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Buyers Guide: Used Caravan Checklist

October 19, 2015

Do you fancy buying a caravan and giving your holidays a new dynamic? Of course, new caravans can be incredibly expensive, but all is not lost as there are plenty of great deals to be had on used caravans, which could make owning a one more affordable.

As caravan finance experts, we want to give you a helping hand on what to look out for when buying a used caravan, so our experts have put together a helpful caravan checklist just for you.

Caravan in the woods

Original image by Tim Regan

1)   Size it Up

Choose the right size caravan to suit your towing car. You don’t want to get your heart set on a beast of a caravan, only to discover your car isn’t powerful enough to tow it. Make sure you check the manufacturers towing weight specs and as a rule, the caravan should be no more than 85% of the kerb weight of your towing vehicle.

2)   Research is Key

Do your research into insurance costs, common problems, different layouts and costs for replacement parts for the models you’re interested in. All of these can add up over time with second-hand caravans, so knowing what you’re going into will mean you have a good idea of annual overheads and repairs.

3)   The Seller

With second hand caravans, you can buy from a dealer or a private seller, but buying from a dealer does give you a little more legal protection should there be a problem with the purchase. Whoever you buy from, always make sure the address of the seller matches the address on the caravan’s registration documents.

4)   External Checks

When arranging a viewing, make sure you do it in daylight. Start by checking the outside for scratches, dents, cracks and damage, paying close attention to window & door seals, door locks and hinges. You’ll also want to check the chassis and running gear, keeping an eye out for corrosion, rust, new paint or underseal that could be disguising a problem, as well as inspecting the gas and electrical systems. Test the hitch mechanism, jockey wheel, handbrake and all the steadies, to ensure everything is in working order for hitching and pitching. And don’t forget to check the tyre condition, including the spare!

5)   What’s On the Inside

Once inside, keep an eye out for any damage, scratches, poorly functioning doors, drawers, taps, electrics and such, and keep a nose and eye out for damp too, as this is a major problem with used caravans and often expensive to fix. You can get damp meter at little extra expense from most DIY shops, and it’s a handy gadget to have on hand for viewings.

Kitting out your caravan with little extras can soon add up, so ask the seller what’s included and negotiate on added extras like leisure batteries, TV Equipment and electric hook ups.

6)   Check the Documentation

Like cars, used caravans should have the right documentation, including service history and evidence of work carried out on the van. You can also run an HPi check on the vehicle to check if it’s been reported stolen, recorded as an insurance write-off or has any outstanding finance.

Caravan on road

Original image by Sheffield Tiger

At Pegasus Caravan Finance, we have a number of caravan finance options to suit all models, makes and budgets – and you can find out more right here. To get started, all you need to do is apply now, and we’ll come back to you within the hour with a decision – alternatively if you just want an idea of what you could borrow, why not head to our caravan finance calculator for an instant estimate?

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