Upgrading your caravan

blog / new caravans / pre-owned caravans / holiday / family

Upgrading your caravan can be an exciting task, but also one that will give you plenty to think about. Before you start your search you’ll need to have an idea of what you want, what you need and what you’re able to spend.

If you have upcoming trips planned and you’re hoping to take your new caravan on these, make sure you plan in plenty of time for searching for the right pre-owned model, or ordering in the right new model - some manufacturers and models have longer lead times than others, so be sure you check before you make your final decision.

Caravan upgradeSET A BUDGET

Deciding your budget is one of the first things you should do as it will set the bar for what you can afford and the type of caravan you’ll be able to buy. There’s no point wasting time looking at models that are out of reach, so setting a budget early will enable you to focus your search. Make sure you’re truly happy to spend what you’ve set aside, and also consider if it is enough to get everything you need in a caravan. If your budget is too low, you won’t be able to get the caravan you really want and this may lead to you trading it in a short while later. 


Your budget will be a big factor when it comes to deciding if you’re looking for a new or pre-owned model. Buying new will usually cost more , though you could opt for a lower spec or smaller model to enable you to buy new if that’s your preference. If you buy new it’ll be immaculate, low maintenance and you’ll be able to choose the spec, facilities and furnishings to suit your taste. The downside is the higher initial cost and the depreciation you’ll experience in the first year or two of ownership.

If you go for a pre-owned caravan, it’ll be cheaper to buy than a new model and you’ll avoid that first sharp depreciation dip. However, you’ll have to choose your model from what’s available on the market at that time and it will have been used by the previous owners. That said, at Winchester Caravans, we only stock high-quality pre-owned caravans, so if you’re buying from us you can rest assured it will be in tip top condition. What’s more, we offer warranties on all our pre-owned caravans, whatever their age.

Check out our blog on New or pre-owned caravans for the full picture…


As you’re upgrading your caravan, you must already have experience of caravans from your last purchase, so do you know what you’ll go for this time? Are you happy with the make you’ve currently got, or are you looking to switch to something different? Drawing on your personal experience will help you decide what to go for - if you’ve been pleased with your current caravan you could stick with that make, or if you’ve found it lacking in certain areas, it might be time to explore some other options. 

Different manufacturers offer different things so it's important to research the ones you’re interested in. Google ‘UK’s leading caravan manufacturers’ and peruse them, seeing if any take your fancy. Check out their websites, paying particular attention to their ‘About’ section to learn more about the company, their news section to see what they’re involved in, and of course the caravan models themselves to see if you like the look of them. Once you’ve narrowed it down, you can take a closer look at the ranges and models they offer to see if they have anything that will suit you.

At Winchester Caravans and Motorhomes, we are an approved dealership for new Bailey and Swift caravans, two of the UK’s leading manufacturers - check out the ranges and models they offer to see if any of them will be a good upgrade option for you. You can also check out our blog to explore the Bailey Phoenix GT75 and the Swift Sprite ranges in more detail…


Caravans come in a range of sizes, catering for small and large parties alike! ‘Berths’ are essentially sleeping stations, so the number of berths you need will depend on how many people will be sleeping in the caravan. Will you be caravanning on your own, as a couple or in a family/group? Generally speaking, the higher the number of berths, the bigger the caravan will be, unless it’s a compact model.

There’s also the option to go for a higher number of berths than you need to give you a bigger caravan and more living space. The higher berth caravans usually have more storage, bigger or additional dining areas and larger kitchens with more worktop space. So if you don’t travel light or you enjoy a bit of caravan cooking, a bigger berth caravan might be what you need. 

Make sure you give the bed configuration enough consideration. It’s important that you choose the right type of bed and bed layout for you and your family - getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important, especially when caravanning! This is your holiday so you want to feel rested and being comfortable will play a big part in that.


Make a short list of all the must-haves for your new caravan and don’t compromise on these! Think about things such as:
- Number of berths
- Mid or end washroom?
- Bed type and configuration
- Caravan layout
- Desired kitchen appliances


Make sure you opt for a caravan that has enough storage for everything you’ll want to take. Although you don’t want to be laden down with too much stuff, you should have the capacity to take the things that will make your holiday more enjoyable, so a good amount of storage is essential to ensure you’re not tripping over things.

Towing weights
Before you purchase a caravan, you’ll need to check that your car is able to tow one, and if so, what your towing weight limit is. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will tell you the weight of your car and if you are a novice tower, it is recommended that the weight of your caravan does not exceed 85% of the weight of your car. If you passed your driving test on or after 1 January 1997, you cannot exceed a combined weight of 3,500kg, so note down your maximum combined weight and keep this in mind when browsing possible models. Those who passed their driving test prior to 1 January 1997 are able to tow up to 8,250kg.

Awnings are a great way of creating more space whilst caravanning. Whether you’re a couple who would like additional dining space or a family that could do with the extra storage space as well as a place for the children to play, awnings are great! They can also provide space for sleeping if you have additional overnight guests or the kids are a bit older and want to sleep ‘on their own’.

Finance options
If you’re keen to purchase a caravan but don’t have the cash to pay for it up front, relax! Our finance options can make it possible to get what you want without compromising your current lifestyle. In fact, by buying a caravan you’ll be enhancing it! Find out more about the range of different finance options available.

Check out our new and pre-owned ranges online, give us a call on 01962 714 844 or pop in and see us to find out more!


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