3 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Caravan

Author: Paul Napthali   Date Posted:12 December 2017 

You finally did it. You’ve managed your budget, discussed the option with your family and have now decided to purchase a caravan. That must be the biggest decision you’re going to encounter on your travels, right? Wrong. 

Now you need to actually choose what kind of caravan setup you’d like. Heres 3 commonly considered options in regards to your setup: 
•    Whether you’ll need a fridge (and if so, what type)
•    Whether you’d like an onboard bathroom (and if so, consisting of what?)
•    What type of power source you will be using to run the caravan 

Lets Start with the Caravan Fridge?
While a caravan fridge is not exactly absolutely necessary (especially when making use of a high-quality icebox), many campers find value in the convenience a fridge provides and now find it hard to live without. If you’d prefer to have a caravan fridge over an icebox, your next decision is going to be whether to purchase an absorption or compressor refrigerator. 

This article will not be going into all the details between the two; however, 3-way absorption fridges tend to provide greater camping flexibility by being able to be run by three different sources - 12V, 240V, and gas. 12 volt is great to be able to run your fridge of your cars alternator whilst your towing, 240volt is great for when you stay at the caravan park, and gas is great for when you are free camping with no other power facilities available.  You can also free camp with a compressor fridge providing you have a good solar and battery setup to handle the amp draw. These days compressor fridges are becoming more popular due the compressor technology advancements providing a lower amp draw compared to compressor fridges of the past.  
Another thing to consider when purchasing a caravan refrigerator is its size. You’ll want one that will be adequate for the amount of food you’ll be bringing with you, while not being too big. Empty space in the fridge needs to be kept cool. Therefore, a needlessly large fridge ends up wasting energy in the long run. 

Onboard Bathroom? 
Onboard bathrooms ultimately come down to personal choice and preference. While some campers seem perfectly find without onboard facilities, other caravan owners can't live without  them. If you’re interested in off-the-grid camping, it should be noted that an onboard bathroom (equipped with both a caravan shower and toilet) will make off-the-grid camping that much more accessible and welcoming. 

In addition to off-the-grid thrill seekers, onboard bathrooms are also beneficial to families camping with small children. A toilet eliminates the need to find a toilet or shower for the kids outside the caravan making life a whole lot easier. 
 
Power Source?
Although most campers enjoy escaping away during caravan vacations, they also still expect to be living in the 21st century. What kind of activities do you want to be able to do while camping? What appliances and entertainment units do you plan on incorporating into your day-to-day travels?

While some dedicated campers balk at the idea of watching television during a camping trip, other families (particularly those with small children) consider the option of television to be a saving grace during long rides and road trips. 
Regardless of what items you decide will be necessary to live comfortably, you’re still going to have to power them via some type of power source. 

It’s worth considering differing power source options, such as additional batteries, generators, and solar panel systems. 
Although some people only use an Esky and a gas lantern, this setup is definitely not very suitable for the long-term camper.