Are you ready to take the plunge and potentially own your first camper trailer? Whether you’re a seasoned camper looking to invest in a camper trailer or have recently discovered the joys of camping, buying a camper trailer is a significant investment that requires careful thought and consideration. To ensure that you make the right choice and enjoy countless adventures ahead, we’ve put together the ultimate camper trailer buying guide to guide your decision.
10 things to consider when buying your first camper trailer
- Determine your budget
You must establish a realistic budget before shopping for your first camper trailer. Consider the initial purchase cost and ongoing expenses like insurance, maintenance and campground fees. Recognising your financial limits will better inform your choices and prevent you from overspending. After all, buying the camper trailer is one thing, but you’ll still need to allocate funds to fit out your trailer with all the essentials, from appliances to plumbing, kitchenware, storage, bedding, privacy screens and more.
- Consider new vs. used camper trailers
If you’re shopping for your first camper trailer on a budget, you can even consider a good-quality, second-hand camper trailer from $10,000 to $20,000 that would tick most people’s boxes. Browse secondhand camper trailers at Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, or visit your nearest camper trailer and caravan dealer to buy a new one.
If you’re nervous about committing to a purchase, why not hire before you buy? That way, you can have a taste of the caravanning lifestyle and decide if it’s the right fit for you! You may decide that you don’t see yourself using it very often. In this case, you can always hire one out and avoid the long-term expenses of maintaining your camper trailer.
- Choose the suitable camper trailer size
The size of your camper trailer should align with your travel needs and preferences. Think about the average number of travel companions travelling with you, the amount of storage space required and how easy manoeuvring should be. A spacious camper can provide comfort but may limit your options in certain campsites.
- Consider the camper trailer weight and towing capacity
The weight of your camper trailer should not exceed your towing vehicle's capacity. Overloading can lead to safety hazards and increased fuel consumption. Be aware of the weight distribution and its impact on your driving experience.
Visit Red Book and select the make, model and year of your purchased camper trailer or the trailer you intend to buy. Pick your vehicle from the list and refer to the dimensions section, referring to the Payload to determine the weight you can add to your camper trailer. That way, you can ensure your towing vehicle is compatible with the camper trailer you choose. It's vital to have a harmonious combination to ensure safe and smooth travels.
- Think about the places you want to travel
There’s a reason why there’s such a diverse market of camper trailers. While some travellers value a more spacious, comfortable mode of transport for a weekend Aussie getaway, other adventurers may want to trek through a rough off-terrain track to more remote areas of Australia and stay for extended periods. Your intended camping locations are a solid factor in deciding the strength and quality of the camper trailer you’ll need.
- Choose your preferred camper trailer type
Camper trailers come in various styles, each offering unique advantages. Pop-up campers are compact and easy to tow, while travel trailers are equipped with more amenities. Fifth-wheel trailers provide spaciousness but require a larger towing vehicle. Consider your preferences and needs when selecting the right type for you.
- Compare the quality of the build
Camper trailers will vary in build quality and materials. Investing in a durable camper can save you money in the long run. That includes everything from suspension to door and hatch seals, wiring and plumbing and the overall finish. Get an expert opinion before you settle on the purchase, and consider the ease of maintenance. Will you be able to handle repairs and upkeep, or will you require professional assistance in the long term?
- Think about the amenities and features you’ll need
Think about the essential amenities and features for your comfort. Do you need a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom or a comfortable sleeping area? Some campers prefer air conditioning, 12V fans, heaters and entertainment systems like a 12V TV with DVD or Bluetooth to keep them and their loved ones entertained during those rainy days. At CaravanMods, we stock all the camper trailer accessories needed to elevate your getaway. Ensure your chosen camper trailer aligns with your desired camping experience for a fulfilling camping experience ahead.
- Consider off-grid capabilities
When buying your first camper trailer, ask yourself, “How long will I survive off-grid?” Solar panels mean you don’t need to hook your caravan up to a caravan park to use electricity. From lighting to appliances and charging your electronic devices, you can stay off-grid for longer.
- Make sure to research and check the reviews
Don’t buy the first camper trailer you come across without research. Before making a final decision, research camper brands, models and dealers. Read reviews from other owners to gain insights into the camper's performance, durability and customer satisfaction. You can even pick up on common problems expressed by fellow camper trailer owners that won’t always be disclosed by sellers. Learning from others' experiences can be invaluable in your final purchase.
Buy your camper trailer appliances and accessories all in one place at CaravanMods
Buying your first camper trailer is an exciting step where you can invest in your passion for the Aussie outdoors. By ensuring your desired camper trailer ticks all your boxes, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision. Remember that each camper trailer is unique, and finding the best one to suit your needs may take time, but it will be worth it in the long haul.
At CaravanMods, we’re home to a collection of camper trailer accessories, spare parts and stock industry-leading brands our customers can count on. If you have any questions, contact our team, who would happily provide expert guidance.