Welcome to post number 4 in the “Buying Your First Caravan” series. In today’s post we will be focusing on the upkeep of a caravan, more specifically servicing and warranty requirements and recommendations.
Servicing and warranty requirements and recommendations
There is more to owning a caravan than you would think. Similar to cars, it is highly recommended that you have your caravan serviced annually regardless of age and usage. If the caravan has an outstanding manufacturer’s warranty then most terms state that to keep that warranty intact the caravan must be serviced on or around the anniversary of purchase. A point worth mentioning; if your caravan has a manufacturers warranty outstanding you may not just be able to take the caravan to any caravan service centre, you may have to use a main dealer or an NCC Approved Workshop. Be sure to check with the manufacturer as to their requirements. This is then something you may want to consider in your budget. The cost of caravan servicing will vary from dealership to dealership but the rough average cost of a single axle caravan service is about £225.
So what is a caravan service and what does it include?
A caravan service is a series of tests and checks that are performed to ensure the safety and integrity of a caravan. Having a caravan serviced can potentially expose some current or potential future problems which if left, could cost you a lot of money to fix and could even be dangerous. Here is a brief list of some of the main things that are checked during a caravan service:
* Hitch head coupling
* Road electrics
* Appliance electrics
* Gas system
* Gas appliances
* Water system
* Damp test
Do you need a warranty and what does it cover?
It would be wrong for me to tell you that you need a warranty, but what I can tell you is why I think they can benefit you, and I will get to that in a minute. First I have a listed a few things that a typical caravan warranty might cover (disclaimer: this list is for information purposes only, please check with the caravan manufacturer or warranty provider to confirm what is covered and for exclusions):
* Breaking system
* Towing mechanism
* Gas system
* Heating system
* Cassette toilet
* Water ingress (body leaks)
As you would expect as with most warranties, accidental damage and wear and tear is not covered. So, I think having a warranty can benefit most caravan owners. It can take some of the financial concerns away from owning a caravan. If you have your warranty you can rest assured that if anything goes wrong that is covered in the policy during the term will be put right for little or no cost.
Caravan dealers and warranties
If you buy a caravan from a dealer it will normally come with a warranty unless they specific otherwise. Generally, the caravan will have undergone a service (also know as a PDI or pre-delivery inspection) before you collect but this may not always be the case so be sure to check with the dealer. Some dealers will choose to manage their warranty in house (I would recommend getting written confirmation of what is covered and what is not) while others outsource to an external warranty provider. If the dealer does not supply a warranty you could always consider purchasing an insurance backed warranty policy (a quick Google search for “caravan warranties” should find these). If the dealer is selling a caravan that is not very old, it could be that it still has it’s manufacturers warranty intact (ask the dealer to check this for you), if this is the case you will need to make sure that the warranty is transferable and if there is any fee to do so.
Private caravan sales and warranties
If you are buying a caravan privately it goes without saying that they won’t be offering you any kind of warranty. When buying privately it would be worth asking the seller for proof of previous service history, this will give you a good idea of how the caravan has been looked after. As I mentioned above, you could purchase an insurance backed warranty to protect your caravan.
In this post I have tried to help you understand the service and warranty requirements and recommendations for touring caravans. We covered what a typical service and warranty policy might cover and also how to go about checking if a newly new caravan’s outstanding warranty can be transferred if you were to buy it.
I really hope you have found this information useful. I would love to know what you think, please leave me a comment below or send me a message on Facebook.
In tomorrow’s post we will be looking at caravan insurance! If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe to our mailing list and I’ll send you an email to remind you.
All the best.