Caravan manufacturers provide customers with a large range of options, extras and alternatives when building their RV. Buyers often get to make many decisions so they can have their van fitted to their specifications and suit their RV finance. But in some instances, retro-fitting or modifications may be desired after the purchase. Possibly a considerable time after taking delivery and finalising the caravan finance.
Very much on trend at the moment is doing up old, retro caravans. But making modifications to existing vehicles is also quite commonplace. You realise post-purchase or possibly after a change of plans, that the van doesn’t have all the inclusions that you need or you want. Jade Caravan Finance provides an overview of the impact on RV finance of caravan modifications and how buyers may avert any issues.
Typical Modifications and Potential Mistakes
Before considering making any modifications to your caravan, it may be worthwhile reading up on what the experts have to say on the topic. We referred to an article on a very popular caravan sales platform to bring some timely reminders for those considering modifying their caravan and some of our own ideas for consideration.
- Ensure any considered modifications do not render your vehicle un-roadworthy or unsafe. The specs must meet the state’s regulations in regard to registration.
- Including accessories and extras at the time of purchase can mean the cost may be included in your loan. Adding items after will mean you paying for the costs.
- Payload considerations. Ensure any modifications are in line with the allowable payload for the vehicle.For example, adding extra water tanks to cater for free campsites can add extra weight. Refer to experts for calculating van weight accurately.
- Ensure any modifications don’t make the van outside the specs for towing with your vehicle. Not just the weight but the dynamics especially the risk of swaying. It may be legal, but is it safe?
- Air-con is included in most of today’s caravans but if yours isn’t fitted with a unit or requires an upgrade, a licensed electrician will be required to wire the unit to the 240v power. If opting for a rooftop unit especially, consider the weight it is adding.
- Storage space can be challenge in caravans and owners often seek add-ons to create more storage. A toolbox fitted to the exterior can be a good idea, but the additional weight and the placement – front or rear, needs to be considered.
- En-suites or a shower/toilet unit is not always standard with every caravan. Initially you may decide you will staying at parks and therefore not necessary. A change of travel plans and intentions to free camp and those facilities do become essential. Fitting this type of unit will add weight to the vehicle and requires trades to complete.
- Converting power systems to go off-grid can be costly and require professional trades. Plus the solar panels and batteries add to the weight and can affect the towing performance of the vehicle.
Caravan Loan: Standard Criteria/Specs
When applying for finance to purchase a caravan, the credit profile of the applicant as well as aspects of the caravan will be assessed by our lenders. Accessories and inclusions may be itemised in some instances. Different interest rates apply for new and used caravans. Used caravans will be assessed in terms of age and condition when lenders make a loan offer.
With a Secured Caravan Loan, the lender accepts the caravan as security against the loan. That interest is registered on the PPSR. If the specs of the goods under finance are significantly altered, there may be an obligation on the part of the borrower to advise the lender of these changes.
This may be relevant where the modifications alter the value of the goods and hence have an impact on the loan.
Refurbishment Project Finance
Finance for purchasing a caravan to refurbish is usually best suited to our Unsecured Personal Loan. Lenders would be less interested in accepting this type of caravan as security and as the goods will be improved significantly over time, the buyer not wish the goods to be offered as security.
As the caravan does not form the security against the loan, it would not usually be envisaged that the borrower needs to update the lender in regard to modifications or refurbishment work.
Major changes to the caravan may require reporting to the insurer. Insurance is required when purchasing a caravan with finance. The specifications and details of the insured caravan are relevant to the policy. Any changes may affect the coverage. This may be particularly relevant to coverage of units and accessories added after the policy was taken out.
Averting Any Issues Buy Calculating Loans Beforehand
To avoid the need to make major modifications carry out your own detailed planning prior to purchase. Consider carefully where you intend to travel both now and possibly over the years of your caravan ownership and/or finance term. Using a loan calculator caravan can also help you understand the financial implications and manage your budget effectively throughout the loan period.
Buying a vehicle that will be suitable for all terrains and all conditions may be a good way to go.
If you are considering major modifications to your existing caravan, then possibly it longer serves your purposes. Trading it on a new caravan which is ideally suited may save you the costs of modifications and possible impacts and deliver you a great caravan.
To weigh up the costs of modifications against buying new, refer to our Caravan Finance Calculator.
Call 1300 000 003 for a caravan finance quotes.
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.