Your first caravan is a big investment and if you get it wrong, you could end up hating your new hobbie, rather than enjoying the journey. Although there is much to consider before buying your caravan, searching for a caravan for sale should be an enjoyable and exciting experience with minimal stress. With that in mind we have put together a buying guide for first time purchasers below:
Let’s face it, everyone has a budget. We all want everything that opens and shuts, but you need to stick to a comfortable budget, especially when buying your 1st van. Research shows that most people that enjoy caravanning will buy 3 vans before they get exactly what they want so buying your first one should be affordable and easy.
Set your budget ahead of time and make sure you stick to it. The last thing you want is to go out and get that shiny new toy, only to regret it when the first payment comes out and you can no longer afford the holidays to enjoy it.
Needs and Wants
When you research features of vans make a list of must-haves V wants. Make sure your list includes everything you think you can’t go without such as ensuites, TV’s and reversing cameras. Then make a list of nice to haves if money allows. This will help you narrow the field once you start looking.
When you’re creating your lists don’t just think of physical features, remember to add things such as ease of towing, weight, set up times and spare parts. Having a new van with all the bells and whistles is great, but not so much if you can’t service it or get a hold of parts if something goes wrong.
The best way to find out how your chosen van performs in the real world is to read reviews from people that have it. There are plenty of review sites out there so do some research and reading and see what the pros and cons are of the caravan you’re looking at.
You’ll want to look out for things such as hoe easy people think it is to tow and park, how long it takes them to set up and also what features it has that suits your travel style. If you’re an off grid traveller you’ll want to know how big grey water tanks are and if the solar power is enough to charge and run your van at free camps and for how long.
When it comes to buying your caravan, you may be thinking about your trips, towing and what you’re going to take but don’t forget to factor in where it will live in it’s downtime. Make sure you measure the space and that your van will fit comfortably for the times of the year that it won’t be used. We’d all love to be on the road permanently but that is only a dream for 99% of us.
Storage may also be a big consideration when looking at a fixed roof or pop top van. If you’re looking to store under a carport for instance, then the height of a pop top may be much more convenient to you.
Buy once, cry once
It’s a simple philosophy. Do your research and reading and only buy once? This will save a lot of heartache down the track. Take your time, consider your options and enjoy the journey.