Caravan Buyers Guide

by Julia on September 6, 2019

Caravan holidays are a great way to travel the world, where your only limitation is where the road ends! Buying a caravan is the start of the adventure, whether it’s for holidays, longer weekends or just making great memories, so it’s important to make an informed choice and know what to look for when buying a caravan. This guide will talk you through some of the common pit-falls and key considerations you need to know to make your purchase a safe and stress free.

New or Used?

The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want to purchase a brand new or second-hand caravan. This will be heavily influenced by your budget, as newer caravans will cost a good deal more than older, used models. As with buying a new car, you can expect to get some sort of warranty with your caravan, and it’s unlikely that you’ll experience any faults. What is more, newer models tend to have better amenities and features, so you’ll get a flashier kitchen and toilet. You can get a used caravan for the fraction of the price of a new one, but with that comes more risks and considerations (like condition, safety etc.) which we’ll cover more later in Essentials. offer used caravans from dozens of dealers at great prices.


The berth of a caravan refers to the number of people it can accomodate- a 2 berth caravan can sleep 2 people, where a 6 berth caravan can sleep up to 6 people. So depending on the size of your family, or the amount of people you want to invite on you caravan holiday, this is the next key consideration.

Bigger caravans (4 berth and onwards) generally have two axles- these are called twin-axle caravans. This means having 4 wheels as opposed to just 2, to better distribute the weight of the caravan and ensure it can be towed safely. If you do decide to get a large caravan (with a large berth and thus two axles) you’ll need you make sure you’ve got a suitable tow-car- it’s no good trying to hitch up a 1 litre car to a 4,000kg caravan.


Caravans all differ on the inside, so you shouldn’t make your decision just from checking the outside. People all have their own preferences when it comes to layout, so it’s not something to overlook. There are common features in most caravans, and an increasingly popular one is fixed beds. If you don’t want to be unfolding a sofa every time you need to sleep, this is a layout feature you’d probably want your caravan to have. Other more obvious things include layouts with showers- some people like to wash in the privacy of their own caravans, whereas some people are happy to use the facilities at their chosen camp sites. You can find some good layout examples online and get a feel for what’s right for you.


Some other key essential points need to be considered especially if you’re thinking of getting a used caravan:

  • Stolen caravans- Hundreds of caravans and campervans are stolen every year, with very few actually being returned to their owners. This means they could end up being sold to someone like you. There’s services available online to check if a caravan is stolen.

  • Caravan tyres- Like buying a car, you need to make sure that the caravan’s tyres have a suitable tread. You can be fined if not, and you’ll be putting yourself and other motorists in danger.

  • Damp test- Is it wet? Make sure you check everywhere for any signs of damp. Not only will this smell bad, but living in damp conditions is seriously bad for you health. You can buy all sorts of testing kits and gadgets which test for dampness by measuring humidity inside caravans.

Now you know what to look for in a caravan, get down to your local dealership or look online for your dream holiday home.

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