campervan

QUICK GUIDE TO BUYING A CARAVAN TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS

If you are new to caravans, it is worth taking your time when buying your first one. We’ve put together some tips for choosing the right type caravan because there are a number of things to consider.

ROADS

It is important to consider what types of roads you will be travelling on. Most caravans can only handle sealed roads. Going off road, even onto a gravel track can wreak havoc with your caravan, not to mention the contents. Most standard caravans can only handle corrugated roads for a very short distance.

Off-road caravans are slightly more expensive and have a higher ground clearance with heavy duty suspension and a heavy duty chassis. They generally have larger water tanks, a space for extra fuel cans, spare wheels, gas bottles and the windows are often tinted to cope with warmer temperatures.

TYPES OF TRIPS

Are you planning long trips or short trips? Will you be staying in caravan parks? These are the sorts of questions you need to ask yourself to know what features you require. More features generally mean a larger caravan but smaller caravans are much easier to tow. Always bear in mind your vehicle’s towing capacity when buying a caravan.

CARAVAN BUYING CHECKLIST

• How long will you be living in your caravan?
• How many people will be staying in your caravan?
• What types of roads will you be travelling on?
• Do you need alternative power?
• Do you need a shower and a bathroom?
• Will you be cooking in your caravan?
• Do you need an awning?
• How much storage do you need?
• Do you need extra height for storage?
• Will you be using your caravan for accommodation when at home?

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

• Your towing vehicle’s towing weight
• The tow ball weight rating
• Upgrades to your towing vehicle
• The gross weight of the caravan you are able to tow

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING SECOND HAND

• Check for rust with a magnet
• Check all appliances and features
• Check for water leaks and damp
• Check the tow hitch
• Check all identification numbers and registration – don’t get caught buying a stolen caravan or campervan

 


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Martin White
martinw@dinga.com.au

Martin is huge on everything outdoors and is even bigger on driving and technology. He loves boats, new stuff and writing about it.