Question: Tips for Buying a Caravan

Hi, we are looking at travelling around Australia for a year or two in a couple of years time with our 3 our children, they will be 3, 4 & 6. Could anyone offer any recommendations on caravans with triple bunks plus an ensuite. Also, if anyone knows of any sites I can find second hand caravans. Thanks
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 15:44

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 15:44
Hi Bexsy,

From your description of your requirements I would suggest you get the biggest one you can afford and a suitable vehicle to tow it with.

As you appear to be a young family you may not need the ensuite, but then on the other hand they are very handy.

My advice is to keep looking at any and every van you come across and don't be afraid to ask any caravaner for a look in their van and some feedback re their purchase. It is amazing what you will find out and most caravaners are more than happy to talk on this subject and most of us love to see families out on the road and kids having fun.

I bought our 2 latest vans from a mob in Coffs Harbour NSW that sell Jayco caravans and we are very happy with them and they have an enviable reputation. Just ask most of their customers, as I have while on the road. Do a search using Jayco and Coffs and you will find them

You did not give a rough location or even a state so that we could hone it in a
little closer for you.

I recommend you fit solar to whatever van you get as it frees you from having to hook on to power and at least a couple of 100 amp hour batteries and, having solar, you will find it a blessing never having to worry about battery condition. Get as much 12 volt operated equipement as you need and you can't go wrong.

I have a 12 volt laptop power supply, 12 volt battery chargers for the Digital Camera, for the movie camera and I am about to get a 12 volt charger for AA and AAA batteries, from ebay of course. I also have a 12 volt shaver, brilliant.

The other thing you might find is a good idea is a diesel heater. If you are going to be on the road for a couple of years then you will be out there in winter and the diesel room heaters are economical and very efficient.

Given the size you want it will be dual axle, you should go for twin 9Kg gas bottles and all LED lighting. There are many other things to get that are needed for setting up such as chocks to get the van level but they are best discovered on a couple of shake down cruises.

I do not have kids so my advice sort of stops there but plenty have already done this so there is plenty of advice out there.

Cheers, Bruce.




At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 15:48

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 15:48
One other thing,
an oven stove in the van, considering you are a family, will be a good idea as well in my opinion as it can be a money saver in the long run with families.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:55

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:55
Top reply Bruce.
Cheers Bruce
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Reply By: Trev&Ness B - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:08

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:08
gday
I have a jayco outback swan and with 2 kids 4and 5 i can tell you that you are doing the right thing going for the van that has a Shower and toilet ( thats what we should have done).It is a must as it is easier to clean dirty little feet in a shower than in the sink. A van that is easy and quik to set up ( pull up drop the legs and open the door), and has big water tanks is also the go. Jayco do an expanda that have bunks, windsor rapid also, not sure on any other makes that do vans with bunks. The main problem with the set up you need is the size of the van, it may restrick you on some campsites other than caravan parks. Saying that i have seen some of the grey nomads (no disrespect intended) get there huge vans in some pretty remote areas.
Try caravan sales . com, then you can see whats on offer all around aust. We bought ours from the eastern states and saved big $ including the cost of transport to WA.
good luck and enjoy your trip
good set of gumboots for the kids is the best thing we ever got.


trev and ness
AnswerID: 488397

Reply By: Geoff in SA - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:33

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:33
Hi betsy

What state are you in??

That may help with replies

Geoff
AnswerID: 488400

Reply By: ed c1 - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 21:35

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 21:35
Hi Bexsy,,,, lots of good advice above,,but the most important thing in whatever van you buy is the FRIDGE. make sure that it has a TROPICAL rated FRIDGE..as you will need it any where north of SYDNEY..
I have a new van well its almost 2 yrs old,,,and its fitted with a NS rated fridge,,,,and it stops working when the temp reaches 27' c.,,,been fighting them for two years.
I think the ns stands for not suitable...
dont let me put you off put lots of thought into it and do your home work and it will pay off and you will have a hassle free trip.....
Half the fun of a trip is the planning and setting up your rig
enjoy
travel safe
AnswerID: 488415

Follow Up By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 08:51

Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 08:51
If you are travelling for a couple of years I would look seriously at a compressor fridge, solar power plus an Anderson Plug. Consider also extra water tanks. A portable washing machine will also be a money saver.

John
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Reply By: shanegu6 - Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 06:09

Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 06:09
I've got a great triple bunk caravan for sale in the classifieds section here. Royal Flair.
AnswerID: 488427

Follow Up By: Bexsy E - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 14:20

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 14:20
Will check it out, thanks
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FollowupID: 763781

Reply By: Bexsy E - Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 14:20

Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 14:20
Finally able to reply to this thread, sorry I didn't earlier the site wouldn't let me as I registered with a freemail account.
Thanks so much for all the great advice, it really helps. We have just begun the planning of our trip & are in the process of working out how we are going to be able to afford it. Thanks for the advice on power, fridges etc I have noted them all down so we know what to look for.
Any other advice on anything for our trip will be great as up until now I had found it difficult to find information... especially re costs of travelling & how much to budget.
We are in Northern NSW so will head down to the Coffs van dealer, thanks Bruce.
Thanks again everyone for the information, much appreciated.
AnswerID: 488621

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