What’s that you say? You want to buy a new caravan?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Caravan World team, along with Tim Smith and Brooke Hanson from Discover Downunder, has been ridiculously busy testing some of the best caravans and pop-tops on the market as part of the inaugural Best Aussie Vans. Why? To help you make the most informed decision, of course.
As you know, new vans aren’t cheap, but they are a pretty good investment. Look after it, and five years later your new van would fetch on the second-hand market roughly what you originally paid for it.
Best Aussie Vans is Australia’s biggest showcase test of new rigs manufactured here in Australia. No other RV publication in this country has attempted such a comprehensive and logistically huge event.
We travelled to Bluegums Riverside Holiday Park, in a picturesque part of Eildon, rural Victoria, nestled on 20 acres beside the mighty Goulburn River.
Best Caravans categories
We tested 13 caravans divided into four categories over seven days. Each caravan was a top-shelf representation of what’s available on the market.
Lightweight, low-profile, easy-to-tow: these words are synonymous with pop-top caravans. No longer seen as the ‘budget’ little brothers of the caravan world, pop-tops are now an important sector of the market in their own right.
This mid-range sector of the caravan market is flush with opportunity for buyers. You could have your pick of layouts and features – are you a touring couple, or do you need room for the kids; and is a full bathroom a necessity or will a combined unit suffice?
As we head into the higher end, choices abound. Blacktop tourers in this price range usually come with higher quality specs and more creature comforts, plus plenty of rough-road abilities. If you want to tackle the Cape though, you might need to spend more.
At this end of the market, there can be huge differences in the type of van you can get. Opt for a fully-kitted out offroad caravan with all the bush-cred you need, or go for a luxury tourer with every creature comfort. Think outdoor kitchens, mahogany furniture, slide-out bedrooms, and TVs rising from nowhere.
More: Best Caravans test
|The judging panel||The rating criteria|