With hundreds of new caravans to choose from, it’s important to first consider where you intend to take your caravan. Will you travel on well-made roads around Australia and stay in caravan parks? Or would you like the freedom to take your caravan just about anywhere?
This decision will determine the type of caravan you should be looking for. New caravans can be broadly categorised as either Touring, Semi Off Road or Full Off Road. We’ve set out handy definitions for each of these categories.
Touring caravans are designed to travel on bitumen roads and well-maintained dirt roads. A good rule of thumb: stick to the same roads that you can comfortably drive a small hatchback car on. They are ideal for people travelling to most major cities and regional towns in Australia.
Touring caravans typically weigh less than the more robust semi off road and full off road caravans. Their lightweight makes them easy to tow and requires less fuel to tow them. However, this also means you can’t get to some camp spots unless the road is smooth & flat.
If you purchase a touring caravan with an ensuite, you will still be able to do some free camping. This is because there will be an onboard battery to power your lights and water pump for an evening or two. Most touring caravans have less ground clearance, so they are easier to enter and exit which makes them very popular with people less agile. Touring caravans typically don’t have as much equipment built in, so they are easier to operate. This can make them a great choice for someone starting their caravanning adventures.
Crusader Touring caravans
Semi off road
Semi off road caravans are designed to travel on bitumen and some rougher dirt roads.
Most semi off road caravans are equipped with a solar panel to charge the onboard battery. They also typically have higher profile tyres, and a larger chassis to give more strength and ground clearance. This additional ground clearance can allow the caravan to access more remote camping sites, making them ideal for free camping. The larger chassis (normally 150mm) will be engineered and structurally reinforced to cope with more weight and stress. The higher profile tyres (light truck tyres) have thick side walls allowing you to drop tyre pressures on rougher roads. You must also slow down on these roads. At lower pressures, the tyre side walls can flex more. This effectively adds another layer of cushioning to protect your caravan from vibration damage on rough roads.
A common option on semi off road caravans is independent coil suspension which allows for a more cushioned ride over the traditional leaf suspension. This type of suspension is recommended for the slightly more adventurous. Rough corrugated roads are brutal on any caravan, so you should always tread cautiously when travelling down them.
Crusader semi off road caravans:
Full off Road
Full off road caravans are the ultimate freedom caravans. This is because they are designed to travel on all roads and accessible tracks. With a full off road caravan, you can drive on heavily corrugated roads. This means you get to reach some of the most fantastic “off the beaten track” places many other caravans can’t access. However, it’s still important to take into account the physical size and weight of the caravan. There are some limitations on where you can take them. Full off road caravans will have very supple long travel suspension to soak up corrugations and pot holes (You still need to lower tyre pressures and speed on rougher roads).
These caravans will have well engineered strong chassis that deliver a generous level of ground clearance. Full off road caravans will come with plenty of storage, and articulating coupling to firmly secure the caravan to the tow vehicle in all road and track conditions. A reliable power source is crucial with free camping, so these caravans will typically come with at least two batteries and two solar panels to allow you to free camp for extended periods. Full off road caravans will also have protective covers for water tanks. The plumbing and electrical components that are located under the caravan will be well protected.
Crusader full off road caravans