Used Caravans: What to Watch Out for?

If your family likes camping but doesn’t like the idea of spending a night in a cramped tent, try investing in a secondhand caravan.

With so many registered used caravans for sale in the country, choosing the right one for you can be hard. You need to inspect carefully if the van is in good condition.

We’ll make the process less stressful as we’ve put down a handy checklist to help you in your hunt.

Make sure you can tow it with your vehicle

Before anything else, establish a solid understanding of your vehicle’s towing capacity.

Most vans today require a large four-wheel car to tow them with. Before buying a caravan, determine the towing capacity of your vehicle, and its gross combination mass (GCM). This way, you can save time in your search.

Check its age and history

Age is an important factor in buying not just used caravans but any secondhand vehicle. Make sure that your chosen caravan is not too old or worn out. Check also its history: Who were its previous owners? What did they use it for?

Likewise, a car’s age and history will help you with the price negotiation. Most of the time, the older the van is, the cheaper it will be.

Check for signs of damp

One of the most important checks you should make for a used caravan is for damp.

Damp can cause coughing, wheezing, catching colds and several other respiratory illnesses.

Another reason you should be mindful of damp is the cost of repair. Damp treatment can be very expensive, in some cases, it could be more than the cost of the van itself.

Check the corners, bed boxes, cupboards and lockers. Look also for any external damage that may cause water to penetrate. If you’re planning to purchase a secondhand caravan, a damp meter can be worth having.

Check the doors and windows

caravan on the road

Open the windows, locker doors, external hatches and roof lights and ensure they’re operating properly. See to it that all locks and hinges are secure and everything moves freely. Be on the lookout for cracks in plastic windows. Spare window and door parts may be hard to find, especially for older models.

Check the chassis and running gear

It’s also important also to check the condition of the chassis, the hitch and suspension systems of the used caravan.

Look out for signs of corrosion on the chassis. Conversely, look for signs of new paint or underseal that may be hiding something underneath.

Check the jockey wheel, the steadies and the handbrake to make sure they move freely.

Check the gas and electrical systems

Used caravans have a higher risk of gas leaks, making it important to check the vehicle’s gas and electrical systems. if you’re unsure how to do this yourself, have a mechanic help out.

Of course, you can’t expect a used caravan to be flawless. A few dings or dents might still bother you. After you’ve purchased the van, get an insured, caravan repair service to fix the issues that may be bothering you.

With this guide, you should be able to buy with more confidence, as you already know what to look out for. All that’s left is to find the caravan of your choice, inspect it, and strike a good deal.

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