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Thinking of Buying Your First Caravan

Hints & Tips

If you have made the decision to get a caravan, you may be shocked by the amount of styles, sizes, types and prices within the market. Therefore it makes sense to really think about what you want to achieve through having your caravan, prior to making a purchase.

When purchasing it is worthwhile making yourself aware of the cost of a new caravan versus a second hand one. The value of caravans varies significantly. Whilst in an ideal world, we would all like to be able to afford a brand new caravan, it is not always financially possible or seen as the best value for money. So, when buying your second hand caravan it makes sense to think about the following:

Tips for purchasing a second hand caravan:

  • Check for rust especially underneath the van and in the areas that you can't see. Fresh paint and difference in paint colours can indicate an accident, or a hidden problem. Bear in mind that rust can be expensive to fix and will therefore push up the cost of your purchase and devalue a caravan's worth.
  • How large do you need your caravan to be? Consider this when looking at the layout and berth of the caravan.
  • Your caravan may essentially be a home from home, even if you are just using it on a weekend. Take time to check the working order of the shower, toilet, fridge, windows, hob and oven. It is also worthwhile asking the current owner if you can put up the beds and lay on the mattress to see that there are no issues. After all, you wouldn't want to go away and not have a functioning bed or cooking facilities. Remember that if you find a problem, you can use it to bargain on the cost.
  • As with houses, the cost of damp is very high and can lead to further problems if left untreated. Check for leaks, damp smells and visable signs of water leakage, such as stains.
  • Check the towball and the hitch to make sure they function. Also check if the caravan's handbrake is in working order. This will be essential when out using your caravan, or within storage.
  • Check what is thrown in with the sale, buying a second hand caravan can save you a fortune on all of the required accessories, as they may get given to you free or for a minimal cost.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY DON'T BUY THE FIRST CARAVAN THAT YOU SEE AND REMEMBER TO HAGGLE.