If you’re moving house and your house happens to be a caravan, it may give you more peace of mind for someone else to transport your caravan, an expert, rather than yourself. Because let’s be honest, a lot of things could probably go wrong if you attempted it yourself for the first time, and you don’t want your home or holiday home damaged along the way.
Plus, it can make getting to your next destination a lot less stressful, because even if you’re a confident driver in a car, towing has an entirely different set of reactions and things to know—things like wind shear and turning can be a massively different experience when you’re towing than if you aren’t.
Read on in this article to find out more about the ins and outs of transporting your caravan interstate in Australia, whether you have a static or touring caravan.
You absolutely can pay someone to move your caravan, and if you have a static caravan, it’s likely you wouldn’t be able to do it on your own anyway. (This is because in order to move a static caravan you need a low-loader vehicle and the right tools to do so.)
There are a number of factors that would change how much moving a caravan would cost, mostly size and weight. If you have any special requirements or it’s a particularly urgent move that would change the cost as well. Some removalists estimate between 40-60 cents per kilometre for interstate transport, others say the service can start at $500 and go up to $20,000.
So it’s worth doing your research and getting multiple quotes to find the right transport company for you and your needs. We at Upmove could help you do just that, so you’re able to compare quotes easily, and make sure you’re happy with the service you’re getting.
If you’re towing a touring caravan yourself, there are a few costs to consider:
And if you’re only just getting into caravanning, you’ll want to consider the initial costs around getting a towbar and hitch and then getting them installed, which will probably end up somewhere around $1,000.
Loading and fastening a static caravan onto a low-loader truck or flatbed truck, safely transporting it between places, and carefully discharging it to its new lot are typical steps in the moving process for a caravan.
There’s a lot to consider, and most static caravan transport specialists will want you to conduct a risk assessment and tell them of any potential issues.
This includes the following:
Before you transport a caravan, you’ll also want to record and share with the moving company the state of the caravan itself - any dings or condition notes, just like you would with a rental car.
If you have a touring caravan and a hitch, as well as a full licence and a car that can handle the weight, it should just get towed behind a car if you’re doing it yourself. Of course when doing so you’ll want to meet safety standards, like we mention above, and other considerations like:
Safe packing: heaviest items are packed low and centred over the caravan’s wheel axles and the lightest items are packed up high and distributed across the vehicle.
How everyone is travelling: it’s illegal in NSW for anyone to be riding in the caravan while it’s being transported
How much everything weighs: Your Gross Vehicle Mass also includes everything that’s packed within it, so you’ll want to find a public weighbridge or weighing station to understand how much it weighs
How long you can live on a caravan site depends on a number of factors, including:
In Australia, you can park on private property for up to 30 days without a licence, and if you’re able to show a licence, some states, like Tasmania, will allow you to live in a caravan indefinitely on that private property if you pay annual dues and meet requirements for sewage and waste disposal.
A lot of caravan parks won’t allow you to physically stay at the property for more than 180 days a year, because at that point it’s considered residential, which the caravan park may not be zoned for.
If you’re looking to live in a static caravan year-round, you’ll want to find a park that has been zoned for residential use and allows long-term tenants. Even then, in states like NSW, the longest you can stay in a caravan park is 5 years.
As always if you aren’t sure about the regulations in your area, it’s best to contact the local council, particularly if you’re hoping to stay for a longer period of time.
Yes, oftentimes you can leave an unoccupied caravan on-site. How long you can leave it there depends on the terms of your agreement with the park; whether you’re on a long- or short-term contract.
It also depends on your insurance, some insurances will stipulate the caravan needs to be occupied for the cover to be valid, or that it can’t be unoccupied for longer than a specific period of time. You should also inform the park manager that you’ll be leaving, as they may also have requirements.
If you are leaving your caravan on-site for any length of time, along with all the standard pre-holiday leaving checks you’d do for a static house, you’d also probably want to:
If you have a full licence, and the caravan and tow-vehicle don’t exceed the mass limits that involve an endorsed or heavy vehicle licence, you’re fine to tow a caravan. Different states have different regulations around speed limits and whether or not you can tow on your P’s or L’s, but in Australia as a whole you shouldn’t have to have a special qualification to tow a caravan yourself if you’d like.
For reference, a car licence in NSW allows you to tow a vehicle with a 4.5 tonne Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM). A standard 4-6 berth caravan shouldn’t typically weigh more than 2 tonnes.
Most states in Australia have no specific towing speed, and rather require you to follow the posted road speeds. WA has a maximum towing speed of 100km/h, and NSW is 110.
It’s also important to note that your car manufacturer may recommend towing speed limits for your car, like a Subaru or a Ford, that are lower than the state maximum towing speed. If you’re considering towing a touring caravan, then, it’s also good to check your car manual to make sure there aren’t any other requirements you should be keeping track of and considering when either buying your caravan or figuring out how you’ll tow it.
If you’re already considering buying a caravan, it’s probably a good investment, because you’re interested in the lifestyle and the freedom it can give you.
As with any purchase of a home, you should also consider secondary costs, like insurance and maintenance, when deciding whether or not owning a touring caravan is right for you. With touring caravans, it’s also worth including costs like site fees and petrol in those calculations as well, particularly if you’re planning on being a nomad and becoming a full-time caravan resident. If after all those calculations, it’s still an investment that makes sense to you, then there’s no reason not to.
The lucky country is pretty open and welcoming of the nomadic caravanning lifestyle, and if it’s one you choose we know sometimes it can be nice to take a break. And that break may just be having someone else move your caravan for you, and enjoying the road ahead of you without the stress of towing your caravan behind.
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