Sometimes second-hand items can serve their purpose just as effectively as brand new ones. If you’re looking for the best time to buy a second-hand caravan, there will never be an “opportune time” to make that purchase; go for it.
Buying your second-hand caravan from a specialist is the best way to go about this purchase. They’ll offer you great advice on how to handle your caravan, plus mechanical support in case it breaks down in the future. But what if the caravan specialist doesn’t have what you want? What do you do?
Well, you can source your caravan from a previous owner, but you have to know how to go about it, or else you’ll end up with a bucket of rusty nuts and bolts on wheels. Used caravans are a great way to travel, especially if you’re on a budget. However, you have to ensure the second-hand van ticks all the right boxes.
Why You Should Go With a Used Caravan
You’ll save a lot of cash going with a used caravan over a brand new one, but buying one is still a significant investment. Regardless of how much you’re spending, it’s crucial to formulate a budget and follow it to the letter.
Apart from helping you save some money, here are some of the reasons why you should go with a used caravan.
- Caravans are great if you have kids.
- They offer you more freedom and independence.
- A cheaper way to go for holidays and vacations.
These benefits and many more are attractive enough to lure anyone looking to get a second-hand caravan. You should do your research to ensure you’ve gotten the best deal possible that fits your needs. If you’ve sited caravans for sale that are used, below are the things you should keep in mind.
Arrange an Inspection of the Caravan
Whether you’re buying the used caravan from a dealership or a previous user, arranging a professional inspection before deciding to purchase the van is a great idea.
You can get a caravan expert to help with the assessment and identify any potential problems the van may have. You end up saving some money and having peace of mind in the end.
When arranging an assessment, ensure you carry a camera, torch, and a notebook. These will help you identify and record areas that “don’t fit the bill” for future reference. You could also carry a damp meter to measure the moisture around the caravan.
- When was the van last serviced?
- How old is the caravan?
- Is there a record of the caravan’s maintenance and history?
- Are there any significant issues with the caravan that needs fixing?
Of course, no seller will be completely transparent while answering these and many more queries about their vehicle, so take every response with a grain of salt. They wouldn’t want to deface their caravan.
That would undervalue it together. Keep in mind, buying your caravan from dealerships will give you access to a serviced caravan and a warranty to go with it.
Know The History of the Caravan You’re Eyeing
The first place to know more about the caravan’s history is the paperwork. You can find heaps of valuable information about the caravan, the details about its age, and mechanical history. The paperwork will also reveal the condition in which it has been stored.
Make sure the seller lists all the potential problems and defects of the caravan. However, you can check some of the common issues yourself because the owner may not know the van’s mechanical issues.
Minimal issues like mechanical problems can grow into much more extensive, expensive matters if they’re ignored.
Is it Road Worthy?
Road safety is essential and should be considered a priority when choosing a second-hand caravan. Assess the areas of the car that contribute to its roadworthiness, such as tires, seatbelts, and brakes.
These are some of the areas that have to be up to code to prevent your new purchase from being considered unroadworthy.
Some structural issues like water damage, ingress, and rust can also affect your caravan’s roadworthiness and increase the risks of failing an inspection. Some of the areas you can check to ensure the roadworthiness and safety of the caravan is ensured are:
- Window and doors
- Jockey Wheel
- Tow Hitch
- Tires Awning Function
Scuffs and scratches are not a big deal with caravans, but anything that will compromise your safety and that of your passengers or lead to costly repairs must be addressed before you make the purchase decision.
What Utilities Does It Come With?
Utility connections such as gas, water, and electricity can pose a hazard, especially if they’re fitted wrongly or damaged. You have to check the caravan’s utilities and ensure they’re running correctly to protect your safety and those of your passengers before they become dangerous.
Other fixtures like sinks, lights, showers, stoves, and appliances must be assessed. Try operating them for a bit to see if they’ve got any faults. Many of these utilities and features are wired together to the caravan’s battery, and it’s essential to check their connections to ensure the battery is in pristine condition.
Additionally, check the safety features of the caravan, such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. They’ve got to be operational. While at it, check the locks, drawers, and cupboards to ensure everything is in order.
The Layout of the Caravan
Not many people consider the layout of a caravan as a critical factor when buying one. Still, you’ll be spending lots of time inside, so you want it to be as ergonomic and convenient as possible.
The internal arrangement of your caravan, together with its inner space, will help you decide if the van is suitable for you or not. A stylish and spacious interior will contribute to your comfortability while in the van, which will impact your trips.
Getting what you paid for in your caravan should be the ultimate goal. Stick within your budget. There’s something for you if you look long enough. But if you are willing to sink in a little bit more, your chances of getting a caravan that ticks all your boxes and much more. You can get incredible discounts on caravan shows, so you also want to check them out. Don’t be shy— haggle and bargain until the price is within your means. Sometimes a caravan may be overpriced by an owner who’s fishing for a naïve buyer, so don’t be the unlucky fish.