How to choose your first caravan

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So, you’ve decided to consider buying a caravan. You may already have weighed up the options and even looked at a few models, but now comes the serious part – how to choose your first caravan.

With over 20 years’ experience selling used and new caravans, we are able to provide some sound advice to help you make the decision on which caravan is right for you. Here are some of Peter’s top tips for choosing your first caravan.

Size does matter!

What size of caravan is best – 2,4 or 6 berth? A 2-berth caravan is ideal for a couple or single person. For those who require more living space or sleeping area perhaps a 4 or 6 berth would provide more room. You should think about how much time you plan to spend in your caravan – are you planning weekends getaways, short breaks or extended holidays abroad? Our range of caravans also come in 5 and 7 berth, and some larger ones can sleep up to 8.

Single Axle or Twin Axle

Another key factor in making your caravan choice is whether you should opt for a single or a twin axle model. Traditionally, single axle models are more lightweight and require a less powerful vehicle for towing. Although there are some reasonably lightweight twin axle caravans available, such as the super lightweight Lunar Venus range; twin axles in general are larger and heavier to tow. Every caravan that is advertised will detail its Overall Length, which is the length of the caravan from towing hitch to rear lights and its Overall Width which is the external width of the caravan at its widest point. Also the Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM) is the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) normally applied to the caravan. A useful website to visit to help to check the type of vehicle required to tow a caravan is http://www.uktow.com/caravans.asp

Its what’s inside that counts!

Caravan can offer many different internal layouts to choose from, there is literally something for everyone out there. Some caravanners prefer a fixed double bed, which means you are not making up beds and putting bedding away each day. Island beds enable 2 people to share and both can get out of each side – unlike the side fixed bed which requires one person to sleep by the wall. In some models, twin fixed beds double up as additional seating or dining areas too. For those with lots of little people in their lives, bunk beds make sense, either double or triple. The end washroom is currently very popular but remember to check out if the toilet is a swivel base or separate from the shower. Most caravans manufactured in the UK also come with a decent size oven, grill, hob, fridge/freezer and a microwave as standard.

New versus Used

The UK is currently manufacturing less than 4,000 new caravans every year, which means you pay a premium for new models, or have to wait over 12 weeks to take delivery of a brand new tourer. Just like buying a used car, second hand caravans work out significantly better value and often they don’t have much wear or tear. As long as the caravan receives its annual service, the manufacturer’s warranty can be passed on from one owner to another or an additional warranty can be purchased. Each caravan has its own serial number for registration or VIN/CRIS number, which is etched on the window and noted in the paperwork. Make sure you don’t forget to register your caravan (new or used) with CRIS to prove you are the legal owner of the caravan. You can visit https://www.cris.co.uk/ for more information.

Peter Roberts Caravans & Motorhomes is a leading supplier of quality used and new caravans and motorhomes. Peter Roberts, and his brother Andy, are more than happy to advise on any caravan purchase. Why not give them a call on Tel: 01484 662774 or you can email: sales@peterrobertscaravans.co.uk for honest advice, as well as many top tips for choosing your first caravan.

Happy Caravanning!