There are several places to go when you are looking to purchase a caravan, normally we will all start by browsing the internet looking at various websites like our sister site www.nationwidecaravanninguk.com online auction sites, various other sites like Autotrader, Preloved & Gumtree and dealers websites.
Take your time to find the right layout that meets with your requirements and try to visualise how you and your family will use the caravan. There are many fixed bed layouts that are great as either a 2 or 4 berth and a lot of these are used by couples who don't want to have to make a bed up each evening. A traditional 4 berth side dinette is a great option for couples who want a place to sit and eat and families who need the extra seating space. With several variations on family layouts fixed bunk beds are always a hit with the kids. Since the introduction of Bailey's Alu-Tech system in 2010 all of the leading manufacturers have followed suit by implementing a new body system that removes the traditional timber framed walls. This is now classed as classic construction, where the caravan is built and it would have a hard wood board on the internal, timber frame with insulation and an aluminium skin on the external. Front and back panels are added and the joints sealed with mastick & awning rails screwed over the joints. Maintenance is required and an annual service is recommended to check for any signs of water ingress. For further information on this please visit our maintenance guide.
When buying from a dealer you will have the security that the caravan will normally receive a pre delivery inspection and be covered by a warranty. The dealer will normally be able to provide a part exchange service for your existing tourer and services like finance, onsite shop and servicing. This is a secure way of purchasing as you have a place to go to and if you have any problems, a place to revisit. As with any purchase request all previous paperwork and service records, check that the dealer has conducted a CRiS check on the caravan. The CRiS check will confirm the original date of registration, previous keeper details and dates of transfer, importantly that the caravan has no outstanding finance and it has not been reported lost or stolen.
Purchasing a caravan privately should be approached causiously and as a buyer you will need to ensure that you are comfortable and confident with the caravan you are buying. Put in an extra little effort into researching, search a few websites for price comparisons to ensure that you are paying the right amount of money. For more information on pricing visit our guide on this topic. If a caravan is priced very cheaply you should always be a little sceptical as to why the value is so low. Once comfortable and you are ready to view ensure that you conduct a CRiS check on the caravan as this will confirm the registered keepers details, there is no outstanding finance and that the caravan has not been reported as lost or stolen. Upon inspection of your potential purchase check the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) that will be on all the windows and on the chassis to make sure that nothing has been tampered with. A VIN is a 17 letter and digit combination that will confirm specific details about the caravan. The system was introduced in 1992, visit our pricing section for further guide lines. Check the overall condition of the caravan, if the internal floor is 'bouncy' it may be delaminated. Check for any signs of water ingress from visable staining to soft and pimpled wall boards. If possible ask for a demonstration of the caravan all working so that you can see all the components are functioning correctly. When paying for the caravan we would recommend that you only pay directly into the registered keepers account and request proof of identity from the seller. Never pay for a caravan without seeing it and conducting the necessay checks. With any private sale there could always be a degree of risk if you are not quite certain what to look for and we have heard of many a story where the purchaser was unaware of buying a caravan that had current issues. If you are at all worried we would recommend visiting our sister site, www.nationwidecaravanninguk.com within the site we have a comprehensive list of caravan service engineers. Email your local ones to see if they provide a prepurchase check, a small fee and peace of mind now could save you thousands down the line. If you require further guidance please contact us and we will happily give further advice.