Did you know that 85% of Australians have been either caravanning or camping at least once in their life?1 And 73% of buyers cite ‘seeing more of Australia’ as their main reason to caravan? But it’s not just all about long, lazy days in the sun – some Aussies want to travel by caravan to do casual work on the road to early retirement.2
And, with the Aussie dollar no longer at its strongest the price of a local holiday has become much more appealing than an overseas holiday.3
Whatever your reason, there are lots of things to consider before you pack the family, the dog and the esky in your caravan. Here are some of them.
Think about why you want a caravan
- Is it to replace future holidays (43% use their RV 5 to 10 times per year4) or for the occasional weekend away? If it’s the latter, rent one instead of buying and put the cash towards something else.
- Decide if you want a new caravan or if a second-hand one will do. This will help narrow down your budget and choice of vehicle.
- Do you have somewhere to store a caravan? Will you need to update or replace your car to safely tow it?
Caravan, motorhome or something else?
- Consider which ‘rig’ is right for you. Choose from a caravan or motorhome, a campervan, camper trailer, a fifth wheeler or a tent which can range from 3 to 10 metres in length.
- If you choose a caravan, can you tow it safely? If you’re not sure, don’t panic – there are caravan towing classes available to help you hone your skills, long before you get behind the wheel!
- Why not rent a similar caravan first to make sure you feel comfortable with driving it before putting down a deposit on a new one.
What else to consider
- If you want to ensure the caravan has no money owing and is not stolen, buy from a licensed dealer.
- Check the caravan has an “Accreditation Key” displayed – the key is a symbol that the product meets Australian Design Rules, Australian Standards, and the industry Code of Practice and it can be found by the door of those accredited products.
Where to camp
- Check camping and caravanning guides, websites or magazines to help you do your research before you start out (see ‘Sources’ at the end of this article).
- If you want a campsite with facilities (shower, toilet etc), book into caravan parks, national parks, state forests or even some rest areas.
Travelling with pets
- If you have your moggy or doggy with you, you can’t stay in national parks, but some caravan parks and council sites will let you book in with your furry friends.
Who will look after the house?
- If you don’t have a friend or relative to mind your house, consider booking a free house sitter through websites such as Aussie Housesitters where you can search for a sitter, view their profile and ask for references or police checks.
Get your affairs in order
- Take out car and caravan insurance but don’t forget to maintain your house and contents insurance, health cover and personal insurances.
- If you’re going to be away for some time, set up direct debits to pay your bills and redirect your mail if no-one is collecting it for you.
- Why not use our budget planner calculator or savings calculator to find out how much you could save for your caravan or trip?
- Sign up for our newsletter to read more articles like this.
- If you need help with organising your finances or your affairs, please contact us on 131 267 or find an adviser in your local area.
1,4 Caravan Industry Association of Australia: http://www.caravanindustry.com.au/research
- Guide books: Caravan Parks (Australia wide), Camps (Australia wide)
- Magazines: Caravan World, Caravanning Australia
- Websites: Caravanning Australia www.caravanningoz.com.au
- Let’s go: Caravan & Camping - http://www.letsgocaravanandcamping.com.au
- The Grey Nomads - www.thegreynomads.com.au
- Apps: Caravanning Australia; Camps Australia Wide
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