Buying your first tourer

31/05/2011
With the popularity of caravan holidays in the UK on the rise, it is clear that more and more people will be on the lookout for a new tourer.
 
And with the 'staycation' being all the rage at present, many holidaymakers are likely to be in the market for their first-ever caravan.

With that in mind, it is essential that vacationers know just what to look for when searching for a new model that will suit them - and their friends' and family's needs - down to the ground.

One of the first things prospective buyers need to bear in mind is whether they want to go for a brand-new model or a second-hand vehicle.

For those wishing to purchase a never-before-used tourer, there are a number of options available to them.

Buying a caravan at a show can be a great place to check out a wide range of different makes and, as pointed out by The Camping and Caravanning Club, "you'll see all the latest layouts and styles and as the various dealers' sales people battle it out for orders you can get some great offers and discounts".

For those unable to attend an industry event, buying from a dealer can be one of the best ways for people to get their hands on a decent vehicle - with most selling both new and second-hand options.

And as the organisation again noted: "A local dealer close to your home is a great idea so it won't be far to drive back to sort out any problems or for regular servicing."

With family finances still stretched as the UK emerges from recession, many holidaymakers are likely to be in the market for a used tourer.

For these individuals, it is imperative they carry out a few more checks on prospective vehicles, as they need to make sure they will be getting their money's worth.

Camping and Caravanning UK has recommended would-be buyers make sure the caravan is free from rust, especially around the chassis area, while fresh paint could be a tell-tale sign of a quick cover-up.

People should give everything both outside and inside the vehicle a good look-over, the organisation suggested, including items such as the cooker, fridge, windows and beds.

"Check for leaks from any pipes in the van, also look around windows and the roof for signs of water damage and thus signs of leakage. If there is a smell of damp in the air then there could also be a problem," it added.

Preloved.co.uk, meanwhile, has reminded individuals that they have to take size specifications into consideration, especially with regard to their tow car.

The website noted the general rule of thumb is that a caravan should be no more than 85 per cent of the kerb weight of the vehicle - but those who are inexperienced when it comes to towing should aim for a lower weight than this.

This sentiment was echoed by Gocaravanning.com, which suggested motors with a relatively long wheelbase and a short overhang at the back tend to be more suitable for this purpose.

So, by bearing in mind a number of important factors - such as where to purchase a caravan and whom to buy it from, what to look for when picking a model up and making sure a tow vehicle is suitable - holidaymakers can be safe in the knowledge that they are picking up a caravan that will serve them well for years to come.