Buyers Guide to Pre-owned caravans Part 1

James Mainwaring

The second-hand caravan marketplace is a vast world. With such a wide diversity of caravans for sale, it can be quite overwhelming to find the perfect holiday home on wheels.

A caravan is a big investment, so here at Winchester Caravans, In this first part of a 2-part series, we have worked through some areas that are not obvious, but should be considered when purchasing a caravan. So put your feet up, grab a glass of wine and read on.

The awkward discussion of money

Used caravans

Thankfully the second-hand market place is big enough to sustain second hand caravans at multiple price points. Our pre-owned stock changes almost everyday and with caravans starting from as little as £3,000 and going up to £25,000 we can cover all price points for most customer budgets. From time to time we offer deals where you can enjoy the benefits of starter packs, awnings and motor movers included in the sale

If this price is too high, and for many first timers it often is, there are caravans on sale at £1,000 and lower. However, these will be older models and may require some work. But if you’re up for a challenge this is a perfect way to make a special and unique caravan your own.

BUYER BEWARE TIP - THESE CARAVANS TEND TO BE FOUND ON THE PRIVATE MARKET AND WILL COME WITH NO BACK UP OR WARRANTY SO ENSURE YOU PURCHASE WITH YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN.

It is all about the layout

Caravans have always enjoyed a wide range of layouts. From side dinettes to end wash rooms, the options are limitless. However, one area of the layout does need some careful consideration. Fixed bed or no fixed bed. Having a fixed bed offers a wide variety of benefits. Namely not having to make a bed up each evening, it also offers huge storage space for keeping the caravan tidy. You will almost always guarentee yourself a good nights sleep.

On the other hand, for a family a fixed bed may not be the best option. Optimising the caravan and using all the space available with children is a huge selling point. Making the beds up for the entire family will take a short time and can be completed as a part of the end of day routine. My advice here, is to sit in, make the beds and spend some time in the caravans. At Winchester Caravans we offer a very laid back approch and you can spend as long as you require in the caravans without be harrassed by any over zelous salespersons.

Another crucial aspect to check is the kitchen area. Make sure you are happy with the layout. It can be beneficial to go through the steps of cooking a dinner, so ensure the layout will work for you. 

BUYER BEWARE TIP - REMEBER THIS CARAVAN IS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, IT'S ALWAYS NICE TO TAKE ADVICE FROM FRIENDS, FAMILY AND OTHER CARAVANNING FAMILIES JUST REMEBER WHAT WORKS FOR THEM MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU.

Used caravans

 Size does Matter

 I previously mentioned the layout of the caravan is important. The   layout  will dictate the size of the caravan too. Having a caravan with a   single or twin axle will make a huge difference in the overall size of the   caravan and can make difference in manoeuvrability and towing             experience. Historically twin axle caravans tow better than their single   axle counterpart. But in recent years with added features and design   improvements single axle caravans have come a long way. Your tow   car must be able to tow the caravan, so bear this in mind when looking   at some larger caravans. I will be covering the tow car in the second   part of this blog. When looking at twin axle caravans there are 3   important things you need to ask yourself :-

  1 - Will my car tow this larger caravan ?

  2 - Do I have space to store this caravan ?

  3 - Will I be able to manouver this caravan when it is disconected from the car ?

 BUYER BEWARE TIP - ALWAYS CHECK THE TOWING CAPICITY OF YOUR TOW CAR BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO PURCHASE

Extra features

When buying a second-hand caravan you may find extra equipment added on to the caravan. Items such as a motor mover, a solar panel and upgraded alarms may have been installed by the previous owner.

You may also be lucky enough to find you are buying a dealer special caravan. A dealer special is a base product with lots of added extras thrown in. It’s like a car with all the optional extras thrown in to make a higher specification vehicle. Extra features will have an impact on price, but be mindful why you are paying the premium. Ask yourself do I need these extras and will they make the caravan more enjoyable for you. 

BUYER BEWARE TIP - IF YOU DECIDE TO BUY FROM A PRIVATE SELLER REMEBER TO ASK TO SEE EXTRAS SUCH AS MOVERS WORKING PRIOR TO COLLECTION. YOU DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT WILL NOT WORK AFTER COLLECTION

Used caravans

Purchasing options

Like cars, caravans can be sold from private sellers and dealerships. But unlike cars, caravans sold from private sellers often come with a lot of extra goodies thrown in. Private sellers often include essential equipment such as water carriers, awnings, a gas bottle, a leisure battery plus much more. However, from dealerships you can obtain a warranty, a service and a starter kit and the ability to get competitive finance on a caravan purchase. Here at Winchester caravans finance is availble from 13- 84 months on all our pre-owned caravans.

Depending on which sector you choose to buy from, will have an impact on the price. Like cars, private sales are usually cheaper but carry more risk, dealership sales are a little bit more expensive but come from a trusted source. In either case, there are some great online resources to help you choose your perfect caravan.

So that’s it for this part, I hope it has been useful for you. In the second part I will go into extra considerations away from the caravan, looking at the tow car, driving licenses and where to turn to for more advice.

Happy caravanning.

We hope you find the above information useful, If you have any questions and need help with the purchase of your first caravan please do not hesitate in contacting one of the Sales team at Winchester Caravans.



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