The last couple years more and more trends have revolved about going back to nature. A caravan holiday is a fantastic way to be at one with nature and explore the world. A caravan allows you to move around and enjoy a relaxing holiday without giving up too much luxury.
Buying your first caravan is really exciting, but as a newbie it can be a bit scary if you’re not sure what you need. I’ve put together a guide to show you the steps you need to take before embarking on your first caravanning adventure.
What you’ll read about in this article:
- compatible car
- storing the caravan
- caravan insurance
Buying the caravan
There are so many things to think about when buying your first caravan. It can get a bit overwhelming as there are a lot of companies out there that say they have the best caravan for you. Before you get into a deal, here is guide to what you need to consider before buying the caravan.
Size: ranging from 2 to 6 berth
Of course one of the first things to consider is the size of the caravan that you need. Are you just travelling as a couple? A 2 berth caravan should give you plenty of space. Do you have a big family and/or are planning to take friends on your caravan holiday? A family-size 6 berth caravan will be best for you.
If you are going for a smaller caravan but would like some extra space, you can make use of an awning. In case you don’t know: an awning is a tent you can attach to your caravan and makes a (sort of) conservatory for your caravan. I love awnings! It makes you feel like you are outside and allows you to gaze up at the stars and enjoy nature, without sitting in the wind or cold. There are thousands of different kinds of awnings, you might want to consider setting a budget aside for this, awnings can range from £300 to as much as £1000.
The compatible car
It is really important to consider car and caravan compatibility. You need to make sure your car can tow the caravan and ensure this is safe, comfortable and legal. Have a look at the owner’s manual of the car to find out the kerbweight of the car. There is lots of information online on how to calculate whether your particular car can tow a caravan, and if so what the maximum weight is. The manufacturer of the caravan should be able to tell you the weight of the caravan.
Keep in mind:
- If you have a small car it is very unlikely it will be able to tow a caravan.
- Caravan weight will vary a lot depending on the size. A heavy 6 berth caravan will need a powerful car to tow it!
This is very much down to personal preference. Different caravans will have different features. Some will have a shower, whereas other have a larger sleeping area. If it’s important for you that the caravan has a nice kitchen area or whether you will be barbecuing outside more often. You can make a caravan as basic or luxury as you want!
Personally I find reviews very important before making a purchase, especially a big one like a caravan. Browse online for honest reviews on the caravan you are looking to buy. Spend an evening dedicated to reading as many reviews as you can, this will help you make up your mind on the caravan.
Storing the caravan
A caravan is great to have for those times you are going on holiday and are enjoying it actively. But you also need to think about what you are going to do with the caravan when it is not being used. Do you have storage at home or will you need to rent a place to store it?
Again, the size of your caravan will play a big part in this. A 2 berth caravan will take up a relatively small amount of space, whereas a large 6 berth caravan will need a bigger storage space.
Also remember the caravan will need servicing regularly. This is both in terms of the mechanics of the caravan and the inside: it will need to be kept clean and tidy. You probably want to arrange a storage space close to where you live so you can visit regularly for a check-up. Of course this is also handy in case you decide to go on a last-minute trip!
I hope I don’t have to tell you how important it is to get proper travel insurance! But now that you are proud caravan owner you definitely need to get cover for this! There are lots of providers out there that offer good insurance policies. You might even be able to add caravan insurance with your current car insurance provider. There are lots of different types of insurance for your caravan, mainly depending on whether you have static or touring caravan.
Also consider getting insurance for all the things you will keep in your caravan: kitchen equipment, technology, personal items etc.
Have a look below for current caravan insurance offers, last updated 19th February 2020: