When you first start looking at caravans you can get a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of different vans on the market. Without sitting down and making a checklist of what you need, and what you need to consider you can get lost amongst a sea of bedding configurations, to shower, or not to shower, off-grid capabilities and size ranges. There definitely is a caravan out there for everyone, you just need to narrow down your search before you even begin, and we have some helpful hints to help you do just that.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you’re going to tow with your existing car, or buy a new one. If you aren’t looking at upgrading then you need to take into consideration the towing capabilities of your car. This will help you determine a maximum size and weight for your van.
Make sure you talk to a caravan specialist when looking at this factor as it has major safety impacts if you leave out things such as fully loaded weights including all fluids. The power of your engine will have a large impact on whether you’ll be easily towing uphill, or struggling to stay on the road. Your car's user manual should have the basic information you need to determine it’s towing capacity.
This may seem obvious, but make sure you take into account all people that may potentially be in your van along the way. It may just be you and your partner travelling full time, but are you planning on meeting up with friends on the road? Will you have kids or grandkids joining you at any stage? You may want to make sure you have the room to accommodate extra people, even if it’s just for a game of cards in bad weather.
When looking at your budget, make sure you have a nice to spend, and can’t go over budget. This will give you room to move on items you may want but don’t need. What we mean by this is you may want to spend no more than say $20k, but make sure if the right van comes long with those little added luxuries you have a maximum budget (say $25k) you’d be happy with to get some inclusions that may not be available in your lower-end budget.
Having a lower and higher-end budget may mean the difference between finding a caravan with an ensuite and one without. It may give you the ability to add some off-grid features you were thinking of, but weren’t factored into your original plan. It could also simply mean that you get a newer van with less chance of problems, meaning you save money in the long run on repairs.
How much time do you see yourself living in your van? The amount of room you need to do weekend trips in summer is very different to the amount you’ll need to live in it for 6 months on your lap around Australia. You’re much better off future-proofing your investment at the start, rather than finding in 6 months time you’re now ready to head off, only to realise your van just doesn’t have the room to be comfortable.
Once you’ve answered all these points you’re ready to go shopping and buy your next caravan. To talk to an expert and check out the range, please visit us at our Penrith, Morisset, Nowra, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour location.