Used caravan checklist | Meet the Trudgians

Used caravan checklist

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Featured, Technical | 3 comments

Used caravan checklist

And here it is, the long awaited 11-point list for purchasing a used caravan. It’s taken me nearly 2 years to compile this document and I really do hope it helps or goes some way towards helping those who are purchasing a used caravan. This list is aimed at those who are buying privately, however it is also useful to use the list when purchasing from a dealership. It could be used on that 1st night away to check that everything is working as it should.

I’ve shared it with industry representatives, mobile engineers and keen caravaners and asked if there are any elements that are missed off. I have found a couple of areas that needed attention, but by and large the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. It is a live document which means I will be updating it periodically over the next year.

So, let us set the scene. You’ve found a caravan that you are interested in. it’s the right layout, the right age and most importantly the right price. Now it’s time to contact the seller. I will cover off a whole new blog post and video that covers the first contact with a seller, but in this article, we are focusing on the caravan and we need some information from the seller.

Firstly, ask for the VIN number or CRiS registration number, so you can perform a very quick check with CRiS to make sure there is no outstanding finance, no record of the caravan being stolen or if the caravan has been an insurance write off. There is a fee involved in this, but it could save you thousands of pounds.

Ask why they are selling the caravan. Are they upgrading or giving up caravanning? This could make a difference on the available accessories that might be with the caravan. For example, if they are giving up caravanning, you may find many accessories thrown in with the sale. On the other hand, if they are upgrading, they may have taken some things off the caravan, such as a motor mover.

Before you leave, make sure you have some essentials to check the caravan over. These include:

  • Damp meter
  • Multi meter
  • Torch
  • 12v USB car charger (With LED)
  • 230v device (a lamp, fan or heater)
  • USB cable
  • Camera or Phone
  • A selfie stick
  • A dry, clean cloth
  • The Check list

The final point is visit on a dry day, during daylight hours and with plenty of time on your hands. Make it clear to the seller you will be spending some time with the caravan and not just a quick visit.

In order to see parts of the caravan working as intended you will need to have things like a gas bottle, a leisure battery and electric hook up plugged into the caravan. in some cases, this might not be possible, certainly if the seller stored their caravan at a storage compound. So, ask ahead of visiting if they have a gas bottle, leisure battery and if it’s able to be plugged into 230v mains.

When you are visiting the caravan, try to remain as level headed as you can. It’s so easy to let your heart rule any decision you make, but ask questions about anything that doesn’t seem right and ask to see as much of the caravan working. To maximise your time with the seller, use your camera or phone to take as much footage as possible and record a video of the outside and inside of the caravan. Use the selfie stick to look down onto the roof. Again, move slowly so you can review the footage once home. Testing that everything is working as it should will mean you should use the USB device to test any USB charging points, the 12V plug to check any 12volt outlets and finally the 230V sockets can be checked with a fan, lamp or heater.

My final point in this is if you are serious about the caravan place a deposit and ask for a AWS mobile engineer to visit the caravan and perform a pre purchase inspection on the caravan. Many engineers nationwide will perform this exhaustive test and give you an impartial and comprehensive list of things that are good and bad about the caravan.


  1. Hi Dan
    Watching a lot of TV during lockdown and really enjoying your and a few others caravan blogs. I have noticed both you and Andy Morley were given new caravans to try out. My question is can anyone try out different caravans or is it just people who have you tube blogs ? is it a coincidence you both chose Bailey caravans after they gave you caravans to tryout rather than choosing other manufactures that didn’t.

    • Hi Alan,

      We have not had a caravan to try out from any manufacturer, including Bailey. Im not really sure where you have the idea that we were given a caravan to try out? Caravan manufacturers do have press fleets for use by media outlets, if you are interested contact them directly. Our choice on caravans was on our own merits and very nearly was not a Bailey at all, if you watch the video on us buying the Bailey you will see we were set up for purchasing a Swift.


  2. Hi Dan, thank you for a great channel which has helped me an awful lot over the last few years as a relative newby to caravanning.
    May I ask how you go about puricleaning your water hose that’s used on a fully service pitch? I’ve not found a gadget on the market. I was thinking of some how syphoning the puriclean solution through the hose and capping off the hose to allow the cleaning process. I’m interested to hear what you and others have to say. Thanks mate.

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