Buy caravan: How to find the right model

Although the caravan has been around since the end of the 19th century, the trailer is more modern than ever. Finally, you can travel with the trailer completely independent, so escape the stress of everyday life. But before this dream comes true, you must first decide which type of caravan is right for you. In addition, you should make it clear before you buy what you expect from the caravan and how much budget is available. Then it’s time to find a suitable model before finally taking care of the RV financing.

Caravan types

 Caravan types

When buying a caravan is: The more comfort you want, the more expensive is the caravan. Therefore, make sure in advance exactly what you need:

  • Number of sleeping places
  • kitchenette
  • Bath shower
  • storage space
  • Space inside for luggage or for “living”

Traveling with the vehicle anyway only over the weekend, should be enough already a small teardrop trailer. If you are planning a tour through Scandinavia, you should better orient yourself in the area of “luxury caravans”. Because they are much better insulated, heated and often have water tanks. So you can also camp in remote places.

Tent folding caravan

This model unfolds out of a trailer. It is not a “real” caravan, but a spacious tent. The advantage: Priced, these models are hard to beat, but the comfort is very low.

Teardrop trailer

This variant, which has the shape of a tear, is constructed comparatively simple. Although you do not have to sleep in the tent, next to the beds there is only a small storage space. There is also the variant for motorcycles.

Folding caravan

After all, this model already has solid sidewalls, which makes it a bit more expensive than the previous two variants. Nevertheless, the “living comfort” is still severely limited. Although it is warmer and more protected inside by the solid side walls, but a proper kitchen or even a separate bathroom does not exist here.

Caravan with lifting roof

Caravans that have a lifting roof are already much more common and in demand. During the ride, the roof folds down slightly, so that the aerodynamics better and the fuel consumption is lower. Since these trucks offer a lot of space, they are partly equipped with a small toilet, you can also use a kitchenette here.

Classic caravan

The classic caravan can be found in various categories. It all shows that the caravan offers good protection from the weather. In addition, there are usually more than two beds and a slightly larger kitchenette. Luxury caravans also have their own showers and can sometimes be used independently for several days.

Used or new?

 Used or new?

If you have decided on a model, the next consideration can be triggered – namely, whether the caravan is to be bought new or used. The biggest savings potential is undoubtedly, if you buy the caravan used. Just like conventional cars, the trailer drastically loses value every year. But of course, there are some advantages to buying a new caravan:

  • The vehicle is definitely free from defects.
  • You have a legal right to warranty.
  • Often new models are much more comfortable and better equipped than the previous versions.

Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself how these benefits are worth the sometimes high extra charge.

Typical mistakes when buying a caravan


Whether you need or buy a caravan, there are certain mistakes in planning the purchase that you should definitely avoid. Be sure to inform yourself before purchasing whether your car can pull the car at all. Especially large luxury variants are heavy and not very aerodynamic, so that a small Fiat Punto would reach its limits without a doubt.

You also need to check how much your driver’s license allows driving with a caravan. From a certain size, the cars are always considered a trailer, only small tent folding models you can possibly lead without the necessary addition.


Buy used caravan

If you want to buy used caravans, the first question is whether you should go to a private or a commercial dealer. Private providers are often cheaper, but you get a guarantee from the professional. This takes a lot of risk, especially in older models, because the dealer must be partially responsible for damage. If the choice has been made, proceed as follows:

  1. Search online for used caravans. Compare different models and providers to discover savings potential.
  2. You can make an appointment via the portals.
  3. On-site you should check the car completely for defects. Look especially at possible damage to the paint, the tires and the clutch. The interior should also be in good condition.
  4. Judge now how the caravan is really spacious and comfortable enough for the desired use.
  5. In the last step you use the defects found to negotiate the price. Both commercial and private providers still have some leeway here.

For used models experts take


Although the caravan, in contrast to the motorhome does not have its own engine, sources for damage or shortcomings are still enough. If you have never bought such a pendant, get the best help from a friend or relative. Take the “expert” with you to the caravan purchase, so that you can discover possible deficiencies faster and more reliably.


Buy a new caravan

New caravans always buy directly from the commercial dealer. As a rule, there is little room for negotiation here, only a cash payment will partially give you a discount. When buying it, you can therefore fully focus on the most important features of the motorhome:

  • How much payload is possible?
  • Is my driving license class enough to use the model as a trailer at all?
  • Is a water tank available? How tall is this?
  • Is there enough room for the intended use?

Follow costs


When buying, never pay attention only to the actual purchase price. The follow-up costs can go straight into the money in the long run. In addition to the fuel consumption hereby especially the maintenance and repair costs meant that turn out quite high, especially in used caravans.


General information about the purchase


If the caravan purchase is a kind of experiment for you, it is best to use used caravans. Without much capital investment, you can test whether this type of travel is right for you. Do not like the caravan, sell it without big losses. On the other hand, anyone who has traveled with the trailer for years and plans to do so several times a year in the future does not do much wrong with a new model.


Conveniently finance the caravan purchase

 Conveniently finance the caravan purchase

How to save on the caravan purchase


If you buy a caravan, you save a lot of money compared to a real motorhome. But there are still big price differences between the supporters themselves. The “luxury liners” cost tens of thousands of euros, simple mini campers are sometimes available for less than 10,000 euros.


If you want to buy a real luxury caravan, the trailer quickly costs tens of thousands of euros. If you do not have the money in your account, you can finance the vehicle in two different ways:

  • Bank: Banks provide special loans for cars or vehicles in general. Even a conventional installment loan can be used to finance the purchase.
  • Dealer financing: If you buy the caravan from a commercial dealer, you may be able to use dealer financing.

Both options are borrowing, only the terms may differ. One advantage, however, can offer bank financing: Take the loan, you can cash out the cash and pay in this way at the dealer. Many providers grant you a discount for this.

The biggest disadvantage of financing is that the value of caravans sinks quite quickly after purchase. If, for example, you decide to sell the vehicle after two years, the sales proceeds will seldom be enough to fully cover the remaining debt. Then you would continue to pay off loan installments without being able to use a caravan.

compare offers


So that the financing of the caravan runs as low as possible, you should necessarily compare loan offers. Because different banks will offer you different good conditions for financing. With a comparison, you can save several hundred euros over the long term.


Leasing instead of purchase

 Leasing instead of purchase

An alternative to a direct purchase can be the so-called leasing. However, it is relatively little widespread in caravans. If you find a suitable offer, you must note the following:

  • The leasing rates are to be regarded as a kind of rent payment, which are due each month.
  • At the end of the lease, you decide whether to buy the vehicle. The lease installments serve as a partial payment, but are not fully credited to the purchase price.
  • If you do not buy the caravan, the leasing rates will not be refunded.

Lease is worthwhile only if you do not plan a later purchase and want to keep the current burden on your household budget very small. As a rule, the leasing rates are lower than possible loan installments that would be due on a purchase.

Use of the caravan

 Use of the caravan

It has already been mentioned at the beginning that comfort costs money. This starts with simple aspects like the storage space, goes over the sleeping places and ends with the flat screen TV. If you want to save money when buying a caravan, it is best to forego as much luxury as possible. As an indication, the use of the caravan can serve:

  • Short trip: Travel only two or three times a year, small mini campers are enough. These then serve practically as a pure sleeping cabin, maximum is still a kitchenette in the rear part of the car. So you do not have to go out for a lot of money and the purchase of the caravan is cheap.
  • One-week trip: If you travel often for several days – from Hamburg to Scandinavia or from Munich to Italy – it should be a bit more comfortable. So you should be able to stand upright in the caravan, the kitchenette may be a bit larger.
  • Traveling for several weeks : Real campers use the caravan for several weeks to travel to entire countries. Although you can still do without expensive luxury on comfort such as a private bathroom but not necessarily. In addition, the beds should be comfortable and not reminiscent of simple sleeping pads. Otherwise you start with back pain in the next day of your vacation.

You can also save so much that you look at the extra fuel consumption of the caravan. The higher and wider the car, the worse it is for aerodynamics. Accordingly, the fuel consumption increases accordingly. The weight also has an effect on the fuel costs.

Do not save on sleeping


Basically, you should not save on sleeping. If you are not sure that you will not be traveling in a threesome or a four, you better invest the extra money. Because retrofitting you can not sleep – unlike many other features – not.