If you’re feeling the need to explore our beautiful country then perhaps you’re thinking of buying a caravan or motorhome. Of course, there are many elements to consider when deciding which option is best for your needs.
Caravans have traditionally been the preference for the Australian lifestyle, because they’re cheaper and more flexible. But, they can be a lot of work – hitching and unhitching your van each time to arrive and depart at your caravan site.
Meanwhile, Motorhomes are becoming increasingly popular in the last ten years. Manufacturers have made vast improvements in motorhome quality, driveability and features. There’s much more variety and more options are available on the market nowadays too. Motorhomes are definitely bigger and more cumbersome than caravans. But, the ease and convenience of simply jumping behind the wheel and departing for your next adventure is very appealing to many purchasers.
Here’s three things to consider to help you make the right choice:
Caravans are time suckers. Every time you arrive and depart a holiday destination, there is plenty of work to be done. Hitching the van, connecting amenities and unpacking awnings can take time. It’s less fun when it’s raining, windy or night time. Even worse: all three at once. As you get familiar with your caravan, you will find yourself getting quicker and more efficient with your arrival and departure routine.
But, there’s not a caravan owner alive who hasn’t enviously watched a motorhome owner sail away from their campsite without a care in the world. All the while the caravan owner has plenty of work to do.
Of course, then there’s parking the caravan. This is a skill that makes reverse parking in a tight supermarket car park seem a breeze. Again, you will get better at this with experience but it can be daunting for the first-time caravan owner.
Traditionally, motor homes are more expensive than caravans. But, there are so many makes and models on the market nowadays. You can find luxury, middle of the road and budget versions of both caravans and motorhomes.
Decked out motorhomes with all the modern conveniences can cost more than $200,000, whilst a budget second hand caravan can cost as little as $30,000. Second hand caravans can even cost as little as $5,000. So, if you don’t mind the compromise on quality you can easily enjoy caravanning on a budget!
If you are willing to research the second hand listings, you can get a fabulous bargain on a second hand caravan or motor home. Buying second hand is a good way to test the caravan or motorhome lifestyle. If you like it, you can always upgrade to a better model, being confident you will use it enough to get value for your investment.
If you are considering buying a caravan or motorhome you should also factor in operating costs, such as petrol, insurance, repairs and maintenance. Of course, your caravan needs a strong SUV with a tow bar to tow it. Factor your car and its ability to tow your caravan in your decision before you sign on the dotted line.
Do you want to make plenty of quick stops as you travel the countryside? Or do you like to settle in once place for two or three solid weeks?
If you prefer your road trip with multiple brief locations, then a motorhome is your best bet. Drive in and drive out convenience can’t be beat. However, doing the same in a caravan will drive you batty. You’ll be spending more time sorting out the caravan than exploring the town you’re visiting.
If you like extended stays at your favourite caravan park, then caravans have the edge. There’s only one round of packing and unpacking to do, and you have the convenience of being able to drive around town and the attractions without your caravan. This makes exploring each spot by car much easier – no worries about tricky car parks or navigating narrow roads.
Of course, there is no right and wrong decision when it comes to choosing a caravan or motorhome. It depends on your needs, budget and travel plans. Hopefully our tips have helped you make the right decision.