If you’re thinking of packing it all up and travelling around Australia, you are probably weighing up your accommodation options. And if that’s the case, you may have heard of hybrid caravans—an excellent little vehicle that can be incredibly comfortable and can go off-road.
But what is a hybrid caravan, exactly? In this article, we explore the idea behind hybrid caravans and talk about some of their benefits.
What is a hybrid caravan?
The Exodus 16 off-road hybrid caravan. Image from Exodus
A hybrid caravan is a cross between a caravan and a camper trailer. It has hard, permanent walls like a caravan, but the suspension and towing ability of a camper trailer. This makes it a popular choice for those who want the comfort of a caravan but also want to venture off-road. They are usually between six to seven metres in length, and about as wide as a four-wheel drive vehicle. A hybrid caravan may also be referred to as an “off-road caravan” or “hybrid camper trailer.”
Camper trailers are great for travelling up rocky dirt roads and reaching the country’s most beautiful spots, but they can be a pain to assemble when you get there. They also don’t have key amenities like running water or air conditioning, and their canvas walls means that they aren’t very secure. With hybrid caravans, you have all of the benefits and amenities of a caravan while also being able to take the vehicle pretty much anywhere you want in Australia. This includes a fully functional kitchen, which usually pulls out from the side of the vehicle to save space.
Put simply, a hybrid caravan takes the best parts of a caravan and camper trailer and blends them together.
The benefits of a hybrid caravan
If you’re not fussed about going off-road, a larger, more spacious caravan might be more comfortable for you. But if you’re the adventurous type who wants to roam wherever you please, a hybrid caravan might be for you.
These are the biggest benefits of a hybrid caravan:
- As mentioned above, a hybrid caravan isn’t limited to well-maintained main roads and highways. It can go off-road, and that opens up plenty more travel destinations that you might otherwise miss.
- It can include amenities like a kitchen, hot water, solar power, AC, shower, and toilet. This makes travelling much more comfortable, but does add to the hybrid’s overall weight.
- It has hard roofs and walls that provide excellent weather protection, and extra security from burglars, snakes, and dingos.
- It’s much better insulated than a camper trailer, which allows you to have AC.
- Because the sidewalls are solid, you can fit accessories to them much more easily.
- They are usually smaller and lighter than caravans, so your towing vehicle will use less fuel. It will also “slipstream” more easily behind your towing vehicle.
- It’s narrower than a caravan, which makes it easier to tow along skinny tracks.
Caravan vs hybrid caravan
- You can take hybrid caravans off-road.
- Caravans are bigger, so are more comfortable than hybrid caravans.
- Caravans are heavier, so your towing vehicle will use more fuel than a hybrid caravan. Because hybrids are lighter, they are also easier to tow.
- You can also cook inside with caravans (something you may not always want to do)
- Caravans provide a mixture of indoor and outdoor living, whereas hybrids are more focused on outdoor living because they are smaller.