Tips on Buying

Tips on buying a used touring Caravan

We must meet 2 to 3 families a week that have a nightmare tale to tell, who have been caught out on a previous caravan purchase, whether it be the year, damp, faults , the seller etc

Here are some tips you may find useful

How to check the year of the caravan, Some people will lie about the year of the caravan to inflate the price. All caravans made after 1992 are on the CRIS register and all windows should be stamped with the registration number, an example of a reg no looks like this:

SGBSB04

BY50502335

what you need to look for is the 10th digit/number, in the example above this indicates 2005 the 5 being the year, 

previous to the year 2001 letters were used, see list below

92 N

93 P

94 R

95 S

96 T

97 V

98 W

99 X

00 Y

01 1

02 2

03 3 etc

from 2010 letters are used 

2010 A

2011 B

2012 C

2013 D etc

If the CRIS document is present it will also show the year on there. The same number will be stamped into the chassis of the caravan.

If the numbers have been scraped of the windows steer clear as this has almost certainly been stolen at some point.

Ask for proof of ownership and identification (If they registered it with Cris then there name and address will be on the document).

Check for soft wall boards, dark stains on walls/ ceiling.. If it has any of these it almost certainly has damp, if you have a damp meter take it with you and check it over.

Another indication of damp is a musty damp smell.

If the floor has a spongey/springy feel it almost certainly has delamination of the floor, this basically means that the polystyrene between the under board and the floor board has broken up. This can be repaired by injecting expanding foam but obviously does reduce the value of the caravan prior to repair.

Ask to see everything working, if the seller refuses then they normally have something to hide.

Check the tyres, just because the tread looks good it doesn't necessarily mean the tyres are. Caravans spend a lot of the time standing still and the side walls can perish.. Look out for this..

Check around the caravan body for corrosion, if the aluminium is corroded it means that there is water ingress, I.e damp inside.

check all windows for cracks/splits, caravan windows are not cheap to replace.

Check the door lock and hinges and security of all external lockers.

Check the gas and electrics, a faulty gas system can be lethal, if in doubt have it checked by a professional.

Check the weight of the caravan fully laden to ensure your vehicle is capable of legally towing it. Your vehicle owners manual will tell you your maximum towing allowance.

Check all the light lenses are intact, they can be quite expensive to replace.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, don't be rushed, if your unsure then walk away.

If you know someone who knows what there looking for take them with you.

If buying privately carry out a CRIS check, this is the same as an HPI check on a car and will tell you if the caravan has any outstanding finance, recorded stolen, recorded written of cat c/d etc. You can carry out a CRIS check online at www.cris.co.uk or call them on 0203 282 1000 the cost is just £14.99 ... Money well spent.

We hope the above has been of help.. And happy caravaning .....

If we can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.. We offer a inspection service at just £85.00 subject to location.