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3 Common Mistakes People Make When Buying an Off Road Caravan

29 April 2021

Now, the truth about buying off road caravans.  Not all caravans labelled off road are ready to take on all terrains for extended periods of time. Just because they have the label, it doesn’t always mean they’ve been purposely built for all terrains and off-grid living, so it’s best to do your research.

Not only that, but not everyone is ready for 4×4 adventures and there are 3 common mistakes many people make when purchasing their van.

  1. Not understanding towing capabilities

One of the first mistakes people make when buying an off road caravan is not understanding their towing capacity or capabilities. All terrain vans are mostly heavier than on-road models, which means you need to start with the right vehicle and skills to tow safely.

Make sure your chosen vehicle can handle all terrains and has the towing capacity required, with plenty of allowance for water and equipment needed for off grid camping.  4WD’s are a good option as they handle towing in rough conditions better and have greater towing capacities. Keep in mind it’s a legal requirement to tow within your vehicle’s limits, so careful consideration needs to be taken before making your purchase.

Are you new to towing? Do you have the skills to tow confidently in rough terrains? Lugging a caravan changes the way your vehicle performs and particularly when faced with rough conditions.  Tow-ed run excellent hands on courses to give you the fundamental skills needed and the abilities required to drive in 4WD conditions with confidence. It’s also the simple things like, can your partner tow? Being prepared and having the skills for any situation ensures you are not left stranded.

 2.    Buying a van not suitable for true 4×4 adventures

Most manufacturers today have a 4×4 rig in their range, mind you this doesn’t always mean the van is built to handle kilometres of unsurfaced tracks and corrugations. It takes more than checkerplate to make a caravan ready for all terrain adventures. Do your research, learn what features make off road caravans tough­ and ensure your purchase ticks all the boxes. As a start the rig needs to be equipped with the right features:

·      Heavy duty independent off road suspension
·      Robust coupling
·      Tough chassis and drawbar
·      Increased ground clearance
·      All terrain tyres
·      Off grid capable
·      Sturdy body construction

Surprisingly, many manufacturers selling 4×4 rigs don’t cover damage when taken off road. Before purchasing always check that the chassis and drawbar is covered in the warranty for full off road use.

3.    Not Packing The Right Tools & Full Safety Equipment

Once again being prepared is critical and packing the right equipment will help keep you safe and out of trouble. Of course, there needs to be a balance between packing adequate equipment with not overloading your van and exceeding your legal towing limits. In saying that, safety comes first and you need to pack the right essentials and full safety equipment to ensure you are not left stranded in any remote places. Your dealer can help with advice on what to pack, plus 4X4 forums are a great place to get first hand advice.

Finally, you need to ask yourself where will you be travelling? Some people believe they need to buy a 4×4 rig, with no real intentions of venturing off the beaten track.  And that’s okay, not everyone has the desire to explore remote areas. On the other hand there are those who are ready for adventure and planning to explore more challenging terrains. Australia has some of the most beautiful destinations and you may need to travel remotely to get there. So if you don’t want to miss out on these spectacular destinations a 4×4 rig is essential to handle these unforgiving terrains.

Our complete range of camper trailers and hybrids are ready for your next 4wd adventures. With the right vehicle, skills and equipment you can confidently explore the best places Australia has to offer.

For further information, our team is available to answer any questions.