What comes first – the caravan or the car?
Forget chickens and eggs.
The bigger question for caravanners is this…
Should you purchase a caravan to suit your car or a car to suit your caravan?
The expert team at New Age Caravans Perth explores this important topic.
Day in, day out we have customers visit us across all age demographics, and without doubt one of the most-asked questions is: Can my car/4WD tow this (caravan)?
Ideally, we suggest you prioritise the caravan before the vehicle.
There are several advantages to purchasing a caravan before buying a tow vehicle.
The main reason is to make sure your desired van can legally be towed behind the car.
For example, we often find that duel cabs cannot legally tow a caravan to its maximum potential due to the vehicle’s low gross combine mass (GCM). This is amplified when you factor in such things as passenger weight and bull bars. Therefore, with such vehicles, you will not be eligible to utilise the caravan to its full capacity.
In addition, not all cars or 4WDs have a ball rating that suits a regular caravan. Put simply, it’s a partnership, so it is important to make sure your van and car are well-matched.
For reference, it is often suggested that, when travelling, the ball weight of a van be around 10% of the total loaded caravan (ATM).
Approach this question in the same way you would when looking to buy a caravan:
The first recommended step is to obtain the weights and towing information of the vehicle to ensure your van can be legally pulled by it, accounting for passengers and extras that may be fitted to the car.
Be sure to ask the car dealer for the gross combined mass (GCM) of the tow vehicle. You would be surprised how many purchasers overlook this vital piece of information.
Don’t be afraid to consult your caravan dealer for help on this, too. Any respectable dealership and sales team should welcome the opportunity to assist and help calculate weights and measures.
All is not lost. Some vehicles can legally be modified or upgraded to increase compliance figures. This may help when buying a caravan.
Also, most caravan brands will have a lightweight option if your vehicle doesn’t have a ‘healthy’ towing capacity.
This might mean having to compromise by buying a smaller van or revising some options. Fortunately, New Age has a large range of caravans, which can account for towing restrictions, be it size or weight.
There is a lot to think about. However, at New Age Perth, we believe if you have adequate answers to the following questions then you are a long way to purchasing a new caravan:
If you have any questions about buying a caravan, contact your nearest New Age Caravans dealer. Details here.
Contact the BIG4 National Support Office via our contact us page.
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