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Campervan Shopping 101: What to Look for When Buying

a few vw caravans

When buying a campervan, it pays to take your time and do your due diligence, particularly if you have never purchased a campervan before. If you have been wondering, “How do I know what campervan to buy?”, here are some criteria that you should look for as you are on the hunt for the perfect getaway vehicle.

Does it Land in my Price Range?

volkswagen caravan

Autocraft Motor Caravans said “This is critical because it can be easy to get carried away when looking at campervans, especially because there is always something newer, fancier and with more gadgets.” Having a solid budget will keep you from daydreaming about campervans that you shouldn’t buy and focus your eyes on the candidates that are within your reach, and this applies whether you are planning to pay for your campervan in cash or with consumer credit.

Does it Have a Pop-Up Roof?

A pop-top van may be exactly what you want or need. It comes with many benefits that a regular van does not but also has more moving parts and potential failure points that can cause you issues down the road. If you are buying new, this may not be a problem but if you are buying used, make sure to inspect the roof and determine if such a feature is necessary for your travels.

What Are the Sleeping Arrangements?

Who will be joining you on your adventures? The sleeping arrangements you need in your campervans, whether that be a small roll bed or a larger mattress sleeping area, will significantly affect the size and type of campervan you need. You may not know exactly who will be with you every time you are out enjoying the road but having a solid idea of what you require for sleeping arrangements will make the shopping process much simpler and more efficient.

Am I Planning for Weekends Trips or Longer Adventures?

vw caravans from above

Are you planning on spending a lot of time in your campervan? Or is it for weekend fun? You should look for a campervan that suits the type of recreational activities you will be doing while you are on the road, matching the size and style of the van to the style of travelling you are expecting to do. This includes knowing how much storage space you need, the type of kitchen area that makes sense and whether it makes sense to rent a camper instead.

Is it Mechanically Sound?

This is another critical part of your campervan criteria because even if it looks good and matches everything else you need… if it can’t be on the road, what’s the point? Wear and tear doesn’t only affect the interior of a campervan but, it most importantly does damage to the operation of the vehicle, especially if it isn’t maintained. How do you check this? It is a good idea to take it for a test drive, find a mechanic you trust and have them look it over and get an honest assessment of the state of the campervan.

Does it Have All the Safety Equipment Necessary?

These are easy to add later but a campervan should have the proper amount of fire extinguishers, tie-down straps and emergency breakdown equipment (such as cones, reflective vests, tow ropes, booster cables, etc.) needed for regular road travel.

Do I Need a Special Driving License?

driving caravan

It is important to check if the campervan you are planning to buy requires you to have a special license to drive it. This would typically only apply to larger vans and campers, but it is always worth checking!

Campervan Buyer Guide: What to Look for When Shopping for a Campervan

The world is full of options when you are searching for a campervan. Use these criteria to determine your priorities and find the perfect campervan for you!

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