Downsize travel plans while expanding horizons: Top tips for getting into the caravan lifestyle

April 30th, 2021

It's well known that COVID-19 has thrown a cloud over the international holiday and travel plans of many downsizers.

But many clouds carry a silver lining - and this is certainly the case with COVID-19.

Australia's track record in effectively managing COVID-19 is opening people’s eyes to the wonderful domestic travel and holiday experiences available by caravaning across the mainland and in Tasmania.

What's more, this increased interest in domestic caravaning is being complemented by the low interest rate lending market, with COVID-19 stimulus measures making finance for caravans cheaper and more attractive.

The situation means Australians can buy a caravan and avoid all the hassles of the three big Bs - borders, bookings and bubbles - along with, check-ins and luggage restrictions.

Caravan travellers can also forget restrictive airline schedules and ticketing limitations and expand their travel horizons to suit their timetable and whims.

They are also able to visit family and friends more regularly without having to impose on their hospitality.

More Australians are interested in exploring their own backyard with a caravan, thanks to the nation's successful handling of COVID-19 
More Australians are interested in exploring their own backyard with a caravan,
thanks to the nation's successful handling of COVID-19 

In short, purchasing a caravan is not only a ticket to one great holiday it is also an investment in years of exciting adventure, offering the freedom and flexibility to travel more often, to more places and with all the comforts you enjoy at home.

This enjoyment can be enhanced when you secure a cheap finance deal.

Here’s some tips on buying a caravan with a cheap interest rate caravan loan.

Selecting your caravan

The umbrella term ‘caravan industry’ encompasses many different types of vehicles including recreational vehicles (RVs), mobile homes, caravans, camper trailers, campervans and others.

Within those broad categories there are on-road, off-road, semi-off road and hybrid models.

Buyers need to make decisions around how they intend to use their vehicle to decide on the type and then focus on the make and model which can be more a personal preference.

Basic initial considerations include:

  • Where you intend to travel? Want to head off-road or stay on the black top? This will determine if you need an off-road model with the suspension and chassis to take on tracks and trails.
  • Plan to stay in holiday parks such as the Big 4 Group and NRMA Holiday Parks which have extensive facilities? Or be self-sufficient and go ‘off the grid’ and stay at a free camping site?
  • You can actually achieve a good middle ground as many of today’s caravans include solar panels and have full bathrooms so you can be semi self-sufficient without the added expense of a fully off-road model.
  • How long you plan to travel will determine the size of your van and the extent of the luxury and comfort inclusions you want.
  • Your vehicle’s towing capacity also has to be considered. If you’ve never towed a caravan there are courses available to assist you master these important skills.
  • Your physical capabilities may influence if you want a camper trailer which needs to be set-up each time you stop or you prefer the convenience of a model that is ready to occupy as soon as you stop. Very handy for pulling into a rest stop and popping into your own kitchen to make your favourite brew.

Finding the caravan

Australia has a strong and highly-respected caravan manufacturing industry with major hubs primarily located in Victoria and Queensland.

Manufacturers have dealers throughout the country but also informative websites so buyers can ‘build’ their caravan online.

Most caravans are built to order so you can include all the options you want to make your travel comfortable and a home away from home.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has an accreditation program for manufacturers which can be a starting point for checking out the market.

Brands like Jayco, New Age, Millard and Goldstream are some of the most well-known but there are many new businesses emerging on the scene that are impressing the market with innovative designs and state of the art engineering.

Multiple caravan and outdoor shows are scheduled each year across Australia.

These offer great opportunities to see multiple brands in the one place as well as meet caravan owners and experts to pick up some great advice.

See what shows are on in your area with a search for 2021 caravan shows.

Financing your caravan

The historic low interest rate climate means that caravan loans are extremely affordable at the moment.

But if you’ve never sought finance for leisure goods, it can be worthwhile to do your due diligence to find the cheapest loan as interest rates can vary extensively.

The Secured Caravan Loan is the most popular type of loan for buying a caravan.

The caravan is the security against the loan and repayments can be fixed so you can travel with confidence that your loan is locked in.

Not all major banks will offer a specific caravan loan so you may be offered their more generic personal loan.

Pay attention to the interest rate as a lower rate deal could be found elsewhere.

While many caravan manufacturers now offer finance deals, these type of third party deals can at times include hidden costs and commissions.

Check out the wider lending market and get other quotes to compare before committing out of perceived convenience.

Using a lender that specialises in caravan & motorhome such as Jade Caravan Finance can deliver a cheaper caravan loan and provide you with additional benefits.

As specialist leisure market lenders they have connections with finance providers that fully understand the RV market and as such can offer better interest rates and more attractive terms and conditions than many banks and finance companies.

In addition to sourcing better deals on caravan loans, Jade consultants will also handle the entire loan process for you.

They look after the tricky negotiations with lenders, the time-consuming task of attaining multiple quotes to compare and assist you with what can often be complex financial paperwork.

If you’re wondering how much you might be approved to borrow or what your caravan loan repayments may be, they offer an obligation-free pre-approved caravan finance service.

Comparing caravan loans

The interest rate on caravan loans or general personal loans, can vary significantly across banks, finance companies and specialist caravan lenders.

At April 2021, advertised rates for caravan loans vary from as low as 3.99% fixed up to 13.5% variable.

Buying a caravan may be a downsize that actually upsizes your scope and range of holiday and travel destinations well beyond your dreams.

When purchased with a cheap loan, the costs can definitely be a downsize in the right direction.

About Jade Caravan Finance

Jade Caravan Finance are licensed finance brokers operating across many sectors including specialist lenders in the leisure and recreational vehicle market, to customers Australia-wide.

Experts in sourcing cheap caravan finance, Jade focuses on achieving better interest rate loans for all types of caravans, campers, mobile homes, RV and camper trailers.

Accredited with a large number of banks and non-bank lenders, Australian Credit Licence Number 484387, Accredited Member of the FBAA, adheres to the Responsible Lender Guidelines as set out by ASIC under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act.



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