A brand new caravan can be expensive. Most people prefer instead to opt for a second-hand model when they are buying. This can be a brilliant option, but there are some careful considerations to be made. You need to ensure that you are buying a quality product that is going to give you many years of use. If you have never bought a second-hand caravan before, here are some of the things you should think about before you buy.
Dealer Or Private Seller?
One of the first things you need to consider is whether you are going to buy your caravan from a dealer or a private seller. The advantage of buying from a dealer is that they will have already given the caravan a professional once-over to confirm that it is indeed in good condition. They may have even given it a few small upgrades to fix some things that really needed attention. If you need any advice or after-sales care, they will also be able to help you out, and some dealers will even include a short-term warranty for your caravan.
A private seller might be able to offer you a better price but you need to be more aware that things might go wrong. You can often find caravans for sale on sites like eBay and Gumtree but you need to be vigilant in checking that everything is up to standard with the caravan.
Can Your Car Tow A Caravan?
If this will be your second caravan, chances are that you already have a car that is capable of towing. Unless you are making a significant upgrade size-wise, your current car will be fine.
However, if this will be your first caravan you need to make sure that you have a car that can tow properly. When it comes to towing, there is a way to do it safely and many opportunities to get it wrong. Make sure that you get it right for the safety of both yourself and other road users.
What Size Do You Want?
There are many different sizes of caravan and you need to decide what is right for you. If you are just looking for something to camp in for quick weekends away then you can opt for something on the small side. However, if you want to head away for weeks at a time with your family or friends, a larger touring caravan might be more for you.
One of the easiest ways to determine size is to work out how many berths the caravan should have. Even small caravans can squeeze four berths in with areas that flip and convert. However, you might also be able to find caravans with up to six berths if you are searching for something bigger.
What Condition Is The Caravan In?
You should always conduct an inspection of the caravan before you buy. The first thing you should check for is a smell of damp. This can be a clue that something is up with the structural integrity of the caravan and it should be a major warning sign.
Conduct an exterior inspection and see if there are any scrapes and knocks. Make sure you also look for stickers and other hidden damage which the sellers could be trying to conceal.
Inside, you should test the appliances if you can. Open all the windows and test the latches to see if they work properly. Conduct a thorough inspection of the bathroom; especially if you think you are going to be using it often instead of taking advantage of facilities at sites you will be staying at.
Finally, test the beds. You need to make sure that you will fit on them comfortably, and that you have storage for your bedding.
It might be a good idea to check the cost of insuring the caravan before you finalise your purchase – fortunately sites like Quotezone.co.uk will help you to compare caravan insurance from a range of different providers, so you’ll have a good idea of where you stand before you sign on that dotted line.
Buying a second-hand caravan can be incredibly difficult but it can be worth it when you find the perfect one. Make sure you approach buying your unit with caution. There can be many things which sellers try to conceal, especially if they are trying to make a quick sale through a private website. Educate yourself on what a caravan in good condition looks like. Remember, if a deal seems like it is too good to be true, there is a strong chance that it will be. When dealing with something as expensive as a caravan, you want to make sure that you get it right first time even when buying second-hand.