Caravanning is a family favourite in Australia. Many caravanners started out with a used caravan and it didn’t make their first adventures any less epic.
If you want to hit the road but can’t afford a new caravan, a second-hand caravan could be a good option for you.
Buying a new or used caravan but need a loan? Apply online now and we’ll get you a low rate caravan loan that is tailored to your financial situation.
These tips for purchasing a used caravan will help you find the best vehicle for your outdoor adventure.
Look for the right fit
This first tip is essential whether you are purchasing a used caravan or a new one.
It’s finding the right caravan that fits your needs. Don’t settle for the cheapest or the most well-known brand.
Shop for the used caravan that has the ideal size for your family. It should also have just the right weight for your tow vehicle capability.
You should also consider how many days or weeks you plan to be on the road when caravanning. This will help you determine the essential features and accessories for the caravan.
Then, you can search online with different dealerships and private sellers to compare the used caravans for sale. Take your time to evaluate the available used caravans and make a shortlist of two to three for personal viewing.
Prepare well for the viewing
When purchasing any used or pre-owned vehicle, it is important that you take your initial inspection seriously.
Viewing the actual caravan is the best time for you to check out its condition, and try to make sure that you’re not buying a “lemon”. So, be sure to prepare well ahead of the inspection.
Make sure that you have a copy of the information posted by the seller online and take it with you to the inspection. This will help ensure that you’ll get exactly what you’ll be paying for. Also, prepare a pen and notepad so you can take down all your observations about the used caravan.
You should also bring a tape measure to check the specifications, a torch for hard-to-see spots, and a damp metre for measuring the moisture level of the used caravan.
Don’t forget to bring a camera or use your phone so you can take photos. It will help you compare with any other used caravans you’ll inspecting at a later date.
Ask the right questions
During the inspection itself, don’t forget to find out more information about the caravan. It’s very important because not all used caravans are in good condition, no matter how flawless they may appear.
Below are some of the questions that you need to ask:
- What is the age of the caravan?
- Where do you usually store it?
- Which places has it been in the past?
- Can you provide documentation of the caravan’s maintenance and history?
- When was the last time it was serviced?
- Are there any major issues that need fixing?
It may also a good idea to ask if the seller currently has a weighbridge, electrical, and gas certificates as some states and territories require these documents when owning a caravan.
Although a warranty is not mandatory when selling a used caravan, still be sure to ask if you will be getting one if you are purchasing from a dealership.
These questions will give you a good idea if the used caravan is worth buying. However, not every seller will tell you the truth. That’s why it’s also crucial to remember our next tip.
Make a thorough inspection
Never buy a caravan without inspecting it thoroughly from the exterior to the interior.
Inspecting the exterior
For the exterior, make sure to look for any presence of rust, dent, and scratches on the body, on the roof, and under the caravan.
Look under the caravan and inspect the chassis, axle, wiring, and piping. Make sure that the handbrake, tow hitch, and jockey wheel are working freely and effectively.
Aside from these, examine the doors and windows. They should be functioning well without any problem.
Lastly, test the gas and electrical components are working well.
Inspecting the interior
Going inside the caravan, there is a whole list of things that you need to scrutinize, including the dampness level, the flooring condition and the appliances (stove, microwave, and fridge).
Check that the shower and sink water supplies are functioning well. All the lights should have no problem and so is the main door lock.
Don’t forget to check the storage areas like the drawers and cupboards. They should be easy to open and close and be free of rust, termites and obvious damage.
Make reasonable compromises
After the inspection and you found everything about the used caravan in tip-top condition, then congratulations. You’ve found your family’s new travel companion.
However, don’t put your hopes up too much and expect this to happen right away. In reality, most used caravans have some wear and tear, a few scratches or a little fading.
That’s why one of the best tips for purchasing a used caravan is to make reasonable compromises on these minor issues. Some of them can be fixed easily and you can use to your advantage when bargaining for the price
If you are willing to make compromises, then you can find your family’s new travel companion much sooner than you think.
Get a Pre-approved Caravan Loan
These tips for purchasing a used caravan will help kick-start your caravanning journey.
Before you even start shopping for the right caravan, you may need to organise your caravan finance.
At Aussie Leisure Loans, we specialise in providing low rate caravan loans that will give you peace of mind when purchasing your caravan.