Things to consider when buying a new or used caravan

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Travelling is fun! And the experience could be all the way more exciting when you have a comfortable vehicle for traveling. Do you desire to explore your dream world the fun and comfortable way? Then, a caravan is a great option. It doesn’t matter if you are starting to search or in between buying a used caravan process; keep in mind that this decision matters.

There are several factors to consider when buying a caravan – different brands and styles of caravans, which can make choosing the right caravan for you a little overwhelming. However, to help readers with the used caravan buying process, we have compiled a list of a few questions that you need to ask yourself prior to buying a new or a used caravan.

  • What is your goal for buying a used Caravan?
  • How many beds do you need?
  • What size van do you want?
  • Are you going to stick to the main highways?
  • Are you going to be driving your caravan on rough or dirty roads?
  • What is your towing capacity?
  • Who will travel with you on the trip?
  • Should you opt for an on-road or off-road van?
  • Do you want a Hard-Top or Pop-Top Caravan?

Things to consider

Once you know why you want a used or new caravan, consider other considerations when buying a used caravan.

Let’s roll down and know them in detail!

Check the age

Generally, the lifespan of a caravan is 14 years if it is well maintained. The fastest way to find out the age of your caravan is to check the serial number on the chassis or check the (original) caravan manually.

It will not only help you save a lot of money, but you will get one with better specs and lots of characteristic equipment and devices. However, if you are interested in an old or vague model, try to check the availability of spare parts in the market first and then go ahead with the purchase.


There are over 4000+ cases of the stolen caravan every year. So be aware! If you find the price of a used caravan too good to be true, don’t buy it. People who own a stolen caravan usually try to sell it quickly at a massively reduced price.

Better to analyze the costs of various models and check the market to get an idea of ​​the correct costs.

Trailer Plate

Caravan manufacturers install an identification plate on their products, and if it is a home-built trailer, then also there must be an identification plate. The trailer plate list includes the details of the vehicle model, manufacturer, VIN, and date of manufacturing. Also, look for signs of tampering and make sure the information engraved on the trailer’s plate matches the registration papers.


Be cautious from who you are buying your used caravan, especially if it is a private seller. You need to check the identity of the caravan owner. Also, check for dents, scratches, or damage around the trailer hitch and rims, as this could indicate that the safety devices have been forcibly removed.

Also, investigate for signs of rebirth – changing a trailer’s unique characteristics to hide its identity. You can also request documents and contact the owner directly to find out the truth.


If you buy from a trustworthy dealer, ask them about the warranty included with the used caravan and what is covered. Keep in mind that warranties vary from three months for older units and up to one year for the latest caravans.

But check the fine print to find out what a specific warranty covers. Some guarantees are offered directly via a dedicated caravan insurance company, so there can be a lot of fine print. Yet, you should not assume that a dealer will perform a full security check on the caravan, but before leaving the premises, you should demand full service if necessary.

Check everything

We have created a list of things we think you should check before buying a used caravan.


  • Check the electrical and gas system
  • Any sign of rust on the chassis
  • Condition of tires and wheels, including spare tire
  • Battery system equipped
  • Water tanks and their size
  • Braking system type
  • The exterior hatches open easily
  • Gaskets are in good condition
  • Correctly installed gas cylinders
  • No sign of mould.
  • Visual damage including dents, major scratches, previous repairs
  • Van weight


  • Bed length / size
  • Type of mattress and it’s condition.
  • Check inside the closet for signs of water damage, stains, musty odours, ants, etc.
  • Closet doors, Roof hatches, and Windows opens/locks properly
  • Air conditioning working
  • Check the operation of other devices
  • Type of refrigerator
  • Gas jacks on pop-top
  • Flooring

Take a Test Drive

Ask your dealer to offer you a test drive option so that you can see how the caravan performs under normal towing conditions. You can also try out the inertia brakes to ensure they are smooth and efficient when you apply them and generally get a feel for how your car and trailer will behave together.

Finally, if you are new to caravanning, bring a more experienced friend who will know what to watch out for. It’s still a good tip to bring someone else with you because two pairs of eyes are always better than one when buying a trailer.

Go For It!

Various registered used caravans are available in Australia, but one can get tired easily with so many options available out there. So, to assist you, we have outlined above all the tips and tricks to buy a used caravan. We hope this will help you in your search for buying a used caravan.

In addition, try to buy from a reputable dealer rather than a private one, it will give you harmony, and you will also be entitled to a legal warranty if anything needs to be fixed after the purchase. Be truthful in your expectations and choose the caravan that best meets your needs, irrespective of the brand!

Andy Sullivan

Andy Sullivan

A lover of all things outdoors, Andy is an experience camper having traveled the east cost of Australia multiple times and countless trips throughout New Zealand.

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