Buying a used caravan can be tricky, so here are some tips on what to look out for, so your bargain second-hand purchase doesn’t turn out to be a ‘lemon’.

Deciding that you are going to purchase a caravan, is a big decision. There are so many factors to take into consideration. With hundreds of different brands and styles of caravans available, choosing the right caravan for you may be a little bit daunting. This is especially true if you are first time caravanners.

There is no doubt that budget is a major consideration for most people, so with that in mind a second-hand van may well be the most affordable option, or if you simply want to “trial” caravanning to see if it is for you or before investing the big bucks into a new luxury caravan.

So how do you know what to look for when buying a used caravan to ensure that what you purchase is exactly what you want and not riddled with problems?

A couple of major things to be aware of when looking at a second hand van are:

  • Tyres – Check it see if the tyres are even and balanced in wear, as if the tyres are wearing unevenly it could mean there are issues with the suspension, and this can be a very expensive problem to have fixed, because as we know, when buying a used caravan there is no warranty.
  • Water leaks – especially if buying a Meranti or Timber frame Caravan and it hasn’t been properly looked after or well maintained, the seals can break down over time leading to water leaks. The key places in which to find the tell-tale marks of water damage are around windows, protrusion around hatches, in and underneath cupboards, in corners, in overhead lockers and roofs. Is there a smell of dampness or any visible mould? See if any water stains are obvious on roof or wall linings; even if they’re dry you’ll want to verify if the leaks have been repaired. Also check the cupboards for ply or laminate disintegration.

Buying a used caravan = No Warranty! It is a case of Buyer Beware. And remember, when you are buying a used caravan, not everything will be in its best possible working condition. However, it is important to determine if it is a worthy purchase and right for you and your family.

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