Buying a Caravan: What You Need to Know

Produced by AMP Life Limited and published on 6 January 2016. 

If you’re thinking about taking the family on a great Aussie adventure or perhaps considering buying a caravan to see out your golden years, read on to find out what you need to know.

Did you know that 85% of Australians have been either caravanning or camping at least once in their life?1 And 73% of buyers cite ‘seeing more of Australia’ as their main reason to caravan? But it’s not just all about long, lazy days in the sun – some Aussies want to travel by caravan to do casual work on the road to early retirement.2

And, with the Aussie dollar no longer at its strongest the price of a local holiday has become much more appealing than an overseas holiday.3

Whatever your reason, there are lots of things to consider before you pack the family, the dog and the esky in your caravan. Here are some of them.

Think about why you want a caravan

  • Is it to replace future holidays (43% use their RV 5 to 10 times per year4) or for the occasional weekend away? If it’s the latter, rent one instead of buying and put the cash towards something else.
  • Decide if you want a new caravan or if a second-hand one will do. This will help narrow down your budget and choice of vehicle.
  • Do you have somewhere to store a caravan? Will you need to update or replace your car to safely tow it?

Caravan, motorhome or something else?

  • Consider which ‘rig’ is right for you. Choose from a caravan or motorhome, a campervan, camper trailer, a fifth wheeler or a tent which can range from 3 to 10 metres in length.
  • If you choose a caravan, can you tow it safely? If you’re not sure, don’t panic – there are caravan towing classes available to help you hone your skills, long before you get behind the wheel!
  • Why not rent a similar caravan first to make sure you feel comfortable with driving it before putting down a deposit on a new one.

What else to consider

  • If you want to ensure the caravan has no money owing and is not stolen, buy from a licensed dealer.
  • Check the caravan has an “Accreditation Key” displayed – the key is a symbol that the product meets Australian Design Rules, Australian Standards, and the industry Code of Practice and it can be found by the door of those accredited products.

Where to camp

  • Check camping and caravanning guides, websites or magazines to help you do your research before you start out (see ‘Sources’ at the end of this article).
  • If you want a campsite with facilities (shower, toilet etc), book into caravan parks, national parks, state forests or even some rest areas.

Travelling with pets

  • If you have your moggy or doggy with you, you can’t stay in national parks, but some caravan parks and council sites will let you book in with your furry friends.

Who will look after the house?

  • If you don’t have a friend or relative to mind your house, consider booking a free house sitter through websites such as Aussie Housesitters where you can search for a sitter, view their profile and ask for references or police checks.

Get your affairs in order

  • Take out car and caravan insurance but don’t forget to maintain your house and contents insurance, health cover and personal insurances.
  • If you’re going to be away for some time, set up direct debits to pay your bills and redirect your mail if no-one is collecting it for you.

Need help?

Speak to us today and we can plan your trip together. At Blueprint Wealth we offer financial advice that is right for you, no matter what stage of life you are at. Contact us to set up a plan that is right for you.

1,4 Caravan Industry Association of Australia:




© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.