There are many types of self catering accommodation available for holidays in Victoria, but very few types come close to that of a new caravan. This article takes a look at five of the main reasons that static caravans are an ideal choice of accommodation for your next self catering holiday.
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- Pet Friendly If you have a dog then you will no doubt be aware of the high cost of putting your furry friend away in kennels whilst you go on holiday. It is not just the financial cost thought it is also the emotional cost of being separated from your pets. You will find that many static ‘vans that are available to hire will allow one or two pets to stay in them. There is frequently a charge for this but more often than not it is significantly less than kennel fees.
- Choice of Locations Caravan parks are situated all across the Victoria and as such you a sure to find a holiday park in the area that you want to visit. If you want to just escape for a weekend away there is bound to be a good selection of parks within a 50 mile radius of your home. From beachside caravans to caravans hidden in valleys there is certainly a holiday park to cater for everyone.
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Being a webmaster of a very popular camping and caravanning website I will get asked many questions on a daily basis and there does always tend to be a recurring theme amongst most of them, namely what is the difference between X type of caravan and Y type of caravan. Well here I hope to explain all of this in some detail so that it will hopefully clear up some of the confusion.
There are only really a few different types of caravans that are worthy of mention, mainly because the other type only generally make up no more than 0.1% of caravans, these being static caravans, touring caravans, motorhomes and park homes.
Static Caravans are generally between 20x8feet (length x width) and 38x14feet and on the whole are placed on a plot of a caravan park for the majority of their lives. Static caravans are not towable on public roads unless a support vehicle is behind the caravan and the roads are rated at over the weight of the caravan, as such they are generally transported on the back of lorries to and from locations. Static caravans are likely to have a lot of modern conveniences that you would expect from a modern home including double glazing, central heating and winter insulation.
Park Homes and Lodges are more similar to a static caravan than any other type mentioned before as they are comparable in size and the features that are available to them as standard though they will be moved around a lot less than a static caravan and generally will be of a higher spec, and also price. Things such as double glazing, air conditioning, central heating and other luxury features will be a lot more common as a standard feature in park homes and lodges. Park homes also have an advantage over static caravans in that they can increase their value over time making them more akin to a house than a caravan, despite the construction of them being more caravan like.
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The main points are:
- Do not purchase the caravan without first speaking to park management. Remember, you are buying a caravan off the owner. You then need to know the conditions of having it remain on site at the park.
- Ask for a copy of the Occupation Agreement. It includes park rules, annual costs, inclusions and other details. It should be lengthy. If it is only 2-3 pages long, then it is possible that the agreement does not comply with the legislation concerning on site caravans. The Government Act in NSW concerning on site vans in Holiday Parks is: "Occupation Agreement. Holiday Parks. (Long Term Casual Occupation) Act 2002".
- Discuss future plans with park management. How long can you anticipate having your caravan at their park? Do they have plans to replace your caravan with a cabin in 1-3 years? If so, will you be asked to remove your caravan or will they relocate to another site within the park?
- Does the caravan comply with local council and park regulations? Discuss this with park management. Sometimes caravans may be sold because they don't comply so you may have to get this work done.
- Discuss what you can or can't do to your caravan. If you want to add a deck for example, you will need to ensure that it is within site boundaries. You may have to get approval to even paint your caravan.
- Check out other caravans for sale within the park and nearby parks. If there are many for sale, try and find out why? A good park should have a low turnover of caravans for sale.
- What is included in the sale? Some include all furniture. Take photos of the interior at the time of inspection if it does.
- Do your sums! If you are not going to use the caravan on a regular basis, it may be cheaper to stay in one of the park cabins rather than paying out all your money for a couple of weekends each year.
- Investigate the park further. Will it be crowded when you plan to stay? What type of clientele do they attract? Is it oriented towards children? Is it pet friendly? We suggest you stay in an on site cabin for a night or two to get a "feel" for the park.
- Does the asking price sound reasonable? It it is too much, don't be afraid to ask why. Compare its price to other caravans in the same or nearby parks.
The most important thing to realise is that you are generally buying from the person who owns title to that caravan. It may be towable (a requirement if the caravan is in a flood liable area) or it may be on stumps or "tied to the ground". You are not generally buying rights to the space it currently occupies, just the caravan itself. You then need to pay an annual fee to the management of the caravan park for the privilege of having your caravan on site. This fee and what it covers varies form park to park.
If you follow these ten steps, you will be far less likely to be disappointed with your purchase. Remember, you are not just buying a used caravan. You are investing in your spare time and holiday aspirations.