If you’re thinking about buying a caravan, whether that’s using your savings or through caravan finance, there are a few things you need to go through beforehand. You may already have exactly what you want in mind, but many would be surprised by the number of choices available in today’s market. May already have exactly what you want in mind, but many would be surprised by the number of choices available in today’s market. Sizes, styles, layouts, features – the choices can be overwhelming to someone who shows up at a dealership or starts checking out websites.
A little forethought can save a lot of time, so here are a few tips to make shopping easier and more fun!
Related Read: Top 7 Best US Road Trips to Take in an RV
1. Know What You Can Tow
Caravans vary from lengths of 10 to 35 feet. Unless you have the luxury of buying a new vehicle as well as a caravan, your size may be limited by how much weight you can tow. You want to check out your vehicle’s towing capacity, and probably stay under about 80 percent of that.
2. Think Ahead to Who’s Traveling
Most caravans have wheelbases of 11 to 24 feet and obviously, the number of sleep spaces goes up with size. Small caravans comfortably sleep only two, which is fine if you’re a retired couple hitting the road for the summer.
If you’re comfortable sharing campground facilities, you have the option of the smallest caravans, designed without bathrooms.
3. Consider Your Style Choices
The plot thickens! Not only should you consider the size and weight limits – remember that there are pop-up trailers and camper trailers, which have wind-up canvas upper sections and sleeping areas that extend on both sides.
They take some time to assemble, but they also come with advantages. The canvas tops have more ventilation, a real plus in hot weather.
They’re also popular with families because more sleeping spaces are available for less weight. This helps with fuel efficiency and makes them easier to tow and store.
4. Think Through Layout
Some caravans have beds in front, some in the rear. Some have bunk beds, some have single beds, some have queen beds. Kitchens usually line the middle of the space, but not always.
Some layouts have rear entertainment areas with more space for sitting around a table and comfortable seating, so if your priority is hanging out with a group, this is ideal.
Some models cut down on living space to provide storage.
You get the idea – lots of choices. It’s important to imagine how much time you will be spending in your caravan, how often you’ll make meals in it, whether you’ll be bringing bikes and toys, and how much privacy you can live without.
5. Know How Much You Can Spend
Figure out a spending limit before you show up on a lot full of bedazzling new models and your kids fall in love with one sporting a giant screen TV and a fireplace!
As well as making size, style and layout choices that fit your budget, there’s also the choice of whether to buy new or used. Keep in mind, if you buy used, to check the outside for bulging side panels, dents or broken trim. Go inside and see if you can smell or see signs of mold, including soft wallboard and stains.
6. Be Prepared
If you plan to go off-road on rough surfaces for more than short distances, you’ll need to consider upgrading both new and used HOBBY caravans. Options include strengthened base frames, under-van protection for water tanks and dust-proofing.
7. Keep It Legal
It’s important to buy your caravan from a licensed dealer, so you can be sure they’ve checked titles to make sure the caravan has not been stolen or does not still have money owed on it.
A little thought and research will lead you to a choice that will keep you happy with your caravan for years to come. Happy travels!