Fix Your Life Up: Preloved Caravans

Wow, here comes the caravan weather! It’s gorgeous outside at the moment, and this weekend looks like it’s going to be mighty fine. Are you seriously beginning to think about getting out in your caravan, or maybe buying for the first time? If you are, you’re not alone!

We thought it would this would be the perfect time to give you a heads up about buying a preloved van. There can be some great advantages to buying a caravan that has been owned by someone else first. So here are a few things to ponder:

* Less problems – often previous owners will have worked out most of the teething problems for you.

* More kit for your cash – Many previous owners may well have installed extra equipment and features above and beyond the original specifications of the vehicle.

* Newer not always better – Some things that were manufactured some time ago can turn out to be better than new vehicles. Some older vans are not only lighter than new ones, they can be better equipped too. This gives you much more scope to load up without burdening your towing vehicle and putting extra pressure on the wear and tear of your van.

But how do you spot a wrong-un?

Here are a list of questions you might want to be armed with if you are going to see something second hand. If you want to think about buying unseen online on eBay or a trade auction site, it might be wise to send the questions to the seller first or even better pick up the phone and run through them. You can get a bargain and quick sale online if you know what you are looking for and have the confidence to act quickly and the seller seems to know their stuff and communicates well. Check their feedback before you buy and that will also stand you in good stead:

1. When did you last use the caravan?
2. Is there any particular reason you are selling?
3. Does it have a full service history?
4. What do you know about the previous owners if there are any? Smokers? Pets?
5. How easy have you found it to get parts?
6. What do I get for the price? Warranty, pre-delivery work, awning, steps etc?
7. How much do you think it will depreciate?
8. Do you think our car is a good match for towing this van?
9. When was the van last serviced?
10. Have you installed any extras since you bought it?

Remember – if you smell damp when you go inside, back away! Damp in a caravan is the equivalent of rust on a car.

That said – there are some great bargains out there. Sometimes people retire from touring after they’ve had their fill or the kids grow out of it and they move onto the next adventure. Their hard work, care and devoted upkeep could turn into a great deal for you. So keep your eyes peeled and go for it!

By: Rachel Redwood

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