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5 Key Considerations When Buying a motorhome or Campervan

5 Key Considerations When Buying a motorhome or Campervan

Choosing a motorhome or campervan is very exciting but can be a daunting and confusing task due to the amount of variation available. There are so many shapes, sizes and layouts available, all with unique features, accessories and qualities making sure you chose the best van that suits your needs is tricky. As suppliers of quality motorhomes, campervans, parts and accessories in Australia, we decided to share some of our knowledge and experience to help you cut through the confusion and focus on the key features that are important to you. So here are 5 of the top considerations when buying a motorhome or campervan.


    Vehicle Specifics:

      Manual or auto? Sometimes this is a requirement rather than a choice due to circumstance. Automatic transmissions are more popular then ever and this means a lot of later model campervans or motorhomes have automatic transmissions. However, maybe your budget only allows for the purchase of an older model? Early to mid 90’s Toyota Hiace campervans featured both manual and automatic transmissions however, automatics are much harder to find due to how sought after they are.

      Petrol or diesel? The long argued debate of petrol V’s diesel continues to rumble on and is very much a personal preference. Diesel typically provide greater fuel economy but can be more expensive to maintain and repair. 



          The size of the vehicle is one of they key considerations. A plus point of a campervan is the fact that most campervans can be used as an everyday drive and can be driven and parked very easily in most instances. However, built-in toilet and shower facilities are high on your agenda then a campervan may be the most suitable option. Toilet and shower facilities can setup in an en-suite tent next to the van but due to the compact space available in common campervans such as a Toyota Hiace or VW Transporter fitting a shower cubicle is generally not an option because it uses up vital space needed for your bed/dinning area and kitchen.

          Campervans with pop-tops provide the best of both worlds, a lower clearance height when driving and enough headroom to stand in when in camping/living mode.

          Larger wheelbase commercial vehicles provided the space needed to fit built-in toilet and shower facilities and can be used as an everyday vehicle but can experience difficulties when looking for parking spaces due to length and height especially in undercover parking facilities or when parking under a carport or in a shed at home when stored.

          Larger motorhomes built on the back of commercial vehicles can provide of the creature comforts of a home and ample living space but can be difficult to use as an everyday vehicle due to the size and height.

            On-board Facilities:

              In our experience the most common requirement is a shower and toilet. However, before you put a toilet and shower to the top of your list consider the type of areas you plan to stay. Will you be staying predominantly in caravan parks where facilities are provided? If so maybe it isn’t so essential. Will you be predominantly free camping off the beaten track and far away from facilities. If this is the case maybe an onboard toilet and shower is an important feature if a porta-potti and portable shower system setup in an en-suite tent doesn’t appeal to you.

                Floor Plans & Layouts:

                  The floor plan and layout of a campervan or motorhome is an important consideration as it directly impacts on how you use and live in the van. Would like you like a permanent bed or a dinning area that is converted to a bed come when its time to hit the hay? Customers who plan to spend most of their time outside the vehicle cooking and relaxing are best suited to campervans or motorhomes with beds permanently made as an inside dinning or seating area is not an important factor.

                  In some motorhomes and campervans a permanent bed typically means its an east to west configuration going across the van. This can be an issue for taller folk as the length of the bed is limited to the internal width of the vehicle. Also, an east to west bed usually means if two people are sleeping the bed, one person would have to climb over the other person if they need to get out the bed during the night time.

                  Luton peak or over-cab beds make excellent use of usually unused space however, a number of motorhomes with this feature have low clearance from the bed to the ceiling over and can feel claustrophobic. Another facture customers sometimes consider a downside of this style of bed is they usually require the use of steps or a ladder to get into the bed.

                  A campervan needs ample space for it’s passengers, your luggage, your cooking utensils and everything else that you are taking away with you! You will be having many trips in your campervan, and possibly long trips, so make sure that it is as roomy as possible!

                  Look at the storage options in the van and ensure that you can take away everything that you need to make camping really fun. At Camper Craft we have a range of motorhome parts and accessories that can help you maximise your space and make camping an easy and relaxing experience.


                  Bells & Whistles:

                    There’s no doubt that all the ‘bells and whistles’ that can be added to a campervan or motorhome are appealing. But try not to let that drive your decision to purchase a certain van because it boasts all the ‘bells & whistles’. When I say ‘bells & whistles’ I refer to the gadgets added to or included with a motorhome that enhance its usability. Items such as solar, inverters, extra batteries, heaters, air conditioning and storage covers to name just a few.

                    A vehicle with all the ‘bells & whistles’ is very appealing, but you can also add it another van. I recently had a customer who was interested in a motorhome we had for sales and as I ran him through the main features I then discussed what extras came with the van such as a 15amp electrical cable, fresh water hose, satellite dish and a cover to use when storing the van. Funnily enough, the customer got very excited about the fact that the van came with a storage cover. At that point I pointed out to the customer that a cover can be purchased for around $400 and that his decision to purchase a high-end motorhome probably shouldn’t be based on the fact it comes with a $400 storage cover. We both had a giggle about it and he agreed.

                    This is relevant to all accessories, they can be purchase and installed separately (obviously at an additional cost) and so shouldn’t form the sole basis of a decision to purchase a certain motorhome or campervan.

                    Your campervan needs to be reliable and comfortable as well as meeting your budgetary needs. That being said, even if your budget is on the lighter end of the scale, there are still many options for you to choose from when it comes to campervans. Ensure that your holidaying needs are met - while at the same time selecting the best campervan within your price range.

                    As you can see this is not an exhaustive list, these are the key topics we find our customers ask us about when considering buying a motorhome or campervan.

                    When choosing a motorhome or campervan, pick a van that is right for you and that is unique to your needs. For the best range of motorhomes and campervans and motorhome, campervan and caravan parts in Australia, come and see us at Camper Craft or contact us online.



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