Buying your first caravan for sale, a guide

Your first caravan
Your first caravan

Monday, 19, Sep 2016 02:29

by Ed Davies

Buying a caravan can be the start to a wonderful life of touring freely, with your family and friends, however, it is imperative you buy the correct vehicle that suits your needs

There is an impressive array of manufacturers and ranges to choose from giving you options for families, couples and even luxury use.

Top manufacturers such as Swift, Bailey of Bristol, Elddis and Coachman offer comprehensive ranges for those seeking to make their way into the caravan world.

But before getting started you need to make sure of certain things before you purchase, such as knowing the shapes and sizes you want, whether you are buying new or used, privately or from a trader.

First steps

First things first, you should be comparing within the market and making sure you are going to get value for money and places like Marquis Leisure, one of the UK's largest dealer networks, are a good way to help you look around.

Google the company that you are purchasing from in order to look for reviews about their reputation.

You should also always research the model that you are going to buy, checking that the van is CRiS registered, which will tell you about the vehicle's previous history.

Caravan Inspection

Once you have decided on a caravan that you want you must inspect that it is serviceable and up to scratch.

Make an interior inspection of the van checking for dampness. This is something you do not want in your caravan and could cause a myriad issues were you to actually purchase it.

You can find dampness throughout the caravan so you should check everywhere, with smell a major giveaway. There may also be bumps on panels, springy floors, stains, discolouration or foot mats around the door.

After you have checked the inside of your camper you should then go outside and have a scan over the exterior of the vehicle.

Check for any external damages including dents, scratches or broken surfaces. On top of that, check the underside and assess for rotting floors and soft patches that can determine dampness.

It is important to check the condition of the chassis, the hitch and the suspension as repairs or replacement can be expensive.

Check for corrosion on the chassis and look out for signs of new paint or underseal that might be hiding something underneath.

Check the hitch mechanism moves freely and the rubber gaiter is not split. Check the jockey wheel winds up and down easily and rotates freely.

Caravan Protection

Although, not essential, marking your caravan can dramatically improve the chances of you retrieving it if it were to be stolen.

You may wish to photograph your vehicle so you can show it to the police. This might be particularly useful if it has any distinct features and could help the police identify it.

Marking the roof of your caravan with your house's postcode is also strongly recommended by the police as this can be seen by police helicopters and noted by people on the ground.

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

Most popular motorhomes and caravans for first time buyers revealed

Auto-sleepers Winchombe

According to a poll, Bailey caravans and Auto-sleeper motorhomes are the most popular vehicles for first time buyers

Eighty-year-old caravan sells for £34,000

The Pontiac Six

An 80-year-old motorhome, believed to be one of the UK's first, has been snapped up at auction for £34,000

Caravan nostalgia: Do you have any old pictures of your favourite caravans?

CaravanTimes logo

We here at CaravanTimes are thinking of introducing a new feature called Caravan Nostalgia

Introducing the latest winter toys from Ooni Pizza Ovens

Ooni have all the toys to keep touring tasty

There was a time when the takeaway pizza was the best option for a cheeky slice or two and was usually a rare Friday night treat. Now, with so many portable pizza oven options, you can have as many as you like by taking a nifty gadget with you on your winter staycation.

Keep your spirits up with microtravels

You do not need to travel far for your next holiday

This year has made us reevaluate lots of things and one of them is travel. We all spent much more time at home in 2020 than we ever expected and that can lead to a desire to escape the same four walls. But while exotic trips abroad are out - and even long drives within the UK are off the cards - we could all benefit from some microtravels. These little adventures may be close to home, but they still help to ramp up the fun.

Auto-Trail V-Line 660 S review

We go indepth on the new 660 S

As we head into a new world of touring and staycation holidays, CaravanTimes feels a responsibility to bring you many different van types to look at. This month's touring van is the impressive V-Line 660 S from Auto-Trail.

Coronavirus and your half-term caravan staycation

How to holidy during half term in October

As the October half-term holidays draw closer and coronavirus restrictions become more convoluted, it can be confusing to work out what's allowed and what's not.