What to know before buying your first caravan

What to know before buying your first caravan

Buying a passenger car is a piece of cake. You choose your favourite model, colour and you’re done. All passenger cars usually have 5 seats and a trunk. They differ only in size and subtly in optional equipment.

The price of a caravan or camper van is probably the first thing everyone is most interested in. The price depends not only on the make and model, but also on the additional equipment installed. New optional equipment can easily reach the sum of 10 thousand euros. So think about this when choosing whether a new or used camper van.

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The most important thing to order or check when buying a caravan

“Most manufacturers allow you to order a so-called winter package”

The winter package allows the caravan to be used without problems even in winter. These are mainly heated water tanks and improved insulation. I recommend buying the winter package even if you don’t plan to go skiing in the caravan. You never know when you’ll be crossing the Alps to return home from Spain in December.

The location of the caravan’s gas cylinders is also important. You can read more about this later, in the article about caravanning in winter.

What to know before buying a motorhome

Buying a motorhome is a whole science. There are about a hundred thousand different configurations of internal furniture layouts, colour combinations, equipment and materials used

  1. It’s a good idea to work out the approximate length of motorhome that will suit you. For example, a 6m compact caravan, or a 7m family caravan.
  2. Based on how many people will be travelling and sleeping in the caravan, choose the type of caravan: alcove, semi-integrator or integrator.
  3. Choose one or two popular brands.

If you have all this information together, you’ll find that you still have dozens of different models to choose from. The models usually differ in the location of the beds, bathrooms and kitchens.

Most of today’s models have a large honeymoon bed in the back and then a second large bed in the front. That front bed either folds out or slides down from the top in some way in integrated and semi-integrated caravans. For alcoves, the bed is still available in the alcove above the driver’s cab

What to know before buying a caravan

Buying a camper van is a little easier. Most motorhomes look about the same inside. At first glance, it’s pretty hard to spot the differences. You’ll only notice the difference once you’ve owned and used a similar van.

When buying a van, I would follow a similar process to buying a motorhome. I would determine the length, the number of people required and finally the popular brand.

By doing this filter, you’ll find that for each brand, you’re left with maybe 5 models to choose from, which makes it a lot easier to choose.

“Gas vs. diesel heating makes the biggest difference for motorhomes”

With diesel heated vans, you have significantly more storage space under the bed as you don’t have to lug huge gas bottles everywhere.

Buying a used caravan

Everyone wants a caravan these days. Companies can’t keep up production and there is a one and a half year wait for new caravans. In any case, they are still being made, people are buying new ones and they want to get rid of the old ones.

“The best time to buy a caravan is after the summer season”

Whether you want to buy a new or used caravan, that’s the best time to buy.

In Germany, for example, there are many caravan companies that sell all the caravans they have rented right after the first season. So if you want to buy a used caravan, keep an eye on the classifieds on mobile.de in October and November. You’re sure to find interesting caravans at a good price. More pages can be found in this article.

Used caravans usually have extremely low mileage. They are almost always only used for holidays. Often retired people take them to somewhere in southern Europe for a few months and stay there

“So you can normally come across a 10-year-old caravan with only 40,000 kilometres on the clock.”

It’s not a scam, it’s quite a normal way of using these caravans. Most of the time the owner takes care of the caravan more than he takes care of his own children. They are therefore almost always in excellent visual and functional condition. The exception proves the rule, as everything old breaks down at some point.

Caravans are built on a chassis with an engine that are designed for commercial use. These engines should last for hundreds of thousands of miles. I write “should” on purpose, because every car today starts to miraculously and accidentally break down after four years. Caravans are based on chassis with an engine and gearbox that are specially made in the factory for the purpose of conversion into a caravan, i.e. not for a courier who runs 500 km a day around town in a van.

Buying a new caravan

There are distributors of various German, French or Italian brands all over Europe. So if you want to buy a new caravan, be sure to get in touch. They also provide warranty and after-sales service. They can order parts such as a window or damaged body plastics. However, the spare parts do not work like they do for cars. They wait months to half a year for them.

A new caravan can be bought or ordered at a discounted price at a caravan show anyway. Read the article about caravan shows.

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