Buying a campervan
Please note that these guides do not constitute legal advice and any information provided in the guides should not be construed as legal advice or legal interpretation. We do not accept any liability for any loss caused by your reliance on this guide.
The DoneDeal guide to buying a campervan
- Do your research on specific models before buying. Good models include Buerstner, Hymer, Eura Mobil and Dethleffs.
- ALWAYS bring someone with experience in camper vans with you when viewing a potential purchase. Most camper van owners know what you need to check.
- Look for a full service history, which will be vital if you want to trade in your camper van down the line.
- Ask the seller to use a moisture metre to check for any leaks in the camper’s walls and roof – leaks will lead to the insulation rotting.
- Check for any external damage to the roof, as this can lead to internal leaks.
- Most modern campers are 2.8 cc upwards.
- Engines of 1.9 or 2.4 can be less efficient for a loaded van.
- Choose a suitable size for your needs: for adequate space two people would need a three-person birth; three people a four-person berth, etc.
- Choose appropriate sleeping accommodation: Coach Built campers have an overhead permanent bed; A-Class have an overhead pull-down bed; others have seated areas that convert when needed.
- Check the chassis for rust (prolonged exposure in coastal areas can lead to erosion).
- Check the condition of both engine battery and leisure battery for condition.
- Check tyres, including the spare, and breakdown kit; camper van tyres say “camping” on the tyre wall and should be around 16 inches.
- Does the door step work? It can be hard to climb into a camper without a step.
- Is there a ladder for roof access?
- Check fittings on storage units – especially hinges.
- Make sure that all electrical items work (lights, fridge) and the cooker lights.
- Do mattresses, cushions or driver’s seat need to be upholstered?
- Look at cleanliness of cooker – a good indication of how well the camper has been maintained.
- Lino floors are easier to maintain than carpet, especially with pets and children
- Is there adequate internal storage for your needs?
- Externally, is there space for sports equipment, buckets for washing and hoses for connection to campsite utilities?
- Is there a bike rack?
- A hitch is useful for towing a SMART car or small trailer.
- Camper vans don’t usually have high mileage, so they don’t depreciate in value like other vehicles – expect to pay between €15,000 and €20,000 for a good van.
Read the DoneDeal Guide to buying a caravan or mobile home.