Interesting Facts About Caravanning & Essential features of family caravans and bunk caravans
The family caravanning industry in Australia
Ask any Australian to describe an iconic childhood experience and it is highly likely they will mention camping over the summer school holidays with the extended family.
In 2013, there were 10 million caravanners in Australia, each staying an average of 4.2 nights per stay. Half of those visitors are between 30-54 years old and one quarter were aged 54+. The majority of them will also own a 4×4 to tow their caravans.
In fact, the latest caravanning statistics show that caravanners are the biggest domestic spenders with an average spend of $700 per week.
According to a report commissioned by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, the young family market will be one of the largest and fastest growing over the next ten years
When you have a young family, a caravanning weekend or holiday is so practical as you have a mini version of your house is with you at all times, which includes the creature comfort of homes.
Families also tend to prefer self-contained vehicles (with toilet, shower, grey water tank) which will allow them to save on accommodation fees by using lower cost options such as National Parks and/or rest areas provided by RV friendly towns.
Essential features of family caravans and bunk caravans
Whilst every family has different requirements when it comes to purchasing a suitable family caravan, here are the features you may to consider when you are in the market for a family van
- absolute value for money and good resale value
- a lot of cupboard and drawer space
- well equipped kitchen (microwave, oven, large bench space, 4 burner stove)
- strong air conditioning capable of cooling down 4 to 5 bodies
- spacious lounge area (L shaped or club lounge preferred by families)
- room to move
- TV that can swing around from one side to the other
- privacy screens to separate the 2 sleeping areas
- creature comforts
- large, two door fridge freezer (we have 180L and live in our van full time)
- Separate wc and shower (vs combined) – most of the young families we have talked to recommend the separate wc and shower option to avoid having to wipe down the bathroom every time someone has a shower
- room for a washing machine (or portable one) as doing your washing using the machines provided at the park isn’t practical nor cost effective in the long run
- double or triple bunks (we hear the triple bunks have better resale value)
- window in each bunk
- 12v outlets and lights in the kids area to charge entertainment devices such as iPads and tablets
- solar panel and large water tanks for free camping
- big awning for shade and play
Whilst new caravan manufacturer keep on popping up all the time, they also disappear very quickly. If you are investing over 50,000 dollars in a family van you need to make sure you buy from a reputable brand with dealers and service agents around Australia.
A word about weight
The weight and total carrying capacity of the caravan can also be a deciding factor. Many familes cannot afford to upgrade their tow vehicle. Others may be travelling for longer periods of time and carry a lot of additional equipment such as as bikes, tinnie, kayaks etc.
Weight was extremely important to our family when we purchased our Coromal Elements B696 family van in 2013 – our car could tow a maximum of 2.3 ton so we needed a van that was under 2 ton empty (tare as they call it) to have about 300kg for all our gear (this includes 2 full water tanks). The Coromal was one of the only ‘aluminium frame’ model (thus lighter) available on the market.
Since then we have upgraded the tow vehicle as well as the van payload (carrying capacity of our van) and now have about 700kg to play with.
Also note that many large, true off road vans (e.g. Kedron, Sunland) can weigh over 3 ton which doesn’t leave much room for equipment when you take into consideration that the maximum towing limit of a Toyota Landcruiser, Nissan Patrol is 3.5 ton. Attention needs to also be paid to the tow ball weight: some vehicle manufacturer’s towing capacity is reduced depending on the amount of weight that is on the tow ball. This is not the case for the 2014 200 series Toyota Landcruiser we have.
Whilst the standard of family caravans has dramatically evolved over the past decades, one definitely cannot say the same about the information and user-friendliness of caravanning manufacturer websites. Only a handful of companies have thought about listing their family models in an easy to access manner. There is definitely a lot of improvement required if they want to grow the family market!
So if you are searching for a family caravan, you can either try and twist google’s arm using clever search techniques or start here, with our list of the different manufacturers and links to their family-friendly models.
BOOK NOW! for August, September, and October. You may also do advanced booking for November, December and January.
Postal Address: Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park, PO Box 61 Karumba Queensland 4891
Tel: (07) 4745 9277
Fax: (07) 4745 9480