Buying A Used Caravan Checklist | Australia

  • Author: Ted Jones
  • Date: March 16, 2023

Used Caravan Checklist

If you want to be on the road throughout the holidays in a caravan to explore the country, but are on a tight budget, then getting a used caravan can be a smart decision.

However, when it comes to buying used things, there is always a chance that you may get tricked, so you have to be very careful and smart when you’re in the market. So that you don’t fall into a trap of buying a lemon, or with an overpriced caravan. So we are here with a buying a used caravan checklist.

Let’s dive into the main details here.


Factors To Keep In Mind When Buying A Used Caravan

There are some factors that you must consider when you’re in the market for buying a used caravan. You need to know what to look for when buying a used caravan, so it fits all your needs.

Here are other articles that will help out – Tips For Buying a Used Caravan in Australia

What Caravans Are Made In Australia?


Is It Too Heavy?

The very first thing you need to look at is the caravan’s weight and check it with the towing capacity of your vehicle. Never buy a caravan with a weight that exceeds your vehicle’s towing capacity; this can cause severe damage.

If you find a great caravan that goes above the capacity of your towing vehicle, then you might have to think of upgrading your vehicle.

How Much Do Caravans Weigh?


Size of The Van

Typically, caravans tend to be a bit cramped, but they have to be big enough so that they are livable. Check the size and think if it will comfortably accommodate the number of people you are planning to hit the road with.

Will the kids grow up and go camping with you? Or is it just going to be you and your partner on the trips?


Age of The Caravan

You don’t need the latest model caravan with a bunch of features, but the age of the van is certainly a factor you need to consider. Getting something too old wouldn’t be a very wise decision.

People will have different preferences in this matter; some will want caravans that look very modern, while other crowds may be fine with anything functional.


Where To Buy A Used Caravan From

Online shopping has never been bigger than it is today for everything, even caravans! There are several online marketplaces that you can look into for used caravans. With online marketplaces, you can filter out results and find a caravan that fits your requirements quicker.

Listings from both private sellers and dealerships will be present in these marketplaces, so you can pick whichever you find more reliable. Always ask the seller where you can go and see the caravan in person so you can be sure that you’re not falling for a scam.


Buying A Used Caravan Checklist

Finally, we have arrived at the main part of our article, which is the checklists. You will need a notepad and pen because we have 3 checklists that you need to go through before buying your pre-loved caravan.

We have a checklist for all the questions you should have for the private seller or dealer, one for the external condition of the caravan and another for the internal situation.


Questions For The Seller

  • How old is the caravan?
  • Who are the past owners of this caravan, and what did they use it for?
  • Where is it being kept now that it is not being used?
  • What services and replacements have been done to the caravan?
  • Are components of this caravan available in the market? Where can you find these spare components? List – Caravan Parts Suppliers
  • What papers come with this van? Do you need to go through the process of doing more paperwork?
  • Has it been in a bingle?
  • How many people can this caravan accommodate with ease?
  • Does it have any niche features that you should be aware of?
  • What is the weight of the caravan?
  • Are there any parts that could use some repair?


External Condition

  • Look for any scratches and stains on the windows very carefully. Ensure there are no hairline cracks in the glass.
  • Test the windows by opening and closing them to see whether they can be smoothly operated or get jammed easily.
  • Walk around the van and see if its body has small scratches or dents. See if any paint has been chipped off, has faded, or has any signs of rusting.
  • Get a good look at the seals of the windows, vents, doors around the walls, and the roof as well.
  • Grab a ladder if it doesn’t come with the van to see what accessories you may be able to fit onto the roof.
  • Check if the suspension system has any damages, like cracks, broken parts, or rusting.
  • Search for signs of wear on the tires by looking at the tread. Check if they have been repaired before or have any current punctures.
  • Take a close look at the towing hitch to see if it’s still in good condition. Check if the rest of the A-frame, such as the chain, wiring, and handbrake, is alright.
  • Get a flashlight to look at all the wiring in the caravan to see if there are any broken cables.
  • Check the braking system properly by observing the brake pads, and hand brake.
  • Test all the electric parts, such as lights, batteries, appliances, and chargers, to see if they’re properly functioning.
  • See if the condition of the gas bottles is fine or not.
  • Open and shut the doors to see if they’re responsive and lock properly.


Internal Conditions

  • Look for signs of damage to the mattress and the bed frame.
  • Use a flashlight to check for stains and damage on other pieces of furniture.
  • Try to detect if there’s any rotten smell of mold that is covered by the seller with a strong odor.
  • Take a good look to determine whether the style of the furniture suits your taste.
  • Is it comfortable to sit on the seats and lie down on the bed?
  • Check all the cabinets to see if anything is broken.
  • Test all the appliances and lights to check whether repairs and replacements have to be made.
  • Look for any signs of bug or insect infestations inside the caravan.
  • Turn the kitchen appliances on and do a little test to ensure nothing’s busted.
  • Do the toilet, shower, and sink have any issues? Or are there any plumbing and moisture level issues that need fixing?
  • Tap on the walls and the floor to find any possible hollow spots.
  • Test out all the power sockets.


If you do decide to buy the van, remember to get caravan insurance before you hit the road.

Here is a list of insurers, for more information, click on – List of Caravan Insurance Companies in Australia



As you can see, buying a used caravan checklist is very different from buying a new caravan.

We have made the checklists so that you do a good examination of everything, so there’s no chance of you being scammed. If you don’t feel confident in checking everything, take a friend with a better idea about these things with you when you go to inspect a second-hand caravan in person.