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Purchasing a caravan..

Aug 27, 2019
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When the time comes to purchase one, it won't be a spanking new one.
How do you know everything works, for example, the toilet, shower, electrics, gas etc etc?
Do they come with full service and damp check, a check list of everything that the dealership has checked etc?
 
Jan 19, 2002
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You don't reveal where you live, but if buying a fairly new van from a dealer you should expect a full instructive handover, a serviced and damp-checked van (with the paperwork) and for e.g. in some Midlands dealers as much as a 3 year warranty. Have a good look around as many vans as you can on dealer forecourts. Don't be afraid to ask for a 'starter pack' thrown in, which would include waste/water carriers, battery, number-plate, driving mirrors, security devices etc and save a great deal of set-up cost!
 
Aug 27, 2019
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Many thanks for your reply.
I live in Dorset btw. I have read that at times the dealer can be quite generous, a startup package would be great of course.
The last 2nd hand van I looked at, the dealer gave me a list of extras that could be purchased. The motor mover was pretty expensive, can't remember the exact cost, but my eyes did pop out a little!
 
Sep 5, 2016
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Tricia, If you don't really know about what to look for when you buy a caravan I would suggest when you have made your decision to purchase your caravan find yourself a qualified caravan engineer to give the caravan the once over, buying a caravans new or secondhand can be problematic,
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Tricia, a lot of dealers offer starter packs which include full size awning. For your travels across Europe, I would decline the awning, and save , maybe £500 or more. You might find that just a sunshade canopy would be better. I found that I could sell my light weight Porch awnings, at the end of our months touring, every time In France. As they were not available at that time ( three years ago).
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Tricia,

It seems from your correspondence so far there is a lot about caravanning that is new to you. May I suggest that if you have a friend or relative who caravans, that you make a point of discussing your plans and ideas with them, and if possible get them to view a few caravans with you. They may well spot the good, the bad and the ugly things that a novice might miss.

I also encourage you to think about doing a towing course such as those offered by the caravan clubs. It may prove very useful.

If you are intending to caravan solo, then a caravan mover may be godsend even on the lightest of caravans.

When you get your caravan, do a few local trips to find out how the caravan behaves, and to discover the little things you may have forgotten and to find any non functioning items or other difficulties.

When considering towing abroad, do your homework on the local road laws, and documentation you should take with you, Bear in mind that Brexit will see some changes in these items.
 
Aug 27, 2019
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Thanks for your reply.
I have a couple friends who are quite often out and about in their vans who I have spoken to, they are local to me which is good.
I'll definitely take the towing course.
There are a number of campsites quite close to where I live, I'll be able to start off there well before I hit the high roads.
Heading across to Europe will be a challenge and I'll surely do my homework.
So much to learn, all the pros and cons etc.
I've already noted some things down, all in different categories.

Ah, yes, Brexit, it'll be interesting to see the outcome.
 
May 27, 2014
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Obviously you must match the caravan to your vehicle - the kerb weight of the car must be heavier than the caravan - caravanning is an expensive affair - storage insurance maintainance and the impact towing a caravan has on fuel consumption - dealers will charge premium prices due to their overheads - there are many nearly new private caravan deals on autotrader at much keener prices - finally choose a layout suitable to your requirements
 
Sep 5, 2016
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Tricia, I think down in your part of the world there is the Caravan Company, they had a site in Leicester but moved away to Northamptonshire because of lack of space , I often called in to Leicester for a look round and also sold them a caravan , I found them ok todeal with and they always had a good selection of used csravans,
 
Aug 27, 2019
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Thanks Camel, there is one on the Wimborne road, I've stopped by there a few times and they certainly do have numerous vans, all shapes and sizes.
It was there that I saw an Elddis Xplore, I really liked it.

The staff were very helpful. I would prefer to purchase something closer to home, should there be any problems that occur.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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TriciaA said:
...The motor mover was pretty expensive, can't remember the exact cost, but my eyes did pop out a little!
For a single axle Powrtouch motor mover you're looking about £900-£1k, but it's almost an essential for me - I would take the mover over an Isabella awning. I could not get the caravan on my drive by reversing it with the car, nor could I manhandle it up the slope by myself.

Some pre-owned caravans may come with a mover fitted, depends if the previous owner has had it moved onto another van.
 
Apr 10, 2014
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I paid just under £800 for my Powrtouch Evolution and wouldn't manage without it.
As CustardAvenger states, I caravan on my own and could not move it myself nor get on and off the driveway and slope.
I no longer use an awning, as I have a fiamma sun canopy.
Regards,
 
Aug 27, 2019
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I was trying to post a photo but just can't find figure it out.
Super starter pack
* 40 ltr Aqua-roll
* 40 ltr Waste master
* 25 metre mains hook-up lead
* 100Amp Leisure battery
* Single caravan step
* Double pack of toilet fluids
* 6kg Calor Gas
* Gas tail
* Waste hoses
* Classic number plate
* Hitch cover.
£380
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Aug 27, 2019
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Looking at the paper they gave me, there is a picture of a number plate (Your Reg)
I guess it's for the van, not sure about the Classic part lol
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Craigyoung said:
Wow :huh: ! Is that what you paid !!
I paid £65o for ours !
Technically, I paid nothing for it ;)

NEC Show Offer when I bought the caravan... S/A PowrTouch Evolution RRP £995
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Lots of good advice above. I would suggest you also look at one of the two major clubs, as they have lots of good details and advice available plus all their sites. one at least produces videos for beginners.
For quite a lot of the stuff on the starter pack list ebay will have even more. I would suggest that if your choice of caravan does not already have a mover fitted you should use this are your main negotiating tool. Also, if the dealer happens also to be a member of the Approved Workshop scheme, insist they carry out the prescribed inspection and let you have the report before you finalise the purchase. Or find your nearest AWS mobie agent and have him/her check the van again before finalising purchase. This will cost but nothing like the cost and hassle of finding and fixing any faults afterwards.
 

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