Whether you're selling your caravan to upgrade or you just don't want to have it anymore, you need to carefully plan for the selling to ensure you get the best price and least hassle in the process.

1. Setting your price

When setting the price, you need to consider the model/manufacturer, age, condition, maintenance schedule, extras and of course the fair market value. Before putting out your ad, do some research to find the market price for similar caravans and the level of demand. You can use Search Trends to get an idea of the demand for caravans in your area. Consider hanging onto it a while longer if the demand is low.

You can look at online auto-trading platforms and magazines to begin your research or simply opt for professional valuation. As you fix the price, leave a little room for haggling; never start with your last price.

2. Preparation

Presentation is everything in a caravan sale, so ensure you take care of these:

  • Cleaning – thoroughly clean the van using water and detergent to get rid of grime and dust build-up. Once dry, remove remaining contaminants such as bugs, tree sap and bird poop with a clay bar.
  • Polishing – hand polish is better than buffer for DIY paint correction, as the latter may remove too much paint. Use foam pads for hand-polishing and ensure you use microfiber cloth to remove residues. Select a mildly abrasive polish if you have an older caravan, but use gentler pre-wax polishes on newer vans.
  • Paint protection – this is done by waxing, though there are other options. Wind up your preparation by waxing the exterior to protect the paint and bring out that lustre on your paintjob.

You can have professional detailing service providers take care of all these if you don't have the time.

3. Advertising

Online classified ads are much cheaper than print adverts, and they have a wider field-of-reach: Consumers generally start online for virtually anything they want. Online ads also give you a little wiggle room compared to print. Start with professional-looking, clear photographs of the van and place all important details at the top in list form.

You can provide additional information in the description area allowed below. You have very limited time to entice the buyer, so start with the best information and choose your language carefully. Include any notable upgrades you've made, overall condition, model/year/make, weight measures, and any obvious shortcomings, e.g. denting and other applicable benefits.

Don't forget to add a sign to the window of the caravan – this is great advertising space that costs nothing!

4. Enquiries

Ensure that the phone number/email provided is constantly manned from the time you place your ads. Be ready with answers to the most basic questions buyers would ask, including when they can inspect it, registration, and service history, availability of parts, accident history, and best price offer. Know all there is about your caravan. Be courteous and open to negotiating; you're not doing customers a favour.