Factors to consider when buying off-road caravans

When looking for an off-road caravan, the sheer variety of these caravans can be confusing. Since these caravans look a lot like normal caravans (the ones intended for the roads), things can get even more confusing. What separates off-road caravans from their road counterparts is the fact that they have been modified so that they can easily handle unpaved roads, desert tracks, and bushes. In addition, these modifications allow the caravan to support a lot of load that is the result of corrugations, potholes and ruts. Since there are many different types of modifications, it is important to choose a caravan that has the modifications you need. Common modifications include increased ground clearance, reinforced chassis, off-road tires, and off-road suspension kits.

Full height is important

The overall height of the off-road caravans is very similar to their conventional counterparts in terms of features, responsibility, and size. When choosing a caravan, there are a number of modifications and features that you should consider that contribute to its maximum height:

  • Galvanized chassis.
  • Larger water tanks.
  • Stronger cabinets that are mostly reinforced.
  • Larger chassis members.
  • Articulated coupling for the trailer.
  • Off-road suspension, there are several types to choose from.
  • Stud pattern and wheel size to fit both vehicles.
  • Much better ground clearance.
  • A slightly higher rear for a better angle.
  • A stone guard that is designed to protect both the crane and the caravan from rocks.
  • Heavy duty bumper.
  • Energy efficient lights.
  • Tandem axles.

Many high-end caravan manufacturers use these inclusions as part of their standard features. That being said, some off-road caravan manufacturers only have a basic list of features and additional ones like sturdy bumpers, energy saving lights, etc. will need to be added.

The downside generally associated with buying all-inclusive off-road caravans is that despite being durable, they are large and heavy. So using a powerful trailer is very important. Some towing vehicles worth considering are the V8 Land Cruiser and the F250. Also, a 4WD with a diesel engine is much better compared to a gasoline trailer due to better torque.

The emerging caravan

Pop-up off-road caravans are extremely popular in humid climates because they allow good ventilation and are not as heavy as normal off-road caravans. People don’t need an expensive and powerful towing vehicle to tow the caravan, which can easily hold five people. The lower height of this caravan makes it suitable for higher speeds and better fuel economy. Its smaller size allows it to slide into any garage or parking space. However, the downsides include not being able to go over all types of terrain. These should not be used on bush tracks with low hanging branches. Also, there is not as much storage space as in the heavier off-road caravans.

So as a general rule of thumb, pop top caravans are much better suited for carpeted roads and desert environments, get one if you don’t have a powerful vehicle as its 1.5 ton weight is not much. However, opt for the fully loaded 2.5-tone off-road vehicle if you want true versatility.

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