Buying & Towing A Compact Caravan

small compact caravan

If you’re shopping for a caravan, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the huge choice of caravans, RVs and camper trailers available. With the large number of big rigs on the road, you might be tempted to think that a small caravan is going to be dark, cramped and offer limited features. Think again! If you don’t require a lot of space and you only need to accommodate a couple of people, consider the advantages of a small or compact caravan.

There are lots of advantages to towing a compact caravan, particularly if you’re new to caravan and camping.

Driving Ease

No matter whether you’re new to towing or if you’ve had some experience, towing takes skill. The bigger the trailer or caravan you are towing, the more challenging it is reversing and turning – even for experienced caravaners. A small or compact caravan makes towing a lot easier.  Not only is a small caravan much shorter, but it is also narrower and a lot lighter, which makes hitching up and driving on the road much less of a stress. Small caravans start at about 3.5 metres in length, whereas larger caravans can be up to 7.5m.

Towing Vehicle

Probably one of the biggest advantages of buying a compact caravan is the flexibility of hitching it to a regular sized vehicle. Investing in a large caravan can often mean having to upgrade your car to one with a larger towing capacity.

Small caravans – for example many small teardrop shaped campers – have an ATM weight of 1000 – 1200kg, making it easy to be towed by most smaller sized vehicles, including VW Tiguan, Mazda 6, Suzuki Vitara and Subaru XV and Forester. A caravan with an ATM less than 2500kg is an ideal towing weight for most small SUVs, which are very common.

small, compact caravan - ideal for travelling light
A small, compact caravan – ideal for travelling light.

Easy Storage

One of the main considerations when purchasing a caravan is storage space. A large caravan takes up a lot of space and can be a challenge to accommodate in a regular sized garage. Paying for caravan storage should always be factored into your costs when considering the right sized caravan to suit your needs.

A small, compact caravan is much easier to store and can even be stored in a driveway or standard garage. Small, compact caravans can start at around 4 metres long (including the drawbar), around 2 metres wide and 3.8 metres in height.

Fuel Efficiency

The lighter the caravan, the less fuel you’ll use when you’re on the road. A small, compact caravan will be significantly easier on the juice, which makes the cost of travelling a lot cheaper.

Moving Your Van Manually

Depending on the size of your caravan, there will be times when you want to make small adjustments to fit a van into a tight space. It is possible (with care) for two or three people to move a small, lightweight caravan. The heavier the caravan, the more difficult this is.

Purchasing a small, compact caravan definitely makes moving it a lot easier, particularly for anyone with back problems.

Don’t Break Your Wallet

Another advantage of purchasing a small or compact caravan is the price. Typical small, compact caravans can start around $20,000 new, making them an affordable option for many.

Lookin’ Sexy!

When it comes to purchasing a compact or small caravan, you don’t need to compromise on style. In fact, many of the smaller caravans and teardrop-shaped vans and campers look great on the road. Consider the contemporary looking Alto, or the Little Buddy or Comet for cool retro appeal.

They also come with heaps of accessories included in the price, including solar panels, heating, air conditioning, water storage, cookers, fridge, as well as tv/dvd.

Little Buddy Caravan 2018
Compact storage and kitchen in the Little Buddy Caravan.

Space For Storage

Because they are small, many compact caravans have been designed with clever storage areas. They also usually come with an annexe, which can double your living area, once you are set up.

Caring For Your Compact Caravan

No matter what size your caravan, it still needs to be serviced regularly. To book a caravan service or find out more about caravan modifications and repairs for your small caravan, contact Emu Caravan Repairs. We provide affordable caravan repairs in Melbourne and are conveniently located in Ferntree Gully.