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When thinking about investing in a caravan, you will find useful articles online from leading clubs and magazines. If your family or friends own caravans, then have a chat to discover what tips they can offer from their experience. The internet is a great way to get to know all the makes and models on the market. Most manufacturer websites have walkthrough videos and galleries of photos of different layouts and designs. The best way to ensure that your caravan meets safety requirements and does not have any hidden faults is by purchasing from a reputable dealer. When choosing a dealer, double-check their credentials, aftersales care, and customer reviews. It is always a good idea to see the caravan first-hand and get a real feel for it, ensuring that it is the right fit for you and your family.
Please see below for a list of things to consider when shopping for your first caravan:
For a smooth sailing trip, caravanning accessories are key. This includes anything from toilet chemicals to security locks and cooking equipment. Find out more about which accessories are necessary by reading our blog.
By choosing to purchase from a dealer, you can ask for advice on which accessories are best for your caravan as well as other tips on how to take care of your caravan to ensure it remains in tip-top condition. A dealer will also include the major benefit of a warranty in case the unexpected happens and the comfort that the necessary service and safety checks have been completed prior to collection.
If you decide to sell your caravan in the future, Webbs do offer a free, no-obligation quote and unparalleled advice.
When purchasing your caravan, a reputable dealer will check if your license allows you to tow caravans and what weight caravans your car can tow. If you passed your driving test on or after the 1st January 1997 and haven’t taken a towing test since then this is classified as a B license. For caravan purposes, this permits you to tow a car and caravan combination with a maximum mass of 3500kg. The vehicle will need to be approved for towing and will have a legal towing limit that cannot be exceeded. For more information, please check the details here. The subject of being able to tow legally can be quite confusing, however, it is vitally important that the car/caravan combination weight checks are undertaken and any reputable dealer will do the hard work for you.
The first time towing your caravan, you should drive at a slower pace and in an area, you are familiar with. Make sure to lock all your cupboards and drawers so that your belongings don’t fall out and lock the slider and shower doors. Most dealers will have a useful ‘Pre-flight checklist’ which can be ticked off prior to departing, after a few trips it will all start to become much more familiar.
If you aren’t confident with your towing skills, you can learn to tow by undertaking a course to boost your skills and manoeuvre safely. The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club both provide courses for beginners and experienced caravan towers.
Your caravan is an investment, which is why you should ensure you have adequate security measures to protect it from getting stolen. Caravans can be vulnerable when parked in your driveway, in storage or at a campsite. For protection, you will need caravan insurance against theft and fire damage as well as accidental. Attach towing mirrors for legal requirements of vision and make sure you check your tyre pressure before you set off. There are a variety of security accessories such as wheel locks and alarms that can be purchased for your peace of mind. Find out more about caravan security.
You’ve got your caravan, now what? It’s time to take it for a spin! If you are worried about anything at all, you could always start off with a local trip to put your mind at ease. That way, if anything goes wrong (or you forget something), your home isn’t too far away.
When researching and planning for your trip, look out for the best destinations by searching for highly rated caravanning parks that have all the amenities you require. Always pack in case of emergency breakdowns, make sure your phones are fully charged, pack a first aid kit, a torch, blankets, and bottled water. By joining a caravan club, you will receive discounts on camping essentials and lower-priced pitches so it’s worth taking the time to find one that’s right for you.
And last but not least, have loads of fun on your first caravanning adventure!