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Thinking of buying a caravan
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Judderman
 


Member Since: 19 Mar 2016
Location: Highland
Posts: 41

Scotland 2005 Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE Auto Zambezi SilverDiscovery 3
Thinking of buying a caravan

Hi folks,

Thinking of buying a 4berth caravan second hand up to around £3000 and was wondering what the pitfalls are.

I understand I need a moisture meter. Have bought and sold cars privately before but delving into the world of caravans for the first time.

Any tips are appreciated, thanks

Stephen.
  
Post #18539374th Sep 2017 9:55 am
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Brian_DL13
 


Member Since: 25 Aug 2013
Location: Teesdale
Posts: 888

United Kingdom 2014 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 HSE Auto Corris GreyDiscovery 4

Damp is the main thing. Most other things can be fixed, but damp often spells doom.

As with cars, look for a documented annual service history.

How does it smell (damp?)
How does it look (has the owner kept it polished, or is there green mould (check the roof)
Tyres over 5 years old need replacing
Gas working OK?
240v electrics OK?
How is the battery ? How old is it ?
Windows OK ? Are any misted / scratched ?
Any cracks in the exterior ?
  
Post #18539404th Sep 2017 10:06 am
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nearlee
 


Member Since: 15 Dec 2012
Location: where the sheep are scared
Posts: 1501

Wales 2005 Discovery 3 TDV6 S Auto Bonatti GreyDiscovery 3

Layout layout and layout

Best advice that was given to me was go to caravan show at NEC and check out all the layouts and see which ticks your box's then search second hand market for as close as possible to that layout, it's what I did 18 months ago and haven't looked back.
 Just remember:-
Amateurs built the Ark
Professionals built the titanic 
 
Post #18539424th Sep 2017 10:08 am
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rrhool
 


Member Since: 28 Aug 2014
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 964

United Kingdom 2007 Discovery 3 TDV6 SE Manual Zermatt SilverDiscovery 3

I'm looking for a caravan now. I've had caravans in the past, but not owned one for about 10 years.
Layout is key. Choose the correct layout for your needs.
I'm looking for a 5 or 6 berth, with fixed bunks for the kids, at the back end or side, middle bathroom.
End bathroom vans would be a waste of space for my use.

I've viewed 2 vans last week, both had rot and damp, even though both sellers swore blind there was no damp!

Look under every seat box, in every corner, around every window and roof light. External corner damage inevitably lets the water in, unless repaired very, very well !
 Richard

Discovery 3 SE Zermatt Silver MY07. Triumph 2.5Pi. Ferguson TEA20 1948



Gone. Discovery 2 4.0 ES 2001- Discovery 1 300Tdi ES '95- Range Rover Classic '79 
 
Post #18539464th Sep 2017 10:13 am
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THUB
 


Member Since: 10 Dec 2005
Location: West Berkshire.
Posts: 683

United Kingdom 2012 Discovery 4 TDV6 HSE Auto Nara BronzeDiscovery 4

Make sure you have a good damp meter. As with everything the are damp meters and there are damp meters. Check about every 12 - 18 inches round all internal seams and joints. Check all the sealant around roof lines, roof lights and various small doors. Check main door for warping or twisting. They do tend to be caught in sudden gusts of wind and can distort. Check tyres for age. I never go beyond 5 years but have seen 11 year old tyres on caravans. If the van has shock absorbers fitted check for efficiency. Make sure all electrics, 12v and 240v work. Leave fridge and heating running for some minutes to see that they "do" work. Same for any gas appliances. Test corner steadies by winding through the full range, up and down. They may have been twisted, inadvertently if not fully retracted prior to towing. Pay particular attention to hitch, must be 50mm not 2," and the overrun braking systems. Depending on the axle assembly and wheel bearing configuation check brake condition, linings and drums. Stand back, think hard and then enjoy caravanning. Take the caravan for a test run 3 -4 miles minimum. Check that it will reverse.
Much like buying a second hand car.;
  
Post #18539494th Sep 2017 10:18 am
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Judderman
 


Member Since: 19 Mar 2016
Location: Highland
Posts: 41

Scotland 2005 Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE Auto Zambezi SilverDiscovery 3

Thanks for all the quick responses guys, cheers
  
Post #18539774th Sep 2017 11:35 am
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Benners66
 


Member Since: 09 Mar 2016
Location: Southampton
Posts: 54

United Kingdom 2005 Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE Auto Java BlackDiscovery 3

Having a good browse through all the layouts on here will give you a good idea of what is available.

http://www.caravanfinder.co.uk/caravans.html

We searched for the ideal one and had to travel a bit to get the right one.

We'll be at the NEC in October looking at new vans as the kids all increase in size.......
  
Post #18539834th Sep 2017 11:42 am
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nigels888
 


Member Since: 28 Nov 2014
Location: stockton on tees
Posts: 220

England 2015 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 HSE Lux Auto Mariana BlackDiscovery 4

trust me damp meter is your friend. I had an older caravan that I part exchanged against a new one. they offered me £1500. when he came out to view it he put damp meter on it was riddled. price came downt o £350 even scrap man was going to offer me £700 changed it down to £450. believe me it did not smell of damp and had no visual signs of damp so I did not bother checking even though I have a proper damp meter and have dealt with flooded homes so know the importance of it (lesson learned) other than that as said layout is key do the research and decide on what you think is best for you. buy one and enjoy for a few years. trust me layout is an acquired taste and you tend to try a few before you find the perfect layout for you
   
Post #18541544th Sep 2017 7:23 pm
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tayaste
 


Member Since: 15 May 2013
Location: Chester
Posts: 6851

United Kingdom 2008 Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE Auto Stornoway GreyDiscovery 3

nearlee wrote:
Layout layout and layout

Best advice that was given to me was go to caravan show at NEC and check out all the layouts and see which ticks your box's then search second hand market for as close as possible to that layout, it's what I did 18 months ago and haven't looked back.


+1... but... the layout SWMBO wants.
   
Post #18541574th Sep 2017 7:25 pm
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sturgessrick
 


Member Since: 23 May 2011
Location: Northamptonshire
Posts: 124

United Kingdom 2010 Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 XS Auto Stornoway GreyDiscovery 4

nearlee wrote:
Layout layout and layout

Best advice that was given to me was go to caravan show at NEC and check out all the layouts and see which ticks your box's then search second hand market for as close as possible to that layout, it's what I did 18 months ago and haven't looked back.


I also agree with this, I made the mistake and ended up changing vans less than 2 years later! It is so important to get it right.
Buy a damp tester offline, and check the whole van, around windows and doors especially.
  
Post #186092623rd Sep 2017 6:51 pm
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MorganD379
 


Member Since: 29 Sep 2016
Location: sa623pp
Posts: 94

Wales 2008 Discovery 3 TDV6 XS Auto Santorini BlackDiscovery 3

Echo the comments on the electrics, test everything on mains and the gas.... Some better owners get their vans serviced, much like a mot for the car covers gas, electrical and running gear checks.

When I picked up my last caravan from the stealers, they neglected to tell me there was no leisure battery Surprised wasn't happy, initial inspection there was... Beware!
  
Post #186094823rd Sep 2017 7:25 pm
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