Buying a touring caravan should and can be an enjoyable and rewarding experince with expectations of lovely family holidays under clear blue skies. The old saying buyer beware is never more true when buying a caravan especially your first, as we all know experience costs money. There are a few simple precautions one can take which help costly mistakes.
Always check the vin number. From 1992 vin numbers are stamped on all the caravan windows, 1987 to 1992 have the vin numbers stamped on plates which are located on the chassis Sites like caravanpriceguide.com will I.D. the year made from the Vin/ Chassis Number. Hiding the true caravan age is the oldest trick in the book.All caravans from 1992 start their life with Vin numbers under cris registration scheme and most insurance companies will not insure a caravan without one.
It is not unusual for caravans which have been the subject of insurance claims to be offered for resale. They should be carefully considered and fully investigated. They will need a certificate of safety from a recognised caravan repair centre before it can be placed back on the register. Caravans which have been stolen recovered need certificates from the insurance company and the salvage company, the details are kept on the cris register for future reference. they can also be difficult to resell with lower value
If a touring caravan has been lived in , avoid it as they are the ones which can cause the most trouble in repairs. This is due to the high wear and tear. Most caravans are only used about 6 to 8 weeks a year.
Damp is the most problem an expensive and time consuming process.. Often caravans for sale adverts state that they have been resealed so no more damp problems, thats plain daft the damp is still in the wood frame and will only get worse. Serious damp damages the structure of a caravan. Places to look for tell tale stains are under the seats, in the toilet compartment and in the lockers. Check body work for blisters, Springy floors can be repaired at a reasonable cost but just check under the van to make sure the damage is not to serious,
Always check the appliances and water systems. Replacement items like fridges and water heaters can be expensive.
Check the condition of all the extras like water pumps, and make sure the awning is complete and with instructions because believe me this is possible divorce material when first erecting the awning.
Ask yourself would you buy a car without starting the engine or checking the log book [ V5] so why buy a caravan without cris checking or trying the appliances.
Finally find out the true price, check prices in local publications or internet sites like caravanpriceguide.com of which I am the editor for honest advice.
Spending thousands on a caravan, then just spend some time making sure the bargain is inded a bargain