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Choosing a caravan on a budget

If the call of the open road beckons, a caravan could be the ultimate freedom enabler that lets you enjoy a holiday on a budget anywhere, anytime.


If the call of the open road beckons, a caravan could be the ultimate freedom enabler that lets you enjoy a holiday on a budget anywhere, anytime.

Aussies have always loved the laid back, outdoorsy style of holidaying that caravans offer and these days it's the younger generations who are leading the charge, with 30-54 year olds accounting for almost half of the nation's caravaners and campers1.

If exploring new horizons appeals to your sense of adventure, discover what's involved in buying and financing your caravan.

Instead of vacations shaped by flight schedules and hotel check-in times, a growing number of holidaymakers are opting to explore the country on their own terms with a caravan. As a guide to their runaway popularity, caravan registrations have skyrocketed by more than 30% since 2011, with campervan registrations leaping ahead by 20%2.

A lot to love about caravans

It's easy to see the appeal of caravans. They provide the freedom to pull up and stay pretty much anywhere, and if you're planning a long trip or regular getaways, they can be far more economical than other types of accommodation.

That said, a caravan is a major purchase and it pays to do plenty of research to know the type and size of van best suited to your needs.

A sensible starting point is to set a buying budget and stick to it. Modern caravans come with all the bells and whistles, but don't be put off if your budget is tight. Secondhand caravans can be picked up for a fraction of the cost of a new model, providing plenty of bang for your buck plus the flexibility to renovate the interior to your own taste.

At the most affordable end of the spectrum, camper trailers offer compact but cleverly designed living spaces, and their petite size means they can easily be stowed away in homes with smaller yards.

Size matters

One aspect to carefully weigh up is the size of your caravan. If you're travelling with children or teenagers, scrimping on interior space can quickly see the family jostling for elbow room.

Also, bear in mind your car's towing capacity. Around 70% of caravans weigh less than 1.5 tonnes, though in the past five years the trend has been toward bigger vans weighing between 1.5 and 2 tonnes3. Towing at, or close to, the maximum capacity of your car will put unnecessary strain on the engine.

If you plan to go off-road, 4WD caravans are available with superior suspension, a super tough chassis and built-in water tanks – must-haves if you're driving through rugged terrain or remote areas.

Caravan loans – a smart way to manage the cost

There is no shortage of places to shop around for a caravan. New, state-of-the-art models are available through specialist retailers or direct from the manufacturer. Or, check out sites like Gumtree or eBay for a smorgasbord of budget-friendly, pre-loved caravans.

The hardest part of getting started can be deciding how to finance your caravan. One of the easiest options is to use a caravan loan. This way, the cost is spread over time while your hard earned cash remains available for unexpected bills.

That said, deciding which loan is right for you isn't always easy. This is why it makes sense to speak with your local Mortgage Choice broker about a caravan loan.

Mortgage Choice has access to a range of lenders with caravan leisure products. Your Mortgage Choice broker will compare all the loans on the market to help you find the option that fits your lifestyle and budget just as well as your new caravan.

Talk to your Mortgage Choice broker about a caravan loan today and start exploring the open road sooner.

You might also be interested in:

1Caravan Industry Association of Australia media release, Aussies Break Caravanning and Camping Records, 16 January 2017 http://www.caravanindustry.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/MEDIA-RELEASE-20170116-Aussies-break-caravnning-and-camping-records-1.pdf
2Caravan and Campervan Data Report 2016 Caravan Industry Association of Australia, October 2016 http://www.caravanstats.com.au/_r767/media/system/attrib/file/57/2016%20Caravan%20and%20Campervan%20Data%20Report.pdf
3Caravan and Campervan Data Report 2016 Caravan Industry Association of Australia, October 2016 http://www.caravanstats.com.au/_r767/media/system/attrib/file/57/2016%20Caravan%20and%20Campervan%20Data%20Report.pdf
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