Gray Matters: Should You Choose An Off-Road Caravan With Grey Water Storage?

If you want to explore the untamed corners of the Australian outback, but don't want to sacrifice the essential creature comforts, an off-road caravan can be a wonderful investment. Off-road caravans are far more robust than the ordinary caravans you see at campsites and coastal resorts and can handle the same rugged terrain as most 4x4 vehicles or all-terrain camper vans.

However, unless you have an unlimited budget and can tow your new caravan with a tank, you probably won't be able to choose a caravan with all the features you could possibly desire. Onboard grey water storage is an optional extra offered with most off-road caravans, but many caravanners opt for cheaper, portable grey water tanks instead. If you are looking for a new off-road caravan, you will have to decide whether onboard grey water storage is worth the extra investment. To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:

Will I be able to empty my grey water tank(s) frequently?

Grey water tanks are used to store used water from showers and sinks. This water often contains chemicals found in soaps and cleaning supplies that can damage the environment and poison waterways if it is simply dumped anywhere. If you are camping in the kind of wild, backwoods areas that necessitate an off-road caravan, you may not have many opportunities to empty your grey water tanks safely (or legally) into a drain or water refill station.

If you want to take your new caravan deep into the outback for long periods, onboard grey water storage is well worth the investment. Onboard tanks can carry far more grey water than most self-contained tanks. They are also less likely to leak and do not take up extra storage space

Can my tow vehicle take the extra weight?

When empty, a grey water tank only adds a few pounds to the overall weight of a caravan, but after an extended trip into the wilderness, a fully laden grey water tank can be extremely heavy. You will, therefore, need to consider whether your chosen tow vehicle can handle the weight of your caravan while it has a fully laden onboard grey water tank. If your chosen caravan is already approaching the maximum weight your vehicle can reliably tow off-road, you shouldn't opt for onboard storage.

Where and when will I use my off-road caravan?

Even large, powerful tow vehicles can have trouble with the additional weight of a grey water tank if they are towing your caravan over boggy, waterlogged terrain. In wet conditions, a lighter caravan is far less likely to get bogged down. If you enjoy off-road camping during the wetter months or want to visit wetter parts of the country such as Arnhem Land or Tasmania, you may want to skip the onboard grey water storage as a simple weight-saving measure