Hit the road right

RV, caravan, campervan, motorhome… Whether you’re an RV rookie or a caravan connoisseur looking to invest in a ‘cubby house on wheels’, have you considered these points?

Choosing an RV to suit your needs can be an overwhelming task. Aside from your home and car, it can be one of the biggest purchases you’ll make. With so many different products available in Australia, how do you know whether you’re making the right choice? Truth be told, there are usually a number of styles of RV that will match any physical and budgetary requirements. We asked the experts at Brisbane Camperland for their thoughts on how to choose the perfect RV and what questions buyers should ask themselves during the buying process…

Have you set a budget?

Setting a budget is the first and most critical point to consider to help determine the range of products available to you. For example, will you purchase your RV brand new or pre-loved?

What’s your vehicle towing capacity?

Every make and model of vehicle is given a tow rating by its manufacturer. The ratings are known as ‘towing capacity’ and ‘ball weight’ or ‘downball load capacity’, and it’s essential that you understand these capacities before choosing a caravan. Some people even prefer to select their caravan before purchasing their tow vehicle, to ensure that their vehicle will be suitable.

What’s your towing ability?

When buying a caravan, another thing to consider is how confident you are in towing, reversing and parking that van? You may need to opt for a smaller caravan initially or enrol in a towing safety course to build up your skills.

Where will you store your RV?

Storage is an important consideration when choosing your RV. Luckily, many Palm Lake Resorts offer on-site RV storage facilities and/or RV homes with extra-long and high garages designed to let you park your RV right there within your own home. Consider where your RV will be kept during downtime and assess conditions like weather, security and space – this will also determine the maximum size that your RV can be.

Will you stick to the bitumen or travel off the beaten track?

This will determine whether you should consider an on-road or off-road model. Certain models are ideally suited to highway travel and the odd dirt road, as long as it’s free of corrugations. On the other hand, RVs offering a stronger chassis, upgraded suspension, additional ground clearance and off-road wheels and tyres are more suitable for beaches, dirt roads and more remote locations.

Where will you be setting up camp?

If you plan to stay mainly in caravan parks with amenities and power, you may choose an RV without ensuite facilities or solar/battery equipment. If you plan to stay in free camps or campgrounds without facilities, you should consider an RV with an ensuite offering a shower and toilet, solar panel and battery (to power lights, pumps and appliances) and larger water storage capacity (preferably two or more water tanks). A grey water tank is also recommended, but not essential. It is also worth noting that most of these options can be added to a variety of different RV types, so consider this when making your final decision.

The type of holiday and duration of your adventures will also help to determine what products will be most suitable. You should consider this as part of your purchasing process as it’s important to purchase an RV that will meet your minimum requirements.