Caravan Questions Answered

Where should I start looking to buy a Caravan?

Where should I start looking to buy a Caravan?

Where should I start looking to buy a Caravan?

Dealers There are many great benefits to buying a second-hand caravan from a dealer. You are more likely to be offered a warranty with a dealer; it’s just worth checking the expiry date and the small print for any exclusions or restrictions. Whether you plan to take advantage of a warranty or not, it’s always worth asking if one is available. If a dealer does not offer a warranty it may indicate a problem with the caravan. Private Sale The benefits of buying privately are primarily in the costs, compared to dealers, and you can pick up some real bargains. However, it will mean you’ll have to do a lot more research and checks on the caravan you’re considering. ‘Buyer beware’ applies in this situation and it’s a very good idea to make a thorough inspection of the caravan and associated documents before agreeing to buy. Preparing a checklist before you purchase a caravan is a great way to remember all the important areas to cover.

When is the best time to buy a Caravan ?

When is the best time to buy a Caravan ?

When is the best time to buy a Caravan ?

This is a very valid question particularly if you are planning to buy from a dealer. During March, April and May staff at dealers are usually working flat-out, coping with newly delivered caravans. Throughout the months preceding this period the dealers are desperately trying to clear their stock to make space for these new deliveries and the associated trade-ins resulting from new sales. This ‘dead’ period for sales, around Christmas and the New Year, can be the perfect time to grab a bargain.

How will I know if the Caravan is stolen?

How will I know if the Caravan is stolen?

How will I know if the Caravan is stolen?

There are a few checks you can make which might indicate the caravan is stolen. Keep your eye out for any signs of damage around the hitch or on the wheel rims/tyres. This may indicate a security device has been forcibly removed. Ask the seller to show you any receipts or documents relating to ownership or servicing etc. You should be especially cautious of large, twin-axled caravans sold cheaply – these are favourites with the caravan thieves. In general, you’d be right to be suspicious if you have to view the caravan away from the seller's house or premises, particularly if it is not in an authorised storage compound. If the seller is reluctant to arrange a suitable time for you to view the caravan it could indicate that it’s stolen too.

What’s so great about second-hand Caravans?

What’s so great about second-hand Caravans?

What’s so great about second-hand Caravans?

For many the choice to buy second-hand is made by budget constraints but there are actually many good reasons to buy second-hand. A second-hand caravan will hold its value far better than a new one and if minor wear or tear occurs, as it often does if you have pets or children, it’s far less significant.

How will I know if the Caravan is watertight ?

How will I know if the Caravan is watertight ?

How will I know if the Caravan is watertight ?

One of the worse things that can happen to a caravan is water penetration of the structure. This can cause extensive damage to the caravan walls, floor and roof leaked onto shelving. Inspect the mattresses and cushions, particularly underneath, for damp and staining. Check inside cupboards, bed lockers etc too, and anywhere with a corresponding outside seal on the caravan. Just remember water will work its way downward. Mismatching veneer or paper, or any obvious attempt at re-covering the wall should be a clue. Lightly press any suspect areas, as softness may well indicate rot. Use your nose too – if it smells mouldy, it probably is! It’s best to ask for evidence of how long the previous owner has had the caravan. If it is only a year or so, be a little suspicious. It has been known for an unscrupulous owner to sell a caravan where a damp problem has been diagnosed after the first service, rather than pay for the necessary repairs.

How do I ensure my Caravan is safe ?

How do I ensure my Caravan is safe ?

How do I ensure my Caravan is safe ?

Tips on buying caravan security device There are hundreds of security devices on the market and some are better than others. None will make your caravan totally thief-proof, but they will make most thieves think twice about stealing your van. Buy the best security you can afford and make sure the thief knows the device is fitted. Stickers are usually supplied with security items – so use them! Hitch locks provide a reasonable degree of protection from the opportunist thief. Get one that is manufactured from heavy steel to cover the tow socket fixing bolts and has a good lock. Some hitch locks can lock the caravan to the car but make sure it is unlocked when you are actually towing - use them only on site or if you leave the caravan unattended. They don’t generally offer sufficient security for when the caravan is in storage, but they will make things much harder for a thief. There are many different kinds of wheel clamps on the market, but remember, generally speaking the easier they are to put on the easier they are for a thief to take off. Buy a good clamp and check that it correctly fits your caravan’s wheel – if they don’t fit correctly, a thief can remove the wheel and the clamp with it. If you think that wheel stands are the only way to keep hold of your ‘van, think again. A determined thief will come prepared with a set of wheels. But wheel stands can be a deterrent; if you make sure they are locked in place. Check your handbook as some chassis manufacturers recommend axle stands for winter storage. Make sure you check with your insurers that they are happy to let you keep your caravan on wheel stands, as some insurance policies call for the van to be fitted with a wheel clamp at all times. Security Posts are particularly useful for those who keep their caravan on the drive at home. They are cemented into the drive and physically block movement of the caravan. Some can be fitted with a tow bar on top of the post so that the caravan can be fixed with a hitch lock. Others are detachable or can fold down so that the caravan can be maneuvered into position.

How do I know if my car will tow my Caravan ?

How do I know if my car will tow my Caravan ?

How do I know if my car will tow my Caravan ?

There is an art to safely and effectively matching your tow car to your caravan. Firstly you need to establish how heavy your caravan is, get this by finding out its MTPLM. Trailer weight, By law the loaded weight of any caravan should not exceed 85% of the weight of your car. Divide the caravan’s MTPLM by 0.85 to find the kerb weight of your car. Your caravan must not exceed the car’s maximum towing weight. It is also advised to be familiar with the car’s gross train weight, this is the maximum load the car can tow when it’s fully laden. Noseweight, this is the weight that you put on the tow ball of your vehicle and is typically between 50 and 100kg. For stability, the noseweight should not exceed this limit. Try to load your caravan so that it comes close to, but does not exceed this figure. Payload is the weight of the items that you are allowed to carry in your caravan - you will find this in the handbook. Check the loading of your caravan periodically to make sure you aren't exceeding the total weight allowed. Manufacturers call this the gross weight Choose the right engine Diesel cars often make better tow cars than its petrol counterpart because they have more low-down torque (pulling power at low revs) than petrol cars. They’re also more efficient, they emit less carbon dioxide and some have particulate filters to trap sooty emissions, too.