Tips for first time buyers... in this ... the credit crunch year!
What a fantastic time to buy a used caravan... spend a bit of money... have lots of holidays and have something worth money at the end of all the good times.
Look out for...
- A good clean, lightly used model
- Make sure, if it's post 1992 that it has the VIN number (in blue dots) on each window.
- Take this VIN number and check it with HPI/CRIS to make sure the caravan isn't stolen and that it is the year that you are being told that it is.
- Check for damp ... and I don't just mean that it looks like it has leaked. Lots of caravans show NO SIGN of water leaks. The damage is inside the panel work. Get the caravan CHECKED OUT by a reputable dealer or service engineer with a Protimeter Damp Tester. Nothing else will do. Please don't think that by knocking with your knuckles that you can tell!
- Look for PIMPLING of the interior panels.. feel in all the corners with the flat of your hand. If it's rough, it's leaked.
- Lots of our customer's have had no idea that their caravan has had a leak until we check with the meter.
- No caravan manufacturer is exempt from this. Do not think that if the caravan is only a few years old that it doesn't need checking.
- Look for a caravan with only one or two owners... hopefully a careful ones.
- Check signs for excessive wear and tear, greasy hob, dirty sink outlets, flat, faded cushions, dirty blinds and flyscreens, dirt and grit in the entrance way, knocked and dented interior gas locker etc etc
- Avoid caravans that are no longer in production.
- If in doubt ring a couple of dealers and ask if they will take the caravan you are looking at in part exchange. OK.. this is pretend, but... if they are happy to take it then feel happy to buy it. If they are not interested in taking it as a part exchange then you should think twice about buying it. You'll want to part ex or sell it at some time in the future .. don't buy an unpopular caravan.
- Check your car can tow it... Most dealers offer a matching service.. ensure that you and your family are safe travelling.
- Ensure that you get a SERVICE... gas, chassis, brakes, electrics etc ... you need to holiday in a safe environment. Plus a warranty is a good idea too. You get neither buying privately... BUYER BEWARE.
Buy what Feels Right & Enjoy It.