It's the start of a new year, those of you who have owned a caravan and may be considering your next purchase, may also find some of the tips useful. It's the time of year to start planning ahead, when and where you want to go, even those short weekend breaks, takes you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
For those of you who are new to caravanning or thinking of purchasing a touring caravan for the first time, we have compiled a few tips to help you along: -
Q) What sort of weight can I tow with my vehicle?
A) Take a look at my previous blog guide on matching your tow vehicle with the caravan. Some of the jargon may be a bit confusing i.e. MiRO The Mass Running Order - this is the manufacturers state of unladen weight of the caravan as it leaves them.
The MTPLM is the unladen weight of the caravan and the maximum allowable payload. When looking to purchase your touring caravan, you should bear in the the MTPLM when matching a suitable tow car to a caravan. It is recommended that the MTPLM on the caravan must not exceed your car's kerb weight. For those not experienced at towing it is recommended the MTPLM of a caravan does not exceed 85% of your cars kerb weight.
Q) What sort of layout would be suitable for you and your family?
A) There are various layouts in Caravans in todays market to suit individual needs and requirements, for example how many berths you require would be a priority. For us we choose a four berth instead of a two berth as it had a fixed bed at the rear, and having plenty of space in the lounge area. Each family have different preferences. So take a good look at as many layouts as you can before making a decision.
Q) What equipment comes with the Caravan?
A) Most modern day caravans come with shower, toilet, Gas hob, fridges and a form of heating. The space and water heaters as both gas and electric powered, except in some older or continental caravans.
Q) Should you choose a single or twin axle caravan?
A) In my personal experience, this was an easy choice. Our choice was a twin axle, as this gives more stability on the road whilst towing, my husband previously owned a single axle, which he found more manoeuvrable, especially if you have to push it into a place by hand, either on site or at home. With a twin axle he finds it easier to reverse because it responds slower to the tow vehicles direction, similar to an articulated truck with three axles.
Q) When purchasing, how much should you pay?
A) There are some good deals on at the moment due to the time of year. Set your budget and stick to it. Take your time shopping around and don't buy at first sight. You can get a decent secondhand Caravan for around £6000 or less. Obviously the bigger your budget, the newer the caravan you can purchase. Prior to making a purchase it is advisable to have the caravan tested for damp, as repairs can be expensive.
Many clubs now carry out towing courses around the country. So if you need tuition or a refresher you may consider one of the clubs. If you passed your category B car licence on or after 1st January 1997 you can drive a car or van up to 3.500 maximum authorised Mass (MAM) or tow a trailer over 750kg MAM so long as the combined MAM of the trailer and tow vehicle do not exceed the 3.500kg limit. For more information on this you can look this up on www.gov.uk