There are many things that people find attractive about caravans, especially newbies. The allure of driving cross country while towing your home can be very irresistible, triggering the wanderlust in many people. Sure, there are many reasons and benefits to buying a caravan. But like any form of vehicular investment, you'd be better off doing your research instead of buying the first caravan you come across.
If you're looking for some tips for buying a caravan, you've come to the right place. Let this article serve as your caravan buying guide to explain everything you need to know about buying a caravan and getting the most out of the mobile home lifestyle.
Are caravans worth buying?
If you're reading this, the odds are that you're still on the fence about buying a caravan. You may even wonder, ‘Are caravans worth buying at all?’ Well, that's a pretty subjective question with an answer that depends on your tastes and lifestyle. Instead of giving you an answer, let me share with you a few benefits of buying a caravan. That way you can decide for yourself whether or not it's worth buying.
If you're the kind of person who loves touring the country by road, then a caravan will most likely be a worthwhile investment. With a caravan in tow, you can practically travel any time you wish! Just throw your baggage in there, tell your family and pets to get in, and hit the road. There'd be no tickets to buy, time-wasting queues to wait on, or hotel reservations to book when you travel caravan-style. You decide where you want to go when you want to move, and you can even stop halfway and sleep in the caravan whenever you feel like it’s already been a long day.
Not only are you travelling as far as the roads might take you, but your accommodations are also in-tow wherever you go. All-in-all, travelling becomes much more affordable without having to pay for tickets or a place to stay!
But before you can enjoy the benefits of being a caravan owner, you’ll need to buy yourself a caravan!
What are some tips to remember when buying a caravan?
Whatever your needs or personal tastes, there’s a caravan out there that’s perfect for you. Here are a few tips for buying a caravan.
Don’t take the first one you find
This is a golden rule whenever you're purchasing anything of great value: Never buy the first caravan that you find. There are plenty of caravans out there in all shapes, sizes, and interior layouts. Also, just like when you're buying a new car, different models may offer several different extras that will make your caravan much more enjoyable and livable.
So, before making any buying decisions, you must have considered all of your options. Take the time to research and compare various makes and models so that you can buy your caravan with full confidence.
Consider the best layout for your needs
At some point in the process of buying a caravan, you’ll get the same feelings as that moment when you were buying a house or picking an apartment to rent. That’s because, in a way, you’re buying a home on wheels. You’ll realise this as you compare the many different interior layouts that are available for you to choose from.
The layouts inside a caravan may differ according to size and functionality. You'll want to make sure that you choose an interior plan that'll allow you to both relax and move around comfortably.
Remember: Everything looks nicer in the brochure or on the website, which is why inspecting the caravan in-person is very important, especially in regards to the interior layout.
Inspect the caravan personally
The idea of inspecting a caravan’s interior goes well beyond the layout and features. Inspecting the inside of a caravan also allows you to imagine what it’d be like to tow the thing cross-country.
Remember, you’ll be staying in that caravan while you travel out on the open road. That means you should inspect the sleeping areas, the bathrooms, and even the kitchen areas. Don’t be shy; look out the window and imagine what it’d be like to stare at a beautiful landscape in the outdoors. Every way that you would inspect a new house before buying it, do that to your potential caravan.
That way, you can imagine what it’d be like to travel for long periods in that caravan make and model.
Look for faults
There's nothing wrong with purchasing a used caravan. After all, you can adopt the perspective that a used caravan has been tried and tested by someone else. Therefore, you can trust that it'll do what it's supposed to do. So, before buying either a new or used caravan, you must inspect it for faults.
What are you searching for? Start by sniffing around to see if you can sense any mould or excess moisture in any of the panels. Then, look around for signs that the caravan had been damaged in the past and subsequently repaired.
Lastly, flip all the switches on and off to make sure that the caravan has no electrical or gas problems.
Even if you’re buying a used caravan from a trusted friend or family member, never take the inspection for granted. Faults in the electrical, gas or any other system of the caravan will be a massive headache to sort out later on.
Always consider after-sales service options
Last of all, you need to consider your options for after-sales service. Remember: unlike cars, you can't take your caravan to just any nearby garage. If anything in the caravan stops working, you'll either need to fix it yourself or take it to the closest service centre.
No matter how much of a DIY master you might be, certain parts of the caravan require trained and certified professionals. Good examples of these include any electrical or gas systems that you might need to fix later on. It would be too dangerous for you to do it yourself (unless you're certified), so you'll need to make sure that you have access to the necessary after-sales service providers.
If you want to learn more about buying a caravan, or maybe buy spare parts for one, check out Carpart.com.au. Its Blog section will expand on this caravan buying guide with more useful information about various vehicles, including caravans. Plus, you can browse the listings to find any spare parts you might need.
By Ray Hasbollah