5 'Must Know' Tips for First Time Caravan Buyers
After planning and saving for what felt like forever, are you ready to take the plunge and buy your first caravan? If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. As a newbie to the caravan industry it can all seem a bit confusing, especially since there are so many different options on the market, not to mention all the jargon being thrown around. Not to worry though, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 most important ‘need to know’ tips for buying your first caravan:
1. Composite Construction is Key
This is probably the most crucial tip anyone can give you as a first-time caravan buyer. Traditionally, caravans have been made of aluminium or, as they’re commonly referred to, ‘stick and tin’. Today, however, composite construction is taking over the market and it’s not difficult to understand why. The ‘sandwich’ layers in composite construction have excellent insulation properties that will keep you cool even on a hot summer’s day and save you from stuffy, sleepless nights. Besides the life-saving temperature regulation (not to be dramatic or anything), composite construction is also unrivalled when it comes to durability (which actually could save your life) and GREATLY reduces the chances of water ingress.
2. The Warranty Can Tell You A LOT
Many caravan manufacturers offer measly warranties for 2 or 3 years and if you do a bit of research, you’ll realise that a lot of dealerships are only really offering the bare minimum in terms of coverage. On top of that, caravans that are highly durable and well-designed are still prone to an issue here or there, like any vehicle or RV. A decent caravan warranty just means that if an issue does happen to arise, you’ll have much less hassle and your bank account won’t have to take that huge hit. Ideally, you want a warranty that provides 5 years of cover when it comes to structural damage as well as coverage for the interior and roadside assistance.
3. Always Opt for an Onboard Bathroom
As a first-time caravan buyer, it can be easy to slip into a mindset where you become so focused on buying a caravan that you lose sight of the bigger picture. You might think, “I’m happy enough with a portable bucket”, and you very well might be. But there’s a lot more to consider. Many free camps and national parks in Australia require you to have a self-contained vehicle in order to camp, so having no toilet or shower on board could end up limiting your travel opportunities massively. Also, when it comes time to sell or upgrade your caravan, you’ll most likely struggle to find a buyer which means you’ll end up getting a fraction of the money back that you spent. And when it really comes down to it, no one likes making a dash for the campground toilets in the middle of the night when the rain is pouring down and the mud is up to your ankles.
4. Layout is Crucial
When you haven’t owned a caravan before, it can be difficult to understand how much the layout will impact your travel experience and your lifestyle when you’re on the road. Not to brag, but a layout like the Appeal 554 comes highly recommended by travellers who enjoy the spacious layout that this couples caravan provides. Look for a caravan with a strategically placed toilet and shower that are convenient but don't take up too much space. When your toilet and shower are awkwardly placed, your interior will feel much smaller and more cramped. Also, speaking of your toilet and shower (who knew this article would be so heavily focused on bathroom amenities), keeping them separate provides a lot more convenience and is likely to result in a lot less arguments between you and your travel partner.
5. Consider your Towing Abilities
There are two things to consider here: your personal towing abilities and your car’s towing abilities. Understandably, most people who buy a caravan for the first time aren’t looking for a monster of an RV that requires a lot of towing experience and skill. Make sure you’re looking for caravans that are easy to use and tow, that way you’re much less likely to end up stranded in a ditch somewhere waiting on roadside assistance. With the Trak Pak version of the Appeal 554, your caravan even comes with Esy-Tow Independent Leaf Spring Suspension and an AL-KO pin coupling making it very easy to operate. Just as importantly, you need to be aware of the weight that your vehicle can tow and you should develop at least a basic understanding of ATM, payload and tare.
At Coromal, we’ve designed and built the Appeal 554 which is the ultimate caravan for first time buyers. Created with the specific purpose of ‘appealing’ to everyone, from layout and amenities to construction and the Apollo 5-3-3 warranty, this caravan guarantees a hassle life on the road that’s full of adventure. Click here to find out more.