How to buy a caravan for the first time
Travelling around the country in a caravan is one of the ultimate goals for many Australians.
Aussies love to get out on the open road and go wherever the path takes them.
While heading off in a caravan is incredibly exciting, there are plenty of factors you need to take into account before making your first purchase.
What type of travelling will you be doing?
Different types of caravans handle different types of road conditions, and it’s vital that you work out what you want to do before buying something.
There are a few key questions you should ask yourself. What types of roads are you going to travel on? Are they likely to be highways and major roads, or are you looking go off-road where possible?
You’ll also need to determine how long you’ll be gone for. Is it just for a long weekend getaway or will you be travelling around the country for a year?
Your options will initially be a caravan, campervan or motorhome, but you’ll also have to look at factors such as on-road single-axle or twin-axle heavy duty to get the right fit for your needs.
What size do you need?
Aside from the different types of caravans, there are also large differences in the sizes you can purchase.
Many of the larger motorhomes and caravans come fitted with all the basic creature comforts. On the flip side, you can also get simple, no-frills campers that are best suited for just one or two people, with very few luxury additions.
If you’re going away for a long time, you might want a caravan with enough space for living, sleeping, and storage.
You also need to remember that you have to be able to tow the caravan. Don’t buy a caravan that is too big for your car’s towing capacity, or you might find yourself needing to upgrade your car before you even get going.
Financing the purchase
Caravans can vary wildly in price, starting with simple models for around $40,000 all the way to over $100,000 for fully loaded models. Motorhomes can be even upward of that number and offer all the bells and whistles.
It’s possible to buy second-hand models for under $40,000.
The vast majority of people buying a caravan will be using finance, so it’s important to speak to a broker and get a pre-approval in place before you start the search. A pre-approval will give you confidence that you can potentially get finance and give you an idea of what your budget will be.
While you can potentially get finance through a dealer, it’s unlikely they have a wide range of lenders to choose from and you may not be getting the best product for your needs. There are a range of lenders that offer loans for caravans and your broker will be able to help you compare the best options.
Once you have a pre-approval in place, you can start shopping around and try to match your budget with what you’re wanting in a caravan.