DIY Caravans or Caravans Manufacturers: Which One to Choose?
Caravanning is a huge concept in Australia. According to data released in 2015, people who go on caravan trips spend on an average $700 a week, making them the biggest domestic spenders in the country. If you are a caravanning enthusiast then a good and solid caravan would be the first thing you would need. When it comes to owning a caravan, there are largely two options you have: go the DIY route, or buy one from authorized caravan manufacturers. Which one is better suited? There are pros and cons to both the options.
Caravans Manufacturers versus DIY
1. Material- Most good caravan manufacturers will use aluminum, since it is lightweight, and this improves your fuel efficiency. While there are still a lot of caravans made out of wood, they are fast going out of fashion. Wood is becoming scarcer, and this is pushing the cost up of such caravans. Coming back to aluminum, there are different grades of aluminum available. When you buy from a good manufacturer, you can be rest assured that is the best material is used for the construction of the van. However, when you go the DIY route, you will need to source the material yourself. Unless you have in-depth knowledge about aluminum, you could easily be duped sourcing it.
2. Cost- Of course, DIY caravans are cheaper than buying vans from caravan manufacturers. You are essentially minimizing labor costs, and the manufacturer’s profit. So in this area, DIY clearly wins over manufacturers.
3. Quality- There is a lot that goes into making a sturdy caravan van. Yes, you can opt for DIY, but it is probably going to cost you a lot of time, and a lot of trials and errors too. Unless you have money to burn, and you have some sort of experience building caravans before, it is best to stick to professional manufacturers. Since these are experienced and professionals they check every vehicle thoroughly for safety standards and quality.
4. Customization- In this regard, DIY trumps caravan manufacturers by a long way. When you go the DIY route, you decide about the things that you want to have in your van. While readymade caravans do come with a lot of options and luxuries, often, they have a standard layout and materials. Thus, if you want a van that truly stands out, DIY is probably the best way to go.
If you have time on your hands, cash to burn, and some crazy ideas up your sleeve, go for the DIY route. However, if you are looking to hit the road soon and enjoy a comfortable trip around Australia, then the caravan manufacturers are your best bet.
It doesn’t matter when you build it yourself or buy it off the market, it is important that you give your van a thorough inspection before you hit the road.
A. Check for damp
Moisture can wreck havoc to your van. In fact, most times, repairing damage from water leakage can cost you more than the van itself. Check for leakage and any signs of moisture in corners, cupboards, and boxes. To avoid leakage, make sure you drain the water from the boiler before you park the van in the garage. You don’t want temperature changes to burst pipes and wreck havoc with your expensive van.
B. Mechanical Checks
Other than that, check the van for functioning radiators, transmission devices, a chassis in good condition, and a reliable hitch mechanism. You will be surprised how often vans from not-so-good caravan’s manufacturers can come with leaky radiators or improperly functioning transmission devices. Be on the lookout for those.