Want to explore Australia? Wondering how to finance a caravan to do ‘the big loop?’
A lot of Aussies have seen more of Southeast Asia (especially Bali) and Europe than their own country. But with overseas travel off the cards until next year, it’s encouraged people to wander locally.
Now, many are turning to new ways to make the most of easing restrictions such as camping and caravaning.
For those eager to wander, there are bucket-list worthy adventures around the country begging to be experienced.
Check out : The Best Road Trips
Table of Contents
Financing Your Van
Caravanning, camping and road-tripping have become the norm. After all, there’s a level of flexibility and assurance that comes with the freedom of ‘hitting the road’.
If you’re considering buying a caravan, it’s a substantial financial investment. So you want to spend right and do your homework first.
Ready to get up and go? Here are some top tips for how to choose a caravan, and how to finance a caravan.
The best way to pay for your new travel rig depends on your financial situation.
If you have the cash upfront, there’s no worry about monthly payments, credit checks and fees. However, if it depletes your savings, you could leave yourself short for travel plans or caravan extras. Alternatively, you might have retirement funds, other payouts or additional savings to allow you to buy outright.
Choose a Caravan Loan
Although caravanning is an affordable way to travel, the initial outlay is expensive. Typically, vans are bought through leisure finance. For many, paying off a caravan is a better option if you want to preserve your money.
The best way to find the right investment is to determine your budget and needs. What’s your travel style?
Second-hand vans are cheaper, but could still set you back $25,000 for a decent one. New, basic entry-levels start around $50,000 and deluxe models with all the comforts of home are $120,000+.
A caravan loan requires less money upfront and offers access to travel freedom sooner. But choosing the wrong loan or van for your needs can leave you in debt. Choose right by considering what repayment plan is best for you, weighing up extra costs and speaking with a financial advisor or loan consultant. Your loan should be flexible, have minimal fees and suitable for buying a new or used caravan or camper trailer.
Tip: Set up an adventure piggy bank. Local road travels can be done on the cheap, especially in your own caravan or camper, but if you have a big adventure planned, it’s good to have savings ready for extra gear and maintenance or emergency repairs, especially if you’re buying second-hand.
Caravan Buying Guide
Caravan vs Camper Trailer
Then it comes down to choosing your options by the type of adventures you’re after.
Do you want a caravan or camper trailer? Which is best?
If you plan to go off-road and explore less-beaten tracks, camper trailers are more practical. They’re also cheaper for tighter budgets or low-cost travelling and encourage a camping experience, with more at-home comforts than a tent.
The smaller dimensions make campers perfect for narrow 4WD tracks. But the downfalls are, they take more effort to set up and don’t have as many luxuries caravans do, like an indoor shower, toilet, oven and microwave. Soft floor campers aren’t always ideal for winter or raining travels either.
Caravans are best for travellers who want a solid roof over their heads. They’re more practical for longer adventures or if you’re after a home-away-from-home. Weather doesn’t have to dictate your travels, there’s better insulation and no setup time.
- Preferred camping experience
- Fully contained vs camping style
- Setup and storage
- On or off-road
- Towing weight and capabilities
- Short vs long adventures
- New vs secondhand
- Solid-walled caravans vs pop tops
- Soft top vs hard top camper trailer
- Bedding – a family of 6 will struggle to fit in a camper trailer unless you set up another room and invest in extra mattresses
How to Buy Right
If you’re yet to experience caravan or camper travelling, why not hire before you buy?
Hiring first can emphasise essential features for first-timers. You’ll gain an understanding of things you might not think of, like towing, setup and travelling suitability. Sites such as Camplify have a huge arsenal of caravans and campers available for hire, which could help your final investment.
Make sure you:
- Budget for extras, features, maintenance and repair costs
- Look for longer warranties, which is a good sign a company backs its product
- Check you have the appropriate caravan/towing vehicle combination
Tip: Don’t forget a generator – Check out our post How to Choose the Best Portable Generator.
Get Out and Explore
Buying a caravan is a cost-effective, comfortable and versatile way to see Australia.
Once you choose your van, learn how to use it safely and make your travel plans. Now road holidays are making a comeback, how will you be taking advantage? Leave your favourite caravan and camper travel spots below!
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This article was written by Jayde Walker – a Perth copywriter who writes in the lifestyle and travel industries.
Photo of caravan by Lance Anderson on Unsplash