Second Hand Caravans

Buying Second Hand Caravans
Buying second hand caravans can sometimes be likened to a lucky dip, but hopefully we can help you sort the good from the bad and turn your investment in both time and money into an asset.

You certainly don't want your leisure time to be taken up fixing bits and pieces needing urgent repairs. Even though most second hand caravans bought through a dealer will come with a warranty, it won't be much use to you if you are 1000 klms from home, unless you can convince your dealer to agree to pay the costs of repairs away from home. 

We have compiled a list of the some of the most important things to look for when buying second hand caravans. Check for:

  • signs of rust in the chassis and under the caravan it can be very expensive to repair
  • that the fridge is operating in all modes i.e. battery/gas/electric
  • cooker is working properly
  • the caravan complies with gas and electric regulations
  • beds and windows are in good condition
  • water leaks and damp conditions in cupboards, under beds etc - use a damp metre if you have one
  • tow hitch moves easily
  • handbrake holds the van in stationary position when engaged
  • is the size of the van appropriate for your needs - how many berths
  • make sure your car is big enough to tow the caravan
  • consider a tow-ed course
  • compare to other similar makes and models
  • check grab handles - if they are loose water may have entered and caused damage
  • signs of perished, missing or damaged seals and rusty screws
  • cupboard door and locker hinges and latches
  • cracks in windows and seals
  • evidence of water damage 
  • weak or sagging floors may indicate that the flooring material is de-laminating
  • water heater is operational
  • bent A frame
  • steady legs are easy to wind up and down and are not bent
  • jockey wheel and winding mechanism is moving freely
  • walls of tyres are not cracked which may cause a blowout
  • breakaway cable is secured and not rusty
  • wheel bearings spinning freely and quietly
  • broken indicator lenses
  • brake lights and indicators operational
  • your tow vehicle is capable of towing the weight of the caravan
  • compatible electrical connection to your tow vehicle
Buying second hand caravans can be a big expensive decision so you need to be sure you are getting the best deal for your hard earned money. Take your time to look around at what's available that might suit your needs and then gradually narrow it down to 1 or 2 specific makes and models. Then it's just a matter of time before the right one will come along at the right price and in the right condition. It's certainly worth the effort - happy caravanning!

Sharon Tappenden, EzineArticles.com Basic Author