A caravan show is a bustling hub for all things van-tastic, but it can also be overwhelming!
To cut through the excitement and make informed decisions, here are 5 tips for buying a caravan at a caravan show:
- Do your homework beforehand:
Know your needs: How many people will be traveling?
What kind of trips do you envision? On-road or off-road adventures?
Make a list of essential features and prioritize them to avoid getting swayed by fancy extras.
Don’t get extras for just in case – CHECK WEIGHT have weighed caravans where grandparents paid for extra bunks so the grandchildren could come with them – but they never did – that’s extra cost and extra weight.
Research models: Narrow down your search by identifying manufacturers and models that fit your needs and budget. Read reviews, compare specifications, and get a feel for the layout and features beforehand.
Set a budget: Be realistic about what you can afford, including not just the caravan itself but also the tow vehicle, insurance, and ongoing maintenance.
2. Navigate the show like a professional:
Plan your route: Caravan shows are massive! Map out your must-see brands and models to avoid wasting time. Prioritize based on your research and avoid impulse browsing.
Ask questions! Don’t be shy to bombard salespeople with questions about specifics like storage capacity, towing weight, warranty details, and included features. Compare answers across different vendors. And then check with CHECK WEIGHT.
Take detailed notes: Keep track of prices, features, and impressions of each caravan you consider. Pictures, video and brochures can be handy for later reference. Make sure you take a photo of the compliance plate for later reference.
Payload is KING – all up weights are important but payload is the MOST Important weight to look at when your researching.
350-400 kg of payload used to be the norm – however most people need 500-700 kg today – especially think and plan ahead – maybe you won’t do a lap this year but in the next few years you’ll appreciate the extra payload. It is also a great selling point when selling you van.
3. Don’t get swept away by show offers:
Remember, it’s a show: Deals offered at caravan shows may seem tempting, but don’t rush into a decision. Get quotes from multiple dealers and compare prices outside the show before committing.
Beware of limited-time deals: Pressure tactics like “show-only discounts” are common. Stick to your budget and don’t let the excitement cloud your judgment.
4. Think about the long term: Consider factors like resale value and ongoing maintenance costs before making a purchase.
Negotiate on extras: Once you’ve found the perfect caravan, bargain for extras like awnings, batteries, or camping gear.
Show deals might include bundled extras at discounted prices.
However, be wary of heavy extras that will reduce your payload!
5. Remember, it’s not just about the caravan:
Think about your towing vehicle: Ensure your car or truck can handle the caravan’s weight and towing capacity.
Get advice from professionals like CHECK WEIGHT.
CHECK WEIGHT offers ZOOM consultations where we discuss the possible pitfalls of a certain vehicle / caravan combination.
CHECK WEIGHT also offers a vehicle weigh consultation where we weigh your vehicle and then discuss what weight caravan you may be able to purchase.
Factor in insurance and registration: Research caravan insurance options and registration requirements before finalizing the purchase. Bigger and heavier may mean more registration and insurance costs.
Most importantly, have fun! Exploring the caravan show is an exciting part of the journey.
Enjoy the experience, chat with other enthusiasts, and get inspired for your future adventures.
CHECK WEIGHT will be at stand 430 – just outside the Exhibition Centre at the
The Newcastle Caravan Camping Lifestyle Expo from the 2nd to 4th of February 2024.