For grey nomads looking for comfort and anew lifestyle, to families looking for space and flexibility, choosing the right caravan type is critical to a great caravaning experience. To determine what caravan type is right for you, there are a number of things you need to consider first, from understanding your personal needs and financial position, to the size and type that will suit your travel style most.
It’s all about the ‘why?’
IIt’s important that you first establish the ‘why’ when buying caravan. Whether you buy a new caravan or a second hand caravan, it’s a big investment and needs to be planned carefully, taking into consideration your own personal needs and those of your loved ones.
To avoid the temptation of being swayed by caravan sales that do not deliver on their promise, first sit down and write a list of everything you want out of a caravan. if you’re sharing your caravan with a partner, family or extended family, make sure you sit down with them and use their feedback to help you make your final decision. The kind of things you want to ask include:
- What kind of caravan travel would you like to do? A year trip around Australia? A weekend getaway? Off road 4x4 bush travel for more than a week? An entire summer set up in your favourite caravan park? Or even a permanent stay
- How many people will be using the caravan? Will it be with a partner? For a small family with 2 kids? A large family with 4+ kids? Shared by you and other family members with a varying number of occupants?
- Where will you be travelling? Will you be travelling mostly on highways or also off-road on unsealed dirt tracks and corrugated sections of road?
- How often and what distances will you be travelling? Will you be caravaning regularly over short distances and mostly on weekend trips? Less frequently but travelling greater distances and for more extended periods of time? Or will you use your caravan very infrequently staying mostly in caravan parks?
- What level of space do you want? Do you want something that is spacious and open so you can stretch out, unwind and accommodate family and friends? Or something small, compact and very low maintenance just for the two of you and for shorter lengths of travel?
- What level of comfort do you expert? What level of comfort do you want as a standard? Are you looking for a high-end luxury caravan with all the mod cons or something more basic and compact?
- What’s you budget? What can you afford? If you’re looking at taking out a caravan loan, can you make the weekly repayments comfortably?
Now find out the ‘who?’
As well as asking 'why', knowing the ‘who is it for?’ in detail is also a helpful thing to analyse. What type of caravanner do you see yourself as when it comes to caravanning?
- A grey nomad: you want to head out on the road and see the sights of Australia. From short to extended trips, exploring the Vic high country, NSW beaches, QLD tropics, NT red centre desert, SA vineyards and wilds of WA. Freedom, adventure and meeting new people is what motivates your interest in caravans.
- A weekend warrior: you like to travel at the drop of a hat, on weekends, to caravan and camping sites, with a good level of creature comforts by your side. getting away from it all for a quick refresh and reset is what you want the most from caravanning.
- A family traveller: you have a family and love nothing more than staying at caravan parks and/or beautiful camping sites where they 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.
- An off road 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 to remain off grid for a long enough period of time.
- A reformed camper: you’ve had enough of camping, camper trailers...and even motorhomes don’t cut it. You want the full upgrade to a standard caravan that can offer the space and lifestyle you need for the next chapter of your life.
Understand your caravan model types
Now you’ve established why you want to buy a caravan, it’s time to look at the types of caravans on the market and what they can offer in terms of space, performance and lifestyle.
Luxury caravans take you to a whole new level of comfort and sophistication. Size can vary in luxury caravans. Standard to large is a very common size to find in a luxury caravan, however, there are also some small caravans that also offer a high level of luxury in a compact design.
The devil is in the detail when it comes to luxury caravans, from premium engineering and components to interior spaces that may include flexible living spaces, slide-out sides, high quality fittings and furniture, fully-equipped kitchens, spacious bedrooms with coil sprung mattresses, storage spaces in every conceivable space, ensuites with an inbuilt toilet/shower, annexes and outdoor addons, hardwood cupboards, high tech features from security to flat screen TVs, wireless connectivity and more.
Luxury caravans are perfect for grey nomads and families looking to travel regularly, for med-long periods of time over any distance. There 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.
Family caravans still offer a high level of comfort and style, with flexibility in interior layouts and a focus on providing enough living and bedroom space to accommodate larger numbers. There are several room configurations you can choose in a family caravan to suit your family’s needs. The focus may be in having a well-equipped kitchen and dining/living area where everyone can gather, or for a more spacious bedroom set-up with lots of storage options. The ideal with a family caravan is that it can adapt to the changing needs of your family, designed to maximise comfort for everyone, and robust enough to endure a higher volume of people.
For an example of what a family caravan can offer, check out the Roma Sov’reign.
Small caravans can be luxury or standard. They are known for their compact size, aerodynamic shape, and ease of use when towing or storing in your garage. What is compromised in space is made up for in performance and lifestyle. They can include luxury elements from high tech engineering features to high quality furnishings and fittings. Small caravans also offer more fuel efficiency for your tow vehicle due to their lighter weight and fit easily into tight camping and caravan park sites.
Small caravans are ideal for retirees and young couples looking to do temporary and short-distance trips and weekend getaways.
For an example of what a small caravans can offer, check out our range of Pinto small caravans.
OFF ROAD CARAVANS
Off-road caravans offer the same creature comforts as on-road caravans, however, unlike standard caravans, they allow you to travel on unsealed dirt roads for extended periods of time, and include things like stronger raised frames and chassis’, steel non-corrosive components, heavy-duty tyres and suspension, bumper bars that extend underneath, chequer plates, full dust proofing, under-van protection for water tanks, off-grid power & water sources and off-road coupling.
Off-road caravans are perfect for couples or families that love 4WD travel, over med-long distances, and staying in remote campsites with very few other people around.
Don’t compromise on quality
It goes without saying that irrespective of what type you buy, you should expect in any caravan choice that it is:
- sold by a licensed dealer and easy to insure
- built to the highest Australian design and safety standards
- uses quality workmanship and is built to last
- is durable, safe to tow and a delight to use
- offers a genuine warranty and reputable servicing options.
With this knowledge in mind then you should be able to mix and match and find the perfect caravan for you. And what you settle on may surprise you and be different to what you first expected. The most important thing is that your caravan can extend to you a great lifestyle that you deserve and should always expect.
Want find out more about what to look for in your perfect caravan? Download our guide to buying an ultimate caravan in 2016.