The newbie’s caravan checklist

Posted on Monday, May 8, 2017 - 11:01

A lot of us are here because we know and love caravanning – but those venturing into the sometimes pleasure, other times “sport” of caravanning got there the hard way through trial and error. If you’re a bit stuck on what kind of caravan is right for you, or just need a bit of a helping hand, this post is for you.

What can your car tow?

Before looking around Caravan World or on classifieds sites or trade shows or anything you have to STOP…and look at your current towing capacity. You won’t be going anywhere if your current car can’t support the towing weight of your caravan. Once you’ve worked out that, you can move on to the fun stuff.

What’s your budget?

It works the same for cars and homes. Sometimes your budget determines what kind of caravan you can get. Do you go for a new traditional caravan or a used RV? What will give you the most value? Cast a wide net when you’ve set your budget so you can have a really solid shortlist. TIP: Find “pre-approval” for a caravan or RV loan, so you have a precise budget. This also helps you in negotiating a price, too.

Where are you going?

Isn’t that always the question? But on a more serious note, where you intend to take your caravan will inform your choice of caravan. A bigger caravan will require more fuel to tow. A smaller caravan might be great if you’re always going to stay in a caravan park with added accommodations. If you aren’t planning to sleep in your caravan, a foam mattress may do in place of a more comfortable spring mattress. If you’re going off-road or to remote areas, you might need a caravan that has space for water, tools, supplies, and so on. You need to keep this in mind.

What can you live without?

Some caravans are five-star hotels on wheels, while others are bare-bones affairs good for shelter and not much else. Though we’d all love modcons and such, your budget strikes some loftier notions down from the get-go. So what can you live without to free up capital for other things like rego and insurance?

Where to get more tips

If you’re on Caravan World, you’re heading in the right direction! There are loads of clubs, meetups and expos on all around Australia so you can speak to veterans to get more advice. There’s no shortage of handy hints from caravan lovers we can assure you!

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