Caravan Purchase Check-list:
Step – to get in and out of your caravan easier
There are many types of step on offer, single or double. A double step will be the easiest for you getting in and out of your van. Small steps cost roughly £10-12 and double step usually £25.
Hook-up Cable - this is the cable you plug into the mains power to on-site
you can pay up to £40 for a 25m cable elsewhere but here at Caravan Source it's £15 for 10m or £30 for 25m. You may also wish to purchase an adapter to allow you to plug in at home (£7.99 caravan source).
Battery – the battery that is in your caravan to power lights heater controls and water pump etc
85Ah Leisure batteries usually do for the odd trip away (£80 caravan source)
110Ah Leisure batteries are recommended for motor-mover users or heavy power users running 12v tv etc (£100 caravan source)
Gas Bottle and correct regulator or adapter – to provide gas to fridge/cooker/fire/water heater etc
There are 2 types of bottled gas available “Propane” or “Butane” they run at different pressures which means they have a different type of regulator. Propane is the most commonly used, as it can but used in lower temperatures without freezing. Propane is in the orange/red bottle and Butane usually comes in a blue bottle. You will be looking for a 6kg Propane usually to fit in the front of your caravan. “Calor gas” is the most common and easiest to swap. Calor requires a rather large deposit when you take out a new bottle and you will need to exchange this in future for a replacement bottle. Caravan Source will provide you with a used calor bottle for £20 (if available) saving you £££ and the hassle of taking out a contract with calor.
Water Pump or inlet filter – this is the how you get water into your van either via a submersible pump or pipe into onboard pump. Pumps usually cost around £50 new.
Waste Outlet Pipe –this is the pipe that gets the waste water from your caravan to your waste water container.
Water Containers – where you store your fresh and used water (not toilet waste)
Most people choose an aqua-roll and waste-master as these have wheels and are much easier to use than traditional containers. They cost roughly about £100/pair new or we sell them for £28 each used.
Toilet Chemicals – the chemicals for your flush and to break down your waste
Blue stuff – To go in the tank you empty the waste out of to help break-down the waste.
Pink stuff – To go in the flush system (read the back of the bottle for diluting instruction.
Green stuff – same as blue but herbal and more environmentally friendly. Some sites only allow green now.
Chemical Toilet Roll – you may wish to purchase the chemical toilet-roll
This is easer for the toilet chemical to break-down £2.10 pack of 4.
Towing Mirrors – legal requirement for towing a caravan with car or van
The police seldom know the rules but it is a legal requirement to have 2 mirrors for towing a caravan if it's wider than the tow vehicle. We stock 2 easy types ranging from £9-12 per mirror depending on your vehicle mirror size.
Spare Wheel – spare wheel/tyre in-case of break-down (kept under the van in a carrier or in front locker.)
Stabiliser – to add stability to your caravan while being towed.
2 types: The traditional type stabiliser comprises of a stabiliser bar and a bracket on the car and caravan. The second type is the modern “Al-Ko” or “Winterhoff” Stabiliser hitch/head which will tighten onto the ball to reduce movement while towing. You may need to adapt your tow-bar ball to suite the modern type.
Levelling Chocks – to help you level your caravan on un-even site ground
Little tip - the fridge won't work properly unless the caravan is level.
Leg-Winder – to wind down the corner-steadies on your caravan
You can get a standard hand-winder for £8 or battery drill bit attachment for £10
Fire Extinguisher – to put out fire
Smoke Alarm – to detect a fire
CO2 alarm – CO2 is a dangerous gas which will put you to sleep then suffocate you, faulty gas fires, water heaters or fridges could emit Carbon Monoxide.
Recommended, most car policies will only cover your caravan third party.
Insurance will cover you fully comp if you crash and will cover theft and damage.
It is also necessary if you wish to use a storage facility
Hitch-Lock – to prevent your caravan being able to be hitched up and towed away
Depends on your type of hitch, new they range from £30-120 and used from £30.
You may save money on insurance if you get an “approved” hitch-lock
Wheel Clamp – locks onto your wheel/tyre to prevent towing away
There is a range of qualities and prices vary between £25-100 new and £10-40 used.
You may save money on insurance if you get an “approved” wheel clamp.
Leg Locks – to prevent caravan legs from being wound up when in storage
An in-expensive way of protecting your caravan.
Awning; there's lots to choose from new and used but you should be able to get a decent used awning for under £300. If you'd prefer a light-weight porch-type awning then about £40 used and £80-120 new. People are also commonly opting for inflatable awnings these days.
Motor-Mover – to help you manoeuvre your caravan when not on the car
A motor-mover consists of motors which you can move/lock automatically (with the remote) or manually (with a lever) onto the wheels of your caravan enabling you to remotely move your caravan with only your remote.
Since motor-movers were invented they've helped thousands of people get about easier with their caravan; whether onto their drive or difficult storage bay or out on a site.
They can be particularly helpful if you struggle to reverse your caravan and/or struggle to push your caravan by hand.
Hitch Cover – to cover the A-frame of your caravan while in storage
This will help protect your hand-break lever plastic and any plastics on your hitch
Things to remember longer-term:
Annual Service: You may not use your caravan that much but an annual service will pick up on the early signs of damp and may save you a lot of money in the long run, it's also important to get your tyres checked thoroughly.
This would also pick up on things like Gas and Electrical problems which could if not noticed cause serious damage and/or injury.
Tyres: As mentioned previously it is recommended to get them changed every 5-7 years, particularly if you've not used the van that often. The make/brand of tyre isn't that important as you will rarely wear down a tyre. It is so important because your tyre will degrade and cracks will appear over time standing with weight on them.
The information given in this check-list is provided with the best of intentions and to help you enjoy your Caravanning Experience. Information given is for guide purposes only, individuals must at all times use their own initiative whilst operating and towing a caravan.
We accept no responsibility for damage to your vehicle or to any other form of material property and accept no responsibility for personal or third party injury that may occur in relationship to information provided in this check-list.