Ford or Holden. Liberal or Labor. NRL or AFL. B1 or B2. There are some things that really polarise us Aussies.
You can add another category to that list: caravan or motorhome. This is a duo that divides a nation, resulting in fervent debate on discussion forums, around water coolers, and in pub front bars.
If you’re deciding between purchasing a caravan or a motorhome, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the passionate arguments put forward by those in the corner of Team Caravan or Team Motorhome.
While these comments are mostly helpful, it’s best to back up the truck (or caravan or motorhome) and begin at the beginning. Let’s consider the key points when looking to purchase each mode of transport and allow the journey to take its course from there.
When asking yourself ‘should I buy a caravan or a motorhome?’ it helps if you have an idea about how it will be used. Picture yourself on the road with a caravan and then a motorhome, bearing in mind the type of traveller you are and how this purchase would impact on your regular holiday routine.
For example, when holidaying with a caravan you need to contemplate the following factors:
Frequent stops V extended stays...
If you are a traveller who makes frequent stops, these factors will have a noticeable impact; and a motorhome becomes a more attractive option. Yet if your typical break consists of spending a couple of weeks at a time in the same holiday park, these challenges are minimal.
On the flipside, if you are likely to use your BIG4 accommodation as a base for exploring the wider area on day trips, a caravan is a more convenient vehicle choice. Why?
It all depends on what type of break or breaks you anticipate taking. How important is it to you to have the convenience of a smaller vehicle?
If choosing between a caravan and motorhome for purchase, another key point to consider is the on-site convenience of each vehicle. While both options take care of your accommodation, a motorhome often goes that extra mile to make you feel like you’re at home thanks to added conveniences such as a shower and toilet.
Top tip: If you’re hesitant about making the big purchase, consider a trial first. Caravan and motorhome hire is readily available, so experience for yourself which mode of transport best suits you and your needs.
That’s right – costs with an S. Plural. More than one. Aside from making the initial purchase, you’ll need to give thought to other factors such as on-road costs and any repairs.
Inquiring about how much it costs to buy a caravan or motorhome is akin to asking the length of a piece of string. Generally, motorhomes are more expensive to buy than caravans but the price of either vehicle depends on several factors, including its size.
And while your caravan might be a cheaper purchase, it pays to note that the cost will balloon if you need to buy a more powerful car to tow it.
However, keep in mind that caravans are usually cheaper to run and maintain than motorhomes when accounting for such factors as:
Other aspects to keep in mind in the caravan versus motorhome debate include:
Are you travelling as a single or couple/group? For example, a motorhome is much better suited to a single traveller, because it eliminates the challenges of setting up, packing up, and parking a caravan.
Where will the vehicle be stored when you are not travelling? Will it be exposed to the elements? A marked difference in height and length means it’s easier to park a caravan undercover than it is a motorhome.
As you can see, both caravans and motorhomes have their pros and cons and there is a lot to consider. Choosing one over the other is not a matter of right or wrong. The decision depends on your budget, preference, and travelling needs.
If you’re a caravan or motorhome owner, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. In particular:
Please leave a comment below. Meanwhile, if you think you've come to a decision and are ready to start shopping around, you'll want to read these essential tips for purchasing a new caravan and buying a used caravan.
And whether you like to roam in the motorhome or you’re a fan of the caravan, isn’t it time you hit the road again? Road-trip adventures begin with BIG4.