Acquiring your first caravan for road trips or getting into that mobile lifestyle can be daunting. Choosing the perfect one amidst all classic and modern models takes ample time, research, and understanding of what features you value the most. Fortunately, there are now comprehensive buying guides to help you set up the perfect caravan regardless of your purpose for use.
Caravans come in various sizes, colors, and amenities, so read our guide below and pick the best one for your needs today!
Why Choosing a Caravan Is Important
One may think you can buy a caravan and get on with it. Unfortunately, choosing a caravan is almost like choosing your first car.
While modern caravans today have features and are designed to fit most cars, your compatibility with your towing vehicle with the caravan can affect its overall performance and durability. Simply put, if you don’t pair your vehicle with a good caravan, you put yourself and your passengers at risk, from minor mishaps to potential injuries.
You want to ensure your preferred caravan model checks all your mental notes. Luckily, you can start today by checking these tips further below.
Twin or Single Axle?
The first thing to check is, do you want a single or twin-axle caravan. Single-axle caravans have only one pair of wheels, which is helpful for beginners and easy to maneuver on-road tracks. Single-axle caravans are usually recommended for city cars or drivers who need a little control over how they drive their caravans.
Twin-axle caravans are more stable since they come equipped with two wheels. You have a better grip and stability against rough terrain; some modern variants have offroad features like suspension and off-road wheels. However, they come in larger sizes and are best suited for larger 4x4s or vehicles for off-road terrains due to their heavier weight and higher towing strength.
Part of purchasing a caravan is checking if your vehicle is suited or powerful enough to tow your caravan without issues. Most caravan users use off-road vehicles for towing. If you don’t have that kind of vehicle, consult your local dealership to understand the capacity of your vehicle.
Depending on where you live, there are areas where towing a caravan that’s above your car’s weight class can render you a penalty, and car insurances often void your warranty for damages caused by overweight caravans.
Make sure you can identify what kind of caravan models your car can legally tow. That way, you can narrow your searches based on the appropriate weight class.
Select Your Caravan Type
In a caravan dealership, your selection is divided into three categories: On-Road, Off-Road, and Hybrid. The following serves unique benefits based on your needs and the nature of your trip.
Road caravans are widely used for city touring and designed for open road parks. Their lower ground clearance makes towing a breeze and features a standard or fixed suspension system similar to what you find in most city vehicles.
Hybrid caravans have off-road features but still bring ease of access from on-road variants. They are built from concrete to outback roads and are much tougher against bumps and weather due to their more robust frame and independent suspension. Plus, some models even have an extra sheet of protection under them to protect pipes and other fragile components.
Lastly, off-road caravans are built to go against nature. An off-road caravan has a thicker frame and additional reinforcements to protect against natural terrain. With industry-level suspension and twin axle chassis, your off-road caravan is safe against sudden bumps and uneven roads for a smooth riding experience.
Sleeping Capacity (Berths)
A straightforward requirement in choosing your caravan. It would help to consider how many people you usually invite for a trip.
While most passengers can sleep in an attached awning, you still need to consider the size required to fit your passengers inside comfortably. Don’t hesitate to test the pre-made bedding on caravans and check other features that they have, like fold-away beds or multi-purpose panels and walls to use as secondary bedding.
Beds take up significant space in your caravan, so make sure you get the most space efficient as possible while still being comfortable for your passengers to sleep in.
Security is necessary when choosing a caravan; even insurances require minimum security standards before fitting your caravan to your vehicle, and for a good reason.
Remember that caravans don’t come cheap, and insurance has strict policies against stolen caravans on your trip. Aside from anti-theft door locks, consider a strong hitch lock and tow clamps so your caravan can’t be easily raised and discourage thieves from attempting to steal your caravan.
Modern caravans also have digital measures like cameras and more secure locking systems; try to check out of those and make your caravan as secure as possible within your budget.
Get Your Must-Haves
Getting a bare minimum caravan with the cheapest amenities does not fulfill your experience. While we search for the most durable and secure caravan in our budget, it never hurts to consider the amenities and “must-haves” to your caravan to make it a refreshing mobile home rather than just a place to sleep.
Anything that goes on your must-haves, from additional bedding spaces to a private washroom, HVAC systems, and even a kitchenette, are good features to consider. If you are not picky about your caravan, you can refer to starter pack deals that most dealerships order. They contain standard features that can make your caravan experience comfortable.
But suppose you want these features installed on your caravan. In that case, you can always work with them for a suitable model for a reasonable price and referrals for mechanics and shops that can complete your preferences separately.
Whether you’re looking for a rental agreement for a few days of the road trip or adapt to a new refreshing lifestyle, choosing your caravan is an investment you must consider through research and an informed decision-making process.
The tips above are a starting guide to choosing your perfect caravan. As long as you understand your needs in a caravan, you can always find that perfect model to make your trip worthwhile and hassle-free!