Clearly, a caravan is a big purchase. And before any big buy, there are questions that need answering.
If unanswered, they can lead to problems, regrets, and inconveniences. Worse yet, this uncertainty could be very costly.
To help you avoid any of this, we engaged the experts at New Age Caravans in Newcastle, who have identified seven key questions to consider when you’re looking for a new home on wheels.
While being fixated by an exact amount can have its drawbacks, it helps to have a ballpark figure of how much you wish to spend on a van. This allows you to easily:
We also recommend considering more than just the upfront purchase price. The resale value of the vehicle is an important consideration down the track when it comes time to sell or trade in your caravan.
Think about the intended use of your caravan and the number of people in your travelling party, as this will quickly help you find the model that’s right for you.
How many berths do you need? Does the van need bunks to accommodate all travellers? Answering these questions will help determine the size of your caravan.
Are you sticking to the tarmac or likely hitting dirt roads? If the answer is the latter, perhaps you should consider a van with independent suspension.
We suggest doing research to determine how reputable your chosen manufacturer is. There is plenty of information available online, including reviews and forums.
Many promises are made at point-of-sale, but can the manufacturer deliver on them? Sometimes, it’s worth following the advice of the cliché: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Your desired caravan might be bright and shiny now, but you will thank yourself later if you take a peek at the imaginary road ahead, in case things go wrong. And one question leads to a few more!
Is the warranty offered directly from the manufacturer, or is it an insurance-type guarantee? How helpful is the manufacturer likely to be at claim time? Do they provide roadside assistance?
Dig deeper: Doing further research and/or probing the salesperson for answers often provides clarity.
If you’re second-guessing the reliability of your manufacturer, that’s never a good sign. And if the manufacturer doesn’t have complete faith in their product, then why should you?
This is a very important question, as service costs can be extreme and deter owners from regular servicing. And irregular servicing can create bigger, more costly issues. We’ve seen and heard about some terrible situations!
We advise choosing a manufacturer that offers affordable, fixed-price options so you know in advance how deep you could be digging into your pockets.
Whether you’re planning on doing the Big Lap or simply clocking up a few hundred kilometres in your own state, you want assurance that you can quickly and easily get help if trouble arises. And more than that, you want assistance without it costing you a fortune.
Your manufacturer should be able to easily provide you with info about its national repair network and give you peace of mind.
Caravans are just one component of a duo. And you need both parts to complement each other in order to operate properly. Gross combined mass or GCM (the combined weight of the caravan and car) and the towing capacity are important factors, yet sometimes are not understood, or ignored.
It’s vital that you comply with these weights from both a legal viewpoint as well as a safety one. Again, your manufacturer should be able to assist you with any queries about this.