What to look for before hiring a caravan

Hiring a caravan or RV gives you the opportunity to see if you enjoy the experience without the expense of buying.

For experienced campers, hiring can also be an attractive option as the associated costs are generally much lower than those an owner would spend on regular caravan repairs and upkeep.

Hiring a caravan isn’t like hiring tools or trailers from your local trade hire shop. Research is essential to avoid wasting a small fortune in insurance and damages. We’ve discussed hiring caravans before, but to avoid any problems, here are a few tips to consider prior to setting out.

Research the hire company and its policies

Selecting a reputable caravan hiring company is the first thing you need to do once you’ve decided to go down this path. You can try Camplify, like AirBnb for caravans.

Once you’ve selected a hiring company, it’s important to review their terms and conditions thoroughly. Some caravan hiring companies restrict travel to certain states or regions, while others have limits on mileage or age of drivers. To avoid added fees, it’s important you are aware of these rules prior to setting out.

Inspect the caravan thoroughly

Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you need to do a thorough caravan inspection. Most businesses will give a little tour of the caravan, showing you how to use all the features and systems before allowing you to leave. This is a great time to go over the van to identify any pre-existing damage.

If you do not inspect your hired caravan carefully, you run the risk of being blamed for damage you did not cause. Little things such as paint scratches can easily go unnoticed if you don’t actively search for them.

Although inspections can be tedious, they will ultimately protect you from being pinned with undeserved damage fees. Think of it the same way you would moving into a rental home. You have to fill out an inspection form before moving in to ensure you aren’t blamed for something you didn’t do. Take photos or a video and keep them with your contract.

Carry a travel toolbox

Although you’ve carefully selected your caravan hire company and painstakingly inspected your temporary home, it’s always possible for unexpected problems to occur.

To avoid losing precious time (and money) through a minor roadside breakdown, it’s important to be equipped with a well-stocked personal toolbox. Although some caravan companies do offer convenience kits, you will likely have to bring your own tools.

Watch a few YouTube tutorials or read guides like this one, to learn how to perform small maintenance tasks, such as changing tyres and checking fluids. Learning these simple skills could save you a small fortune in the long run.

Final tip: If you’re planning to borrow a friend’s van, make sure you have insurance, as your friend’s policy will most likely not cover you for accidents or damage.