World's Top-9 Greatest Caravans
Posted on May 15, 2015
New Zealand has some spectacular driving and truly stunning places to camp, so it makes sense to combine the two pursuits when it comes to taking a holiday.
If you’re looking to import a caravan, there’s a world of different makes and models to choose from – some of them magnificent to look at, some classics, some oddballs and some absolutely outrageous.
So here’s our guide to our favourite caravans from around the world – just pick which one you want and contact us at McCullough to discover just how quickly we can get it to New Zealand.
Who would have thought that such an iconic piece of Americana would have such a strong Kiwi link – but the company which has made the gleaming silver, rounded-edge Airstream since rescuing the company from debt in 1980 was half-owned by Kiwi Wade Thompson. Thompson died in 2009, but the company is going from strength to strength and this month was due to open an extension which will add an extra 50% capacity to its plant in Jackson, Ohio, where the travel trailers have been made since 1954. Models range from a 5m Sport to the 9.6m Classic and the company’s website shows how you can configure the floorplan and choose the décor.
Because they’re German, T@B caravans are stunningly crafted with a unique seamless aluminium insulated shell – but they’re also beautiful, retro and chic, and modelled in an aerodynamic teardrop shape. These are classy caravans which feel a million miles away from the “white box” style you see anchored up at every site up and down the country. They’re not large – between 4.77m and 5.71m including towing hitch depending on whether you have a fixed bedroom and bathroom – but they do have the option of an off-road trim with heavy-duty chassis, raised suspension and wide tyres.
3. New Age Commando
If you need something rugged to head off the bitumen and into the unsealed world of New Zealand’s remote high country and coastline, then this Aussie-made 20ft Commando has all the bells and whistles. It’s at the higher end of the price bracket but comes with all the bells and whistles to stay not only safe (it’s covered in checkerplate guards), but pretty comfy too thanks to reinforced cabinetry, battery charger, solar controller, satellite dish, sound system and iPod dock.
4. The Pod
The Pod is another seriously groovy, head-turning retro mini caravan which, this time, is made in the UK. At 3.28m long including the tow hitch, it’s not going to fit a growing family, but its fiberglass body on a galvanized steel chassis is tough enough for the open road and the company’s ability to bespoke the birch interiors with designer fabrics of your choice makes it a pretty cool option for festival-goers young and old.
5. Trakmaster Platinum
Another Aussie workhorse which comes with all the mod cons of the 21st century, the Trakmaster Platinum ranges from 3.8m to 6.7m and can be pop-top or full height. As well as being sturdy on pretty rough terrains, it’s also fitted with three solar panels, Sony sound system, HDTV antenna, 140-litre 12V compressor fridge, 12V LED lights, microwave and a good amount of storage and bed space.
6. The Sealander
So you pull up to the caravan site and there’s no spaces left – well apart from that one by the toilet block and you’ll give that a miss. If you’ve got yourself a Sealander, then this is no problem whatsoever because you can just reverse your caravan into the ocean or a nearby lake. This amphibious caravan looks pretty crazy (and does sit very oddly in the water), but it’s another offering from Germany, is 4.06m long and constructed with a monocoque shell in reinforced fiberglass laminate. It tows like a lightweight caravan on the land and you can steer it on water with an outboard motor. The company will also cheerfully bespoke the interior in case you want to stand out from the crowd even more!
Fotocredit: Malte Spindler/DIE BRUeDER (c) Sealander GmbH 2014
7. Vanmaster V640
This UK company say their V640 is the “epitome of caravanning excellence” – something which was backed up by the Caravan Club awarding it “Best Caravan Design over £30,000" in their 2014 awards. You can choose one of three fixed double bed configurations, together with twin bed and side dinette options and enjoy standard, hand-made carpentry, programmable heating, Blaupunkt sound system, crystal monogrammed glassware and removable Thomas Witter carpets. And if that isn’t enough for you, then Vanmaster offer a complete bespoke service so you can get exactly the caravan you want.
8. Fifth Wheel Company Celtic Rambler
Because you need a specially converted ute to be able to tow these behemoths, fifth-wheelers aren’t for everyone. But the UK’s Caravan Club thought this five-berth, 6.5m Celtic Rambler was the best of the bunch last year. The 50m of underfloor heating pipes and the bespoke interiors for each order certainly make the Celtic Rambler a comfy home-from-home but the company also sell their star model as having everything you’d expect from a five-star apartment. And it’s rare in caravanning to be able to go upstairs to bed!
9. EleMMent Palazzo
Ok, so it’s not strictly a caravan, but we ought to end this list on a high. The EleMMent Palazzo is the pinnacle of motorhomes, coming equipped with pop-up cocktail bar, under-floor heating, fireplace, marble lights, 40-inch TV and rooftop terrace. Available in gold or white, this mobile home is for the seriously wealthy – the pricetag is around $4million – but at least it washes itself at the end of a day’s drive!