If you are interested in purchasing a leisure vehicle so that you can embark on your own drive holidays, it is likely that you will have many questions for your chosen caravan dealer. Whilst there is nothing wrong with asking your dealer questions, we have tried to answer many of the common ones here.
- “Help – I need advice about size, type, etc?”
A caravan dealer is definitely the best person to speak with if you would like advice about size and type. Generally, you should purchase the smallest model that meets your needs (unless you are travelling with children or are seeking a mobile home). Remember that you will spend a lot of time on the road or outside, not inside.
- “What is the nose weight?”
The nose weight is defined as the static mass of the caravan supported by the towing device on the rear of the towing vehicle (when the van is on ground level and the tow ball is correct). This is also one of the key factors affecting stability – too light and the van will be unstable, too heavy and you may exceed the technical limitations.
- “Can I fit a cycle rack to the rear of my caravan?”
Many people like to bring their bicycles when travelling – they are an alternative mode of transportation and also keep the kids amused. Most vans can be fitted with a cycle rack, although models with rear escape windows are not suitable. It is also important that you consider the nose weight once the bicycles have been loaded.
- “What is the correct tyre pressure for my caravan?”
The appropriate tyre pressure will differ from model to model – the good news is that this measurement can be found in multiple places. The owners manual is the best place to start, but you will also find pressures listed on the weight plate and next to the habitation door. Adjustments to the pressure should only be made when the van is not fully loaded.
- “How can I check if stability issues are related to my tow car?”
The most common causes of instability in your caravan are an incorrect nose weight or the incorrect position of the tow ball. If we operate on the assumption that the nose weight is correct, you should check your vehicle’s tow ball. The correct height is between 350mm and 420mm from the ground (without the van attached).
- “What items can I run off solar power?”
Whilst this will depend on how many panels you have and a few other factors, the general rule of thumb is that solar power is suitable for items that do not produce heat as their main purpose (such as lights, DVD players, water pumps, televisions and most kitchen appliances). Some people find that microwaves can be used for short periods, too.
- “How safe is it to camp away from caravan parks?”
Most caravan dealers will recommend that, if you need to camp away from a designated park, you do so in a National Park. Although it is rare, drunken and/or bored hoons have been known to hassle people camping alone. If you are in any doubt about the area you are staying in, have your site packed up and ready to at a moments notice.
If we haven’t answered your most pressing questions in the above article or if you would like more clarification on an answer provided, please do not hesitate to speak with your caravan dealer. They receive many of these questions every day and are more than happy to provide you with the answers you seek.