Lots of people decide at one time or another to buy a caravan. They either want the freedom that a caravan offers when they are on holiday or they want to do ‘The Big Trip’ and go around Australia at least once. Buying and towing a caravan can be just as emotional as buying a car. Since no single size fits all, there are a host of caravans to choose from. So let’s look at some of the most important factors you need to consider when you are in the market for a caravan.

  1. Your budget:

How much money do you want to spend on a caravan? Your budget will determine whether you can buy a brand new caravan or whether you need to look for a second-hand model and the age of the ‘van’ you can afford. For example, if you have less than $10,000 to spend on a caravan, then you need to look at pre-loved vans. Whereas if you can stretch up to $60,000 you can go for a brand new, top of the line model.

  1. Purpose:

Why do you want a caravan? Do you want to go for holidays twice a year with the kids and maybe the occasional weekend? Or do you want to take off for 12 months and explore Australia? Your answer will determine the type of caravan you need because for short trips you can put up with a lot of inconveniences, but with a long trip, you need a serious home-from-home type caravan.

  1. Towing Vehicle:

If you want to pull a large heavy caravan with a double axel, you might need to upgrade your current vehicle. So it is a good idea to find out the towing capacity of your car or 4WD before you decide on a caravan. If you have to upgrade your vehicle as well as buying a caravan, you will most probably need to revisit your budget.

  1. Type of caravan:

Apart from the caravans that are fully solid on all four sides, you have the option of a ‘pop-up’ caravan that has a roof section that winds up and down. This lowers the overall height of your caravan significantly and most people buy these because they fit under their carport at home. A regular height caravan is usually too high to fit under a carport, requiring tarps to keep it protected when not in use or an extra high carport.

  1. Driving a caravan:

If you have never pulled a caravan before, particularly one with a double axel, then try before you buy. A good idea is to hire a similar model for a short break and see how you go. You can also sign up for classes in towing caravans (another great idea) and most caravan outlets will actually give you a few hours of instruction themselves. The point here is that you can’t expect to be safe towing a caravan if this is your first time; accident prevention is always better than cure.

  1. Off-road:

First of all, if you want to go off-road with your caravan, then your towing vehicle needs to have this capability as well, so you need a 4WD vehicle. Your caravan will also need to be capable of going off-road, which means a strong chassis, good all terrain tyres and stone protection. Don’t forget that you also need an off-road hitch, a galvanised underside, high clearance, water tanks, LED lights, solar power, and very good suspension.

  1. Packing up:

Being able to pack up the caravan quickly is usually an important factor for most travellers. If it takes 4 hours to set everything up and another 4 hours to pack everything away, you have to wonder if it is worth it! This is why some people prefer motorhomes because there is hardly any setup or pack-up time, you just drive in and park. A new caravan, however, is usually designed so that everything is at hand and it is easy to set up or pack up, as opposed to older models. This might not be important to you, but is a consideration for some people.

The new up-to-date caravans offer a complete home away from home with everything at your fingertips. Whilst these obviously cost more than a second hand caravan, your decision will depend on many factors, not the least of which is your budget.

Ready for a change of scenery? Experience Australia like never before. Find out more about our Caravan Finance options here. If you are ready to purchase a caravan for your family, why not contact us at National Finance Solutions and arrange a loan for a brand new caravan with all the bells and whistles?