Advice needed about a purchase

Mar 27, 2011
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Hi all, a friend of mine has been looking for a used caravan, wants something cheap and cheerful and after looking at lots that turned out to be trouble he’s got a chance of buying a Compass Corona 475, it’s a 2004 5 berth, but is the lightest I’ve come across for a 5 berth, can’t remember what he said it is but it was 950kg give or take, I’ve seen videos of the van and looks in great condition so I thought I’d see if anyone knows of anything that this model that he should look out for, I’ve told him damp is the big thing to look for and he’s bought a damp meter so if anyone can help with info? It’s needed asap as wants to buy it at the weekend if it checks out when he sees it in the flesh.

BP
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Does the seller have legal title to sell? Tyres what age and condition. Is it private or trade better protection trade via CRA 2015 or if paying by credit card Section75. When was it last serviced? Gas pigtail age. Can he take someone along who knows caravans.

If it’s well looked after and tidy could be a nice starter van. But not really practical for five without hood size awning and car that can take the kit the van cannot.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Hi all, a friend of mine has been looking for a used caravan, wants something cheap and cheerful and after looking at lots that turned out to be trouble he’s got a chance of buying a Compass Corona 475, it’s a 2004 5 berth, but is the lightest I’ve come across for a 5 berth, can’t remember what he said it is but it was 950kg give or take, I’ve seen videos of the van and looks in great condition so I thought I’d see if anyone knows of anything that this model that he should look out for, I’ve told him damp is the big thing to look for and he’s bought a damp meter so if anyone can help with info? It’s needed asap as wants to buy it at the weekend if it checks out when he sees it in the flesh.

BP
The figure given is the MIRO of the caravan. The MTPLM is 1225kg. In essence if they do not have a B+E licence the maximum gross weight of the car cannot exceed 2275kg. We had an older one many years ago for about 2 months due to damp under front windows.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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It seems to me your friend is determined to go ahead, and is unlikely to be swayed by forum opinions.

He really should be taking more time to check the caravan for faults, and whether its legitimate.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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All the things like cris check, are done and ok, checking faults physically will be done when he gets there, he has B+E so fine there, I can’t remember what Audi he has but it’s ok to tow 2 tonne I think he said, he’s done a match check with one of the clubs and the only thing it pointed out was that because the car was so powerful it could easily exceed speed limits so care needed, physical checks have got to wait till he gets there at the weekend as it’s a 3 hour drive, pretty much anything other than a gas fault won’t bother him and he is a fully qualified auto electrician so 12 volts is no problem, I was looking more for anyone who knew first hand this actual model, it’s only being used by him and his wife so only going to be 2.

BP
 
Mar 27, 2011
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Prof, I’m not sure how you’ve come to your strange conclusion that he’s determined to go ahead regardless, I think that’s just your pessimistic view that thinks that and not based on anything factual, if I thought that, there would have been no point me asking, how much time would you take to check for faults, a couple of hours checking for damp, trying electrical items etc, I’d think a couple of ours when he arrives on-site unless I’m missing something.

BP
 
Jan 19, 2002
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A service record and damp report would be handy. If checking with a damp meter he should ask the permission of the seller, who should be happy to oblige, if not it's a 3 hour drive back home! Places to check in particular are the front and rear corners (top and bottom) - might be inside lockers depending on the layout, window /door/rooflight surrounds. This should be done with care for example just beneath the windows rubber so as to not leave visible 'prod' marks. Damp might also show in stained or peeling area in the wall or ceiling boards. Look up how to check the age of the tyres - ideally less than 5 years old but definitely not over 7. A van of this age should be expected to show some 'fair wear and tear' and a 5 berth is likely to have been a family van, but for example it is possible that the carpet was fitted beneath the furniture so is less easy to replace if needed than loose fit carpets, and 'dings' in furniture or exterior are not necessarily easy to repair. Always expect to visit the owners home and ask for evidence of ownership, no 'i'll meet you half way at a service station etc! A genuine owner selling his van will of course have one van to sell, beware of any sellers who have several vans for sale - essentially then a dealer and not a private seller. This has been noted on this forum under a previous thread. As above it is unlikely to be 'an essential journey' under covid regulations and towing a caravan would be very conspicuous and likely to incur a fine if challenged en route!
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Why doesn't your friend pay an AWS technician to give it the once over and write a report? Cost about £90, but saves a 6 hour round trip. They can then put down a deposit to hold it until they are legally allowed to drive and collect it.
 
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Mar 27, 2011
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Audiorob you raise good points which is what I was hoping for, some of your points are the same as mentioned by a couple of people who think that no one would think of checking for faults or cris or the time of driving not being allowed, people like yourself, OC and Buckman may have mentioned same or similar points but they don’t reply in such a way as to appear to be talking down, maybe it’s a lack of tact I don’t know, anyway in answer to the good points raised, an AWS is going to be difficult at such short notice, under normal times that wouldn’t be a problem but in the current climate if this gets missed it could be a long wait for another, also audiobob we’ve looked at the points you raised but thanks for the input, regarding the restrictions, his job causes him to drive hundreds of miles weekly and at no time has he been approached at all, he will as you say be far more conspicuous towing the caravan but we discussed this and upon a good inspection when he gets there he may pay a deposit then go back later to collect it, I’m not sure of the restrictions but he mentioned that come the 29th which is Monday he would be allowed, he did say though that if the caravan is right for him he might risk the fine, he drives around the country testing things for all the major motor manufacturers so I would expect him to be pretty clued up, the 3 people above ALWAYS come up with excellent advice but more to the point is they don’t talk down to people, but hey ho such is life, I’ll probably get a telling off for this post but I’ll live with it if I do, like any source of help there are people to look for answers from and people who you know you won’t.



BP
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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There are damp meters and there are damp meters! Does your friend know how and where to take the readings? What the % actually mean? I agree with Buckman. Get a professional caravan engineer to check it out.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Prof, I’m not sure how you’ve come to your strange conclusion
BP
I only have the posts you have made about the circumstances, and it all seems very rushed. You wrote " It’s needed asap as wants to buy it at the weekend " which gives the distinct impression his mind is already made up.

You also told us the caravan is 2004 which makes it 16 to 17 years old That means it will be old constructions and usually by that age they will more than likely have suffered some damp issues. They may not be catastrophic but it needs careful review. As will all the other appliances which as you will know are not automatically serviced as part of normal annual services.

Generally if a seller is pressuring you to by something quickly it should warn you to take extra care in case there is some questionable reason he want to get rid of it quickly.

Nothing strange, Its the same advice you often see on the forum.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Hi all, a friend of mine has been looking for a used caravan, wants something cheap and cheerful and after looking at lots that turned out to be trouble he’s got a chance of buying a Compass Corona 475, it’s a 2004 5 berth, but is the lightest I’ve come across for a 5 berth, can’t remember what he said it is but it was 950kg give or take, I’ve seen videos of the van and looks in great condition so I thought I’d see if anyone knows of anything that this model that he should look out for, I’ve told him damp is the big thing to look for and he’s bought a damp meter so if anyone can help with info? It’s needed asap as wants to buy it at the weekend if it checks out when he sees it in the flesh.

BP
Waiting for any news from your friend about the caravan he was interested in at the weekend.........looking forward to the results
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Looked at it and it was nothing like advertised, damp and filthy dirty, no surprise.

BP
This seems a fairly common issue. Many years ago when looking for a second hand caravan we were surprised at the state of many so called immaculate or damp free caravans. One damp free caravan was so damp that the ceiling had peeled away from the roof! Annoyingly a waste of a lot of fuel travelling around.
More recently daughter wanted a caravan and got some off FB marketplace for us to look at. After checking out 3 different caravans in different areas we refused to look at any caravans that were associated with FB.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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A friend of mine also look at the caravans of Facebook marketplace he said the exact words never again.
I would look at preloved or Gumtree he might find one to his liking good hunting
 
Nov 11, 2009
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My last three caravans I have always had damp checked before offering for sale. My last Bailey a 2005 model S5 I sold in 2014 and the damp check showed a small area of damp on the front nearside window seal. Then for around £200 the workshop fitted a new seal. It sold to the first person that looked at it at the asking price. The current van is due its mid year damp check late May as he’s so heavily booked that I arranged this damp check six months ago. I've got my own meter which I used a couple of weeks back, but an AWS has more credibility than mine..
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thank heavens Beehpee's friend had not agreed to purchase before seeing it.

It makes me angry when this sort of thing happens, It's blatant dishonesty even fraud.

This why its so important to do a decent level of due diligence about second hand purchase's BEFORE you agree to purchase. And especially with large purchases like cars and caravan, it often pays to get them independently inspected before making an offer.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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Sorry to hear about the wasted journey. When we purchased our van we went to see several private sales, while a couple were genuine folk unfortunately some definitely were 'bending the truth' so we bought (used) from a dealer with a good warranty which apart from a couple of minor issues has not been needed during our ownership. Wish your friend better joy with his search and eventual purchase!
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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... while a couple were genuine folk unfortunately some definitely were 'bending the truth' ...

For one of my sins I work quite a lot with audio equipment, and I buy much of it second hand, and I have seen many items described as "like new" or even "New", but when you get up close its clearly not like new, yet the sellers are convinced in their description until you show them the "floggel toggle" doesn't work the way its meant to... etc

I don't condone over selling- there's far to much of it, but I can understand the situation where if you own something that has served you well and you want to sell it, you easily overlook the small blemishes that simply occur through life. Even though the the "floggel toggle" doesn't work properly, you've learnt the knack to operate it and so its not been a problem to you.

But when traders and dealers do it, it really raises the question of how honest they really are.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Never ceases to amaze me how people don't look after expensive things; my friend has a small car dealership and you should see the state of some of the px he takes!
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Now here’s a thing Jezzer. My Company Cars were self cleaning in the April showers. The interiors were emptied once a month so the family could sit down. Sandwich boxes water bottles etc soon built up!

They went to auction after three years on circa 100 k. Regularly on the dot serviced. Best tyres and fuel. 99% spent in top gear 5 or 6. Clutch and brakes rarely used . Engine running for hours on end at 75 mph. No speeding As such. Couldn’t afford to lose my licence. The engines were probably good for another 100k.

Then my brother does a PCP thing. You are limited on mileage and when the car goes back a bloke spends hours looking for every ding dent and spec of dirt! He was so worried about the financial penalties he hardly used the car!
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Some years ago we had a 2008 Bailey Ranger 460/4 caravan we brought it new from a dealer had it five years it was service and well maintained every year had proof in the service book even kept the receipts what we brought and had done to it .
We put in on preloved it was sold in 30 mins at full asking price the fella put a deposit down and fetch it the same week when the funds had cleared at the bank .
 
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