If you love the idea of owning a caravan, knowing what kind of caravanner you are can help narrow down the kind of caravan you should invest in. Different caravans will deliver different experiences, which is why it’s important to know from the get-go the caravanner type you match most closely.
1. The grey nomad
Retired or on long service leave, you want to head out on the road with your partner and see the sights of Australia. Freedom, adventure and meeting new people is what draws you to caravanning. Taking a big lap around Australia is also the next big item on your bucket list to tick off. You caravan will be your literal long-term home on the road and needs to offer:
- a high degree of durability, strength and safety for travel over long distances
- easy towing for travel mostly on highways, but the ability to handle sections of unsealed roads
- the essential mod cons, from a well-equipped kitchen to heating and air con, for long term travel and comfort
- a high quality fit-out, with finishes that can withstand everyday wear and tear
- luxury features, such as inbuilt toilet & shower, to enhance your comfort when travelling
- flexible living spaces and storage to suit changing travel needs
- fuel efficiency when towing so you can stick to your travel budget
With this in mind, luxury caravans are your best bet for long term travel and over long distances. They also offer the option to customise and choose every detail that goes into the build process. For an example of what a luxury caravan can offer, check out the Roma Elegance.
2. The school holidayer
You have a family and love nothing more than staying at a caravan park or favourite camping site on school holidays, where you can set up for a week or month, and let your kids ride their bikes, visit the beach, go for walks, take day trips and simply potter around in the great outdoors. You will use your caravan as a hub you can move in and out of with ease and are looking for:
- flexible living and kitchen spaces that can adapt to your family’s changing needs
- larger sleeping zones, bedroom spaces that can sleep more people
- entertainment features, such as digital TV and radio, to keep everyone connected
- various storage options to suit different people and their needs
- outdoor add ons to extend the family living space
- a robust build and fitout to endure a higher volume of people
3. The off road caravan adventurer
You want to visit remote, pristine wilderness spots to hike, fish, explore and relax. You need back-up water and energy sources and still expect a high level of comfort when you travel off grid for longer periods of time. Being away from the hubbub of caravan parks and campsites is what it’s all about. A hardcore off road caravan that can take the rigours of unsealed road travel is what you’re looking for, with the following key features:
- stronger frames, raised higher off ground
- a stronger chassis’ designed for off-road conditions
- steel components that can withstand corrosion
- heavy duty tyres and suspension
- bumper bars that extend underneath
- chequer plates and full dust proofing
- under-van protection for water tanks
- off-grid power sources i.e. batteries & solar panels
- extra gas bottles and water storage
- off-road coupling
- warranty covering towing with a 4WD
Owning an off road caravan is also not just about being gritty and tough, but also extending the same creature comforts to you as a standard on-road caravan. And in today’s market there are many models, such as the Roma’s Razorback, that can offer just that.
5. The reformed camper
You’ve had enough of camping, and yet camper trailers and even motorhomes don’t cut it. You want the full upgrade to a caravan that can offer the space and lifestyle you need for the next chapter of your life, without getting something that's bigger than you really need. A caravan that is a step up from roughing it and is:
- flexible, lightweight and suited to short-term travel
- compact and easy to reverse into smaller, temporary caravan sites
- easy and quick to set up and pack up
- able to access sites on unsealed roads that are only a short distance to get to
- affordable, fuel efficient and suited to a smaller budget
- easy to store away in a garage or carport
Define your own type
There are many more caravanner types you may fall under. You could be an off road young nomad who likes to travel all year round or a family that only does weekend getaways in luxury settings. Nothing is set in stone and it's up to you (with a little advice of your caravan dealer) to determine the kind of caravanner you are.
And then there's that little thing called budget. Once you have an idea of your caravanner type, it's important to set out whether your budget can afford the kind of travel you want to do, or whether you need to consider a caravan loan to take the next step. You may have a small budget but only want to travel in style or a large budget and only want to travel with the bare essentials.
Keep in mind that sometimes a cheaper deal might mean you miss out on essential features necessary to make your trip worthwhile or enjoyable. Similarly, you may not need to spend top dollar on luxury mod-cons when you only want to travel light, infrequently and with basic creature comforts.
The main aim in this whole process is to help you get closer to the kind of carvanner you are. With a bit of creativity you can adapt the ideal of yourself into one that's realistic, actionable and one step closer to finding your perfect caravan.
Want to find out more about finding the right caravan for you? Download our guide to buying the ultimate caravan in 2016.