The REAL Differences Between Semi Offroad Caravans and Offroad Caravans

05/10/2022 By RV Solutions Blog GO BACK

Thinking about picking up a new caravan, and trying to work out exactly what the differences are between semi offroad and offroad vans? If you’re looking to get a caravan and head off the beaten trail, it can be a bit tricky to figure out which one is right for you. It’s going to depend on where you’re going and what kind of terrain you’ll need it to handle.

Here at RV Solutions WA we’re mad about getting out yonder to the more remote destinations Australia has on offer, and have seen our fair share of rough and ready roads. In this article, we’re going to break down the main differences between semi-off road and offroad caravans, so read on to get informed.

Semi Offroad Caravans

These are a great choice if you’re expecting to travel on gravel and unsealed roads from time to time. They have all the luxury you would come to expect from a road-only caravan, but comparatively, these are a lot sturdier. They have bigger wheels, and although they’re still a leaf-sprung, live axle setup, the suspension is beefier than you’ll find in a pure road-going van. Generally they’ve also got more ground clearance than your typical caravan, which helps protect the bottom of your caravan from getting damaged or snagged on low obstacles.

Semi-offroad caravans also feature ‘armour’. Generally, they’ll have checker plate cladding halfway up the sides and front of the van, to protect it from stone chips. On a gravel road, stones will quickly dent, ding, scratch and generally ruin the good looks of an unprotected caravan.

They’re still relatively light and can be towed without too much trouble, and are more affordable than a serious offroad caravan. For your standard, slightly rough terrain, a semi-offroad caravan will do quite nicely. However, they are not suited to true offroad driving and aren’t really able to handle particularly tough offroad trails. Basically, semi offroad caravans can provide luxury with some added performance benefits and are a great, affordable choice when you want something that can handle rough roads better than standard caravans. They’re spot on when you’re expecting to see some dirt roads, the occasional sandy access road or just want something a little sturdier than a typical caravan.

Offroad Caravans

Offroad caravans are the heavy duty choice for when you want to get serious, and drag a caravan anywhere you want. They are built solid and are ready to endure whatever you can throw at them—they’re built to go anywhere the 4×4 towing them can go. Their solid ladder chassis makes them incredibly tough, stiff and offers a platform for serious suspension. They up the ante with coil-sprung, full independent suspension for excellent ground clearance, articulation and durability. Offroad caravans are designed for hard trails, which means their approach and departure angles are such that they’re unlikely to get hooked up on anything but the toughest tracks.

While a semi-offroad caravan can tackle moderate corrugations for short periods, if you’re planning on tackling the Gibb River Road or racking up the kays on the dirt, you’ll want a proper offroad van. The benefits of the suspension translate to a smoother ride for the caravan itself, and less risk of vibration and harsh-ride related breakages.

Anywhere your tow-rig goes, so can your offroad caravan. The downside to all that capability and performance comes in the form of weight. You’ll want real power to tow an offroad caravan—and the everyday SUV isn’t going to cut the mustard. Of course, with all the extra benefits there’s also a higher cost. While definitely worth the price, you need to look at your own budget to see if it makes sense for you. But if a real offroad van is in your budget, then get ready for real performance. Excellent on dirt roads, corrugated roads and tracks that aren’t even roads. An offroad caravan can handle these, no problem.

Our Caravans

Whether you’re opting for a semi offroad caravan or an offroad caravan, be sure to stop by for great caravan service, a great range, and expertise to help get you into a caravan that’s perfect for your needs, budget and travelling style. Here at RV Solutions, we deal only in vans that we personally recommend, caravans that are built right and built to last. From material choices to design to manufacturing method, the caravans we stock are a cut above the rest. You won’t find poorly crafted, stick and staple vans here.

All of our caravans, semi offroad or offroad are built with either an aluminium frame or the Wonderland RV special, CNC jigsaw method. Aluminium frames are very strong and very lightweight, which makes them excellent for all kinds of caravans. CNC jigsaw is a more novel method of building that uses computer-controlled machines to create interlocking structures for the frame. These are definitely the most robust build, but they are heavier and more expensive than the aluminium frame. Whichever frame you opt for, they’re tough, strong and built to last. We have many happy customers that can attest to that. You can explore both our new caravans and used caravans for sale online, or in store!

If you’re not sure exactly what you need, drop in and see us. We can not only arrange a custom layout van to perfectly fit your family, but also make modifications to your current caravan or any one of our in-stock caravans.

Our Additional Services

If you run into an unfortunate accident and need some repairs done, give us a call. We’re licensed, experienced and highly professional caravan repairers, and are the first choice of many caravanners across the state. Need some upgrades? We can help you with that too. From installing advanced 12v battery systems and self-containment regarding fresh, grey and waste water, anything you need to go weeks off-grid is our specialty.

Which is the right choice for you?

When choosing a caravan, the biggest factors are going to be what kind of terrain you plan to drive on, who’s going with you, what comforts you need and what your budget is. If you’re just driving on the occasional dirt road, then you’re going to have a fine time with a semi-offroad caravan and save a few dollars in the process. However, if you’re planning to go into rugged terrain, then an offroad caravan will be needed and while it will cost more, it will be worth every cent to get the best offroad experience possible. Whichever choice you make, at RV Solutions we can help you find the perfect caravan—contact us today, drop in, or give us a call to explore our caravan sales Perth!

Check out our socials to find out more on recent builds and to keep up to date with us.

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