Caravans are great. They let you travel across country without leaving behind (most of) the luxuries of home. But if you want to head off the beaten track and truly explore everything that a country has to offer, then you might want to consider off road caravans. They come with extra features and benefits that will make you better equipped to handling more challenging conditions. If you’re thinking about buying one for yourself, here are the important things you’ll need to know.
5 Important Tips for Buying Off Road Caravans
You want your van to be able to stand up to rough terrain, so extra protection is a must. Off road caravans will come with guards to protect against stones and dust and the like. That includes heavy duty bumper bars, checker plates on the exterior, dust proofing, and rear stone guards. The tires will also need to be able to withstand sharp rocks and exposure to hot, wet, or dusty conditions. We recommend checking that the size and stud pattern of the vans tires match those of your tow vehicle.
The chassis at the base of your caravan form the foundation of its entire construction. A strong chassis will include independent suspension, adequate ground clearance, rear cutaways (for river crossings. You never know what you’ll come across) and that everything has been treated with rust protection. The frame of the van itself should be raised, and reinforced, to make sure it can handle whatever the road throws at it. Aluminium and timber are great choices here.
3.Off-Grid Power Solutions
Going off the beaten track means you might not have access to the power supplies that we often take for granted. Off road caravans should offer alternative sources for when you go off the grid. Look out for solar panels, rechargeable batteries and diesel generators. You might even want to consider a combination of all three to ensure you’re prepared for anything.
4.Plenty of Storage
If you’re going off-roading, then chances are you’ll need far more storage than you would if you were staying at a caravan park. Unfortunately, not all vans are created equal in this department. When you’re shopping around, make sure all the models that you look at have room for extra gas bottles and plenty of water storage – heavy duty water tanks should come as standard. You’ll also want to make sure there is room for your belongings. Because if you’re going for a long period of time, you’ll have more clothes and other things with you. You might even want to leave room for bikes, canoes, surfboards; and anything else you might need to enjoy our beautiful country.
5.Use Common sense
The truth is, outback travel is generally a matter of using common sense. If you want to be successful in your travels, there are a number of things that you can do to give you a boost in the right direction. Check the conditions of the roads you want to travel on, as many roads up north can get flooded in the wet season. You’ll have to monitor your van and the conditions as you go, and if things get rough, you can simply turn around. Australia actually has a fantastic system of bitumen roads across the entire country, and almost everywhere is accessible – with or without an off road van.
With a bit of research, you’ll begin to learn what to look for when buying an off road caravan. These days, many vans are capable of driving in less than perfect conditions, with manufactures adding dust proofing and strengthened chassis as standard. With the right amount of preparation, you’ll be on the road in no time.