The definition of luxury differs once you’re out on the road. Suddenly things like a full-sized toilet, a real washing machine and something as simple as ample space become luxurious features. So what should you be looking for in luxury caravans?
Luxury = Customization
A luxury caravan manufacturer will offer options over and above those provided with your typical caravan. These customisations cover everything from equipment levels, appliances, interior materials, finishes and floor plans.
Luxury = Space
The greatest luxury in any confined living quarters is space itself. At the top end of the spectrum, caravans feature slide-out walls that, when stationary, expand the floor plan into something resembling a small apartment more than a caravan. Some caravans even have two or more slide-out walls – one in the living area and one in the bedroom.
Luxury = Light
The wonder of LED lighting means manufacturers can squeeze more lighting into a caravan. Look for ambient lighting in living spaces – apart from looking nice, it helps iron out harsh shadows cast from stronger light sources over the kitchen workspace. But it’s not just powered light that matters. A luxury caravan should also feature a skylight or two.
Luxury = Insulation
Luxury isn’t just about what you can see. It’s also found in the walls and floors in the form of ample insulation. A good luxury caravan will feature high levels of thermal insulation with technologies such as laminated, solid-core, high-density foam roof and walls, and even insulated floors.
Luxury = Go Anywhere?
There’s a natural expectation that you should be able to take your luxurious lifestyle almost anywhere you want. For that reason, many luxury-level caravans have off-road or semi-off-road capabilities. They will therefore have heavier-duty suspension such as IRS, an off-road coupling and off-road wheels and tyres.
Luxury = Appliances
The luxury caravan should include many of these appliances as standard:
- Electric front or top-loader washing machine.
- Electric refrigerator with freezer.
- Fan-forced oven.
- Marine-grade external speakers.
- Tablet/smartphone-controlled media system.
- 3G Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Satellite TV and/or boosted digital TV antenna.
- Ceramic-bowl toilet.
- Endless hot-water system.
- Roof-mounted air conditioner with remote control.
- Space heater.
- Caravan traction mover.
- External shower with hot and cold water.
- Slide-out barbecue and kitchen.
- Plating, body armour and stone guards.
Luxury ≠ Lightness
The knock-on effect of all this luxury is mass, so a luxury caravan is likely to have a higher aggregate trailer mass (ATM) than your regular caravan. Your towing vehicle will have to be up to the job (think LandCruiser rather than Falcon). You’ll use more fuel in transit and you’ll require more power to run it in once you’ve set down.
Real luxury isn’t sitting by a pool at a five-star hotel. Real luxury is sitting by a billabong, hundreds of kilometres from civilisation, with all the creature comforts of home.
Which is the best towing vehicle for your luxury caravan? Find out which cars you can rely on.