Did you know 85% of Australians have been either caravanning or camping at least once in their life? And 73% of caravan buyers state that ‘seeing more of Australia’ is the main reason for their purchase.1
Caravanning gives you the opportunity to go on holidays in retirement without the expense of overseas travel, or hassles like organising visas, learning new languages and making decisions about travel warnings. Some retirees even choose to live semi-permanently in their rig, travelling the country for extended periods of time.
Whatever your reason for considering a caravan, there are lots of things to think about before you hit the road.
How will you use the caravan?
43% of people who buy caravans use them only five to 10 times a year2. If you only want to travel a few times a year, perhaps you can just rent a caravan?
If you do intend to travel more often, renting a caravan before you decide to pour your hard-earned cash into buying one can be a good way to ensure you’re making the right decision.
If you want the best of both worlds, you don’t have to give up work completely to spend more time travelling. You could even live in a caravan and work part-time leading up to retirement. This would enable you to take short trips or live like you’re always on holidays. You’d still get paid, could keep contributing to your super and could keep some structure in your days. Plus, if you’re not yet eligible for the Age Pension, working part-time could allow you to semi retire with some income.3
What’s right for you
Choose what suits your lifestyle best - a caravan, motorhome, campervan, camper trailer or a fifth wheeler.
Decide if you want a new caravan of if a second-hand one will do? This will help narrow down your choice and set your budget. Make sure you check the caravan has an “Accreditation Key” displayed – a sign that it meets Australian Design Rules, Australian Standards and the industry Code of Practice
Consider whether you will need to update or replace your car to tow your caravan. There are size and weight restrictions on how much you can tow. Whatever you choose, make sure you can drive it in all weather and across all terrains. If you’re not sure, there are caravan towing classes to help you hone your skills, long before you get behind the wheel!
If you need to store your caravan, consider whether you have room or find out if you can rent a space nearby.
Getting ready to go
Do your research before you start out. Camping and caravanning websites such as caravanningoz.com.au and thegreynomads.com.au are a good place to start. Or for info on the go, check out the Caravanning Australia and Camps Australia Wide apps.
If you want a campsite with facilities (such as showers and toilets), book into caravan parks or even some rest areas. If you have your pets with you, you can’t stay in national parks, but some caravan parks and council sites will let you to book in with your furry friends.
Take out car and caravan insurance, but don’t forget to maintain your contents insurance, health cover and personal insurance.
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.
We’re here to help
If you need help with organising your finances, contact us on 131 267 or find an adviser in your local area.
1-2 Caravan Industry Association of Australia: http://www.caravanindustry.com.au/research
Downsizing to a coastal town or regional hub can hold lifestyle appeal, but don’t bank on it as a strategy to fund your retirement.