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Buying a second hand caravan

 

If you’re looking forward to the summer and want to go camping why not invest in a caravan? There’s a wide range of caravans starting as low as £500. 

Look into the details

Find out as much as possible about the caravan you want to buy. Look into the size, age, layouts, features, weight and make sure your car is able to tow it!

Is the seller trustworthy?

Make sure you’re dealing with a proper seller on a trustworthy site. You can also buy a caravan from a dealer and although more expensive they provide you with the extra protection should there be a problem with your purchase.

Make sure you are able to visit the caravan at the seller’s home or business premises (if they are a dealer). The address should match the one shown on the caravan’s registration.

Check the van for damage and damp!

When you visit the caravan you want to make sure it doesn’t have any problems that might set back your holidays and cost you a fortune.

The main things to check for are:

  • Damp

One of the most important things to check for, repairing damp can be quite expensive. If you smell damp when walking into a caravan be cautious. You can buy a damp meter at a DIY store for around £15. Make sure you check the corners, beds and cupboards. Also check the external body for damage that may cause leaks. A poor sealing around the body and window frames could also cause water to leak into the caravan.

  • Check the doors and windows

Door locks must be secure and doors watertight. Also check the windows and roof vents for any cracks and internal condensation in double glazed units. Replacements may be expensive and hard to find for older units.

  • Check the chassis and running gear

It’s important to check the condition of the chassis, the hitch and suspension as any repairs or replacements could be expensive. Check for rust and look for new paint that could be covering something underneath. The hitch should move freely and the rubber gaiter isn’t split. The jockey wheel should wind up and down and rotate. Check that the steadies wind up and down. Also check the handbrake is working and secure.

  • Check the gas and electrics

Check the electrics and gas and if in doubt get it checked by a professional as faulty systems can be lethal. Look out for any DIY work on these systems.

  • Get an HPI check

Be cautious and get an HPI check. This check will confirm the true identity of the van as well as report outstanding finance, theft and write offs.

 

Insure your Caravan!

Don’t forget you’ll need cover for your caravan and awning! Compare caravan insurance quotes and cover with us and you can save yourself both time and money. Why waste time visiting a range of websites to compare caravan insurance when you can compare leading caravan insurers at one site.

  Click here to get a quote now
   

Finally, take good care of your caravan

Once you’ve bought your caravan it’s really important to take good care of it. Schedule a full maintenance every year and don’t forget to check all parts of the caravan regularly, especially before you leave, for any damage, leaks or faults and keep it clean, tidy and damp free.

You can find hints and tips on cleaning your caravan here:
Tips for Caravan Spring Cleaning

Reversing and Parking your Caravan

Reversing
When you arrive at the campsite you may need to reverse your caravan to park. We’ve got a few tips to help you:

Move the car slowly and carefully and make sure you can see around the caravan or have a helper to direct you into position… and don’t forget to disengage the reversing brake!When reversing using your mirrors turn the wheel in the opposite direction to the way you want the caravan to go. When reversing look over your right shoulder put your left hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn it in the direction you want your caravan to go.

Chock, Level And Lock
When you’ve parked, you need to chock your wheels. This helps to secure them and to get your caravan level on uneven ground. When you’ve secuely parked and engaged the handbrake, you can raise the caravan with the crank handle until the coupler lifts off the hitch ball. Remember to raise the lock and handle to release the coupler. After you’ve moved the car out of the way you can adjust the height of the caravan to keep it level using a carpenters spirit level.. Finally, attach the wheel lock and enjoy your time at the campsite.