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Buying A Static Caravan Advice for those about to purchase a static caravan.

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  #1  
Old 27-01-2019, 11:40
jhotrocks jhotrocks is offline
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Default Am looking at taking the plunge

I am ready to take the plunge and buy a static. I have found a van that is ten years old on a small coastal site and the park owner has told me that they let caravans stay for 30 years so there are 20 left. Its is 14000 and looks good but I have some worries about the chassis, I felt it and there is some corrosion although it feels generally solid. How long do they generally last for and with some TLC can I reverse the corrosion?
I am a total newbie by the way and am worried about making a mistake.
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Old 27-01-2019, 12:13
fhb fhb is offline
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The chassis can- theoretically - last for 100 years if cared for.
The chassis is also the only part on a static that cannot be replaced.
Surface rust can be removed, sometimes even more severe rust can be treated - but if you are uncertain, there are two options - have it surveyed by a chassis specialist, or walk away.
There are two good surveyors, one is the Chassis Doctor (http://www.chassisdoc.co.uk/), based Northampton, the other is Park Home Chassis Services (http://www.parkhomechassis.co.uk/).
They usually work on residential Park homes, but provided you are in their area see no reason why they would not look at a holiday static.
Whether it is worthwhile paying for a survey on a holiday van is another matter..... especially bearing in mind the lack of regulations surrounding how long a holiday van can stay on site (what wil happen if yor site sells up, etc....).
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Old 27-01-2019, 12:34
Peter.R Peter.R is offline
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhotrocks View Post
I am ready to take the plunge and buy a static. I have found a van that is ten years old on a small coastal site and the park owner has told me that they let caravans stay for 30 years so there are 20 left. Its is 14000 and looks good but I have some worries about the chassis, I felt it and there is some corrosion although it feels generally solid. How long do they generally last for and with some TLC can I reverse the corrosion?
I am a total newbie by the way and am worried about making a mistake.
If you've found the one you want ?...My advice is "go for it !" My caravan was 10 year old when I bought it !!! And had been well looked after ......whiich I'm still doing !( Buff of any signs of surface rust on chassis as soon as I see them and Hammer right
Paint them ...Not that there has been much !!)…our site has no age limit on caravans on the priviso you look after them !!

I think the quality and construction of caravans in the last 15 -20 years is of far superior quality ...Than the bad old days of plywood and hardboard ?
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Old 27-01-2019, 13:22
jhotrocks jhotrocks is offline
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Thanks, to be honest I have several worries and that overriding fear of being ripped off. But I have met the site owner and he seems decent enough and seems to have lot of people that have been there a long time. It would be handy to find some reviews, although the lack of any online could possibly be a good sign.
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Old 27-01-2019, 14:10
Peter.R Peter.R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhotrocks View Post
Thanks, to be honest I have several worries and that overriding fear of being ripped off. But I have met the site owner and he seems decent enough and seems to have lot of people that have been there a long time. It would be handy to find some reviews, although the lack of any online could possibly be a good sign.
Make sure you ask plenty of questions ?
Like :- Can you sell it privately or does it have to be sold back to them ?
Can you buy your own gas from your own supplier ? Or just off them ?
Can you get your own insurance ? Or only off them ?
Can you buy your own. Decking ? Or only off them ?
Can you get your own maintenance engineers in ? (gas servicing. Drain downs etc ) or only through them ?
Just for starters !! It's all the "add ons " that you get ripped off for not necessarily the cost of the caravan

Last edited by Peter.R; 27-01-2019 at 14:33.
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Old 27-01-2019, 16:24
slattster slattster is offline
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I think we all have them initial fears because if it goes belly up in the first couple of years you will have paid out a lot of money for a short time so have a word with the owner about your worries he may put them right or offer a discount , take a wire brush to the rust and see how bad it is , might just need a rub down and painting. Nothings perfect , if you love the site and can sort out your worries go for it.
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Old 27-01-2019, 19:43
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Cylon Cylon is offline
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A chassis is more prone to rust on a site near the coast due to salt in the air. Checking a chassis in my opinion is not that difficult as long as you can see around it, areas I also pay extra attention to are heavy load bearing areas and welded joints. Surface rust in my opinion should not be of major concern if treated, it's when it has started eating a fair bit into the chassis that would give me concern. I'm assuming the chassis on this van has not been galvanized?

Don't intend on adding to your stress, but although the chassis is very important so are many other things, especially sometimes hidden things like dampness. Before we handed money over for our used caravan we asked the owner if we could have a couple of hours on our own with the van and during this time checked over thoroughly and have listed below of what I can remember. We did of course though take into account its age, so was not expecting perfection.

Checked inside and out for damage / rust and paying attention to outside panel seams and sealant around doors and windows. Stood back also and looked at the roof for any obvious signs of damage.

Used a moisture detector and probed into / around the carpets (especially edges and corners) or anything else that gave possible concern. We also checked for mould and used our sense of smell for mustiness.

We also checked under beds, storage area under seating etc, inside cupboards and wardrobes and again did a damp check where possible. Used our hands to feel for damp, in awkward places.

Checked around all pipework for leaks, including boiler cupboard and under the sink.

Checked all vents were clear, as seen in the past some covered. Believed this one vans vent was covered because it suffered flies and was evident with the amount of dead flies under the seating storage area.

With a torch we checked walls and the ceiling area (especially edges and corners) for signs of staining caused by damp. This can also sometimes possibly be caused by blocked guttering.


The above was just our check on the van itself, as we had already checked Terms & Conditions of site rules and contract etc. Feel sure I may have possibly missed some things off my list and never checked things I should have, but will hopefully be of some help. Good Luck with it all if going ahead with your purchase

Last edited by Cylon; 27-01-2019 at 20:25. Reason: Added and Edited Wording
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Old 28-01-2019, 09:26
jhotrocks jhotrocks is offline
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Thanks again, the site has a policy of selling the van for you and they take 15% which seems fair to me (opinions please).
Thanks for the ideas of what to look for, where would I pick up a damp meter quickly as I may go back tomorrow on my own and have a good look.
One of the reasons I worry is because I am not a very DIY minded person and worry that I could be walking into a minefield so to speak.
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  #9  
Old 28-01-2019, 10:11
DavidE DavidE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhotrocks View Post
Thanks again, the site has a policy of selling the van for you and they take 15% which seems fair to me (opinions please).
Thanks for the ideas of what to look for, where would I pick up a damp meter quickly as I may go back tomorrow on my own and have a good look.
One of the reasons I worry is because I am not a very DIY minded person and worry that I could be walking into a minefield so to speak.
15% seems to be about the usual site percentage, just check what it is 15% of though as many sites go by the book valuation if this is higher than the sale price.
As to dampmeters, they are available all over ( hardware shops, b&q, screwfix, toolstation, etc.) basically anywhere that does a decent DIY range ( even Aldi & Lidl sometimes). Just make sure you understand how to use it I.e. read those instructions carefully.......
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Old 28-01-2019, 12:54
Clarissa Clarissa is offline
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You may be able to get even 3 months warranty on the van which will give you a few weeks to notice any faults which you might miss on your initial inspection. You might meet others on the sight who will know some history on the van and might be happy to give you some tips on what to look out for. Check that everything works eg. the boiler, fire, cooker,shower etc. Good luck and hope it works out for you.
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