Top 6 - Questions to ask before buying a caravan

Buying a caravan is a big decision, and it’s important to have all the information you need to make an informed purchase. There are many different aspects to consider when choosing a caravan, from the type of caravan you want to the features and amenities you need. To help ensure that you make the best choice for your needs, here are some of the most important questions to ask the salesperson when buying a caravan.

1. What type of caravan is best for my needs?

There are several different types of caravans to choose from;

  • Standard Caravan
  • Off-Grid Ready Caravans
  • Pop-top
  • Expanders
  • Off Road Caravans
  • Camper Trailers
  • Off-Road Camper Trailers
  • Motorhome

The salesperson should be able to help you determine which type of caravan is best for your needs based on your lifestyle, budget, and traveling plans.

2. What are the dimensions and weight of the caravan?

It’s important to consider the size and weight of the caravan, as this will impact the type of vehicle you need to tow it and the ease with which you can maneuver it. Here are a few of the key measurements that must be considered.

  • Gross Combination Mass (GCM) is the maximum mass set by your tow vehicle’s manufacturer and refers to the maximum combined mass of your loaded tow vehicle and your loaded caravan hitched together.

  • Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) is the total mass of the trailer when carrying the maximum load recommended by the manufacturer. The ATM is generally measured with the caravan unhitched from your towing vehicle and resting on its jockey wheel. The maximum ATM of your caravan can be found on the vehicle plate or in the manufacturer’s handbook and must not be exceeded.

  • Max Vehicle Towing Capacity. In order to tow safely and legally, you must tow within your car’s towing capacity, which is the maximum amount of weight your vehicle is able to tow as recommended by the manufacturer.

Any good salesperson should be able to provide you with the exact dimensions and weight of the caravan you’re interested in.

3. What features and amenities does the caravan have?

Caravans come with a variety of features and amenities, from basic essentials like a bed and kitchen to more luxurious items like slide-out cafe dining room suites, ensuites, or stainless steel outdoor kitchens. It’s important to consider what features and amenities are important to you and your family and to make sure the caravan you choose has everything you need.

4. How much does the caravan cost?

The cost of a caravan will vary depending on the type of caravan you choose, the features and amenities it includes, and its overall quality. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the total cost of the caravan, including any additional fees such as delivery or setup. Be conscious of the false economy trap, spending less now, but costing more later. For example, if you buy a caravan that doesn’t include a solar panel & batteries, will that cost you more to install later as an after-market accessory & will this void your warranty? Ask your salesperson to quote all the extras you want pre-installed and ready for to roll.

5. What is the warranty and customer support like?

A caravan is a big investment, and it’s important to have peace of mind knowing that you can get the support you need if something goes wrong. However, you must also be mindful that owning a caravan is like owning a small house on wheels, as any owner of a traditional house will tell you, ongoing maintenance is critical for upkeep. You really should not consider buying a caravan if you don’t have the basic tools, know-how & willingness to do a bit of work on your pride & joy to keep it in optimal condition. Be sure to ask the salesperson about the warranty and customer support that comes with the caravan, what is covered under warranty & what is considered the responsibility of the owner to maintain. You might also ask whether there are any additional warranty extension options available.

6. What are the insurance requirements?

It’s important to understand the insurance requirements for your caravan, as this will impact your overall cost and the level of protection you have in the event of an accident or other issue. Do not drive away with your caravan unless you have a cover note from your insurance company.

By asking these questions, you can ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about which caravan is best for you. The salesperson should be able to provide you with detailed and accurate answers, and to help you find the perfect caravan to meet your needs.

Good luck & happy shopping.

Materials and construction is most important id say… timber free i reckon is better, spend the bit extra and dont suffer with a lemon later.

1 Like

@jaunray44 thanks for sharing your preference! It’s so fascinating how every individual has different priorities when it comes to a van. Don’t think anyone wants a lemon though, but the quality of vans these days is pretty top-notch from what we’ve seen. Although it’s not always the case, research always helps :slight_smile:

I just wrote a post about negotiating the best deal, have a read if you are thinking about buying

@Johnson thanks for the post! Great topic and very insightful

@Johnson YES! i agree great topic, thanks for sharing