Are caravans worth it?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are caravans worth it? Many of us have hesitated before buying our first caravan. Will I like it? Will children like it? Will my wife like it? Is it really worth buying a caravan? What do I do if I don’t like it? Will I be able to get my money back? Keep reading to find the answer to all your questions. 

Are caravans worth it?

Most travel enthusiasts would agree that caravans are worth it: the investment, the price, the time. Buying a caravan is equivalent to buying a second home with the advantage that we can change its location whenever we feel like it. I don’t know many people who regret buying a house. The same thing is true for caravans.

A caravan has the advantage of offering travellers a large optimized interior space, comfort, versatility and freedom of movement. Below are a few more advantages of buying a caravan:

  • A caravan is much more economical than any other motorhome in terms of purchase and maintenance.
  • In most cases, a caravan is lower in height than the usual motorhome. Therefore, height restrictions, under bridges or otherwise, do not matter most of the time.
  • Safety:  In terms of safety on board, a caravan has it all assured (airbags, crumple zone, side collision protection, etc.).
  • It offers more space and therefore greater comfort than an RV of the same length.
  • A caravan has very few wearing parts. Therefore, if properly maintained, it can last a very long time and be towed by many successive cars.
  • Due to limited wear and little loss of value, the resale value of a caravan is often very good.
  • Once immobilized at its destination, the caravan allows the car to be used with complete flexibility.

For little money (between 1000 and3000 if we buy it second-hand) we will have a second home with its closets, its toilet, its kitchen, its pantry or its furniture. It will allow us to “change of scenery” every weekend if we wish, to disconnect from the routine and enjoy the tranquillity that nature offers us.

One weekend we can spend it by the sea, listening to the waves while the gentle breeze relieves us of the summer heat. Another in the mountains, in the light of the stars, while we have a barbecue and prepare the excursion for the next day.

And if we want to indulge ourselves, why not try a campsite with a SPA or heated pool in winter while the children enjoy the kids’ club? In winter, which is when we feel like it the most, it is the low season and it will cost us little money.

We can usually do all this within a short distance from home, as there are campsites everywhere. More than we think. Consult a camping guide and you will be surprised.

Are caravans a waste of money?

No caravan is a waste of money if you use it properly. Yet, the answer to this question depends hugely on the type of caravan you buy, how often you will use it, the purpose for which you buy it, but also on the one’s expectations and budget. 

Of course, in addition to the initial price you invest in a caravan, you must also add the cost of insurance, maintenance and repairs, but also usual costs. 

The total/month for two people living in a motorhome would be $1,461. The total/month for two people living in a house: $2,107 minus the costs for maintenance and home improvement.  This is an average, some need less to live, others much more. 

Should I buy a new or second-hand caravan?

The decision between a new or old caravan should be made carefully. Here are a few things to consider:

  • What is your budget;
  • How often do you want to use the motorhome: Regularly or only two to three times a year;
  • Do you plan to travel the country or settle mainly in campsites;
  • Will you be travelling individually, as a couple or as a family;
  • Would you like to bring pets along or not;
  • What are your furniture requirements;
  • What do you not want to give up under any circumstances;
  • Essentially, establish what type of vehicle is right for you.

The decision to buy a new or used caravan depends mainly on the budget available. There are offers to suit every need and every budget. A caravan can be a long-term investment. They are designed for long-lasting use and can be operational for decades. They also offer relatively stable value and can be sold cheaply, even second-hand.

Tips for choosing the type of caravan for your needs

  • What type of caravan do you prefer? (Fully integrated, partially integrated, alcoves, etc.)
  • Go for a large payload; we recommend 700 kg to 800 kg for families.
  • Weigh the vehicle before purchase and compare the weight with that shown in the papers.
  • Does it have a small rear offset so as not to overload the rear axle?
  • Sufficient motorization ensures safety reserves.
  • Automatic or manual transmission? Which type is right for you?
  • Caravans up to 6 meters long and 3.5 tonnes save ferry and toll costs.

Tips for choosing the layout of the caravan

  • Auxiliary battery (on-board battery) with sufficient capacity to also guarantee grid-independent parking.
  • LED lighting to save power.
  • The height of alcoves and above beds, in general, should be at least 60 cm.
  • The double bed must be at least 190 × 135 cm.
  • Large skylights bring in a lot of light and ensure a pleasant climate.
  • Storage compartments open from the outside for easy loading.
  • The rear garage holds should be accessible from two compartment doors (left and right).

Advice on additional equipment and accessories for caravans

  • Opt for a factory awning;
  • Air conditioner;
  • Large capacity fresh water and wastewater tanks;
  • Insulated or heated waste water tank (if you also want to use the motorhome in winter);
  • Quality mattresses for a comfortable sleep;
  • Fixings for child seats (if small children are accompanying you);
  • Bicycle rack;
  • Mosquito net for the access door and the rear door;
  • Solar installation;
  • Satellite installation;
  • Secret compartment, safe (possibly several).

Final thoughts

Caravans may be worth it, but it will all depend on your purpose. Will you be using it once a year for a maximum of three weeks? Or are you planning on travelling through the country and living like nomads? 

Of course, we went to the extremes, but the point here is to ask yourself what your goal is, how many people will reside in the caravan, how often will you use it, where will you store it when not on the road, what is your budget, and so on.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on Are caravans worth it?

Why buy a caravan?

The caravan has the advantage of offering travellers a large optimized interior space, comfort, versatility and freedom of movement. At the same size, it offers more available space than the motorhome.

When to buy a caravan?

When to buy a caravan –  the caravan sells particularly well during the months of April, March and May.

How to choose the right caravan?

To choose the right caravan, it is also necessary to look at two important criteria: the authorized total vehicle weight (GVWR) and the authorized total weight. The GVWR indicates the actual maximum weight added that can reach your car and the caravan.

How to buy a used caravan?

To know everything about the past life of your future caravan, here are the good questions to ask your salesperson. There are three documents that the seller must give you: registration card, sales certificate and situation certificate … There is no technical inspection for caravans.

References

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