When it comes to exploring new places and venturing off the beaten path, there’s nothing quite like the freedom that comes with owning one of the best off-road caravans. These rugged vehicles are purpose-built to tackle challenging terrain, allowing you to go further and experience places that might otherwise be out of reach.
If you’re used to a more traditional caravan, upgrading to an off-road model could mean the difference between a run-of-the-mill trip at the local caravan park and an unforgettable adventure.
Why should you own one of the best off-road caravans for your next adventure?
Travelling with an off-road caravan will give you peace of mind to free camp and explore all kinds of terrain without leaving the comforts of your home. These caravans are not only convenient but are also very practical, and best of all, they can help you explore further than ever before.
The right off-road van will make 4WD camping an even better experience for you and your family. Choosing your destinations ranging from national parks, beaches to remote landmarks is a luxury for owners of these caravans. However, there are matters you need to consider before choosing your off-road caravan.
If you’re considering an off-road van, this article will help you make the right decision. Read on for everything you need to know about Australia’s best off-road caravans.
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What Should I Know About Off-road Caravans?
An off-road caravan is a type of recreational vehicle that is specifically designed for travel on rough terrain. They are often larger and more robust than traditional caravans, with features that make them better suited for a variety of landscapes, from desert tracks to unsealed outback roads.
A standard caravan isn’t suitable for off-roading or poor quality roads in rural areas. Excessive stress is mostly placed on the van by potholes, ruts, and corrugation. On the other hand, off-road caravans are designed to handle these stresses with ease. They are built for rough terrain, and they provide the stability and handling you need to travel safely on rough roads.
If you are buying an off-road caravan, knowing the difference between the types of off-road caravans will help you make the right choice for your needs.
What Are the Different Types of Off-road Caravans?
There are a few different types of off-road caravans on the market, so it’s important to know the differences before you make your purchase. Depending on who you are travelling with and where you plan to go will affect what type of caravan you go for.
Full Height Off-road Caravan
A full height off-road caravan is the most robust and capable type of caravan for rough terrain. It has a higher ground clearance than a standard caravan, and its heavy-duty construction enables it to withstand the rigours of off-road travel. It also has a more robust suspension system, which provides better handling and stability on rough terrain.
Full height caravans generally come with all-terrain tyres, which provide better traction on uneven surfaces. If you’re looking for a caravan that can handle off-road adventures, then a full height off-road caravan is the best option.
The advantage of a full height caravan is that it can be used for a variety of applications, from off-road travel to caravanning in traditional campgrounds. Although a full height caravan can be more expensive than a standard caravan, it’s worth the investment if you want a vehicle that can handle any terrain.
Pop-top Off-road Caravan
A pop-top off-road caravan is a great option for those who want the convenience of a standard caravan with the added capability of off-road travel. Sleeping in a pop-top caravan is also a great experience, as it gives you the added height and space that you don’t get in a standard caravan.
Not only that, the open design of a pop-top caravan makes it great for enjoying the outdoors. You’ll really feel like you are living the caravanning lifestyle when you’re travelling in a pop-top off-road caravan.
If you’re looking for a caravan that can handle some serious off-road adventures, then you should consider an off-road pop-top caravan. They are cheaper than full height caravans, and they provide all the features you need for a great trip in a smaller package.
Hybrid Off-road Caravan
A hybrid off-road caravan is a great option for those who want the best of both worlds. It has a full height body, which provides plenty of storage space, and a pop-top roof, which gives you extra living space when you’re camping.
The suspension system is also designed for off-road travel, so you can be sure that your caravan will handle any terrain you come across. And with all-terrain tyres, you’ll be able to travel down even the roughest roads without worrying about your caravan.
If you’re looking for an off-road caravan that is easy to tow and handle, a hybrid off-road caravan is the perfect option for you. Hybrid off-road caravans are available in various sizes, so you can find the perfect one for your needs.
Semi Off-road Caravan
A semi off-road caravan is a type of recreational vehicle that falls in between traditional caravans and off-road caravans. They are built for travel on both sealed and unsealed roads, making them a good option for those who want the flexibility to travel both on and off-road.
They are not as robust as off-road caravans, but they are more stable and handle better on unsealed roads than traditional caravans. Semi off-road caravans are ideal for travelling in Australia’s diverse landscape, from the city to the bush.
Compared to an off-road caravan, a semi off-road caravan is cheaper and easier to maintain. It also doesn’t require the same level of expertise to drive. However, it cannot handle the same level of rough terrain as an off-road caravan.
If you’re looking for a caravan that can handle a bit of off-road travel, but don’t want to go all out, then a semi off-road caravan is the perfect option for you.
Which Off-road Caravans Are The Best?
The best off-road caravans should be fitted with all-terrain suspensions and all-terrain tires, equipped to follow your 4WD vehicle anywhere you want to go.
Below is the list of the best off-road caravans on the market for 2023:
AOR Quantum FH
The Quantum FH is the pinnacle of caravan development by the team at Australian Off Road. This award-winning, full-length caravan is one of the best choices for anyone wanting to caravan in the great outdoors around Australia. This off-road caravan doesn’t trade toughness for style, because this luxurious model comes with everything you need to camp properly, and more!
The Quantum FH has a spacious external kitchen with plenty of pantry storage, so you can feed the four people that can comfortably sleep in the open sleeping area. With an internal diesel air heater and internal and external showers, the AOR Quantum proves that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or amenities when you go caravanning.
Australian Off-Road Odyssey
Australian Off-road Odyssey is a 5400mm caravan. It has a smart design and somehow fits in a queen bed (hinges upward) and an internal kitchen, with a second external slide-out kitchen. The convenient design also features an external shower pod, making for a more ergonomic interior layout. Also, the Odyssey has a low towing height, at 1400 kg Tare and 2000 kg ATM, so it is suitable for medium-sized 4WDs.
This caravan has an off-road chassis and suspension system and excellent departure angles to handle rough and steep tracks. It has 300 watts of power possible from two 150 watt solar panels and a 1000-watt inverter.
Cenduna 13 MK2
If you’re looking for a caravan that isn’t going to affect your ability to make it down narrow country roads, then the Cenduna 13 MK2 is just what you need. This compact, hardtop caravan features a relaxing internal layout that feels way more spacious than it looks on the outside. With clever use of space, you are able to have a spacious open plan layout that doesn’t miss out on any storage opportunities.
With the option for an internal ensuite and kitchen, a Cenduna caravan is the perfect way to travel around the Australian outback. This model comes with a variety of add ons, like solar panels, fans and freezers, so you can truly make this caravan your own, based on your needs.
LXV 4.7 Hybrid
Australia isn’t just flat roads and red dirt, the more you explore the country, the more you will see incredible mountains, beautiful waterways and lush forests. If you want to see every inch of this great country, the LXV 4.7 hybrid is the caravan that can handle the trip. This model features advanced technology, like dust suppression and any-sway technology, so when you arrive at your destination, your caravan will be in excellent condition.
Mountain Trail RV has dedicated time to research what is needed and what is wanted in a caravan and has combined them into the LXV 4.7 a hybrid caravan nicer than most apartments. The inbuilt solar panels mean you’ll never be caught without power, so relying on campgrounds is a thing of the past. In addition, the complete range of electrical appliances and expansive storage won’t leave you lacking for much while on your great escape.
Rhinomax Defender 15ft Hybrid
Rhinomax Defender 15ft Hybrid is manufactured using SolidWorks 3D design software, and precision laser cut components. The Defender has a full-length galvanised off-road chassis and Cruisemaster all-terrain suspension with twin shocks, and the option to upgrade to air suspension. Its walls and roof are 30 mm panels with a high-density closed-cell foam core, and it has no internal framing, Rhinomax says that it will not rot or go mouldy.
Inside the Defender are a bathroom, an external slide-out expandable kitchen, and queen-size bed. In addition to these features, it has the capacity for 215 litres of freshwater storage and vibration-proof composite cabinetry.
Explorex Bush Rat
Don’t let the name fool you, there is nothing ratty about the Explorex Bush Rat. This campervan gets its name due to its size, and how easily it can traverse Australia’s unpredictable terrain. The Bush Rat has an immediate bedroom and living area, allowing you to get to the most frequented areas first, so you can get it, grab what you need, and continue enjoying the great outdoors.
But the interior still has everything you would need to make your holiday complete. From a resilient cooktop and grille kitchen to the comfort of an internal sound system, you can’t go wrong with the Explorex Bush Rat. If you plan to spend a lot of time caravanning around Australia, the compact form of this caravan is only going to make your life easier.
Jayco launched its CrossTrak line in 2019 and is available in 13-foot and a 16-foot model. The 16-foot model has a private bathroom or a set of bunks and an external rear suite. Also, the CrossTrak is an affordable Aussie-made hybrid that competes on price with imported Chinese vans.
The CrossTrak has insulated ‘’Toughframe’’ walls, it is JTech independent suspension, and has streamline hot-dip galvanised chassis. In addition to that, CrossTrak is equipped with a 100-amp hour battery and 150-watt solar panel.
H3: XTM Off Road Luxury
The name luxury in the XTM Off Road Luxury is no lie, no matter where you are caravanning around Australia, your caravan is going to be the nicest place you could stay. Masterpiece caravans are able to fit a whole flat’s worth of utilities and comfort into a reasonably sized vehicle.
The open kitchen and lounge area features more storage and room to move than you could ask for. The lighting featured around the caravan makes it perfect for those early morning coffees and late night snacks in your spacious kitchen. Of course, the XTM Off Road Luxury doesn’t just come in one layout, there are a variety to choose from to cater to the amount of people you’re travelling with, and what you will need along the way.
Track Trailer T4
Track Trailer T4 is a hybrid camper-trailer; compact, hard-shell unit with the comforts of a caravan and the off-road attitude of a camper-trailer. It offers you the choice of internal or external bathroom and kitchen.
T4 has some impressive technological inclusions like lightning control, awning and app control via Redarc’s RedVision Total Vehicle Management System. The feature also includes thick automotive rubber seals for effective dust sealing, custom military-grade MC2-R suspension, and a quality electrical set-up with solar and inverter.
Blue Heeler MY19
The Blue Heeler from Sunland Caravans was brought out in 2005 and has remained one of the most popular off-road caravans, and for good reason. Inside the rugged exterior, the Blue Heeler has everything to make any corner of Australia your home; from privacy, to space. Their innovative use of storage means the one thing you always leave behind will have its own cupboard in your Blue Heeler.
This caravan has gained such popularity due to how easily it can make it across our country. The advanced design paired with modern construction means that a 1,500km trek is a cakewalk for this beauty. Enjoy the beautiful Australian countryside during the day, and relax in the stylish and modern Blue Heeler at night.
What Are the Best Off-road Caravans For 4WD?
Off-road caravans are one of our favourite ways to explore Australia. With a bit of preparation, they can handle tracks and terrain that would leave a regular caravan stranded. If you plan to travel around Australia, it’s important to find an off-road caravan that has all the features you need.
Lotus Caravan Off-Grid Trailer
Lotus Caravans’ Off-Grid Trailer is built to be put through its paces. It is combined with heavy-duty Control Rider twin shock suspension. Also, it can be towed in even the most challenging conditions.
The Complete Campsite Exodus has an independent trailing arm coil suspension and twin shock absorbers on each wheel. Weighing 1800 kg with an ATM of 2500 kg hence, it is suitable for medium size 4×4 and has plenty of payloads.
Lotus Trooper has a tough exterior but has a soft interior. It is 21-foot-long and weighs 2800 kg, and has an ATM of 4490 kg. Because of the caravan’s weight, it’s best to invest in a larger vehicle to tow it.
Roadstar Safari Tamer
Roadstar Safari Tamer is a high-riding van and has a purposeful stance on the road. It is suitable for rough-road work and willingly follows your 4WD through tricky terrain.
Otron Signature Series is a well-built van with a very comfortable travel and isn’t a small van. It also has a tare of 2960 kg, so it’s easy to tow.
How Do I Choose an Off-road Caravan?
When choosing an off-road caravan, it is important to consider the weight and size of your vehicle. Some caravans are too large or heavy to be towed by a standard vehicle. If you don’t have a large 4WD, then an off-road caravan may not be the best option for you.
You should consider the terrain you will be travelling on. If you plan to do a lot of off-road travelling, you will need a caravan that is built for rough terrain. If you plan to stick to the bitumen for most of your travels, a semi off-road caravan will give you the most flexibility.
Some off-road vans have extra features to make them easier to tow, which is handy for those new to off-roading. Anti-sway and stability features will make your trip easier if you’re new to towing a caravan.
It is also important to consider the features of the caravan. Some caravans come with off-road features like suspension and dust seals. Others come with features like solar panels and inverters that allow you to stay off the grid. Consider where you will be travelling and who you will be going with when you are looking at caravan features.
Of course, your lifestyle expectations play a big part in choosing the right off-road caravan. If you’re looking to get the glamping experience, it’s worth paying extra for space, features and comforts, such as a larger bed, appliances and luxury finishes.
Learn more about choosing the right caravan here.
Off-road Campervans & Motorhomes
Off-road campervans and motorhomes are the most comfortable way to experience Australia. With a motorhome or campervan, you have all the comforts of home with you on your travels. You can cook your own food, sleep in your own bed, and take all the things you need with you.
The benefit of an off-road campervan or motorhome is that you can travel wherever you want with everything you would need, it’s like a unit on wheels! You can explore the outback, visit small towns and villages, or go camping in some of Australia’s most beautiful locations.
Unlike caravans and trailers, you’ll have everything you need in one vehicle. This makes travelling with an off-road campervan or motorhome a breeze. You don’t have to worry about setting up and packing down your campsite every day, just jump in your van and go!
There are a few things to consider when choosing an off-road campervan or motorhome. The first is the size of the vehicle. Consider who you will be travelling with, what you will need and where you plan to go. Opting for a smaller campervan for solo trips will reduce parking headaches and allow you to get around the outback easier.
The second consideration when buying an off-road campervan is the terrain you will be driving on. If you only plan to travel around easy bush tracks, you won’t need to spend as much money on a tougher, more versatile vehicle.
Off-road Camper Trailers
When it comes to off-road camping, there are a few different options available. You can choose to camp in a campervan, a motorhome, or a camper trailer. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks.
The big benefit of camper trailers is they allow you to have everything you need for your camping trip, without losing the authentic feeling of camping. Some people find that campervans and motorhomes don’t let you get as close to nature as you might like on a camping trip.
That’s where a camper trailer comes in. Camper trailers still use the same canvas that you would find the average tent made out of, so you can still feel, hear and smell nature all around you, like you would in a tent.
They are designed to be towed behind your vehicle, so you can take them down those off-road tracks that other caravans can’t handle. But just because they are smaller, doesn’t mean you lose features. Camper trailers still come with all the modern features you would need every day, like a stove, storage and a bed.
The Trackabout Explorer off-road camper trailer is a great choice for someone wanting to go off-roading and camping without feeling like they are dragging around a huge weight. The Trackabout Explorer packs a whole bunch of features into a really small package. You’ll have everything you need in the smallest package possible.
However, if you want luxury, there’s nothing better on the market than the MY22 Tvan track trailer. With heaps of internal space, a double bed and even a classic two burner kitchen, this is the perfect choice for those who want to explore off the beaten track but still have all the comforts of home.
What Are the Tips on Towing an Off-road Caravan?
Travelling while towing an off-road caravan behind you can be dangerous, so you will need all the safety precautions while driving. Breakdowns, mechanical issues, and unforeseeable incidents can be prevented. Here’s how to tow your caravan safely:
Know Where You Are Going – Make sure you know how difficult the terrain will be. Weather can affect the condition of the road, so note that. You won’t be the only one out there, so think about what other vehicles you’ll be sharing the road with.
Know The Limits Of Your Gear – That includes the maximum towing rate of your vehicle, how much your caravan weighs, and your tow ball’s weight. The four main points you need to consider when matching a van to a caravan are the van’s kerb weight, towing limit, Gross Train Weight (GTW) and the caravan’s Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM).
It is recommended you only tow a caravan that weighs less than 75% of the car or the van’s kerb weight. No one should tow a caravan that is heavier than the towing limit of the vehicle it’s behind. It is always important to remember that weight matters when towing other vehicles.
Understanding the figures for maximum towing capacity, maximum tow ball weight, and all related weight limits is crucial. You also need to ensure that you operate within the capability of the towing vehicle and the conditions of your driver’s licence.
Install Electric Brakes – You must have your brakes fitted legally if your caravan exceeds 750 kg. Your insurance won’t be valid without correctly installed brakes.
Install A WDH – A WDH, or weight distribution hitch, is a great way to make sure your caravan is being towed evenly. This system helps keep your caravan level and will also help with the handling of your car and caravan.
Maintain Your Tyres – Make sure all of your tyres are in good condition and have the right PSi for the terrain you are travelling on, and this includes your spare tyres. Keeping an emergency tyre repair kit and off-road caravan jack in your caravan is a good idea.
Get A Set Of Towing Mirrors -Towing mirrors are essential for anyone towing a caravan. They give you a wider view of what is happening behind you and will help to avoid accidents. These mirrors can easily be installed or removed when not in use.
Get Your Caravan Serviced Frequently – Just like you service your car, it is important to have your caravan serviced. This will help to avoid any major problems while on the road.
Get Caravan Insurance – While not a towing tip, it’s important to remember to make sure your entire caravan setup is insured. In the event of an accident, caravan insurance makes a big difference to salvaging not just your van, but your vacation as well. If your caravan needs repair, a good insurance policy is worth its weight in gold.Learn more about how to tow a caravan safely here.
What Is an Off-road Caravan?
An off-road caravan is designed for off-the-grid life. Its purpose is to provide the traveller with peace of mind to free camp off the beaten track for extended periods. Off-road caravans typically have a stronger frame, improved suspension and higher ground clearance.
What Are the Top 10 Caravans in Australia?
Most of the best off-road caravans are built in Australia.
✔ AOR Quantum FH
✔ Trakmaster S Series
✔ Sunland Blue Heeler
✔ Zone RV Z-18.6 Off-road
✔ Kedron CP5 Compact
✔ Rhinomax Lost Trak
✔ Crusader XCountry Trailbreaker
✔ Lotus Freelander
✔ Royal Flair Razor XT
✔ JB Caravans Gator
Do You Need an Off-road Caravan?
If you plan to spend a lot of time caravanning around Australia, then yes, you need an off-road caravan. Some of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia are only accessible by 4WD tracks. Australia has beautiful landscapes and an off-road caravan will help you reach and experience them all.
But if you are only going to use it for weekend getaways, then a regular caravan will do. An off-road caravan is best for people who plan to spend a lot of time caravanning around Australia.
How Long Do Caravans Last For?
A caravan will last around 14 years on average. Most of the experts agree that the practical lifespan of a caravan is about 14 years, and that’s if the caravan is maintained correctly.