When it comes to purchasing a used caravan, there are a number of things that you should be looking out for if you want to ensure that you are making the right purchase. Buying used is not the same as buying new, which is where a lot of people tend to go wrong. You must approach the purchase of a second hand caravan very differently to how you would if visiting a showroom and buying one that is custom designed. Use these to help you understand what you should be looking for:
- Damp: make sure that you inspect every inch of the used caravan for signs of damp. Cornerers, roof lockers, bed boxes and cupboards are all areas that are prior to developing damp problems, and the best way to detect such problems is with a damp meter.
- Doors and Lockers: you need to make sure that all of the doors and lockers in the used caravan open and close properly. Can you see daylight through the seals? Are the hinges secure?
- Electrics / Gas: check that all of the appliances are working properly and that the cords and power points do not show any signs of excessive wear or damage. You could even have these items checked for a professional to ensure optimum safety.
- Floors: walk up and down the used caravan, trying to step on as much of the floor as possible, to see whether it feels weak or appears to be sagging. The areas around the door, kitchen and seating areas should be checked most thoroughly.
- Seals: there are a range of seal materials used in the manufacturer of a caravan (such as acrylic and oil-based ones), and they last anywhere between five and twenty years. Check every panel of the van for signs of missing or damaged sections.
- Windows: make sure that all of the windows lock securely and that there are no signs of rust anywhere around the screws (as this could indicate a problem with damp). Is there a condensation between the layers of glass (this should only occur if the van is fitted with double-glazed glass)?
As you can see, there are a number of things that you should be looking out for when purchasing a used caravan, otherwise you could find yourself stuck with a lemon that you are struggling to sell on. Do not forget to also check out the hitch and chassis, stabilizer, tires and breaks as well. Good luck with your caravan search!