What to look for in a family caravan

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family caravanfamily caravan


What to look for in a family caravan

If you’re looking to road trip and explore South Africa for its beauty, then buying a caravan will be ideal for your adventure-seeking soul. Everyone enjoys getaways with friends and family, but we all know the struggle of not being able to fit your belongings in a tiny boot. If this sounds familiar, then investing in a caravan will give you plenty of travelling perks.

A caravan is a home on wheels and; therefore, everyone will have enough personal space. If you have children, you can agree on how important personal space can be.

Buying a caravan is very different from buying a car. Although the process can be similar, especially if you’re planning to finance your caravan, there is a lot more to consider with a caravan. For example, you need to think of the type and size of car you will be towing it with.

Caravans differ in design style and size, and these differences will impact how much it will cost you. Much like buying a new car, many people opt for caravan finance to lessen the burden of having to pay for it upfront. But apart from considering the financial implications that come with buying a caravan, follow our tips to ask yourself before making your decision:


How big a caravan should I consider?

As previously mentioned, caravans vary in dimensions; therefore, you need to think of the perfect caravan size that will best suit your needs. Ask yourself questions such as; what will I use this caravan for and how many people will be using it. This will help shape your decision.

Make sure that you also choose a layout that will have ample storage space for your family.

On that note, be cautious that the size of your car can put a limit on the caravan size it can tow. So, always have your car size in mind when picking your caravan. Think about where you will store your caravan and make sure that your property can accommodate it.


What are my family requirements?

If you are travelling with children, consider everyone’s requirements. Ideally, you should accommodate everyone you will be travelling with. Look at things such as electrical slots and sleeping compartments. If you are travelling long distances, the chances are that you might have to prepare meals. So, make sure that the caravan you choose has working electrical slots, but you can look at this when inspecting the caravan you are prepared to buy.


Should I buy new or used?

Many people of weary of buying used caravans because of the dreaded dampness. Admittedly, many older caravans do have a damp smell to them, and that is why it is important to inspect it for any red flags before signing the dotted line. But there are several other things to consider before buying a new or used caravan. A caravan is similar to a vehicle, and one negative aspect of buying a new car is that it will depreciate in value. Nevertheless, your decision will solely depend on your set budget.


How much are you prepared to spend

Budgeting is one of the very first things to do when planning to buy items with big financial implications. Also, note that you need to be responsible. Unless you have cash tucked away, you should consider saving up months in advance, and at least have a downpayment. If you are financing your caravan, do your research on what will be required of you and how the process works.


Know what to look for when inspecting

If you’re buying a used caravan, you have to inspect to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Remember that sellers are competing for your attention, so, make sure that you’re not making an impulse decision. When inspecting a used caravan, check for any damp smells. If it smells mouldy, there is a high chance of damp areas in the caravan. Also, be on the lookout for any carpet staining and mould in the soft-board wall. Not only will this indicate dampness within the entire body of the caravan, but it will also require repairing.


Ensure you have all the relevant documents

Before you take off with your new caravan, you must ensure that all the relevant documents are in your possession. All caravans come with a manual, so try and obtain the owner’s original manual. Another tip to consider is how all caravans need to be taken for a service regularly, including caravans. Make sure you obtain the updated service book when buying a caravan. The service book will let you know if the caravan was taken care of.


What about the aftersales service

Signing on the dotted line and swiping your card is not the end of the sales process. The aftersales service is one of the most important aspects when buying a caravan. Ideally, before you conclude your agreement with your dealer, you would want to make sure that you verify the type of warranty you will be getting for them. Do not sign and conclude your contract before understanding the terms and conditions of the contract.


What you need to know about the financing process

Leisure financing is used for luxury assets such as boats, caravans, jet skis and mountain bikes. Financial institutions understand that many people don’t have the money to pay for these items in cash, and that is why they offer to finance these assets.

Applying for finance has become a quick and easy process compared to the older days. All it takes is for you to complete an online application along with the supporting documents, and usually, an agent will make contact with you. Upon your meeting, you will need to have:

  • Barcoded ID book.
  • Proof of income and a recent payslip.
  • Proof of residence.
  • Insurance details.


Final thoughts

Buying a caravan is a complex process, but those long summer drives will be worth it. Before making a purchase, make sure you have shopped around. Many dealers may put pressure on customers to secure a caravan, but don’t be hasty. Financing your caravan will always be a wise decision – you get to buy your dream asset and pay it off over a series of months.


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