05 Dec 2023

The Pros and Cons of Buying an Off Road Caravan

by admin

From well-known trails to desolate expanses of land, there is a lot of camping potential here in Australia – particularly if you have an off road caravan on your side. If you’re a little doubtful about taking the plunge due to the isolation of travelling off the beaten track or because you’re just not sure how often you’ll realistically use a van like that, you’ve come to the right place – we're here to share the pros and cons of buying an off road van.

Firstly, what is an off road caravan?

The name says it all – it's a type of van that is designed to travel on rough terrain, such as rocky roads and even riverbeds. They can feature all the creature comforts of home (from a king size bed to a full bathroom) or they can be more basic (with a hot plate or grill and annexe) - the options are endless, and completely dependent on your needs and budget.

Pros of Off Road Caravans

These vans offer numerous advantages, including:

  • Sturdy Construction
    These vans are purposefully designed to withstand the tough environments and terrain that they’ll encounter. They boast a robust construction that makes navigating the unforgiving Australian outback a breeze, ensuring it will come out the other side unscathed as well as ensuring your safety during your travels. You’ll have peace of mind that you can venture out into the rugged landscape without the worry of damage to your equipment (or yourself).
  • Privacy, Protection & Comfort
    These vans provide travellers with ample privacy, protection against the elements, and comfort. In fact, some even come with customisable annexes so that you can improve on these things during lengthier stays. Close up the windows and pull down the shades when you want some privacy, or open them up to allow the sunshine in. At night, enjoy a luxurious sleeping experience while still feeling like you’re in the great outdoors.
  • Opportunities to Explore
    These vans can be detached from your tow vehicle fairly effortlessly, allowing you to explore freely without the need to pack up your camp. If you want to go out and scout new campsites, explore the nature around you, or even duck into the nearest town for some supplies, you’ll have the convenience to do so while still having a comfortable home base to return to. Once you are ready to move on, packing up camp is also fairly easy.
  • Customisation
    When you purchase a brand new caravan, you’re often given a list of options that you can choose from to really make it your own. This includes things like upgrades to the upholstery, solar power, air conditioning and heating units, your preferred bathroom and bed layout, and even appliances in the kitchen. It’s very similar to building your dream home, as you have the freedom to make it exactly what you want.

Cons of Off Road Caravans

These vans also offer a number of disadvantages, including:

  • Low Manoevrability
    One of the main drawbacks of these caravans is the impact it has on the manoeuvrability of your tow vehicle – with a unit hitched to the rear of your vehicle, navigating rough terrain becomes a whole new challenge. It often takes a skilled driver to handle the task effectively, but the more you do it the more experienced and comfortable you’ll become. This is also true of all vans and trailers – not just off-road ones.
  • Space Limitations
    Many people don’t consider where they’re going to store the caravan when it’s not in use. Do you have the space at home? Is this space indoors or outdoors (if outdoors, you’ll need to look into a cover to protect the van from the elements)? You might need to consider asking a friend or family member to store the van before you, or even pay for a storage facility (which will add to your annual upkeep costs).

As you can see, the pros of an off-road caravan outweigh the cons without any doubt. Whether it’s the best choice for you and your needs, however, will depend on a variety of external factors (such as how often you like to camp, where you like to camp, and how much effort you’re prepared to put in). If you do come to the decision that an off-road van is the best choice for you, ensure that you carefully browse your available options before embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.