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The Beginner’s Guide To Caravanning - Part Two

Whether you are tired of hating caravans on the road, so you have decided to join them, you are an avid camper and have hung up your tent pegs for a final time, or you just have to find a way of getting away this year – somehow – anyhow, a caravan could be the answer.

Last week, we looked at the size and weight considerations that you need to take into account before buying a caravan. This week, we take a look at layout and budget factors that you need to consider before you sign on the dotted line.


There is no right or wrong layout – it depends on how many people will be staying in the caravan, their size, and how you tend to spend your time. Choose from 2-6 berths (beds), with fixed twin, single, bunks or double beds. Caravans are remarkable in their versatility, so it really depends on you. If you have a young family and would like to put the children to bed at night, a separate bedroom with fixed twin beds for the children might be right for you. If it is just the two of you, or older children, a fixed double at the back will offer more versatile living space. Your best bet is to view as many caravans as you can (private and trade sales). This will give you a good idea of the kind of layout that will work best for you.


When it comes to buying a caravan, it is very easy to get carried away. Like house buying, it is all too easy to find yourself wistfully gazing at the next price band up and your dream van will always be just out of reach. So, it is a good idea to have a budget in mind before you start looking seriously. Don’t just look at the price of the caravan – especially if you are buying a second-hand one. Factor in what is included – and what you will need to buy. A caravan dealership is a good place to get an idea of all the extras that you will need, and a caravan service will give you an idea of any potential costs in the future, but here are just a few of the essentials:

  • Water tank
  • Toilet cassette
  • Water pump
  • Hose
  • Electric hook up lead
  • Waste container
  • Gas bottles
  • Liquids for your toilet
  • Awning
  • Chairs
  • Table
  • Groundsheet

Not to mention the homeware essentials such as bedding, utensils, pots, pans, camping kettle, toaster and lights. With awnings alone costing in excess of £1,000 a package deal that contains everything you need may well be much better value than buying a lower priced caravan that doesn’t even come with a toilet cassette.

If you have camped before, you may well have a lot of the things that you’ll need, but if you haven’t, it’s worth costing out how much the essential extras will cost you so you can include that in your budget.

You should, by now, have a good idea of what you want in terms of size, layout, weight and cost! So the fun can begin and you can start browsing and viewing! Check out the next post – your essential list for caravan buyers.

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