How to Buy Spare and Repair Caravan Parts on eBay

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How to Buy Spare and Repair Caravan Parts on eBay

Caravans allow their owners the freedom to travel without worrying about where to stay. The word "caravan" was used over 500 years ago to describe a group of people travelling across a desert. The word was later used to describe covered wagons used by gypsies in the 19th Century. The gypsy lifestyle was considered "free and easy" by the upper classes, and in 1880, the Bristol Carriage Company built the first leisure trailer, named "Wanderer" by its owner. Modern caravans are prized by those who love to wander, but are no longer available only to the wealthy. Today's caravans, also called "travel trailers", come in many shapes and sizes, and have all the facilities necessary to live in them comfortably for days.

As with any other vehicle, caravan owners have to invest in spare and repair caravan parts when needed. There are many such parts, suitable for a range of caravans, available on eBay. Buyers should know how to search for, and purchase parts on eBay.

Types of Caravans

Caravans come in many shapes and sizes. Most conventional caravans available in the U.K. are built by British manufacturers. However, some American and European models are gaining popularity.

Type of Caravan

Features

Conventional caravan

Single axis

Three to 6.5 m long inside

Equipped with a washroom

Equipped with a kitchen

Twin axle caravan

Twin axles

Large and heavy

Stable when towing

Difficult to manoeuvre

Teardrop trailer

Small in size

Can be towed by small vehicles

May not be equipped with washroom or kitchen

Pop top caravans

Part of the roof lifts to increase headroom

Small in size

Less frontal area when roof returned to position

Less drag and better fuel consumption

Can be stored in a conventional height garage

Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP or Fibreglass) caravans

Small in size

Low cost

One piece, long lasting units

Lightweight

Folding caravans

Easy to store and tow

Work required on site

Airstream

Fully equipped

Expensive

Fifth wheelers

Hitched to articulating connection on pickup

Easier to tow

Lower overall length compared to caravans of the same size

Whatever the model of the caravan, all caravans have parts that are the same, or at least similar in function. Caravan owners who know more about the type of caravan they own can find the right spare and repair parts more easily.

The Different Parts of a Caravan

Whittled down to its bare essentials, a caravan is basically a trailer that people can live in. In addition to the parts shared with trailers, caravans have systems that are designed for comfort and living. The systems and parts common to most caravans are explained in detail below.

Sleeping Arrangements

The sleeping arrangements in a caravan may be bunk beds, single beds, or double beds. Since there is limited space in a caravan, beds may double as sofas during the day. However, fixed beds do have their own advantages. They do not need to be made every night, and better quality mattresses can be used since no mechanisms are involved. Buyers can choose from several types of mattresses and cushions for caravan furniture on eBay.

Cupboards and Lockers

Cupboards and lockers help utilise the space in a caravan to the maximum. Kitchens in particular, need cabinets that allow the storage and use of equipment in a convenient manner. These parts are expensive to replace, so caravan owners should maintain them well. This is a mostly a matter of airing them out and preventing damp.

Doors, Locks, and Hinges

Caravans are homes on the move. Owners should keep their doors and windows in excellent working condition. If a door or window needs to be replaced, buyers can choose from many different models on eBay. There are also a range of related accessories, such as locks, levers, and seals, that buyers can purchase on the site.

Suspension

Caravans are meant to be on the road, and like other vehicles, suspension is an important part. There are three major types of suspension for caravans. They are classified based on the type of road or terrain they are designed for.

  • On road suspension
  • Semi off road suspension
  • Full off-road suspension

Caravan owners can find different suspension assemblies and parts for caravans on eBay.

The Electrical System

A modern caravan's electrical system consists of three distinct parts. The first two are 12 Volt DC systems, and the third is a 240 Volt AC system. The first 12 Volt system is designed to run the external lights and indicators on the caravan. The second 12 Volt system allows owners to use 12 Volt accessories and lights inside the caravan. The 240 Volt system replicates the electrical system found in a house. On eBay, buyers can find spares and replacements for all components of a caravan electrical system. These include lights, cables, batteries, and adapters, to name a few.

The Gas System

Some caravans are equipped with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) gas systems that are used for heating, cooking, and refrigeration. The gas may be propane or butane. The parts of a gas system include the cylinder, a pressure-reducing regulator, hoses, and clamps. Gas cylinders are heavy. They are stored in the "gas locker", which is usually in the front of a caravan. Gas lockers should carry a notice specifying the pressure that the caravan's gas system uses. In modern U.K.-built caravans, this is 30 mbar.

Some caravans are equipped with LPG gas tanks that are refilled at gas stations. Unlike gas cylinders, these tanks can be topped-up anytime. They are usually larger than conventional gas cylinders, and as a result owners can take trips up to a month without having to refill the tank. This arrangement also frees up space in the living area. However, it is not as common as caravans that use gas cylinders.

Buyers on eBay can find gas hoses, regulators, gas level indicators, and other parts for a caravan's gas system.

Toilets

Toilets in caravans differ from other toilets because the wastes need to be stored till they can be disposed of properly. Caravans use chemical toilets that deodourise wastes. The wastes are stored in "cassettes" that are emptied when needed. Most caravan sites have designated points (marked "Chemical Disposal Point" or "CDP") for the disposal of toilet waste. The chemicals used in chemical toilets need to be replenished periodically. Users should follow instructions carefully since improper use may cause corrosion in the cassette. Buyers can find a range of chemical toilets (and chemicals) made for caravans on eBay. They can also purchase pipes and hoses that may be required.

Awnings

Awnings are a simple way of increasing the living space of a caravan. They do not take up much space when packed and do not weigh much. They just require a little time to set up. Caravan owners looking for awnings on eBay can choose from different sizes and makes of awnings, as well as a complete range of awning parts.

Towing Parts and Accessories

Buyers can find a range of towing parts and accessories on eBay. Caravans are meant to be towed, and the hitch is one of the most important parts of the caravan. Besides spare hitches, other useful accessories found on eBay include hitch locks, and hitch stabilisers.

Conclusion

Caravans give their owners the freedom to pack their bags, and head off on a vacation without having to worry about where to stay. Owners can comfortably sleep, cook, dine, and wash in them. The first leisure caravans were built over a century ago and were very expensive. Today, caravans are no longer used only by the wealthy. In fact, manufacturers have worked hard to make entry level models that are more affordable. Modern caravans have features and amenities that are essential for comfortable living. They are available in different sizes, and with different features that can be extended if required. However, as with any vehicle, the parts associated with these systems eventually wear out and need to be replaced. eBay's collection of spare and repair caravan parts has items that are suitable for many different types of caravans. Buyers can easily search for, find, and purchase items suitable for their particular caravan with ease on eBay.

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