Cover4Caravans » Resources » Buying a second hand caravan

Buying a second hand caravan

Caravan owners tend to be mightily proud of their second home on wheels – as well they might. All the care and attention lavished on the trailer, however, generates an extra, perhaps less intentional quality for the preloved caravan – a monetary value that typically holds its own very well in the second hand market.

Not only is the price of a second hand caravan likely to reflect good value for money for something so well looked after, but it may also prove a very versatile second home.

That versatility is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that a caravan may be used as a static home on its own pitch near your favourite holiday destination or as a tourer for towing behind your car to however many destinations you may choose.

If you are considering buying a second hand caravan, therefore, this is probably the place to start – static or touring?

Static caravans

The description is apt, since these types of caravan do not generally go far but stay pitched on the same managed site or park for most of their lives. Tenure of the pitch is secured through a lease and management agreement with the owners of the park concerned.

They are typically fully serviced with electricity, water, drainage and bottled gas supplies.

There are typically restrictions on the continuous length of time you are able to live in a static caravan since most sites close for at least part of the year – for that reason, they might be most appropriately described as holiday homes.

If you are considering buying a preloved static caravan, here are a few suggestions that might result in your getting just what you want:

  • almost by definition, of course, location is likely to be everything – a holiday home is somewhere you want to visit time and again and, if there is any prospect of letting it to other people, a location which others want to visit too;
  • although you are not limited to purchasing a caravan already pitched on the site of your choice, transportation costs of moving one bought elsewhere and the availability of the pitch you want on any new site, might make it all the more important to buy a static caravan already in place;
  • if you choose to go down this route, however, the eBay website warns that you may be paying an average 15% commission on any purchase to the park owners;
  • the next consideration is likely to be what you pay to keep your static caravan on your chosen pitch at your preferred park;
  • there are a number of elements which you might need to add up, including the annual site fee, the amount you need to pay for services such as electricity, water and drainage, and of course the caravan insurance to protect your investment against the many things that might go wrong – on this last score, however, you might find arranging the safeguards you need to be more than adequately provided by a caravan insurance specialist such as us here at Cover4Caravans.

Touring caravans

If you are interested in buying a touring caravan, you might find that guidance and advice on the process – and what to look out for – is helpfully suggested by both the Caravan Club and by the Camping and Caravanning Club, since both have detailed guides on the subject.

The Caravan Club, for example, suggests that the average useful life of a touring caravan is roughly 14 years and this indicator might help you narrow down your search for a suitably preloved model.

Further considerations to take into account when buying a preloved touring caravan might include:

  • choosing the make and model which offers the space you need – the layout and design of a touring caravan is likely to be at least as important as its overall floor area, length and number of berths;
  • it is also important to ensure that the car you aim to use to tow your preloved caravan is also up to the job – a calculation which might initially appear overly technical to the uninitiated, but for which there are online reckoners;
  • when it comes to the particular caravan in which you might be interested, probably the most important consideration – apart from the security and integrity of the towing gear – is the absence internally of damp or condensation;
  • not only is this the source of unsightly stains and future erosion of the fabric of the caravan itself, but also a serious threat to your health.

Taking the plunge

If you are ready to take the plunge by investing in a second hand caravan, you are likely to find plenty of choice amongst many well cared for and preloved models – whether your quest is for a static holiday home or a tourer you might take wherever the fancy takes you.