What to Remember When Choosing a Caravan for Yourself

Posted on: 19 May 2016

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A caravan or trailer can be a great investment for anyone; for families, it can mean a more affordable way to enjoy a vacation without having to sleep in a tent, and for others, it can mean traveling anytime without needing to make hotel reservations. When you're ready to purchase a caravan trailer for yourself, you may be overwhelmed with your options, so note a few tips on how to make that choice and what to look out for when shopping.

1. Leveling jacks

Many caravans have leveling jacks that allow you to keep the unit level and even when parked at a campground, and you should note how easily you can work any such jack on a unit. If it cranks by hand, consider the weight of the caravan and if you can easily manage the jack as it balances that weight. For very heavy caravans, you might want to invest in one that works by hydraulics so that you can more readily manage it without having to manually crank the jack. Some jacks are even automatic, meaning that they drop into place and then automatically adjust the caravan until they sense that it is level and even, and this can be a good investment for ensuring the jack is always used properly and your caravan is always level.

2. Size

You may want the roomiest caravan that your vehicle can tow, but remember that a longer caravan might be more difficult to control when on the road. You need to be careful when steering -- especially around corners -- and taller caravans might not easily fit under any type of drive-in window or even under low bridges. This might interfere with your travel plans and make towing your caravan very stressful. You might consider a shorter caravan with slide-outs or pop-out tent areas that provide the space you need once you're parked, but which stay more compact and easier to manage when you're on the road.

3. Frame material

Some caravans are made with a wood frame; these can be very affordable but they may also be susceptible to rotting, mildew and shifting as the wood expands and contracts over time. An aluminum frame is lightweight and won't rust or corrode. Fiberglass can also be very lightweight, and while the material is sometimes expensive, it may be stronger than aluminum and wood, and it may more readily resist dents, dings and other such damage.