Lots of people think that buying a caravan is easy, simple, and inexpensive. But with the explosion of the caravanning lifestyle in Australia at the moment, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a huge variety of caravans out there at a range of price points.
And there are a lot of questions you probably have about buying your new caravan. Where to buy a caravan? How can I get the best price? What type of caravan should I buy? The questions really are endless. That’s why we’re here to help you out. Our Ultimate Guide to Buying a Caravan should really help with those big questions.
Find Your Ideal Caravan
You can read all the lists of the best caravans in the world and all the best tips on buying a caravan, and it still won’t tell you what kind of caravan is right for your needs. So, before you even start looking up caravans online, you need to sit down with a pen and paper and answer these questions:
How often will you travel?
Do you intend to head out on the road for the foreseeable future? Use it on weekends for quick trips? Take the kids out on school holidays? How you intend to use your van will help determine the size and fittings you need.
Who will travel with you?
If you plan to travel with your family, you will need a bigger van, it’s as simple as that, and the size of your caravan will dictate what kind of towing vehicle you can use as well.
How will you tow it?
Do you plan to tow your van with your current vehicle, or will you need a new one? Check the towing capacity of your vehicle before you start looking at vans because that will determine what size you can get.
Where do you want to go?
Do you want to go off-roading a lot or would you prefer to stay on clean, safe roads and camp in caravan parks with all the amenities and comforts of home? There’s no shame in either approach to caravanning, but it will determine what kind of caravan you get because a lot of them aren’t designed for going off the bitumen.
Where will you store the van?
If you don’t have enough space to safely store a caravan, then you might need to think about buying a camper trailer or a pop top instead. These can often be stored in your garage, so they’re quite handy! But if a big van is in your plans, make sure you consider your storage options (which could turn out to be an extra cost).
Do you want lots of extras?
This will determine whether you buy new or used. Used caravans can be more cost effective. But they also don’t always have all the bells and whistles of new caravans. With a new caravan, you also get the chance to custom-build it to your needs.
What’s your budget?
The price of caravans in Australia can range between $30,000 for a basic model and $200,000 for a top-of-the-line model with all the extras. When you’re planning to buy a caravan in NSW, this is a key consideration.
And you mustn’t forget about all the extras either. When you buy a caravan, you will also need to pay for detailing, storage, insurance, and maintenance, so make sure that you factor them into your calculations.
Once you’ve answered all of these questions, you need to start looking at your options. First of all, you need to decide whether you want a caravan or another type of recreational vehicle. Just remember that the size and weight you can buy will be restrained by the towing capacity of your vehicle unless you plan to buy a new one.
Here are some popular caravanning options:
You’ll find these classic caravans for sale in the Sydney region and all over Australia. They do best on the highways, come in a range of sizes, and have numerous amenities.
If you prefer to be light and mobile, then you might like a camper trailer. These are almost like a moving tent. They’re low cost, easy to transport, and, some with basic amenities like sleeping berths, and kitchenettes. They’re basically a tent that folds out of a trailer and can be packed down again for easy transport.
A pop top caravan is basically a type of light caravan. They offer the internal space of a traditional caravan but pack down for easy transport. They come with a range of features and are a great choice for anyone who wants to explore Australia without the expense of a classical caravan.
Motorhomes combine the caravan and towing vehicle in one. They come in a variety of sizes and usually contain sleeping berths and small but functional living spaces. They’re a good option if you need to buy a new towing vehicle for your dream caravan as they’re cheaper than buying a vehicle and caravan separately.
These are regular vans that have been converted to include beds and living spaces and whatever else the owner wanted for a road trip. They can be quite basic but are very affordable as well.
This is one of the most important parts of buying a caravan and it’s highly individual. You need to have a good idea of what features you need in your caravan. Otherwise, it could end up costing you a lot of money in modifications or rentals.
The best way to work this out is to look at your answers to the questions above and create a “Must-Have” And “Want” list. This will distinguish the features you can’t go caravanning without from the ones that would be nice to have. Just remember that extra features cost more or cut into sleeping and living areas, so don’t go overboard here!
Here are some of the extras that might be on your “Must-Have” list:
- Fridge-freezer combo
- Washing machine
- Air conditioning or heating
- An outdoor living space
Actually Buying your Caravan
Caravanning has never been more popular, which is why there are a huge range of places that have new and used caravans for sale these days. You can visit a caravan expo or dealer or look online and find a few models that you like and that have all the features you need.
Wherever you buy your caravan, make sure you inspect it in person and alone so that you have the time and mental space to honestly evaluate all of the features of the caravan and ensure it’s right for you. You should also take it for a test tow to see how it travels.
Here are some questions to ask at caravan dealership:
- Is there a warranty and what does it cover?
- How does the current model compare to past models?
- What customer services do they provide?
- Is roadside assistance provided?
- Where do the caravan parts come from?
- What is the caravan made from?
- What are the wall panels made from?
- Where was the van made?
- Do they offer post-purchase servicing?
- What are the capabilities of the van versus other types and models?
The answers to these questions will give you a good idea of whether the caravan suits your needs.
Buying a caravan isn’t simple and you shouldn’t make a decision in a rush. Making the wrong decision could cost you a lot of time, money, and trouble. That’s why, if you’re uncertain whether you should buy a caravan in Sydney, then why not talk to the experts?
Our team at Caravan Partnership is always standing by, ready to share their years of caravanning knowledge with you!