There has never been a better time in Australia to buy a caravan. With online shopping platforms, auto expos and dealerships all going out with blazing guns to make their caravan deals accessible and attractive, you’re going to succumb to the great caravan seduction.
The process could knock you sideways not just because it’s significant in terms of cost but it could be the beginning of the adventure of your life.
When buying a caravan is on your radar, you’re often pulled strongly towards it. You will start seeing “caravan for sale” boards everywhere. You will come up with a million reasons why buying a caravan makes sense. If not it, your growing desire to own a caravan will push you off the cliff.
Hold up. Are you telling me people buy caravans out of impulse?
Definitely not. And they shouldn’t. It’s a big decision and not to be taken lightly or impulsively. If you’re really sold on the idea of buying a new caravan, you’re quite likely to be stumped by the interiors and gadgets on it. The first caravan you see will tempt you enough to just sign away the cheque.
Despite all the wandering thoughts and buyer’s anxiety, we believe buying a caravan should be fun. Here we are putting some top-class information together that will allow you to make an informed confident decision. It’s replete with tips and practical approaches for buying a caravan, first time or otherwise.
We’ve covered you mate. So buckle up and enjoy your adventure.
- Is a Caravan the Right Choice?
- New or Used – What do you Really Want to Spend On?
- Size, Features and Builders
- Caravan Security – On and Off the Road
- Must-have Caravan Accessories
- How and Where do you Buy your Caravan?
- A New Beginning
Is a Caravan the Right Choice?
Think of a plan for the next couple of years. What about your holidays? Is it going to be weekend escapades to a great destination or family holidays with kids? Do you plan for a trip around Australia that might take a year to complete? Are you comfortable with the idea of a mobile home?
Answers to these questions will tell you if a caravan is the right choice for you. Choosing to buy a caravan comes from the purpose. For example, if you like the idea of a day out with our family and then return to the warmth of a cosy mobile home enjoying each other’s company more, a caravan could be the right choice for you.
New or Used – What do you Really Want to Spend On?
New caravans offer all the modern safety and comfort features including the latest suspension model, custom-built layout for interiors, etc. Also, the warranty that comes with a new purchase gives you a lot of inner peace.
Buying a used caravan is usually a safe bet for a starter. The obvious advantage is that it’s less expensive than those fresh out of the showroom. If you’re a new caravanner and not sure how often you’re going to use it, then a buying a used one is the perfect way to get your foot in the door without spending much.
In short, the decision to buy a new or used caravan totally depends on your budget and needs.
Size, Features & Builders
If you want a separate bedroom, shower and toilet and are comfortable towing a long wheelbase caravan, then you need a large one. If you prefer travelling light and is good with a short wheelbase caravan, a small one is a better option. Basically, the number of people in your travelling party determines the size of your caravan.
Caravans come with innovative features like the fold-down roof section like in a pop-top. The low profile of pop-tops allows lesser wind resistance and better fuel economy while towing. Bigger ones like a camper trailer have extendable sleeping accommodation on each side and a wind-up canvas upper section which is ideal for a family with children.
Also, the amount of travel you intend to do will tell you what features you might need in your caravan like off-road capability, independent shock absorber mounts with cross rails, etc.
The sheer number of caravan brands in Australia is staggering which gives customers a lot of options and builders to choose from.
Caravan Security – On and Off the Road
Security is of paramount importance, especially in caravan parks and while free camping. Your caravan is not just for holiday travel, it’s your home. So you don’t want to take leaving your van lightly.
Security lock systems such as coupling and tow ball lock, awning and stabiliser leg padlocks, wheel locks, etc., prevent caravan thefts. GPS tracking and security cameras deliver security vision directly to your phone and can be watched from anywhere in the world.
As a thumb rule, always lock your caravan when it’s unattended, even if it’s for a minute, especially at busy caravan parks and off-road secluded places.
Must-have Caravan Accessories
Caravans come in many shapes and sizes, so do the caravan accessories. While there’s an exhaustive list of accessories, here are some of the most popular ones which could make your caravanning easier.
- Awnings and privacy screens can come super handy giving shade and protection from the elements and give privacy from crowds.
- Sirrocco 12V fans are super quiet and work well. You badly need them if you go anywhere warm.
- Smartspace cooking pans and pots. They can be easily stacked and with detachable handles for saving space.
- C-Gear multi-mat keeps your feet clean. They function one-way, letting dirt and water through them but not back up.
- Amphibian adaptor for caravan safety. It safely connects 15 amp caravans to standard 10 amp home power. It’s safe, weatherproof and legal.
- Portable folding clothesline. Easy to set up and more hanging space than the usual piece of rope.
The list goes on. You can always research and add the accessories specific to your needs.
How and Where do you Buy your Caravan?
You know you need a caravan. You know its features, size, price range and accessories. Now it’s time to get out and buy one.
Setting a budget for the caravan is a good idea that helps limit your spend. But for a first-time caravan buyer, we would suggest going for window shopping first to assess various options.
You can head down to a caravan expo, spend the day getting to know various manufacturers and accessory makers, then go for the best deal. Going to the nearest dealership and asking the salesperson to show caravans of your need is a way to shop for caravans quickly. Or you can begin your search online, browse new and used caravans from anywhere in Australia. You can use filters and search criteria to look for that perfect caravan.
A New Beginning
Buying a caravan is an exhilarating experience. While you look for sweet deals online, talk to dealers and find the latest models in an expo, you’ll start admiring the world of caravans and hope one day to take the sleekest, most modern upgrade out for a long holiday spin.
For now, it’s time to throw your poker face away, get your caravan and fall in love with the great Aussie outdoors.Read: A Guide to Buying Motorhomes in Australia