Buying a second hand caravan can save you a fortune, but it doesn’t come without its risks. There are many things that you need to consider before you buy - below you’ll discover the top five tips for choosing the best used caravan.
1. Check the age of the caravan
How old the caravan is makes a big difference to the amount you should have to pay. Did you know that most caravans last for around 14 years? This is provided they are well cared for. As reported by the Caravan Club, older caravans can be expensive to fix if anything goes wrong. This is because if the parts are old, they may not be available anymore, or they could be extremely difficult to get hold of. Therefore it is always a good idea to choose a model that is well within the 14 year lifespan.
2. Does everything work correctly?
When viewing second hand caravans, you should approach it in much the same way you would with a used car. Check that everything is working properly. If the seller has alerted you to any potential problems, do a little research and see how much replacement parts would cost. If the problem is simply down to a faulty battery for example, you can find leisure batteries at affordable prices.
3. Check for mould
One of the main problems caravans can suffer with is damp - they're typically not used much at all during the out of season winter months. While it may not seem like a major problem, it can actually be really expensive to fix. Mould can cause serious problems. If you can smell damp when you walk into the caravan then that is a big red flag and you should be cautious of making an offer.
4. Check it isn’t stolen
Now this is something many people don’t think about, strangely enough. However, it does happen. Online retailer eBay has even published an excellent guide on how to avoid buying a stolen van. Tell-tale signs include a price that seems too good to be true, no identification number and an odd-sounding sob story from the seller designed at tricking you into buying.
5. Is the caravan water tight?
Water damage is one of the most expensive problems to fix in a caravan so you want to ensure the one you are buying is water tight. Investing in a moisture meter is an excellent way to tell whether the van has problems with water. The cushions and mattress might be damp or have a musty scent.
Overall, you really need to do your homework when you are buying a used caravan. The tips above will help, but you need to ensure you check everything thoroughly. Don’t buy the first caravan you see either. As with anything, it pays to shop around. Compare as many different vans as you can before deciding which one is right for you. It also helps to get a good idea of the average price of the caravan you are considering so you can feel confident you are paying the correct amount of money for the one you are viewing.