The year 2020 isn’t called #20plenty for any reason.
It’s the end of a decade and of course, now is the time to take a leap into this new year and make it about YOU. This year is about being happy; doing things you love, and more importantly, trying to achieve everything your heart desires.
So, what better way to kickstart your #20plenty than with a new hobby. And, yes, we all know finding a new hobby is difficult, so why not start with caravanning.
Now, you’re probably wondering, but why caravanning? Well, caravan road trips are a wonderful and affordable way to bond with friends and family, especially over the holidays. This is particularly beneficial for those who continuously get bitten by the travel bug.
And, believe it or not, there are many benefits to owning a caravan. When you have your own caravan, even frugal people can enjoy spontaneity, as you can travel freely and affordably. It’s spacious and convenient for families, and it allows you the opportunity to enjoy some time away from the city. You’ll be able to view the sunset and sunrise in tranquil places or experience the comforting sound of the rain hitting the caravan rooftop.
Yes, caravans are expensive, but you can apply for leisure finance which is designed to help people afford their recreational lifestyles. The caravan finance will allow you to purchase your own caravan rather than renting it. Because, we all know what a hassle renting can be, sometimes equipment is fully booked, forcing you to put your plans on hold. But, with your own van, you won’t have to worry about depending on anyone else’s schedule but your own.
So, the next step would be knowing how to apply for leisure finance. All you need to do is visit a lender’s website or go to their physical address and apply. Whether you fill in an online application or go into the branch, you will need to have the following:
- A good credit score that proves your trustworthiness.
- Proof of employment.
- Your bank statement.
- Your driver’s license.
- And, you need to check your affordability, which you can also do to see for yourself with a caravan finance calculator.
Once you’ve been selected for your caravan loan, take a look at these beginner-friendly tips that will ensure you’re happy with your purchase and have a memorable experience every time you’re on the road.
Don’t purchase the first caravan, always shop around
As excited as you are, don’t make the mistake of purchasing a van on the first go. Especially if you’re purchasing a pre-loved caravan. But, even if it’s a brand new one, don’t get swayed by the interior, gadgets, upholstery and gizmos. There are many other options to see. So, during your caravan shopping, make sure you’re objective and take your time to ensure you purchase the ideal caravan for you. Lastly, when you are viewing caravans, take a look at the caravan layout and the weight.
Always be prepared
We’ve all heard the quote, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail,” and it’s true. You always need to be prepared and knowledgeable about any purchase you make. Because if you don’t, there is a high chance that you’ll make poor decisions; ones that won’t only frustrate you, but ones that will also leave a dent in your pocket. So, familiarise yourself with caravan layouts and what the selling prices are for the models you’re interested in.
Know the type of layout you’re interested in
Prior to any arrangement with a dealer, you need to take a look at the caravan. Bring your friends and family along, so that they can help you identify layouts that are suitable. Or, it can help you see what won’t relate to you and your family’s needs.
Trust your gut
If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. So, whenever you come across a deal that seems to be the best thing since the slice of bread, don’t give in to it. Even when you see the perfect caravan at a dealer or caravan show; one that ticks all your boxes, always be realistic. Don’t be hasty in making a purchase and always ask yourself the following questions:
● Is the dealer being transparent?
● Is the caravan worth the price?
● Are they reluctant to show me the caravan’s service history?
● Is the dealer pressuring me?
Once you see that a deal is too good to be true, rather step away because you’ll always find a caravan. Just be patient.
Be careful of online purchases
As convenient as it is, online purchases do have their downsides. And, because this is your first caravan, it’s best to go to a couple of dealer and caravan shows, as this will ensure you get a feel of the vehicle and make sure everything is as it should be. If you do see a caravan online that you’re interested in, then contact the seller and arrange a meetup. This way, you can see the caravan as it is; the make, the model, and condition. At the end of the day, it is up to you if you want to make the purchase, just make sure you’re making the right purchase.
Think of the accessories you’ll need
Although you don’t want to go over the top when it comes to accessories, there is no harm in adding a few additional accessories. If you purchase a second-hand caravan, you might get lucky and find a caravan that has all the add-ons you’ll need. But, if not, here are a few you will need.
- A spare wheel (be sure to get this)
- 12V leisure battery
- Mains hook-up lead
- Towing mirrors
- Gas cylinder for cooking
- Freshwater container
Now, it’s time to prepare for your adventure!
Now that you understand the buying process, let’s get into how you can learn to manage your own caravan and what to do when you’re travelling. Well, truth be told, it’s not that challenging, but there are a few factors you need to keep in mind. Firstly, you need to take a caravan course so you can learn how to handle driving the caravan safely and how to tow hitch (connecting the tow vehicle and caravan) and check before you go on the road. Once you’ve gone through training, you’ll need to have a towing car that is suitable to carry the weight of a caravan. Then you’re ready to go and explore.
As mentioned before, one of the best things about owning a caravan is how freeing it is. You can wake up one Saturday morning and decide to go out and explore. So what are you waiting for, use that to your advantage because you already have everything you need; a form of transport, your loved ones and the road. And remember, 2020 is the year where you focus on making yourself happy. And, one way of doing that is going out into the wilderness and finding out who you truly are.