There are so many businesses selling caravans that it’s easy to become inundated with information, overwhelmed with facts and completely confused by weights and measures. To alleviate some of the confusion (and to avoid the big sales pitch), I have concentrated on allowing my fingers to do the walking.
Ok, not strictly speaking. Dean and I went to the Queensland Caravan, Camping & Touring Holiday Show held at the Brisbane Showgrounds from 4-10 June 2014. We didn’t go with a view to making a purchase (although I did buy an awesome can opener). We went because we can see the showgrounds from our balcony and we were looking for something to do. That was 15 days before I was made redundant.
Since then however, with all the styles we saw at the show, and with all the vans we have walked into and out of over the last month, I knew ‘what’ I liked, I knew what would work for us, and (yes) I knew how much money we had to spend. This was the most important criteria – we had to stick to budget which meant we would most likely have to look at purchasing a used van and there certainly is a plethora of pre-loved caravans begging for a new owner. Some are nice, others are, well, not so nice. Coupled with the fact that we will want to reduce our costs by free camping, the perfect van had to have all the essential extras, those little creature comforts a city girl needs to make camping under a tree in the middle of nowhere an experience to remember and not a nightmare to be quickly forgotten.
I thought we would find it tough, and I also thought we’d be spending this weekend at another caravan expo full of sales reps ready to pounce with the hard sell, however my net surfing lead me to Comfort Caravans, a family owned and operated business who pride themselves on selling vans that are ready for free camping. Dean and I can hardly believe we’ve been able to order a new caravan, made to our specification (our choice of interior colours and finishes), and all those essential free camping extras are included. We honestly thought that buying a caravan would blow our budget, even if we purchased used, but instead we are buying new and below budget. Thank you Stephen and Mel, we are thrilled.
Our mini home will be ready to collect in six weeks.
Footnote: I spent hours trawling the net researching gross vehicle mass, tare mass, ball mass, chassis manufacturers, electronic brakes and … well just about everything and found The National Caravan and Recreational Vehicle Towing Guide a very valuable resource.