Essential Caravans | Real Stories from Real Families

As published on Caravanning with Kids

When we reviewed an Essential Caravan in Winter 2017, we knew we were in for a treat!  We had met David & Scotty (the brains behind this up & coming brand) on numerous occasions and they OOZE passion and have an abundance of knowledge when it comes to building a family van.  They are both avid caravanners & campers and we believe this is evident in their layouts, customer service and quality!  David is based in Melbourne and bring together over 35 years of experience in the caravan industry.  You can check out our review here!

We asked a few families WHY they chose Essential Caravans:

Meet Kim – a very NEW Essential Caravan owner and she couldn’t wait to tell us all about her experience…

Van model & Towing vehicle:  We have a 22ft Family Touring Caravan, which is towed by a Holden Colorado LTZ 2017.  We did put quite a bit of effort into researching towing capacities as we didn’t want to be restricted with our tow vehicle.   We found the Holden Colorado has all the right towing criteria but also added some extra creature comforts into the car.

How long have you had your caravan? Why did you choose Essentials?  We have had our van for just over one month! We were at the Caravan and Camping show completely overwhelmed with the amount of different brands, vans, reasons why to choose this brand etc etc.  My Aunt and Uncle bought an Essential Van on the first day and whilst looking at their van we came across the Essential Family Series.  These vans were ticking off our wish / must have “checklist” for what we were looking for in a van, it offered quality build and finishings and in our price range.  Plus the reviews we read on a variety of different forums were positive.

Did you have it built? YES – Ian Grants managed the whole build process, so although we were having the caravan built we didn’t have anything to worry about except for choosing the colours and any extras we wanted to add.  We found Essential to have a great colour range giving us options without going overboard.  As well as being able to give practical advice for a family van. Now having the van and seeing what those colours are and the extras we added we are so so happy!!  Extra bonus – our van was ready before the expected date.

Did you purchase from a Dealer? YES – We dealt with Rob, and he has the patience of a Saint.  I would be embarrassed to know how many times we called, text and emailed Rob with different questions we had.   We found Rob was available to talk or would come back to us  very quickly.  Rob genuinely knows what he is talking about with the practicalities of caravanning and towing. Catching up with Rob at the caravan show, you can see he enjoys seeing his customers come back telling him about their adventures.  We did elect for some extras on our van, and Rob was also happy to tell us things we would and wouldn’t need.  We certainly feel we have a great van perfect for our family.

We would recommend Ian Grants dealership, the staff are friendly, informative and do want their customers to enjoy their vans.

What are the TOP 3 features that you LOVE about your caravan? The bunks area for my girls; talking to friends and family, Rob (and Ian Grants) as well as following some blogs on line we got some great ideas on how to prepare that area.  The girls have power points, lights, USB portal and a 9 volt charger as well as a magazine holder at the end of their bed to hold books, devices, pencil cases, etc.  We also added the draw for storage under the bottom bunk, although cuts storage from outside it is really practical for storage inside the van.

U shape lounge and table; our first weekend away the weather was not on our side which meant we spent a lot of time in our van.  The U shape lounge gave us room to comfortably sit around to have meals or play games.

Fridge / Freezer; plenty of space for a family of four.

Where is your favourite place that you have visited with your van?  We have only had one holiday away (visiting 3 places!),  we have not found a favourite yet!  We love being a little bit out of the hustle, staying in Nelligen, Wallaga Lake and Bemm River. I loved each spot from Mogo Zoo to see the white lion and feed the giraffes , and the great  walking / bike track from Wallaga Lake to Bermagui. We will head back to Bemm River there is some more exploring and relaxing to do there!

With long weekends and Christmas coming up, we are looking forward to Inverloch and Eden with family and friends.

How often do you take your caravan out?  We will be restricted with work and school, but I am certain we will make the most of those spare moments with some impromptu trips away.  There a couple of spots that are not too far from us which will be perfect for a quick weekend getaway.

Say G’day to Tara & Nick from Davo’s Downunder! This family of 5, plus a fur baby have been on the road for over a year in their Essential Caravan…what do they think??

Van model & Towing vehicle:  Essential Grant Cruiser Family Van Semi Offroad 2016 21ft Triple bunk with full bathroom, towed by a 2016 Holden Colorado 4×4
How long have you had your caravan?  Why did you choose Essentials?
We ordered and bought our Essential van through Ian Grant Caravans in Traralgon in October 2016. We chose the Essential van because it was great value for money in comparison to some other brands. The fixtures and fitting just seemed strong and have definitely stood the test of time with next to no issues.
Did you have it built? Yes – We had a number of modifications and extras added onto the base design which was an extremely seemless and pleasant experience with no hold ups. Our van was built exactly how we’d hoped and with no delays. Choosing colours, fabrics, fittings etc was great fun!! Like building a small house.
Did you purchase from a Dealer?  Yes we purchased from Ian Grants Caravans in Traralgon. A great, friendly and long standing local business that clearly stocks a great product in Essential vans. We actually dealt with Essential directly mostly after our purchase with any after sales questions and Dave and the crew there were absolutely awesome to deal with.
What are the TOP 3 features that you LOVE about your caravan?
-We love our full oven and cook top. Along our travels we have come across a lot of people that don’t use their ovens for whatever reason. We use ours a lot and it’s a ripper! Cooks everything. Wouldn’t be without one with kids.
-The extended drawbar and All Terrain tyres. This option gave us the piece of mind of some extra reinforcement for added strength and also a bit more road clearance.
-The quality of the cabinetry and latches. We have lived in our van for 19 months with 5 people opening and shutting cupboards and drawers everyday and also travelling on the odd corrugated road without an issue. Again, standing the test of time.
Where is your favourite place that you have visited with your van?
It would have to be Cape Range National Park WA. We managed to get a site on the ocean side at Osprey Campground for 4 nights and it was just perfection sitting at our van just taking the heavenly bay in. Unpowered and no fresh water to refill, the van performed incredibly well. Its so well set up and is such a great way to get off grid.
How often do you take your caravan out?  We have lived in our van for 19 months, and still are, even though we have just finished our full time travels, until we take the leap and move into a house here on the Sunny Coast. The van itself has travelled more than 25,000kms around Australia (the car, humans and dog have travelled more than 50,000kms) so it’s safe to say it heads “out” a lot.

Next up with hear from Mitch & Louise – another family with a NEW Essential Caravan.

I’m Mitch Flynn & along with my wife Louise. We have 3 awesome boys- eldest Harry 4, Middle Zac 2 & youngest man Jimmy 11 months.  We love camping, but since we have had the kids have found camping was not functional for us (few bad nights in tents lol) + the amount of packing whether for 1 night or a week.  So we decided to go for a van in which is fully equipped & we can use for our regular free camping trips at Windermere Dam located near Mudgee NSW.
Van model & Towing vehicle:  Our van is a 2018 Signature Cruiser triple bunk family van which is towed by a 2017 Mazda bt50 GT dual cab. We are newbies to caravaning- but the bt50 seems to tow the Essential van great.
How long have you had your caravan? Why did you choose Essentials? We have had our van for 3 weeks & this weekend is our maiden trip.  We went with Essential Caravans after visiting the caravan & camping show at Rosehill in Sydney earlier this year. The Essential van we loved as soon as we went in for a look. Just loved the layout & styling of interior, along with them building vans with almost every item ready for a family van included.  And the guys at Essential were very helpful (being first timers).
Did you have it built?  We had it built through Alan Grahams Caravans Gosford NSW who were the site holders at the show.
We found these guys good to deal with & very helpful along the way of the build & delivery of our van.
What are the TOP 3 features that you LOVE about your caravan?  For us height was an issue for storing the van, so we had the roof mounted A/C removed for an underbed option- which works great!!
DVD players to the triple bunks- we were unsure on these but now, being on the trip we found them very handy for entertaining whilst duties need to be done (meals & showers etc) in the cooler weather we are in.
Front loader washing machine- Louise’s fav!! It’s awesome with the amount of socks,undies etc that young/busy boys go through lol. Also you don’t lose the storage above machine like a top loader.
Where is your favourite place that you have visited with your van? Right now here(Dubbo). But we do love Yamba on the north coast of NSW & will head back there for the 4th year but the first time in the van next May. We love the Blue Dolphin resort/ van/cabin park there.
How often do you take your caravan out? We hope to take our van out once a month if not more until we can arrange a decent trip in the next year or so.
Cheers to Caravanning adventures.
Mitch, Louise, Harry, Zac & Jimmy
Who’s next? Malcolm from KIT – What is KIT? Kids in Tow (KIT) is a group who arrange caravan and camping get togethers for families with Kids and where the emphasis is getting the kids to socialise together, play together and enjoy the fresh air and joys of caravanning and camping. You can check them out on Facebook too.

How long have you had your caravan? Why did you choose Essentials? – We have an Essential Exceed Family van with 2 bunks and we tow this with a 2018 Toyota Prado.  Have had the van since March 2018 and the main reason behind the selection was our assessment of build quality compared to other similar sized and priced vans we looked at.  Additionally, our friends with the same van were pleased and gave a good review.

Did you have it built? YES

Did you purchase from a Dealer? YES – We had the van built to the basic specification for a double bunk model and when placing the order around October 2017, we did enjoy the experience of selecting the colour scheme for the seating, cupboards etc.   Our experience with the sales team of the Essential Qld Dealership at Kratzman’s Loganholme was quite good, although since purchase and following the identification of a number of minor warranty and repair issues, their service department at Burpengary has proved to be a disappointment.  We would however still recommend the van due to the variations of layout and fitment available, although would possibly advise any future purchases through another interstate dealership?

What are the TOP 3 features that you LOVE about your caravan?  Love the internal layout, overall size and build, wife loves now having a full oven and the separate toilet and shower are proving to be a big hit with us all.

Where is your favourite place that you have visited with your van?  Since getting the van in March we have visited numerous places and these generally as part of KIT.  These have included Canungra Showground, Boonah, Bigriggen, Kirra Beach, Gold Coast Holiday Park and the Woolshed at Jondaryan.  Out of those we love Gold Coast Holiday Park due to the location (Close to home) and the facilities if offers.  However, the Woolshed at Jondaryan is also a firm favourite so much so that we along with other KIT families have pencilled in in for the Christmas in July Muster for 2019.  Later this year we have booked to go one of our other favourite places which is Woodgate Beach

How often do you take your caravan out? – Since collecting the van during mid-March we have taken the van out at least once a month.

HUGE THANKS to the families who shared the reasons why they LOVE their Essential Caravan!

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Have you checked out our SHOP lately? Loads of cool caravan inspired goodies and gift ideas for the WHOLE family!