Once you’ve decided what type of caravan best suits your needs, it’s time to start looking for that first home away from home!
If you’re on a budget, a pre-owned caravan is a safe option. It also means you can try out caravanning for a relatively small investment, so if you decide it’s not for you or you need more space, you can upgrade without losing out.
Second-hand caravans can be purchased from your local dealer, who will be able to give you advice on owning and maintaining your caravan as well as provide some kind of warranty and after-sales service.
Alternatively, you can buy privately from online auction sites or magazine and newspaper classified advertisements. But beware – there may be no guarantees with these ‘vans and you should always do your homework before you go to view the caravan and be prepared to inspect the ‘van thoroughly and ask plenty of questions.
One way to do your homework is to carry out a CRiS (Caravan Registration Identification Scheme) check. This works like a HPI check for a car and can tell you history of the caravan and whether it has been stolen.
When you go to view the caravan, spend a bit of time checking it over, inside and out. Look for signs of water damage, any damp smells or condensation. Ask the owner to connect the gas and water so you can check the appliances work. Look underneath the caravan for any rust or corrosion. Also ask to see any evidence that the caravan has been serviced regularly and receipts for any work carried out.
If you don’t fancy the idea of owning a second-hand caravan and you want to invest in a brand new one, one of the best places to go is a caravan show. These events are hosted up and down the country, both indoors and outdoors, and provide access to a huge select of caravans from lots of manufacturers. This means you get to view hundreds of caravans, in one place, as well as shop for accessories while you’re there!
You may also find that dealerships run special show promotions where you could bag yourself a huge discount by signing up for your new caravan at the show.
Whichever option you choose, it’s always a big investment, so don’t forget to make sure your new pride and joy is fully insured under a specialist caravan insurance policy and fit it with suitable security to deter those caravan thieves.