Unfortunately, not everyone in this world is honest, especially when there is money involved. This is why, when looking to buy a second hand caravan, it is important to be familiar with the cons and tricks that sellers (and even some dealers) commonly employ to scam you of your hard-earned money.
“Everything works, but when I turned them on today the gas ran out.”
Quite often, people who say this about their second hand caravan will even go as far as to heat up the oven (using a blowtorch!), put cold drinks in the fridge and ice cubes in the freezer – all to make it look as if the various appliances are working. If you cannot test out the appliances for yourself, tell the seller that you’ll come back another time (when the gas bottle is full).
“Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to clean our stuff out yet.”
Some sellers who do this are trying to hide dampness (by leaving items in cupboards) or bad smells (by leaving damp towels) in their second hand caravan, as this con is designed to make you feel too embarrassed to take a proper look around. Don’t feel bad and just ask the seller to move their things or ask if you can move them so you can have a proper look.
“You can’t take it today, but could you leave a deposit?”
When a second hand caravan seller tells you this, they will feed you some story about wanting to get the van cleaned or needing it one last time, so if you leave a deposit you can pick it up another day. Then, they disappear off the face of the earth. Never hand over money until you pick the caravan up.
“I’m selling for a friend and I don’t have a house key on me at the moment.”
Whilst there are people who are genuinely selling a caravan for a friend or relative, there are plenty of people who will use this a ruse to sell you a stolen caravan. They will usually be pretty insistent for you to take the van straight away and will make excuses not to enter the house. If this happens to you, remember that you will also get in trouble with the law.
Whilst some of these second hand caravan cons and tricks aren’t always obvious right from the start, by knowing what to look for you are helping to prevent yourself from falling victim to them. If you ever feel that a caravan seller is trying to trick you, tell them you’ll think about it and leave – never be bullied into buying.