Do you own an old caravan? Do you want to modify your caravan using modern trends? Modifying your caravan is a huge process that comes at a cost but it is a cost worth paying when done correctly. However, you need to give it some solid thought and add sensible modifications that will add value when using the caravan.
When choosing an ideal caravan modification, you have to consider factors such as the weight of your caravan, ground suspension clearance, and storage options.
Things To Consider Before Modifying Your Caravan
There are many considerations when you want to modify your caravan. Some of these factors are explained below:
– Clearance: You can quickly improve the ground clearance in a leaf-spring caravan, but it can be detrimental if you do it wrong. It can be perilous to fit the axle below the leaf springs instead of using an underslung configuration that has the leaf springs below the axle.
If you use a straight axle, it will be pretty difficult to increase the clearance of the suspension. However, a drop axle is easy to enhance clearance as it is flippable.
– Caravan’s Weight: You have to consider the extra weight before installing other accessories to your caravan. For instance, if you have a 10 kg gas cylinder and two 100 L water tanks fitted on a 400kg payload van, you might have already used 50% of the allowed weight before setting out.
Ensure that your van does not violate the masses’ atm regulation; otherwise, you might get into trouble with authorities. Understanding the weight of your caravan will also assist you in choosing the ideal tow ball for the tow vehicle and even the right tow vehicle.
– Possibility Of The Caravan to Sway: Another factor to consider before mounting a camper trailer is the possibility of the vehicle swaying due to the added weight. Your vehicle might become a potential source of an accident if you wrongly mount the components when installing the caravan. For example, suppose you fit heavy accessories on the front of your van even in compliance with the mass limits for caravans. You might still be causing an excessive tow ball download making your tow vehicle illegal to tow that particular caravan.
– Jerry Can Storage: If you want to add a water storage capacity to your caravan, the best option is using jerry cans. In such a case, consider measuring your tow vehicle to determine how much space you have for carrying jerry cans. You may still have available space, but it may be unsuitable for your towing balance. Avoid placing water storage accessories on the van’s rear bar as it can add weight and affect the balance.
Below is a list of the top 5 caravan modifications you can add to your caravan to improve your camping life. All the listed modifications are easy to install and are suitable for both on-road and off-road driving.
Awnings are usually customised to fit the intended caravan. They are constructed using materials such as heavy canvas through to light shade cloth. Different types of awnings include side awnings, bed end awnings, and awnings to cover windows.
Consider a situation where you have unpacked your caravan in the summer sun, which is scorching. You have to consider whether you need a shade or an awning, depending on the position of the sun’s rays. All these considerations will assist you in getting an ideal awning for your specifications.
2). Solar Panels
Fitting solar panels on your caravan is a clever way of modifying it. However, it would help if you considered why you are getting solar and the size of the particular solar panel. You can go for a mounted or portable solar panel with the numerous options available. The mounted version is fixed on the roof of your caravan, and it is pretty challenging to remove. Consequently, a portable one is easy to remove and install, making it ideal when you want it in a specific spot with sunlight. If you install a mounted version, you will need to park your caravan outside in adequate sunlight, unlike when using a portable panel.
There are three types of panels to fit in your vehicle. They include glass, folding, and mobile solar panels. Glass panels are popular, and they have a rigid frame that is ideal for attaching to the roof. Folding panels are trendy panels that are easy to transport. You can store them inside your car and take them out only when you want to use solar energy. On the other hand, mobile panels are flexible, lightweight accessories but quite expensive. You can directly fix them on a curved roof without using mounting brackets.
3). Towing Mirrors
Some caravan vehicles are usually fitted with side mirrors which are unpractical when towing camper trailers. Typically, a side mirror has a limited visual field making it hard to watch the vehicles behind you. Therefore, you should consider replacing the side mirrors with towing mirrors to enhance your safety.
Towing mirrors are attached to your caravan using safety cords and clamps. The mirrors are usually durable and aerodynamic. They provide you with a wide field of view to keep you and other road users safe. The most common type of tow mirror for your caravan modification is the clip-on side mirror extender. Of course, there are still other brands in the market tailored to match your preferences.
4). Electric Braking System
The Australian law requires all vehicle manufacturers to fit the tow vehicle with an electronic braking system when towing caravans weighing more than 750kg. This is an excellent consideration if you plan to upgrade to a camper trailer that exceeds 750 kilograms.
The electronic brake system is categorised into two – user and proportional controlled. A balanced electronic braking system ensures the application of an optimal, accurate force that corresponds to the tow vehicle’s braking.
5). Reversing Camera
It is frustrating when you can’t see what is happening around your caravan. You can solve this problem by using a reversing camera. You can even place the gadget on your caravan’s back to see what’s happening behind your caravan. However, you should hire an expert as it involves handling delicate components.
Modifying your caravan comes at a price! You will undoubtedly incur costs when purchasing and installing that solar panel or air conditioner, but it is worth every penny. When getting caravan modifications, please consider some crucial factors, such as the weight of your caravan and how the modification will affect the towing balance.
Visit RV & Caravan Centre for Your Caravan Servicing Needs
Do you need some repairs or modifications done for your caravan? RV & Caravan Center has got you covered with experienced and qualified repairers. We offer a wide range of caravan services to make your caravanning adventures a lot more enjoyable.
Get high-quality caravan accessories installation services near you any time! We repair annexes, canvases, and awnings to enhance your caravanning safety and pleasure.
Please give us a call today on 1800 782 236 to learn more about our caravan services or leave an enquiry.