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Best used caravans: the best second-hand choices in all sizes

Best used caravans: the best second-hand choices in all sizes

For many buyers interested in caravan ownership, the entry-level price for an all-new model may be a little too high to consider a purchase. Fortunately there is a thriving used market in the UK that can offer a wide range of caravans – from nearly new to older, well looked after examples. The obvious bonus is that you should be able to hook up your own motorhome for a much more attractive price than a model that comes fresh from the showroom.

As with buying a used car it is important that you do your homework before parting with your money and unless you have experience in the market it may be worth going to a specialist dealer. But there are other ways to grab a bargain; from a private sale, auction houses and sometimes even manufacturers who offer refurbished models themselves.

While you don’t have the option of choosing your own individual specification from the factory, there is a multitude of models used and you don’t have the added hassle of any production or delivery delays that can occur with a new caravan.

If you’re interested in discovering some of the best used models on the pre-owned market, read our list of the best pre-owned models in all sizes…

Hymer Nova

Hymer Nova caravan

years: 2008-10 Sleeping places: 2-4

Choice of the set: 470

Expect to pay: £9,000 – £12,000

Hymer has a deserved reputation for building durable caravans and the Nova was a popular import during the caravan boom years between 2005 and 2015. The two berth 470 and the four berth 540 were the most popular models and there are usually a handful in the caravan advertisements and at dealers across the country.

The downside to Hymer’s build quality is a weight penalty; the 470 weighs 1500 kg and needs a substantial vehicle to tow it. As with all used vans, pay attention to proven delamination
through soft spots in the floor, cracks in the exterior gelcoat, DIY repairs and leaks.

Advantages: German build quality and robust – if somewhat clunky – interiors. Good availability of spare parts.

cons: Hymers tend to be on the heavy side and they are not cheap, while good, more recent used models are in high demand.

Knaus StarClass

Knaus star class caravanKnaus star class caravan

years: 2006-2009 Sleeping places 2-5

Choice of the set: 480

Expect to pay: £7,000 – £12,000

The Knaus StarClass is an iconic caravan that took the UK market by storm when it arrived in 2006. The striking front panel and pastel colored side panels broke the mold of the ‘white box on wheels’ and it became a modern classic.

The interiors of early British models look a little clunky now, but it’s built to last and as long as they’ve been maintained, even 15-year-old ones will still look fresh. The two-berth 480 was a popular choice for Brits, and the family-friendly 560 was also a hit. Check for damp spots, lift the carpet and poke the floor,
and pay close attention to door and locker catches.

Advantages: Elegant exterior and distinctive profile. Distinctive rear light blocks. Solid, if somewhat dated interiors. German build quality.

cons: Four berth models are heavy compared to UK built equivalents. Washrooms can look tired after more than ten years of heavy use.

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T@B caravanT@B caravan

years: 2015-2020 Sleeping places: 2-4

Choice of the set: 400L

Expect to pay: £10,000 – £15,000

Despite their design icon status, there are usually always a handful of used [email protected] available, as these funky little tourers don’t work for everyone.

[email protected] are made in Germany and their design and quality are quite robust while remaining light and easy to maneuver once in place.

But keep in mind that the standard specification was very basic and gas and electric services were not always included in the UK imports. Beware of retrofitting DIY electric and gas services or vehicles that may have been used for glamping weekends at festivals.

Advantages: Iconic design, lightweight and easy to drag. Aerodynamic design suitable for EVs with limited towing capacity.

cons: Small interiors: models with four berths are realistically 2+1. 320 has no washroom/WC. Very limited basic specification means some have no gas or electric services.

Sprite

Sprite caravanSprite caravan

years: 2007-2020 Sleeping places: 2-6

Choice of the set: major 4

Expect to pay: £7,500-£18,000

The popular Sprite brand is synonymous with budget family caravans and there is a huge choice of used examples. The range includes lightweight two-berth and spacious two-axle six-berth berths for larger families, and even the larger models are generally light enough to tow a family car or medium crossover.

Kit levels are usually pretty basic, but gas and electric services should be there. Watch out for multiple berths showing severe wear and tear, especially kitchens and washrooms. Tired upholstery can
are easy to replace, but upgrading water and gas appliances is a job for an authorized workshop.

Advantages: A comprehensive range of layouts for couples and families. Relatively lightweight and easy to pull. All supplies included in the standard UK specification.

cons: Early examples can be a little tired; the price should reflect this. A narrower 7ft 2-inch bodywork makes the interiors of early family models feel a little cramped.

Bailey Pursuit

Bailey Pursuit caravanBailey Pursuit caravan

years: 2014-2018 Sleeping places: 2-5

Choice of the set: 540-5

Expect to pay: £9,000-£15,000

Bailey’s Pursuit is a family favorite with broad appeal at an attractive price. The company’s Alutech construction technique makes it stronger and more durable than some British rivals, and a wide variety of berths and layouts are offered.

The flexible 540-5 has a classic layout with parallel front benches, which convert into a large double bed, and a laundry room with two bunk beds next to it. The two berth 400/2 is a super light couples touring car with a huge washroom at the end that can be towed by a supermini.

The standard kit usually covers the basics, but common examples may have a canopy to increase accommodation space.

Advantages: Robust build quality. Holds its value well, but get a maintenance history from the main dealer. Wide range of layouts.

cons: Interiors sometimes feel a little plain and floral fabric patterns on previous models won’t be to everyone’s taste. Expect to pay a premium for examples with little use and history.

Compass Corona 574

Compass caravanCompass caravan

years: 2007-2015 Sleeping places: 2-6

Choice of the set: 574

Expect to pay: £6,000 – £14,000

A popular all-rounder from a British multi-marque firm, with a plethora of used ones available. The cabinets of earlier examples are starting to feel a little dated, but the upholstery remains pleasantly current.

Standard specifications have evolved over time, but should include gas, water and electric services. A full set of owner’s club decals can be a good indication that the caravan has been lovingly cared for, but beware of DIY and hobbyist repairs. Look for a clean but well-used one with a service history. Check with a moisture meter whether water is entering and check the floor for softness.

Advantages: Huge range of layouts for families and couples. Widely used stock so you should find a decent one close by. Good standard specification.

cons: Earlier models look tired inside and may have more serious problems under the skin. Older models are subject to DIY ‘customization’ by second or third owners.