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Subject Topic: What to look for in an old caravan Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by adsheadv02/6/2007 at 7:15pm
Outfit:  Vango Inspire 600     Location:  Manchester
Joined: 27/1/2007
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We've just returned from our 1st camping trip in our tent & whilst on site were admiring the caravans.  We loved camping but did feel envious that the caravan occupants didn't have to run across the site freezing in their jammies if they needed the loo in the night!

We're now contemplating buying an old/cheap caravan to give it a try.  There are 5 of us but the eldest is 16 & won't want to come with us every time so was thinking a 4 berth with awning so we could put a sleeping pod there when he does come along.

We wouldn't want to use bunk beds - other children are 2 (too small) & the 11 yr old refuses to sleep in a top bunk.

What kind of things should we be looking for/at?  Been looking on ebay & noticed some ads make a big deal of saying 'no damp'.  Is this a common problem? 

Any and all advice/opinions appreciated!



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Vanessa
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Message posted by U-F-C02/6/2007 at 7:58pm
Outfit:  Sprite Musketeer XL CD      Location:  Devon Coast
Joined: 13/9/2005
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Hi there,

Yes, damp is probably the biggest problem caravan owners have to suffer, and pretty much all caravans suffer from it sooner or later. The water eventually works it's way into the joins/rails, past the failing sealant and into the 'van, the wooden frame becomes rotten and the structure and strength of the caravan is compromised.
The first sign of damp is spongey/soft spots on the walls, usually up the corners or around the 'ceiling', the skylight often leaks too so soft spongey flooring is also apparent. The older the caravan the more chance of some damp, a meter is available from any DIY store for just a few pounds that will check for damp, it basically has two prongs that you stick into the caravan walls and it tells you if there is damp. Well worth the fiver or so it will cost!
Apart from damp, caravans have electric and gas appliances that should be checked over by someone 'in-the-know' just to be safe. Always ask to see the appliances working before you buy the caravan, as a replacement fridge for example can cost you £150+.
Never buy a caravan without viewing it, and give it a thorough check over before parting with any cash! Older caravans tend to have steel chassis so have a good look underneath too for severe rust etc.

Last but not least, check your cars maximum towing weight and compare it to the weight of the caravan you are interested in.

Hope you find a good bargain!

Post last edited on 02/06/2007 20:05:39

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Message posted by Club Joker02/6/2007 at 7:59pm
Outfit:  Westfalia Club Joker VW T25 1.6TD      Location:  Sunny Lancs
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damp, damp and then look for more damp, in ANY caravan. If there is any / it`s had any but "it`s dried up now" then don`t even look any further. Can of worms, wallet emptier, money pit comes to mind.

A toilet tent would solve all your problems



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Life is one big holiday, only broken up by as little work as possible

Message posted by Bob™5702/6/2007 at 8:48pm
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Buying a used van

Message posted by adsheadv02/6/2007 at 10:41pm
Outfit:  Vango Inspire 600     Location:  Manchester
Joined: 27/1/2007
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Thanks all for the info.  We'll be off to B&Q for a damp meter and carry on gathering as much info as poss before we start looking.  Not in any rush so can spend plenty of time looking around.

Club Joker - like your sense of humour but using a toilet tent (we already have a utility tent to cook in) just doesn't appeal.  It'd still be freezing in the middle of the night & if it was raining too......well........... 



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Vanessa
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Message posted by milomc7202/6/2007 at 10:48pm
Outfit:  Avondale 1995     Location:  Lancashire
Joined: 19/1/2007
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Damp, damp, damp is the worst problem...but we have been there and overcome such problems.  We made the decision to buy caravan for exactly same reasons as you....comfort, warmth, proper beds and inside loo!!!

Good luck with your search and i hope that you find the van for you soon.



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