When you’re in the market for an off road caravan the sheer variety of these caravans can be confusing. Since these caravans are a lot like regular caravans (ones meant for roads), things can be even more confusing. What separates off road caravans from their road counterparts is the fact that they have been modified in a way so that they can easily handle unsealed roads, desert tracks and bush. Also, these modifications allow for the caravan to bear lots of load which is a result of corrugation, potholes and ruts. Since, there are many different types of modifications it is important to choose a caravan which has the modifications you require. Common modifications include higher ground clearance, reinforced chassis, off road tires and off road suspension kits.
Full height is important
The full height of off road caravans are much like their conventional counterparts in terms of features, liability and size. When choosing a caravan there are a number of modifications and features you need to consider which contribute to its full height:
- Galvanized chassis.
- Larger water tanks.
- Stronger cabinets which are mostly reinforced.
- Larger size chassis members.
- Articulated coupling for the tow.
- Off road suspension, there are various types to choose from.
- Stud pattern and wheel size in order to fit in with the two vehicle.
- Much better ground clearance.
- A slightly higher rear for better angle.
- A stone guard which is designed to protect both the tow van and the caravan from rocks.
- Heavy duty bumpers.
- Energy efficient lights.
- Tandem axels.
Many high end caravan manufacturers use these inclusions as part of their standard features. That said some off road caravan manufacturers just have a bare basic list of features and additional ones like heavy duty bumpers, energy efficient lights etc. will need to be added on.
The disadvantage generally associated when buying off road caravans with all inclusions is that despite being durable they are large and heavy. So, using a powerful tow is very important. Some towing vehicles worth considering is the V8 Land Cruiser and the F250. Also a diesel powered 4WD is a lot better as compared to a petrol powered tow owing to better torque.
The pop off top caravan
The pop off top off road caravan is extremely popular in humid climates because they allow for good ventilation and are not as heavy as regular off road caravans. People do not need an expensive and powerful tow vehicle to pull the caravan along which can easily house five people. The lower height of this caravan makes it suitable for higher speeds and improved fuel economy. Its smaller size enables it to slip into any garage or parking space. However, the downsides include not being able to go on every type of terrain. These shouldn’t be used on bush tracks with low hanging branches. Also, there is not as much storage space like with regular heavier off road caravans.
So as a rule of thumb pop top caravans are a lot better suited for pre-carpeted roads and desert environments, get one if you don’t have a powerful vehicle since their 1.5 ton weight is not much. However, go for the fully loaded 2.5 tone off road vehicle if you want true versatility.