When purchansing a caravan.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 07:54
ThreadID: 33442 Views:2534 Replies:13 FollowUps:6
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Hello, I want to say that I visait you site on a aregular baisis and find it very informative.
Last year we purchased aToyota Prado 4 Litre Petrol and we are now in a position to be considering the purchase of a caravan, but as you know for a novice like me there are so many different manufacturers that make similar caravans and I am sure some do it better than others.
This is the list I have come up with:
Either a new or used.
Possibly thing of some off road venutres
Pop Top between 16' to 18'
either rear kitchen & front bed or visa versa
island bed
awning and annex
(not sure if I have covered everything)
Can you offer some suggestions as to what makes I should be considering.
Thank you,
Cheers, Maria
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Reply By: Member - Tony G (ACT) - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 08:44

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 08:44
The Coramal (?) Seka will fit the bill and cover all your requirements. Two of our friens both have this van and use them off road and are very happy with them.

I think the model is the 500 series.
AnswerID: 170175

Reply By: Member No 1- Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:01

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:01
"This is the list I have come up with:
Either a new or used"...is there something else?...hahaha...
hope i am not offending
AnswerID: 170180

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:11

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:11
Could well have been one or the other if he hadn't made it clear!
FollowupID: 425531

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:51

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:51
is that 1st hand or 2ndhand
FollowupID: 425539

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 13:41

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 13:41
I would like to correct member No.1, if I may. I have seen all matter of vehicles described as 'nearly new", "as new", "as good as new", 'new last year" and "renovator". Now whilst I agree that these descriptions merely highlight the amount of decay and the extent sellers are prepared to lie. The question focused on either new and notheing in between used vans.

Also hope I'm not offending.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 19:00

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 19:00

"if he hadn't made it clear!"

Maria? he?

Now who's doing the offending LOL
FollowupID: 425657

Reply By: ev700 - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:44

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:44

The quickest way to sort your own requirements and layout and get the low-down on on the best value for money is to: firstly, rent a van or cabin in one of the tourist caravan parks; and secondly sally forth around the park and chat with van owners.

The substantial majority of people are most forthcoming on the pros and cons of their vans (unlike discussing cars!) and will set you on the right course. Again, if you're driving past a park and you notice some vans of the type you think you will like, stop and make discrete enquiries of the owners.

The easiest way to end up confused and with a potential lemon is to start off at a caravan show or in dealers yards.

Just a couple of further tips, check the towing specifications of your vehicle and remember that the van loaded cannot exceed these.

Common poptops like Jayco and Coromal are common because they represent good value for money.

Remember you have to store the van when not in use.

Have fun
AnswerID: 170185

Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:55

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 09:55
If you have an active caravan club in your area, get onto them too as there is a huge amount of knowledge in some of the members.
AnswerID: 170189

Reply By: Nav 8 - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:03

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:03
I would like to make one comment with regards to layout. If you buy a single axle van as you would with a 16-17 ft think about a rear kitchen as this is is a heavy area and if situated at the front puts a lot of weight on the tow hitch. Ball weight is an important factor and can also limit the load you can carry in the vehicle.
Regards Nav.
AnswerID: 170191

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 18:34

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 18:34
That depends on the loads you intend to carry. If you will be carrying loads of tools on a big round Aus. trip then a rear bed may be of benefit to even the load over a single axle.
You should narrow down the amount of weight you wish to put in the van as this may narrow down the type of van you get. As a rule 300kg of load for single axle and 400kg for tandem. Obviously there is exceptions to this and some manufacturers will build what you require.

Regards Trevor (who loves his Supreme Getaway 16ft internal).
FollowupID: 425645

Reply By: maroni - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:27

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:27
we are in the same situation, i have done what others have suggested on here that is asking people with vans, i alot will tell you the one they have is the best, but most will tell you the faults , that theirs has. we also did this when buying our camper trailer.we also have gone to caravan and camping shows and had a good look. also i think depends how long you are going to be on the road for and how much you can afford to spend.for me if i was travelling for awhile i would have all the comforts of home, it does get cold out there and hot so airconditoner a good idea,and ofcourse depends if you want on or offroad van.
think middle kitchen or back kitchen maybe a better idea(weight being the prob} but i know others have their own ideas on that. i would also have island bed much easy to make.
ah thats just my opinion
i sure someone will shoot me down
cheers for now
AnswerID: 170192

Reply By: Keenycruiser - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:34

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:34
A full van is a lot better than a pop-top because of the extra cupboard space plus you can get a roof a/c instead of using room under the seat and a cupboard for the a/c. A pop-top is good if you have a low carport to store it but that's the only advantage. My daughter has a Coromal Seka, off-road van and it has been nearly everywhere an off-road trailer will go.
It's 17' twin axle with hot water, a/c, bunks, island lift-up bed and they have not had a problem with it. I would recommend Coromal everytime even though I've got a Windsor Statesman.
AnswerID: 170194

Reply By: gertie - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:49

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 10:49
We too had to make this decision a couple of years ago. We were going to get a getaway & traded in our windsor onroader on & offroad poptop. Unfortunately he was joined by viscount(nsw) & the van we got from them gave us so much grief on our first big trip (so many things fell off & out & cracks appeared) that we ended up trading it in on a Roadstar full van 19ft.It has been great & there is really some great vans out there-our friends have an offroad Regal & it was great on our trip--just do your homework,listen to exp caravaners & not salesmen & stay clear of Viscount if made in the nsw factory (we are not the only ones that have suffered--made the news & court)
AnswerID: 170198

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 18:56

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 18:56
Head over here for more info-

Site Link

Good luck
AnswerID: 170279

Reply By: Member - Patrick (QLD) - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 19:47

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 19:47
Also try the folowing site.

link text
AnswerID: 170288

Follow Up By: Member - Patrick (QLD) - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 19:49

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 19:49
OK I stuffed that up....take 2

FollowupID: 425674

Reply By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 20:21

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 20:21
Hi Maria,

We spent a full day at the Brisbane Caravan Show, comparing all the offerings, side by side, one after the other, then revisiting the ones we had earlier picked out as possible contenders. We found it necessary to do this legwork, to come up with the best possible compromise.

Even if you go 2nd hand, you still get to compare various features and brands side by side. This will make it easier when you surf through the "for sale" columns.

We went pop/top style also, for ease of storage (in standard size garage) and ease of towing i.e. less weight, less wind resistance. Ours is an Avan Cruisliner which is too small for your spec's.

Happy hunting.

AnswerID: 170291

Reply By: MP - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 21:31

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 21:31
Hi Maria,

Once you've done you homework, consider buying an older van in good nick. You can then test it out in the real world. If you're then really happy with the set up, upgrade to a more modern or new unit. My outlaws did this, decided they enjoyed caravaning, sold the old van at a profit, and now have a better unit. Good luck.

AnswerID: 170304

Reply By: Steve - Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 22:27

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 22:27
You will get much better ventilation in a pop-top than a full van as well as it being lower and less wind resistance when towing. Although you don't get as much cupboard space high up, (the cupboards are not as deep) you still get the shelf space on top that you don't get with a "full van". An island bed is good in that hubby won't have to crawl over you when he needs to get up at 3 a.m. for wee wees. A used one in good nick is good. Like 4x4's, they've often had a lot of extras added on by previous owners. Off roaders are quite a lot dearer but more robust. you need to decide whether you need one - and bear in mind they are not as manouvreable oof-road as a camper trailer. Annexe is good if you need the extra room (family or just a couple?) Whether you are likely to stop in one spot for more than just a few nights. What climate you will be travelling in mostly. Some more info about yourself and intentions would help.
AnswerID: 170318

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