Caravans come in all kinds of shapes and sizes in Australia. This can make it hard for those who aren’t deep into the caravan market to understand how much they should pay for their caravan. It can be challenging to understand how much certain types of caravans should cost and what features they should have at specific price ranges.
But price comparisons shouldn’t be hard. We have created this article to guide our fellow Aussies who want to understand the costs of buying new or used caravans. This guide will outline the average costs of buying or renting caravans, depending on their type.
You will also find a brief description of the different types of caravans to help you make an informed decision. Whether you are looking to buy your first caravan, or a caravan owner looking to purchase another one, our price guide will help you take the next step.
Continue reading to find out more about caravan prices in Australia.
What Is The Average Cost Of A Caravan In Australia?
The average price of a caravan in Australia can range anywhere from as low as $7,000 to $110,000 or higher. The cost will depend on the following factors: if the caravan is new or used, the type of caravan (motorhome, caravan, campervan, etc.), and the make and model.
Considering the wide price range, it is important for a buyer to identify what they need from their caravan to choose the right type of caravan. This is especially important when you consider the countless combinations of caravan styles, layouts, size, and materials currently on the market.
It is also important to note that caravan sales have dramatically increased over the past few years. For instance, the Department of Transport stated that there were 179,401 caravans registered in Victoria alone for the year 2021. This represented an increase of 7,612 from 2020. The increased demand has translated into an increase in caravan prices across the board.
Sometimes, second hand caravans in decent condition can sell for a minimum of $25,000. This has made caravans a significant financial investment.
Related costs that can increase the full price of buying a caravan include:
- Registration and Roadworthy — Including things such as a Certificate of Roadworthiness, Safety Certificates, etc. Registration rules for caravans slightly differ between states
- Maintenance costs — Routine maintenance, emergency repairs, and annual services
- Additional equipment — Spare tyres, batteries, gas bottles, etc.
- Insurance — Caravan insurance will ensure you’re protected in case of a caravan rollover or accident
- Storage — In order to bring all your gear, you may need to add caravan storage solutions
- Fit-outs — Other important items such as kitchen cookware, bedding, and any other living requirements
- Accessories — Most caravan owners customise their vehicles by installing useful accessories such as solar panels, security systems, bike racks, an awning, and a satellite television, among others
Knowing how much caravans are currently selling for and their related expenses is a good start. But if you don’t know what kind of caravan you need, this information won’t go far. We have compiled a list of factors that will play into making a purchasing decision.
- Size — How many people need to be accommodated? Should it allow an entire family, a couple, or just one person?
- Purpose/Use — Is the caravan going to be used for short or long term camping? Is it going to be driven on off-road terrain or not?
- Type of Caravan — Do you prefer a camper trailer, a pop-top/pop-out caravan, a fully decked out motorhome, or just a traditional caravan?
- Features and Inclusions — Which features or inclusions do you consider important? Do you want one with a shower and a toilet, or do you consider air conditioning or an entertainment system more important? If you’re staying in caravan parks, you may have access to facilities there.
- Budget — Arguably the most important variable. How much are you willing to spend?
Average New Caravan Prices In Australia
Given the wide range of caravan types available, the prices can vary a lot. But a good estimate is more than $40,000, but less than $60,000, based on the typical layout, size, and inclusions of the caravan. This price would match a caravan fit for a small family. Although, it is entirely possible to purchase a new caravan below $10,000 if you choose a basic camper trailer; they do not represent the majority of the caravan market in Australia and would not be a good indicator of current market price of new caravans.
At the $60,000 to $75,000 bracket, you can expect a new caravan to be fitted with an ensuite and a twin axle. Caravans at this price range are generally longer, reaching up to 20 feet long, and are ideal for young families with up to four kids. If you go beyond the $75,000, then you are looking at the high-end luxury caravan models that offer custom fittings, expensive materials, and sizes that can accommodate large families. These models have features that are not vital but include comforts that are aimed at those who can afford them.
Average Used Caravan Prices in Australia
The average used caravan price in Australia depends on what type of caravan you are purchasing, and the specific model and features it comes with. Below $40,000 is a good ballpark figure when you’re not yet sure what you want to buy. You can expect to find a used caravan in a decent condition at $25,000 at the lowest. At this price point, we’re talking about cheap entry level caravans that are in relatively good condition. This means it is highly unlikely that you will see better built caravan types, such as fifth wheels and off-road models.
Keep in mind that this does not mean that every caravan below $40,000 is used. This is a rough estimate based on the usual features that most caravans are bought with — two to three sleeping berths, a kitchenette, water tank, a television or sound system, an external shower, and a toilet. For instance, if you were to buy a used fifth wheel or off-road caravan that used to be the ‘top of the line’ model a year or two ago, then you are still looking at much more than $40,000. The recency of used caravan units plays a large role in their pricing. Older models will always be cheaper than newer models.
What Type of Caravan Can I Get In Australia?
There are various types of caravans you can purchase or rent in Australia — traditional caravans, pop out caravans, expander caravans, off-road caravans, toy hauler caravans, camper trailers, and motorhomes. The names and terms used to refer to these caravans may differ from state to state, as well as who is providing the information.
Conventional caravans, also referred to as the classic on-road caravan or traditional caravan, are probably the most recognisable out of all caravan types. They are the most comfortable caravans available on the market, as well as the most well rounded in terms of features and specifications.
Conventional caravans are primarily targeted towards people who travel along highways, instead of those who prefer a rough track. These caravans are known for modern and sometimes luxurious internal layouts, and generally come fitted with a bathroom, kitchenette, and sleeping berths. Some models will also include a lounge area and a dedicated storage space. The size of conventional caravans can range anywhere from 11 to 25 feet.
The Average Cost Of A Conventional Caravan
The average cost of a conventional caravan is around $48,900 for a brand new unit, and around $40,000 for a used unit. A conventional caravan’s price is heavily influenced by its size (how many sleeping berths there are/ how many people it can accommodate), its build quality, and most notably, the features it comes with. Although you can choose conventional caravans models with just basic necessities, higher end models come with entertainment systems and quality of life inclusions that demand a higher price.
Pop Top Caravans
Pop top caravans, sometimes also referred to as pop out caravans, provide an interior spacious enough to match that of a large conventional caravan without the weight and fuel consumption that comes with it. It gets its name from the ‘pop-up’ features of its canvas roof that can be packed during transit.
Depending on the exact model, pop top caravans also come with features similar to those found in conventional caravans. Because of their relatively cheaper price, they are a popular choice for Australians who want a caravan without spending a lot of money on conventional or more sophisticated types of caravans.
The Average Cost Of A Pop Top Caravan
The average cost of a pop top caravan is around $20,000 to $40,000 for a brand new unit, with more luxurious models costing as much as $70,000. Since pop top caravans are bought primarily for their features, these are also the principal indicator of price. Pop top caravans with larger or more extravagant pop out sections will fetch a higher price. In addition, if the pop top is also built for off-roading (such as the Brüder EXP-6, which came with incredibly sophisticated off-road capabilities), then it will be a higher price.
Fifth Wheel Caravan
Fifth wheel caravans, also referred to as 5th wheeler caravans, are caravans that couple with the towing vehicle over the tray of a towing ute at the rear axle. Despite the name, there isn’t actually a ‘fifth wheel’, but is just a reference to the circular coupling plate mounted on the towing vehicle.
Fifth wheel caravans are known for the additional floor space and headroom they provide. This allows campers to place more items inside. These can be anything from more luggage and supplies to full sized appliances. Some fifth wheel caravans also come with slide-out walls, which expand one to three walls.
The Average Cost Of A Fifth Wheel Caravan
The average cost of a fifth wheel caravan is around $35,000 to $50,000 for a brand new unit. Although it is possible to get cheaper models at around the $27,000 range, and expensive luxury ones reach up to $140,000. For fifth wheel caravans, the biggest price determination is the brand and build quality. For instance, Scamp fifth wheels constructed with fibreglass are much more expensive than wooden builds, simply because it makes the caravan lighter and more aerodynamic.
Expander caravans are also referred to as Expanda Caravans, and were made famous by Jayco, a popular brand of RV in Australia. Sometimes, they are also referred to as a ‘hybrid’ caravan. These caravans get their name from their ability to expand the internal space through the use of fold-out beds at the front or rear of the caravan — their identifying signature feature.
These caravans are popular among larger families and come in different variations, namely the expanda touring pop top, expanda touring full height, expanda outback pop-top, and expanda outback full height.
The Average Cost Of An Expander Caravan in Australia
The average cost of an expander caravan is around $46,500 for used 2014-2016 models. Brand new 2021 models cost anywhere from $21,000 to $160,000. Expander caravans come in several variants — touring pop-tops, touring full heights, outback pop-tops, and outback full heights. Full height expanders will always cost more than pop-top variants, and outback expanders will always cost more than touring variants, so keep this in mind when inquiring about certain models. Remember that ‘best’ expander caravan is relative, as people’s needs and wants differ, and the most expensive may not always be what a person needs.
Off Road Caravans
Off-road caravans are specifically built to handle rough terrain and withstand the harshness of off-road touring. These caravans are equipped with a heavy-duty chassis and are usually fitted with either an airbag or coil off-road independent suspension, with stronger brakes and heavy duty shock absorbers.
The best off-road caravans in Australia have a 3 to 4 inch chassis raiser that provides additional ground clearance that serves a purpose among off-road vehicles. These are much more suitable for people who are on the extreme end of being adventurous and who like to experience a ‘true outdoor’ lifestyle in the outback. Because of their heavier chassis, they require much more horsepower to be towed.
The Average Cost Of An Off Road Caravan in Australia
The average cost of an off-road caravan is around $45,000 for a brand new unit, with higher end models costing as much as $200,000. With off-road vans, the biggest influence on price comes from the combination of off roading capabilities and its interior features. Off-road camper trailers are typically cheaper than full-sized off-road caravans.
For its off-roading capabilities, these primarily include suspension, underbody protection, dust and water vehicular seals, and safety features. For the interior, bigger and more appliances equates to a higher price. This is because installing appliances in these campers is not as simple as installing them in other caravans since they will be subjected to strong and constant vibrations and bumps.
Toy Hauler Caravans
Toy hauler caravans can be considered a modern take on the conventional caravans specifically aimed at the most serious outdoor enthusiasts. Toy haulers come fitted with a garage at the rear capable of storing motorbikes or a jet ski.
Despite having storage large enough for a smaller vehicle, these caravans do not sacrifice on living space inside. Since they are based on the conventional caravan, they also come with most of the same features.
The Average Cost of Toy Hauler Caravans in Australia
The average cost of a toy hauler caravan is around $40,000 to $60,000 for a brand new unit. Toy haulers are practically a combination of equipment storage and a mobile living space. This means the price is determined by how good a toy hauler can deliver both without jeopardising one or the other. The most expensive of these are classified as Motorcoach Toy Haulers, which are the top of the line in capabilities and luxuries. This best in class hauler also comes with a price to match it, as they cost upwards of $280,000.
Camper trailers, also referred to as travel trailers, are the most popular and affordable types of RV. They are towed behind a vehicle, and include a seating or dining area. Although exact layouts vary, they usually come fitted with kitchen facilities, a toilet (with a shower for some), as well as a sleeping area.
Camper trailers are designed for outdoor camping and living, and come in a range of variants — everything from tiny teardrops fitted with a galley kitchen and water plumbing all the way to gargantuan 39 foot trailers capable of accommodating up to 10 people. Given the range of options, camper trailers are considered as a good entry into caravanning, and even as a first RV.
The Average Cost of a Camper Trailer in Australia
The average cost of a camper trailer is around $15,000 for a brand new unit, and around $7,000 for a used unit. Prices for high-end camper trailers can be up to $30,000 or $40,000.
Individual brands like EzyTrail campers have a range of models from cheap options through to full-featured trailers for up to $40,000.
Similar to other types of caravans, there are also different types of camper trailers on the market: soft floor campers, forward fold campers, rear fold campers, and hybrid campers. Soft floor campers are considered the most basic and cost the least among the variants, serving as a good entry point to caravanning. Rear fold and hybrid campers are the more advanced and feature-packed variants that will cost more.
Although the variants offer different capabilities that should not be compared through their price, the higher priced models tend to incorporate better materials, much more sophisticated interior layouts, and fancier appliances like refrigeration.
Motorhomes are like camper trailers but are always purpose built for camping and remove the need for trailer coupling. This makes them a viable option for those who prefer a ‘jump in and drive’ option, while also making them relatively cheaper.
Motorhomes vary in length and size, but are typically fitted with a bathroom, kitchenette, a living space, and multiple sleeping berths. Motorhomes may also have better options for heating and cooling than caravans and trailers.
The Average Cost of a Motorhome in Australia
The average cost of a motorhome is much higher at around $90,000 to $100,000 for a brand new unit, with more luxurious models costing upwards of $200,000.
Motorhomes are generally given a class designation depending on the specific vehicle structure used in its construction, with each having its own design trade-offs. Class A motorhomes offer the widest range of size and price, and range anywhere from $120,000 to $560,000.
The design of Class B motorhomes is pretty homogenous, in contrast to Class A and C. This is because they are built within a commercial van’s frame. They cost anywhere from $120,000 to $210,000. Last, Class C motorhomes are the least expensive option since they are built upon a “cutaway” chassis. These motorhomes are the cheapest and can be purchased starting at roughly $98,000.
When comparing caravans vs motorhomes, motorhomes are typically the more expensive of the two options.
Why Are Caravans So Expensive in Australia?
There are a couple of reasons caravans have become so expensive in Australia, including:
- Gear and Technology – Caravans weren’t always as well-equipped as they are now. Air conditioning wasn’t always a requirement, and things such as caravan fridges, televisions, bbq units, or even hot water were not used in most models. Nowadays, caravans are packed with the latest technologies, with some of them now an expected feature among all caravans. Some higher end models even come with features that were previously unimaginable in a caravan, such as a front veranda or a spa bath.
Living and entertainment features aside, the vehicular aspect of caravans have also drastically improved. Off-road caravans now come with specialised and purposely built suspension systems and shock absorbers that rival those found in other off-road vehicles.
If you consider the onboard caravan electrical systems, multiple batteries, chargers, inverters, and solar panels, you can see how pricing for these caravans reaches astronomical heights.
- Labour – In other countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., caravans cost less than they do here in Australia. This comes down to the higher cost of labour in the country. And while you may get the idea of importing on instead, the total cost will balloon if you factor in shipping costs, and the conversion of electrical and gas systems.
- Mass production efficiencies – Comparing once again to countries with a caravan market such as the U.S. and the U.K, the Australian caravan market is much smaller. So, since fewer caravans are being mass produced and sold each year, they have to be priced higher than what they would be if ten of thousands more caravans were being sold annually. The lower production quantity coupled with high labour costs causes prices to increase.
What Are The Cheapest Caravans in Australia?
The cheapest caravans will be those that have fewer features or are considered ‘barebones’. A specific type of caravan that only has basic features and fittings is camper trailers, particularly the soft-floor variants. These camper trailers start under $10,000.
Choosing a cheap caravan means making compromises such as camping without electricity. However, you can always purchase your own camping gear including fridges, solar panels, and outdoor laundry equipment. Even showers and camping toilets can be purchased separately if you want to save money on your van. Alternatively, it can be cost effective to upgrade an older caravan if you have some DIY skills.
Although you can go much cheaper if you choose to purchase used camper trailers, make sure it is in good working condition, so you get your money’s worth.
Is Buying A Caravan a Good Investment?
This depends on what one considers a ‘good’ investment. But as with most items, caravans depreciate over time and there is nothing one can do to stop this. It is, however, possible to mitigate or slow down the depreciation if you know how the value decreases.
A static caravan’s average depreciation rate is comparable to an automobile — around 15% per year. However, this figure is oversimplified and should not be the basis of your calculations.
If you plot the depreciation of a static caravan on a graph, you notice that it actually takes the shape of a concave curve. We can credit this pattern of depreciation to the fact that newer caravans lose value quickly — quicker than older models. The country’s National Association of Caravan Owners (NACO) has therefore advised owners or buyers to forego the concept of ‘investment’ and ‘resale value’ when talking about caravans and focus on the lifestyle benefits.
The best way to mitigate this depreciation is to keep the caravan in good working condition, because nobody wants to purchase a poorly maintained second hand caravan. If you are in a position where you need to sell your caravan sooner than you had planned, your best chance for a good return is to advertise your caravan and sell it to private buyers.
Is Owning A Caravan Worth It?
Despite what some would say, owning a caravan is not a waste of money! Owning a caravan is worth the financial cost if it serves to improve, enhance, or elevate your current lifestyle, or if it enables you to pursue your travel goals in a cost-effective way.
Undoubtedly, there are many things to consider before buying a caravan. Most people focus solely on the financial cost of owning a caravan but forget to take into consideration the positive psychological and mental effect this has on a person, couple, or family’s wellbeing.
For instance, if you are a married couple who used to travel outdoors a lot, but have stopped after having a child, then a caravan will allow you to once again camp or explore outdoors without compromising parenting. This is just one example of how owning a caravan could be worth it.
If you plan to do a lot of traveling, buying and staying in a caravan or camper can be much more cost-effective than paying for accommodation. This is one of the major reasons people invest in a caravan – the enormous cost savings over booking hotels and motels.
Many people even choose to live in a caravan full time, whether that means a permanent space in a caravan park or staying on the road all year round. Moving from a home to a caravan can allow people to save a lot of money on rent or mortgage payments, making a caravan a great long-term investment.
Is It Better To Buy Or Rent A Caravan?
This will depend on whether you’re ready to commit to long-term caravan ownership. Buying a caravan gives you the satisfaction of owning the van, as well as being able to customise it to your needs. On the other hand, renting allows you to try out and enjoy different types and models of caravans.
Having said all that, it all boils down to personal preference – you can always try renting a campervan or caravan before committing to buy one.
How Much Is Caravan Insurance In Australia?
Based on the figures from insurance company GIO, part of the Suncorp Group, the average caravan insurance is around $560 annually. The lowest premium sum insured was $7,000, while the highest was $80,750.
Since caravan insurance costs vary depending on your make and model, among other things like the coverage you want, you’ll need to get an individual quote to find out how much your caravan insurance premiums will be.
This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. Prices and figures are based on market observation and are up to date at the time of publishing. Let’s Get Away does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information.