Buying a New or Used Caravan?
When buying a caravan for personal and family vacations, most buyers get caught up in the big bottom-line price of the caravan sale itself. Of course, like any vehicle or third-wheel purchase, there are a few expenses beyond just the actual selling price. No matter how much you paid or saved on the caravan, you’ll also need to invest in the necessary extras to make sure your caravan is mobile, safe, and ready to hit the road.
Hopefully, you’ve already got the insurance and loan plan covered. But did you remember to equip all the gear you’ll need to get towing? Let’s take a closer look at five of the extras every caravan needs before it’s maiden voyage.
Towing vehicle with tow bar
Caravans are third wheel campers, meaning that they don’t have a driver’s seat or engine of their own. This allows families to get a much better price on mobile living space, but it also means you need a towing vehicle to get your caravan from place to place. Ideally, you already have a truck or SUV capable of hauling your caravan, but it’s not just the engine that matters.
Your vehicle will also need a sturdy tow bar installed that will hook up to the caravan’s hitch. If you have a car or truck with a strong engine but no tow bar, one can be installed on most models.
Extra license plate
When a caravan is being pulled behind your vehicle, the view of your rear license plate is obstructed. This plate is necessary for automated toll roads and law enforcement to identify your car as it passes. The solution, of course, is to get a duplicate license plate and mount it on the back of your caravan. This displays your vehicle’s license plate information so that police know who is pulling the caravan.
Tail light connections
For similar reasons, and also for the safety of other drivers around you, it’s essential to also hook up your tail light signals to the back of the camper as well. This should include brake lights, blinkers, and the license plate light to be complete. That way, other drivers can see when you’re breaking, turning, or changing lanes with your enormous double or triple length movements.
Wheel clamps and hitch lock
It’s a surprising but true fact that caravans get stolen all the time. Someone with a hauling vehicle backs up, hitches a parked caravan, and drives away while the owners are out hiking or enjoying the town. Some people have even found themselves carried away while asleep in their campers. The best way to prevent this is to invest in a set of wheel clamps and a hitch lock. Wheel clamps keep your wheels from going anywhere without being purposefully removed while a hitch lock protects any other vehicle from connecting to your hitch.
Finally, never go anywhere in a caravan without a couple of spare tires. Tires can blow out on the road and it’s hard to dodge obstacles when you’re dragging a long residential third wheel. So there’s always a chance one of your wheels will pop and no one wants to be stranded with a caravan on the side of the road. Use some of your cargo space for spare tires that can be thrown on in a hurry should something go wrong.
Investing in a caravan is a big decision, one you’re likely to enjoy for many years of fun family vacations. But before you calculate your final costs, remember that every caravan needs a few extras to be truly safe on the road. For more information about caravaning – or to get some information about a loan for the caravan you want, contact us today!