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Must-have caravan facilities
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So you’re looking to buy a caravan; whether you’re a first-time buyer or after an upgrade, there will be some on-board facilities that you won’t want to miss out on.
These will differ for everyone, but we outline here the facilities that you may want to keep in mind when choosing your next caravan…
You may be looking for a new caravan or a pre-owned one, but the principle remains the same - don’t compromise on those must-have facilities! Make a list of the things you’d like your caravan to have and try to stick to the majority of them! There will be some that are deal breakers and others that you’re willing to let go for the right caravan.
If you’re looking at new caravans, you’ll need to research the different manufacturers and models to see which offer the features you’re after. The berth and layout options will also affect which models will be available to you. How many berths do you need? Which layout do you think would suit you and your family? These are the first things to decide on, then you can start to think about all the little details that will make your future caravanning trips more enjoyable.
Top 10 facilities to consider
1. Bed options
One of the biggest decisions to make it is whether you want fixed beds or ones that fold away to provide more living space? There are also several choices when it comes to the beds themselves - French, Island or Twin? A French bed will allow you to have the bedroom next to the shower room, but will mean one person is against the wall and that the person nearest the door will have less leg space as the end of the bed will slant off. An Island bed will have access from both sides, which is a huge advantage, but takes up a lot of space. Single beds are good as they offer a more spacious sleep if you are happy to sleep separately. The decision is yours!
There are many options to choose from when it comes to kitchen space and equipment. Is lots of worktop space essential? A large fridge? What type of oven? You’ll need to consider which of these elements are important to you as certain things will rule out some makes and models. Browse some of our models online to see what different caravan kitchens have to offer.
Washroom size can vary quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. Decide if you’d like a spacious washroom with space for getting changed as well or if you’d rather go compact to make use of the space elsewhere or benefit from a more compact vehicle.
Some smaller caravans have lounges that double up as bedrooms as the seating area turns into a bed. This is ideal for avoiding dead space during the day, but you need to think about whether you’re happy to pack away your bed every morning and remake it each evening…
5. Dining options
All caravans come with free-standing tables, which are similar in size. Some have additional side dinette tables, so take the time to consider if this is something you’d like. This may be particularly useful if you’re caravanning with children.
Each caravan has different storage solutions, so make sure you choose one that can accommodate what you need it to. Storage comes in the form of cabinets, cupboards, drawers, overhead lockers or wardrobes. Caravans also have external storage space which is located in the gas locker and on higher spec models there are additional wet lockers and/or under bed lockers that are accessible from both the inside and outside. Keep in mind though that you should aim to travel light to avoid cluttering up your caravan - it’s not fun to be tripping over things and it could take the tranquil out of your trip!
Caravans have two main types of heating - blown air or radiators. Most entry-level caravans have blown air heaters whereas the higher spec ones have the radiator heating, which is also referred to as Alde heating. The air heaters may warm your caravan faster, but it can be very noisy, which could cause particular annoyance at night. Alde is silent and very cost-effective but can be slightly tricker to use as you need to make sure you get the fluid levels right. There are other pros and cons of each system, so do your own research and feel free to speak to one of our sales executives for further advice.
8. Seating and upholstery
Go for a caravan that has an upholstery style you like. There are many to choose from but it could impact the way you feel about your interior if you buy one that you really don’t like as you have to look at it every day! Also try a few out as some seating is more comfortable than others.
Modern caravans can come with an array of gadgets! Everything from air con systems and digital thermostats to wireless connection and sound systems. Caravan manufacturer Swift, offers the Swift Command system, which can be fully controlled from your phone or laptop and is good for checking water levels, and turning heaters and lights on.
10. Water tanks
Most twin axle top of the range caravans have an onboard tank. This gives you the provision to carry 40l of water with you, which is useful if you're wild camping. With most other caravans you’ll need to purchase two separate tanks - one for fresh water and one for waste water.
Ask us anything!
Browse our range of new and pre-owned caravans and come up with your own shortlist of must-haves! If you’re unsure which features each model has, get in touch and ask - we’re always happy to help! If you see anything you like online, we can arrange a virtual video tour for you or get you booked in for a visit after we reopen on 1 June.
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