Buying a brand new caravan?
Buying the right caravan can be a daunting task especially if you are a first time buyer. To help you make sure you get the right caravan for your needs, here are some handy tips to get you started.
Is your car suitable to tow?
Unless you intend to buy a new car at the same time as buying your caravan, this is one of the most important factors when choosing a caravan. The weight of your caravan should never exceed the weight of your car – you should be able to find out the maximum weight your car can tow by looking in your car's hanbook, however if you have any doubts contact the dealer you bought the car from.
A rule of thumb is: the heavier your car and the lighter your caravan - the safer you should be.
As a general rule most experts recommend that the weight of your caravan with its contents should not exceed 85% of the car’s kerb (or unladen) weight. Use our outfit matching tool to find out if your car matches your caravan.
The Caravan & Motorhome Club have a great online tool to match your exact vehicle to the correct weight of caravan you can buy... see the tool here.
How many axles - single or twin?
Caravans can be fitted with either a single or twin axles (ie: one or two pairs of wheels). Having a single axle will help when manoeuvring on the caravan site which is much better for beginners plus if you have a smaller car this may be the choice for you.
Larger caravans need four wheels to bear their load better and having two tyres on either side of the caravan will give better grip and better stability. However, twin axle caravans are heavier so may only be suitable for larger towing cars and will almost certainly require some kind of motorised device to help move the caravan when off the hitch.
How many berths?
Or in other words... how many people does the caravan have to sleep? Deciding how many berths you need is relatively straightforward - basically how many people do you imagine going caravanning with?
Remember that the berths in caravans vary is size enormously - don't expect a king sized bed! Make sure that you check to see that all the berths will be big enough for everyone in your family or party.
That said you can always add a side awning to sleep both adults and children in, so you may not need as large a caravan as you initially thought!
Lots of caravans offer fixed beds as well as fold away beds - the bonus of fixed beds is that they don’t have to be made up every night. The drawback is the amount of space they take up, although they do offer huge storage space underneath.
What's the best caravan to buy?
Depending on your touring needs, the best caravan to buy could be different for everyone. The Caravan & Motorhome Club Design Awards take place at the Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC in October each year. A panel of judges pick the best caravans based on a range of factors, including shower rooms, kitchen areas, beds and storage spaces so it's well worth taking a look.
Here at M&M Leisure we are, or course a little biased towards our brand Bailey who make absolutely superb, industry leading caravans at superb prices... come along to our fully stocked facility in Haverhill, Suffolk and see for yourself the Bailey difference.