Any kind of large purchase can be stressful. And that applies double when you’re buying a caravan, whether you’re buying a new or used caravan. You have to work out if the caravan is right for you and the way you want to use it, as well as whether everything included is working correctly. This is a big purchase, so you want to get it right because mistakes could be more than inconvenient, they could be very costly. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips for buying a caravan, to make this decision easier.
Buy or Rent?
This might seem like one of the more obvious tips for buying a caravan. When you’re deciding whether to buy or rent a caravan, you need to think about whether you’re going to use your caravan regularly. If you’re only looking to use a caravan once and don’t even know if you like caravanning, then you obviously shouldn’t buy one. However, there is another option.
If you aren’t planning on using your caravan year-round, then consider buying shares through Caravan Partnership. That way, you can use your caravan for your trips and let someone else take care of it the rest of the time. You can even rent out your caravan when you and the other owners aren’t using it. This makes your caravan an investment and an alternate source of income.
New or Second-hand?
This is a big question. Second-hand caravans can be a little less expensive, but they also mean that you’ll inherit any problems from the previous owner. They also may not have all the modern technology that newer caravans have. Most of the time, your choice will come down to these factors:
- How much you can afford
- Whether you can get all the features you need such as a certain seat capacity in an older model
- Whether you want a warranty or not
- How often you intend to use the caravan
As with most tips, it all depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you want to take long trips in isolated areas, a new caravan might be best for your peace of mind. But if you’re taking short trips to your local beach, then a used caravan could be sufficient.
Questions to Ask When Buying a Caravan Used
If you decide to get a used caravan, make sure you go through these questions to ask before buying a caravan first:
- How old is the caravan?
- Where has the caravan been stored when not in use?
- What’s the history of the caravan?
- Does it have a logbook or service history?
- Are spare parts still available for this model?
What to Know Before Buying a Caravan
Once you’re ready to buy, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for to avoid any mistakes. Here’s what you should know before you go shopping:
This will help you avoid going over price and help you narrow your search. That’s why establishing this first is one of the best tips for buying a caravan.
Your Travel Plans
Chances are that you won’t be the only one using the caravan, so think about how you want to use it. If you have a big family, then make sure you have space for them. Your dream caravan trips are also a factor here. If you’re planning on hitting dirt roads, then you need to be careful when choosing your van’s suspension.
Model and Make
There is no one best caravan on the market in Australia. It all depends on your budget and preferences. However, make sure that your caravan is made by a reputable manufacturer. This will help you avoid shoddy workmanship and make parts easier to find in case of a breakdown.
Whether you’re buying new or used, your caravan will need to be serviced. There are several factors involved here. If you’re buying new, then check the terms and conditions of the warranty. You need to ensure that it will cover you in case of things going wrong and that you can easily get help even out on the road.
No matter what caravan you get, check out the cost of regular servicing as well. This is an extra cost that can shock new caravan owners, so take it into account when you’re buying.
You need to know that the caravan itself meets your needs before you buy. Here are some things to look for:
- Your tow vehicle’s weight limits
- The size and specifications of the caravan
- How many berths the caravan has
Choosing a Good Caravan
The final set of tips for buying a caravan is about the condition of your new potential home. Here’s a guide to the different parts of your caravan:
Inside of your caravan, look for:
- The condition of the furniture and beds
- Damage to walls and ceiling
- Fitted and functioning smoke alarms
- Working kitchen appliances
- Working toilet and hot water system
- Signs of insect infestations
- Condition of doors and windows and their locks
- Any sign of damp
- Working taps and water pumps
- Bad smells
There are lots of external features that you need to check for rust, damage, or wear such as:
- Siding and walls
- Axle and suspension
- The underside of the caravan
- The roof (check for signs of leaks too)
- Tyre tread
- The water system including drains, shower, taps, and all wiring and piping
- All electrics
- The brakes and handbrakes
- Gas bottles, sockets, and gauge
- The A-Frame, wiring system, chain, and tow hitch
- Headlights and brake lights
Owning a caravan gives you a lot of freedom. You can wander wherever the road takes you and stay in some amazing places throughout Australia. However, it’s also a big decision to make and a big investment. That’s why you should keep these tips for buying a caravan in mind before you take the leap.
If you are considering purchasing a caravan, you can chat with us to check if caravan shares would be a good fit for your needs. For more information on caravan shares, click here. Or contact us here.