Buying a caravan: The essential checklist

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This is a small sampling of the many useful tips you can find in Starts at 60’s FREE Great Outdoors eGuide. Download your copy here.

Questions to ask yourself before shopping:

  • Are you planning to go off the beaten track? Will you need better suspension and off-road capability?
  • What car are you going to use? What is its towing capacity?
  • How much storage will you need? Are you planning to take much with you, or travel light?
  • Where will you store the caravan?
  • Are you staying in caravan parks with amenities, or will you need to be kitted out with your own shower and kitchen?


If buying a used caravan: 

  • Are you going through a licensed dealer offering safety checks and a warranty?
  • What is the ownership history (if known)? Where has the caravan been kept and where has it been?
  • Is the condition consistent with its age?
  • What documentation is provided with the caravan?
  • Check the construction and seals – will it leak?
  • Is there enough storage?
  • Do the cupboards and windows close properly?
  • Does the door open, close and lock?
  • Any signs of repairs, scratches, dents, hail damage, bowing, or repainting?
  • Are sealants around windows and ventilation hatches damaged?
  • What is the underfloor condition (including water tanks, wiring and piping)?
  • Do the tyres have good tread? How old are they? Are the correct tyres fitted in accordance with the compliance plate? Is there a spare tyre?
  • A-Frame: is the tow hitch in good condition?
  • Does the roof have any leaks, tree/branch damage, solar panel or TV aerial damage?
  • What is the condition of the battery, charger and lights/appliances?
  • Are the gas bottles, regulators and piping in order?
  • Beds: check for any damage to the bed, storage area or mattress
  • Kitchen: is the hob/grill/oven/microwave/fridge clean and working?
  • Is the toilet/shower/hot water working? Any signs of leaking, mould or poor ventilation?
  • If buying a Pop Top: check roof can be raised and lowered easily
  • Does the awning open and close properly?
  • Are the smoke alarm and fire extinguisher fitted? Do they work?


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