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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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.
Touring Caravan Vs Motorhome: Which Is Best for You?
Caravans and motorhomes essentially let you go to many of the same places and do many of the same things, so a week's holiday to the Lake District or other UK destination will be fundamentally the same if you are looking at driving there, parking up and enjoying a week or so relaxing.
The big difference comes when you want to move around a bit more or simply 'park up and camp' in a more remote location, as this is where caravans and motorhomes really begin to act completely different. A motorhome gives you a greater amount of freedom to move from place to place and stay at a number of different locations within a relatively short space of time, whereas a caravan is better suited to being left in one location and used effectively as a holiday home for the duration of your stay.
Of course, don't forget that you can still explore the immediate area with the car you used to tow the caravan! In fact for many people this is the big advantage of caravans over motorhomes, the fact that you can unhitch the caravan and drive around in a more compact 'normal' car, rather than exploring in a larger motorhome. Some motorhomers do tow small cars such as 'smart cars' but generally this is only possible on larger, more expensive 'vans.
In summary, the decision boils down to how you intend to use the vehicle. If you simply want an affordable way to spend holidays in the UK and Europe then a caravan is a fantastic choice, and one which still gives you a huge choice of destinations to choose from. If however you want the freedom to be able to move campsite at short notice and spend time at a number of different locations during your holiday, or want to do a little more 'wild camping' whilst away, then a motorhome may be the better option for you.