What you should look for when buying a used pop-top caravan
Buying a used pop-top caravan can be a great option if you’re on a tight budget, but you’ll need to do some research to ensure you don’t end up with a dud.
Start by deciding exactly what type of pop-top caravan you need, considering factors such as accommodation requirements, towing and storage capabilities, convenience, purchase and operating costs and ease of maintenance.
Once you’ve worked out your budget and chosen a pop-top caravan model, it’s time to start shopping – look in newspapers and magazine classifieds, online and at local used caravan dealers until you find the model you want at a reasonable price.
When you go to view the used pop-top caravan, keep the following in mind:
Check the pop-top caravan for rust
Rust can be a big problem on used caravans, and is expensive to fix. Check the chassis, A-frame, moving components and underneath the van. A brand-new paint job might indicate a quick cover-up job, so look very closely.
Check the facilities
Thoroughly check the inside of the pop-top caravan to ensure that everything works, including the fridge, stove and other kitchen appliances; drawers, cupboards and windows; moving components on extendable areas and anything else you can think of.
Look out for moisture
Have a good sniff around when you first enter the pop-top caravan to check for mustiness. Check all hatches, walls, windows and doors for any signs of water penetration.
Make sure the tow hitch moves easily and – if possible – check that the handbrake holds the caravan firmly when on an incline.
Making the purchase
Arrange to see a number of used pop-top caravans before making your purchase. The seller – whether you’re buying privately or from dealer – will be keen to get you to make a commitment on the spot, but you should get a sense of what else is on offer so you can make a considered final decision.