What you need to know before buying a caravan
Before shopping for a new caravan, make sure you consider your budget and the kind of caravan or camper you need. Then consider the following when shopping around.
If you love cooking, you’re probably going to want a caravan with a proper kitchen. On the other hand, if you’re perfectly happy living off takeaways, you may want to prioritise a comfortable living area or larger bathroom. Other amenities to keep in mind include conventional ovens, showers and washing machines.
Before you even start looking at the caravans, it is essential you know the towing specifications of your car. This will influence your available choices in caravan sizes.
Finding the right size caravan can be the hardest part of the purchase. You don’t want one that is too big for your vehicle’s towing specifications. You also want enough room to fit your family comfortably.
Larger families will need more storage and more space therefore larger caravans are recommended, although it will depend on your tow vehicle. Dealers will be able to guide you on the best caravan for your specific concerns and requirements.
New vs used
The best bargains are likely to be found in the second-hand caravan market. New caravans lose value faster than second-hand caravans, but the value of a warranty may make up for the price difference. If the second-hand caravan is a bit short on quality, there's no point saving money on the purchase price only to spend it on expensive repairs. If your caravan will get heavy use, a new one may make more financial sense overall.
Make sure to find one in good condition. Always arrange for an inspection before buying. Check for signs of water leakage, check the door and window latches, ensure electrical fittings and appliances are in working order, test the brakes, and inspect the annexe or awning for any signs of damage.
Check the caravan has your wish-list features. This could include a washing machine, barbecue, fridge, freezer, awning, shower or toilet. It's important that the caravan you choose ticks the boxes for your needs and budget.