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  • The Five Things You Must Check Before You Buy A Second Hand Caravan

    Exploring the countryside by caravan is possibly one of the finest ways to spend your free time. However, when it comes to buying your own, even a pre-owned caravan can be quite an investment. Whatever your budget there is a lot to consider so make sure you always:

    ONE) Check for damp

    Besides the fact that it smells and makes for a very unpleasant caravanning experience, damp can also be incredibly costly to remove and repair.

    While you can sometimes detect it simply from its smell, it isn’t always that easy and your best bet is to borrow or rent a damp meter.

    Even if the caravan doesn’t have damp, you should make sure it is as damp-proof as possible by checking the sealing around the body and window frames.


    TWO) Check it isn’t stolen

    While it is encouraging that caravan theft is slowly decreasing almost all the ones that are stolen re-enter the sales market.

    Thieves use increasingly sophisticated methods to hide their tracks and it can be tricky to tell if you’re viewing stolen goods (it’s unlikely the vehicle you are viewing is going to have SWAG written all over it!) but there are a couple of tell-tale signs that could indicate your caravan-to-be was stolen.

    Firstly, if you are viewing a caravan that seems to be selling for a price that’s too good to be true, it probably is. You should always inspect the hitch and wheel rims, if they’re damaged this could indicate the van was forcibly removed.

    It’s also best practice to ask the seller for receipts and documents as not only they can prove ownership, but will let you know how old the caravan is and its service history.

    THREE) Ask about the availability of spare parts

    You may be over the moon at bagging a classic caravan for a bargain, but things can take a depressing slide when something needs replacing and the part you need is impossible to track down and /or excruciatingly expensive.

    Always ask the seller and do a quick Google search about the availability of the specific model’s parts before buying.


    FOUR) Do a full body check

    It is important to undertake a full body check of the caravan you intend to purchase. If you’re not sure about these things you should hire an independent mechanic to assess the state of the hinges and locks of the doors and windows, the chassis, gas and electrics.

    If any of these are faulty this can lead to expensive and extensive repairs at best and death at worst; faulty gas and electrics can be fatal.

    FIVE) Ask if the vehicle has been in any accidents

    Damage from an accident isn’t always noticeable immediately so it is always important to ask. Like a car, any major repairs or adjustments can alter the functionality of the vehicle, and may present problems when you try and resell later on.

    We'd love to know your experiences of buying a second hand caravan. Has it been smooth sailing? Do you have tips you'd like to share with others? Or are there things you'd wish you'd known? Tweet us @sail_trail 

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