Caravan Buying Guide (Part II)
So you’re going to bite the bullet and purchase a new caravan. But there are so many brands and models on the market, so how are you supposed to pick one? It certainly depends on what your needs are—from how many people you plan to travel with, to how many creature comforts you need.
Before you can look at models, you need to figure out what to look for when buying a caravan. How many beds do you need? How much indoor space do you want? What size can your car pull? And the list goes on. Luckily, we’ve already helped you sort through this part of the process in our Caravan Buying Guide Part I. Check out those caravan buying tips and then head back here to review this list.
We’ve pulled together 15 caravan models, many highly rated and all ready to take your family (or just you and your mates) on your next camping holiday. We’ve aimed to showcase a range of prices, styles and sizes, so hopefully you will come across something that fits what you are looking for in your caravan purchase.
Once you buy your new caravan, you’ll never have an excuse for not taking that long weekend holiday again. Happy caravanning!
1. Golf Savannah Pop Top
We started off our list with a middle of the market, good value for your money pop top caravan that offers several options in this line from the 402 to the 499. The smaller 402 provides you with a place to sleep and a small kitchen, whereas the larger 499 adds in a bathroom. One of the best pop top caravans features a nice pullout external kitchen as well. The lightweight size makes it easier for towing and getting into rough road situations. If you and your partner are looking for a more comfortable way to take camping holidays at a good price, then it’s worth checking out this line of pop top caravans.
2. Avida Topaz
This family-friendly caravan features a lounge area that converts into a sleeping place so it’s ideal for kids. This line of new caravans has lots of options, so you should be able to find one that will work for whatever situation you have—you and a friend, your whole family, you and your spouse. There are options for such amenities as a small washing machine or built-in televisions, along with plenty of storage. If you can nab any of the 2015 versions left, there are some 22-foot caravans (part of the 66 series) with bunk beds that sleep six if you have a larger family.
3. Jayco Starcraft
The 22-foot version of this caravan offers the most room for families; however, this line goes down to 16 feet and still includes a shower—so it’s a win for personal hygiene no matter what! The largest size offers a double or triple bunk bed for an option, so it’s the best bet for families. Some excellent exterior options on this van include an awning with a LED strip light, slide-out BBQ and bike rack.
4. New Age Manta Ray
With its bright white interior and ample storage, the New Age Manta Ray would make a great choice for those looking for a new caravan to use for extended holidays. The spacious bathroom is another plus with room to move around despite having a toilet, shower, mini washing machine and vanity. In addition, the dinette is roomy enough for four people, especially when you use the tri-fold table.
5. Paramount Duet
This line of pop top and side pop caravans from Paramount offers lots of versions so you can pick the one that makes sense for your budget and the number of people in your family. If there are just two of you, then it might make sense for you to take advantage of the 14 foot 6 rear ensuite that includes a separate shower and toilet. However, if you’ve got a family, then look to the 17-foot, 18-foot or 18 foot 6 styles that include double beds, bunk beds or even a triple bunk bed. Check out the various floor plans to see what pop top caravan will suit your needs.
6. Nova Pride Platinum
If you aren’t tied to a budget and like a bit more luxury on the road, then you might check out this new caravan – the Nova Pride Platinum. Featuring an electronic slide-out bedroom, you won’t be lacking in space or modern conveniences. The sizable dinette will make it feel like you’re eating at home rather than in camper, and the ensuite will feel more like a hotel. And the amenities aren’t just inside; some of the external features include an external entertainment box, a BBQ that includes a small LED light above it, and a step light.
7. On the Move Grenade Series II
Considered one of the best caravans, the Grenade doesn’t compromise quality and amenities but it does keep things a bit smaller to keep the towing ease up. But don’t worry, there’s so much to like about this caravan that you won’t notice the somewhat smaller space with a shower in all the versions and even a washing machine. Plus the use of overhead area for storage will keep you from worrying about where to put everything on your camping holidays.
8. Coronet Series FS2
Pop-top caravans are a way for the budget conscious to get into the caravan game. This one is on the upper end of that budget at just under $50,000, but with that you’ll get a lot of amenities under that popped-up roof. Between the full ensuite (and even a washing machine option) and leather upholstery add-on, you can add a bit of luxury to your entry-level caravan.
9. Roma Sov’reign
This caravan company has been around a long time, since 1928, and so you can be sure that a purchase from this company would be a safe bet. The Sov’reign has six variations, including one that the company calls family, which features a lounge area that converts to another sleeping area. The other five only have the queen bed. It has some excellent exterior amenities such as large lockable folding picnic table, a gas bayonet outlet and plenty of storage.
10. Compass Navigator
The top Caravan World award winner for 2015 in the $50,000 to $65,000 range is the Compass Navigator, which comes in at an under 2,1000 kg weight so you’ll only need a mid-size SUV to tow it. The layout is traditional, but with a full ensuite, and does have large windows letting in lots of light. It is outfitted with standards but does have the nice feature of a CD/MP3 player that has external speakers. It is a great starter caravan for people looking to take regular camping holidays.
11. Goldstream RV Australis
A best in class finalist in the $65,000 to $80,000 range as reviewed by Caravan World, the Goldstream RV Australis combines both form and function by performing well on road tests and excellent interior design. There are several layouts available from the family budget version with bunk beds (but no bathroom) to the full ensuite and queen bed. There is a larger size caravan in this series that includes a bathroom and bunk beds, so you can get a family friendly new caravan in this line with your own ensuite as well.
12. Franklin Arrow
This series of caravans has not only the traditional layout for two people; it also has a layout with bunks beds so this would be a good choice for a family. The 17 foot, 10 inch caravan comes complete with a full bathroom, even a front-loading, wall-mounted washing machine (except in the family layout). Options that can be added are a solar panel, and another is a reverse camera to make parking easier.
13. Millard Sunseeka
This budget-happy caravan comes in under $50K, but still provides space for the whole family with a front bed and bunk beds at the back. Another major plus of this caravan is the size—a compact van at 15 feet 7 inches and weighing in at under 1,800kg. The table only fits two people at a time, but there is a decent amount of workspace in the kitchenette. One note that a reviewer said was the microwave’s position lower than normal, a nice perk for shorter people.
14. Retreat Spinnaker
One of the best caravans, awarded the best of class in the $50,000 to $65,000 range by Caravan World (2014), is a 20 foot long van well suited for a couple looking to go on long holidays or even just for weekends away. The Retreat has a typical layout with a front bed, kitchen and dinette as well as a full ensuite (this includes a washing machine and an extra large shower!).
15. Jurgens Jindabyne
A very light towing weight at 1,300kg and a really good value for your money at $33,000, the Jurgens Jindabyne will allow a younger set get into the caravan camping world. While you won’t have your own bathroom, you shouldn’t expect to at this price point and size. If you camp at holiday parks, you can easily get around this issue. Aside from that, this pop top caravan offers all the conveniences you might need while on the road.
Hook up that new caravan and head to Byron Bay
OK, you did it; you bought a new caravan. Now it’s time for the fun part, heading out on your camping holidays and enjoying the purchase to its fullest. Plan to spend your first holiday in the Byron Bay area at the Broken Head Holiday Park. Once you book your campsite you can spend your days taking in all the amazing things to do in Byron Bay. We look forward to seeing you at our holiday park soon—with your new caravan!