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What to Look For In A Caravan

Jan 20, 2008
When considering buying a caravan there are certain things that must be taken account of before you head off for the caravan dealership. The choice of caravans is vast, and confusing if you do not have a clear idea of what you need. There are general factors that must be considered before you even look for your local caravan dealership.

The first consideration should be the pulling power of your car. While the caravan dealership may encourage you to buy the biggest caravan on the lot, your mechanic will not. The weight and size of a caravan are both vital considerations when planning a purchase. Remember; safety is your primary concern as the wellbeing of your family and stress free holidaying is paramount.

A good rule of thumb when making a purchase from a caravan dealership is the weight ratio between the car and trailer. The lower this percentage ratio the better, a golden rule is to have a maximum ratio of 85percent as a power reserve for overtaking and hill climbs is a necessity.

When at the dealership you will see all manner of shapes and sizes of caravan. It must be remembered that the old box shape trailer caravans increase a car's fuel consumption. Modern caravans are more streamlined; this reduces fuel consumption by improving aerodynamics while adding to the stability of the caravan in transit.

The dealership will most likely contain the single and twin axle types of caravan. The question is which is the best? Your dealer should tell you that if you are newcomer to the world of caravanning a single axle caravan will suit your needs. This is because while the double axle caravans are more stable, they make the outfit extremely hard to park. Also two axles can be seen as double the cost, in terms of tyres and upkeep.

A primary concern for many first time buyers is how long a caravan will last. A reputable dealership should sell you a caravan that will last at least ten years; this will only be possible with proper care of course. When visiting the dealership ensure to thoroughly check for damp and moisture as this will spell disaster for any caravan. Also ensure you have the caravan serviced annually, this will prolong its life.

A question often asked at caravan dealerships is what layout is best? This is down to personal preference. Here you must look at what you will need the caravan for and how it should perform certain roles. Things to consider are the location of the dining area, the work surfaces and if the headroom is adequate. Storage space is also a crucial requirement to consider; ensure the catches are well anchored so your items are securely stowed away.

In terms of prices it is hard to nail a value on second hand caravans as the variables are both diverse and vast. Even when buying new it may be possible to broker a deal. A prerequisite when going to the dealership is to take someone with you who has experience and knows what look for, it is also vital to have a clear idea of what your caravanning requirements are.

Ensure the dealer provides a user handbook with the caravan; this is a legal requirement that must be met. The handbook should cover the caravan type, its dimensions and weight, the wheels and tires specification as well as the operating instructions. Any safety instructions should also be covered in the handbook.

A caravan is a large financial investment, make sure it is exactly what you require and take time to make a decision. Do not purely accept the word of the dealership, there are many websites that contain model reviews that are a helpful resource in coming to the right judgment. If you follow this advice you should obtain a caravan that is perfect and will provide many years of stress free holidaying for you and your family.
About the Author
Caravaning expert Thomas Pretty looks at the considerations that should be made before visiting your local caravan dealership . To find out more please visit http://www.homesteadcaravans.co.uk/
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