Things to consider when purchasing your caravan:
- Type of caravan - touring caravan, static caravan or motorhome.
- How many berths - how many people will you need to sleep in the caravan?
- New or Used caravan? - whilst used caravans are cheaper you tend to only get a warranty cover with brand new caravans.
- Choose the make and model - remember that the make of caravan may affect important issues such as insurance. For instance some insurers may not provide cover for caravans which are of European specification.
- Towing weight for your vehicle - your car or vehicle will only be able to tow up to a certain legal weight, exceeding the maximum towing allowance is dangerous and of course illegal.
- Driving license weight limits - When did you pass your driving test? If you passed your test after 1997 then you may need to sit an additional test allowing you to tow a heavier caravan - it is advisable to check with the DVLA.
- Learn the details of your caravan - Just as when you are buying a car, it is shrewd to make sure that the dealer or seller has run through every little bit of information with you regarding the caravan.
- ASK QUESTIONS! Ask lots of questions to any caravan specialist, seller or dealer - it is always best to know all the facts before making the purchase.
I am new to caravanning, what items do I need to get started?
The majority of people choose to buy a starter pack, this consists of all the essential equipment you need to get you started, it is usually the most economic way of buying these items as they are sold as part of a discounted package. The essentials required to help you enjoy the most out of your caravan holidays are,
- Number plate
- Gas Bottle + fittings
- Fresh and waste water containers + fittings
- Toilet chemical pack including toilet roll
- Leisure battery
- Caravan Wheel clamp
- Caravan Hitch lock
- Caravan hitch cover
- Nearside and offside e-marked towing mirrors
- Caravan levellers
- Mains lead and household UK connector lead
- Corner steady feet
- Caravan step
- Caravan Jack
- Torque wrench
- Caravan Stabiliser
- Spare wheel and tyre
- Fire extinguisher
- First aid kit
- Caravan nose weight gauge
- Moisture absorber and crystals (for winter storage)
- Cleaning and maintenance kit
- Spare Bulb and Fuse kit
- Low wattage or gas kettle
It is not a legal requirement, however an annual service carried out by an NCC approved workshop is usually a precondition of the manufacturers warranty on New Caravans and is advisable on all, this helps ensure that the chassis, brakes, tyres and running gear is all safe, limiting the possibility of an accident whilst towing, also the gas, 240v/12v Electrics, water system, heating system, caravan seals etc will all be checked to ensure they are functioning correctly. Showing a full service history gives confidence that your caravan has been looked after and well maintained, adding to its value when selling or part exchanging in the future.