Do you have plans to travel Australia by car?
Are you thinking of buying a caravan?
Great choice! Few Aussies would argue the best way to see this giant country is by an incredible road trip.
But, you will need to be properly prepared. That begins with choosing the right caravan.
5 Tricks to Buying the Best Caravan
Do your research
Get to know the different caravan layouts and the market price for the caravan makes and models you are most interested in.
The big caravan manufacturers tend to copy-cat the best-selling layouts, so you’ll get to know the most common variations.
Every now and again you’ll stumble across unique layouts which may suit your needs better than others.
Pick your ideal layout
All things going well, you’ll be staying in this caravan for months and hopefully years (we’re sure it will be decades!).
You didn’t buy the first house you saw? So why would you impulse buy the first caravan you see.
Make sure you find a good layout. Most dealers have a huge variety of campers to check out, especially if you visit a reputable one.
Maybe brings the kids (or grand-kids) with you too. Sit in the caravans as a family and imagine what they would be like in use.
After a while, you’ll know what suits you and what won’t fly. Don’t forget you can always extend the space with a caravan awning.
If a Deal seems too good to be true …
You know what they say. The truism of life extends to buying a campervan too.
Be wary of backyard sellers without a long ownership history and of wheeler-dealers.
As a rule of thumb, if the asking price is more than 10% below what you can buy it for from a reputable dealer, run a million miles.
Likewise, don’t fall for the ‘deal of a century, one day only’ offer. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.
Establish exactly which layout you want, what you’re prepared to pay for the different makes and models, then play hardball to get the best deal.
Which leads us to our next point…
Beware online auctions
It’s tempting to look at eBay, but we’d suggest the following precautions:
- DON’T bid without seeing the camper;
- DO know what you’re bidding on – double check the precise make, model and year before making any bid;
- DO check the vendor’s feedback;
- DON’T get into sucked into a bidding war. Often these are inflated by the vendor;
- DO check that the vendor will accept your preferred method of payment.
- Pay on collection.
Take a good look at the body
Check the caravan over carefully for dents, broken or missing trim and bulging side panels.
Have a close look at the hitch and tyres for signs of excessive wear & tear.
Keep an eye out for signs the caravan has been re-sealed or repaired in some way.
Typical items to be wary of include paint-matching or evidence of filler or excess sealant.
Consider Aftersale Service & Repairs
This is where a reputable local caravan dealer can come in handy.
Before signing the contract, verify the terms & conditions of the warranty you are getting from the dealer (if any), its duration and what’s covered.
Book a Good Local Campsite
After you buy your first campervan, consider checking into a nearby campsite for a couple of nights.
You’ll get a chance to check out all the features and ensure they are working properly.
If something isn’t right, you’ll be near enough to visit the dealer and get everything sorted before you embark on your great Aussie road trip.