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Do Not Get Stung Buying A Caravan

Dec 24, 2007
So summer is around the corner and instead of forking out for flights and a hotel on the Costa Brava your thinking of buying a caravan. I cannot congratulate you enough for making this momentous decision; you will soon be enjoying the freedom of the open road and holidaying for less money with a richer experience. This is a major investment for your leisure time but before you head down to the caravan dealership and hand over a fistful of cash bear in mind a few key factors.

Make sure you are buying a good quality caravan from a reputable dealership; although it may be more expensive, a new one is always advisable. As the caravan will be your home from home you must take as much care in the dealership as you would in the estate agents. You do not want to spend your holidays fixing leaks, doors and mending chemical toilets. It is hardly the perfect start a trip, so make sure if you do buy a second hand caravan that it has a high quality warranty.

Many things must be remembered when buying a caravan, here I will attempt to go through some of them so your trip to the caravan dealership will be as painless as possible:-

First of all make a thorough inspection for rust. This is a major problem in caravans but recognising the problems early is vital to happy caravaning. The main place to check is the chassis, this can be a dangerous fault and also a very expensive one to fix, make sure the dealership has not freshly painted the chassis as this can be a sign of a cover up.

Check the interior in its entirety, all the internal fixtures like the fridge, the cooker the beds and the windows should all be meticulously examined. Remember the harder you look now the less chance there is of finding a problem once you are on holiday.

Make sure the dealership does not try and palm you off with a leaking caravan; sitting in a wet cardboard box does not make for a nice holiday. Signs to look for are loose seals around the doors and windows, damp patches in areas of the caravan, leaking pipes and a general damp mustiness. If any of these signs are prevalent walk away from the deal.

Fundamentally the tow brake and hitching arm must be checked, you do not want to hitch it up to your car, go to drive out the dealership and see the caravan fly past your driver's window. Also the tow brake is a vitally important piece of kit as this will stop you rolling down the hill once camped.

Ensure that the caravan suits your needs, make sure it is big enough to house everyone in your party and houses them comfortably. Also it cannot be underestimated how important it is make sure the caravan is not too big for your car to tow, towing a caravan that is too heavy is a speedy route to engine problems. Added to this, if you are a first time caravanner take a test run, driving while towing is a skill that must be acquired so practise is vital.

Finally, when in the dealership insist that the dealer shows you more than one caravan, choice is everything when purchasing such an expensive item and remember to haggle for the best price. It is often possible to get a great deal when haggling from the list price and dealerships usually expect this behaviour.

If this all seems too much to remember before you buy and you are still not sure whether caravaning is the right pass time for you, why not rent one for a while and get an idea of what you want from your caravan? Buying a mobile home from home is a great investment offering unlimited freedom, if you remember the points discussed here you should be able to get the deal you are looking for.
About the Author
Caravaning expert Shaun Parker knows exactly what to look for when visiting a caravan dealership to find the best deal. To find out more please visit http://www.homesteadcaravans.co.uk/
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