves?

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