Caravans have a long and beloved history in Australia dating back a long way and achieving extremely high levels of popularity in the 50s and 60s. In more recent times with cheaper air fares attracting travellers overseas and outweighing the appeal of caravan staycations. But the ‘grey nomads’ filled much of any void created as they criss-crossed the nations. As a result of pandemic border closures, caravan ownership has experienced a welcome resurgence in the past 2 years and demand for all types of RVs is enjoying the highest levels in a long time.
So it’s probably not that surprising that Australia has a very vibrant and busy caravan manufacturing sector. Caravan builders are embracing and integrating innovative techniques and features into their vehicles and building vehicles to suit all types of travellers.
But many travellers are very particular about what they want in their vehicle. To meet the demands of that sector are the specialist custom-built caravan manufacturers. In this article Jade Caravan Finance focuses the spotlight on a company that specialises in custom-built off-grid caravans - Halen Vans. As part of our showcase we also offer up ideas around buying and financing custom versus a stock model.
Custom Build Specialists
Halen Vans was established in 2011 but boasts 30+ years of experience and expertise in the caravan building industry. The business specialises in custom built off-road caravans which they build in their facility in Lilydale, Victoria.
Key features of the Halen building process include:-
- Cruisemaster Off-Road Suspension
- Fully insulated using high grad VH27 insulation
- Completely self-sufficient with the inclusion of lithium batteries, lead crystal batteries and solar panels.
When it comes to a custom order, exactly how ‘special’ can the brief be? To give you some idea of their capabilities Halen Vans outline a number of customer briefs on their website and the solution that they delivered.
Customer briefs handled by Halen Vans include:-
- Lots of space for storage and bench tops.
- Run 240V appliances from the battery system similar to living at home.
- Create as small a van as possible but be self-sufficient for free camping. Result – a 15’6” pop top.
- Build a caravan to suit permanent living, so plenty of storage space required. Outcome – 23 footer with custom cabinetry.
- Large windows so we can see the views plus a custom front plus the facilities for 4K projection with pull-down screen. Outcome – delivered as ordered!
The company clearly works closely with its customers to design the layout to meet the individual specifications. The custom process can enable customers to get the kitchen layout that works for them rather than have to adapt their cooking style and menu to suit what others have designed. Halen customers have the choice of café seating or a recliner for dining for example.
Read more about how Halen Vans delivers on custom orders.
Custom Built or Stock Model?
When it comes to buying a new caravan, should you opt for a custom-build or a model from a manufacturer’s existing line-up? While this will be a highly personal and individual decision, we put forward some thought-provokers to assist with the decision-making.
For starters, depending on the brief, a custom-build may be expected to cost more. But considering how long you will spend in the vehicle and over how many years you will be enjoying it, this could be an investment worth making.
To compare the estimated repayments on finance for the price of a custom with a standard model, use our Caravan Loan Calculator.
Buying a van which does not exactly meet your lifestyle could lead to years of those little irritations and annoyances that take the edge of the experience. However, many manufacturers do build their ranges to order and can include a range of choices in regard to layout, floorplan and finishes.
A custom order may take longer to build than a standard model, but not necessarily. This would depend on the order list faced by individual companies at the time and the complexity of the custom brief. If timing is an issue, discuss with the company as to how tweaking your brief may reduce the delivery time.
If you’re a first time buyer, you may not actually know what you want in your first caravan. In these instances a stock model or design may be a better option. Manufacturers provide a wide range of models which incorporate proven ideas and features. Inclusions which have been developed based on the experiences of others and the expertise of the manufacturers. Many manufacturers have been in the biz for decades so they know what most travellers want and need in a caravan.
One issue which can be stickler with some buyers and some builders, with custom builds is progress payments. If buyers require finance for the purchase, will the lender be flexible to structure the loan to meet their requirements for progress payments?
As specialists in the recreational vehicle lending sector, we have the experience and the flexibility to work with our customers to tailor finance for caravans to suit their requirements. To see how we can assist with your specific custom caravan brief, have an obligation-free discussion with one of our consultants.
To discuss finance on a custom-built caravan, contact Jade Caravan Finance on 1300 000 003
DISCLAIMER: THE DETAILS AND INFORMATION IN THIS CONTENT ARE PREPARED AND PRESENTED PURELY FOR INFORMATION AND NOT INTENDED IN ANY WAY AS THE SOLE SOURCE OF FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR CARAVAN PURCHASING. IF ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL ADVICE IS REQUIRED, READERS SHOULD REFER TO A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. NO LIABILITY IS ACCEPTED FOR ANY ERRORS, PRODUCT DESCRIPTION VARIATIONS, OR OTHER MISREPRESENTATIONS OF INFORMATION AS PRESENTED.