First Time Buyers Guide

New to Caravanning?

Ready to discover the fun, flexibility and freedom a caravan can offer? Whether you’ve got a growing family, want to spend quality time together as a couple or chill out among friends, a mobile ‘home from home’ is an affordable passport to countless weekends and holidays away. With 40 years in the business – backed by a friendly and knowledgeable team of experts – family-run Glossop Caravans can help you make your dream come true – whatever your ambitions or budget. As a first-time buyer, we want you to feel special. We’ll pull out all the stops to make the experience as smooth and stress-free as possible – leaving you to focus on all the good times ahead.

New to Caravanning?

We’ll help you work out which layout is most suitable for you, what your car can tow safely and what you want to spend. When you’ve decided which model you want, we’ll offer you a variety of payment options, plus a package of ‘extras’ to help as you start out.

Before you collect your new holiday home, our in-house experts will make sure it’s in top-class condition. When you collect it, our specialist despatch team will help you get to know it before you drive away – you’re even welcome to stay overnight!

And if you need any follow-up advice or guidance, our highly-trained experts are always happy and on hand to help.

What’s the best caravan for us?

Choosing your first caravan should be a happy, hassle-free experience.

There are three key questions you should keep in mind:

What’s the best layout for us?
What will our car tow?
What do we want to spend?

What's the best caravan for us
Think about how many people will be staying in or visiting your caravan, and how you plan to use it.

Are there just two of you, or do you have family and friends to take into account? Are you planning quiet quality time as a couple, or do you want plenty of space where other people can sleep and you have lots of room to relax and entertain?

Do you want fixed beds or a more flexible arrangement that offers more living space? Would you prefer a larger bathroom where you can wash and dress in comfort, or would you be happy with a smaller 'wet room' so you can have a larger living area?

Caravans for couples

Two-berth - Good choice if you're planning holidays for just the two of you. Most have either the kitchen or the bathroom at the rear. You can use the settees as single beds or make up a double bed across the width of the caravan.

Fixed-bed four-berth - Ideal if guests will be joining you occasionally. They usually have a fixed double bed plus two singles in the living area.

Your fixed bed can run along the length of the caravan or run across the width, with the bathroom and toilet right alongside - often behind a partition. If it is fitted at the rear of the caravan, you can walk around three sides of it, and you have the option of a separate bathroom.

Side dining area four-berth - Have a permanent dining area, so you can leave the bed made up in the lounge if you want to. The dining area can also be converted to bunk beds for young children.

Twin-bed caravans - Perfect for couples and families for teenagers. Four single beds, with a kitchen in the middle and bathroom across the rear.

Caravans for families

Five berths - Good solution if you have children holidaying with you. There are two main options:

Bunk beds, some offering a separate family area where youngsters can play, eat and watch TV, leaving the adults to relax together.
Two lounge-dining areas at each end of the caravan, with the kitchen and bathroom in the centre.

Six berths - Single-axle models have two or three permanent bunk beds plus two more that you can make up in a side dining area. Twin-axle options offer more space because they are longer, and come in a variety of layouts; a sound choice if you plan to use your caravan all year round.

Side dining area four-berth - Have a permanent dining area, so you can leave the bed made up in the lounge if you want to. The dining area can also be converted to bunk beds for young children.

Twin-bed caravans - Perfect for couples and families for teenagers. Four single beds, with a kitchen in the middle and bathroom across the rear.

How can we help?

Come and browse at your leisure at our welcoming showroom, where you'll find a huge range of around 600 new and used caravans from leading manufacturers. We arrange them according to layout and leave them all unlocked, so you can take your time to work out which one you like best at your leisure.

If you have any questions or concerns, our approachable and knowledgeable sales professionals are always on hand and happy to help.

If you prefer, you can access our 24-hour online showroom at our website, view each caravan via a 360° tour - and if you spot the caravan of your dreams, you can reserve it for free... before it's snapped up!

What will our car tow?

We'll make sure your car will tow your caravan when you've packed it with all the things you'll need on holiday!

Don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to understand the technical formula needed to work out what your car can tow safely.

If you’d like to understand the way this is calculated click on the link below

This is for guidance and you should speak to one of our sales team for further advice before making your final choice.

What's the best caravan for us

Think about how many people will be staying in or visiting your caravan, and how you plan to use it.

Are there just two of you, or do you have family and friends to take into account? Are you planning quiet quality time as a couple, or do you want plenty of space where other people can sleep and you have lots of room to relax and entertain?

Do you want fixed beds or a more flexible arrangement that offers more living space? Would you prefer a larger bathroom where you can wash and dress in comfort, or would you be happy with a smaller 'wet room' so you can have a larger living area?

Caravans for couples

Two-berth - Good choice if you're planning holidays for just the two of you. Most have either the kitchen or the bathroom at the rear. You can use the settees as single beds or make up a double bed across the width of the caravan.

Fixed-bed four-berth - Ideal if guests will be joining you occasionally. They usually have a fixed double bed plus two singles in the living area.

Your fixed bed can run along the length of the caravan or run across the width, with the bathroom and toilet right alongside - often behind a partition. If it is fitted at the rear of the caravan, you can walk around three sides of it, and you have the option of a separate bathroom.

Side dining area four-berth - Have a permanent dining area, so you can leave the bed made up in the lounge if you want to. The dining area can also be converted to bunk beds for young children.

Twin-bed caravans - Perfect for couples and families for teenagers. Four single beds, with a kitchen in the middle and bathroom across the rear.

Caravans for families

Five berths - Good solution if you have children holidaying with you. There are two main options:

Bunk beds, some offering a separate family area where youngsters can play, eat and watch TV, leaving the adults to relax together.
Two lounge-dining areas at each end of the caravan, with the kitchen and bathroom in the centre.

Six berths - Single-axle models have two or three permanent bunk beds plus two more that you can make up in a side dining area. Twin-axle options offer more space because they are longer, and come in a variety of layouts; a sound choice if you plan to use your caravan all year round.

Side dining area four-berth - Have a permanent dining area, so you can leave the bed made up in the lounge if you want to. The dining area can also be converted to bunk beds for young children.

Twin-bed caravans - Perfect for couples and families for teenagers. Four single beds, with a kitchen in the middle and bathroom across the rear.

How can we help?

Come and browse at your leisure at our welcoming showroom, where you'll find a huge range of around 600 new and used caravans from leading manufacturers. We arrange them according to layout and leave them all unlocked, so you can take your time to work out which one you like best at your leisure.

If you have any questions or concerns, our approachable and knowledgeable sales professionals are always on hand and happy to help.

If you prefer, you can access our 24-hour online showroom at our website, view each caravan via a 360° tour - and if you spot the caravan of your dreams, you can reserve it for free... before it's snapped up!

What will an awning offer us?

If you pick the right awning for your lifestyle, it could double your holiday living space

Which one you choose depends on what you’re going to use if for, and how often. If you’ll be using it a lot, go for the best quality fabric and frame you can afford. If you’re using it only occasionally, you can select a lighter, less expensive option.

Both full and porch awnings are available, in a huge variety of styles, fabrics, colours and prices for all pockets.

Full Awning

This will more than double your living space - perfect if you want a safe place for your children to play in, the dog wants to get out from under your feet or you want a sheltered area where you can entertain family and friends.

It will also give you lots of leeway to store everything from toys and bikes to wet coats and barbecues.

Porch Awning

If there are just two of you, and you need a covered area to sit and relax, plus some room to store coats and walking boots, a porch awning might suit.

They also tend to be lighter and quicker to build than full awnings - though of course you'll have less space!

Choosing your frame - metal or air?

Which metal?

Steel is best if you intend to park your caravan somewhere for a full season so you can visit for regular holidays and weekends - simply because it's strong and can withstand all weathers.
Lightweight aluminium or glass fibre are practical choices for touring.

Walking on air

Air-frame porches are a recent innovation. Most come with an easy-to-operate manual pump that inflates the porch in a few minutes - leaving you more time to relax and enjoy yourself!

Glossop Awnings

We have a huge range of both new and used full and porch awnings at our Glossop showroom. Prices start as low as £200 for a new, basic awning and from £99 for a well-maintained used awning.

You can browse everything from budget porches to top-of-the-range full awnings, and our friendly and approachable experts are always around to give useful advice based on your budget, the size of your caravan and the amount of space you're looking for. Click here to view Glossop Awnings range.

What happens on collection day?

It's time to discover how your caravan or motorhome works and drive off into a world of freedom, flexibility and fun.

Collecting your first caravan should be a special event; so when the big day finally arrives our comprehensive and practical Handover Policy helps to make the experience both informative and enjoyable.

Our experienced team will spend time with you to make sure that you fully understand how your caravan works before you tow it away.

Learn how to ..

  • Connect gas bottles, the battery, mains hook-up and water
  • Use control panels for the fridge, water and space heating
  • Use the cooker
  • Make up beds in seating areas
  • Fill the toilet flush tank and empty the cassette
  • Drain the water system for winter
  • Wind corner steadies up and down
  • Hitch the caravan on and off the car

Ask questions

You will be given a one-to-one, step-by-step guide. Ask as many questions as you need to fully understand what you are doing.

Overnight Stay

To give you extra confidence, you can even have a free overnight stay at our Glossop showroom to familiarise yourself with all the controls in your new home from home and you're welcome to bring your dog too.

Our overnight stay area has a mains electricity hook-up, gas and water points. You can walk off-site to the nearby supermarket and pubs serving food.

If you have any queries, you can raise them with our helpful engineers and despatchers the following day. Then it's a matter of hitching on, heading out and looking forward to your first great adventure!

What do we want to spend?

Whatever you decide, we can offer the perfect payment option to suit you

Whatever you decide, we can offer the perfect payment option to suit you
Whatever your budget, we have the right caravan for you, at the right price. In this section you can also find out the other things you should consider when planning your budget.

Buying new
Everyone understands the excitement of buying something that's brand new - that special thrill of knowing that no-one else has used it before is second to none. If you're keen to splash out and treat yourself, this could be the perfect option for you.

As a main dealer for leading caravan manufactures Coachman, Elddis and Swift, we stock a unique range of top-specification Special Edition models each year - featuring a host of luxury extras and offering exceptional value for money, starting at £13,000. As an added bonus, all our new ranges have ten-year body warranties.

Buying used
When you're looking to invest in your first caravan, you might want to spend just a few thousand pounds on a used model before upgrading to another nearly-new or new one in a year or two.

We have a superb range of well-maintained used caravans, featuring a huge variety of makes, models and layouts. When you've decided which layout bests suits your lifestyle, starting from as little as £3,000 to around £16,000.

If you prefer to see them for real, feel free to call at our Glossop showroom, where you'll find them arranged according to layout - such as two-berth, family options and fixed beds - to make browsing so much easier.

Funding your investment
When it comes to paying for your caravan, you can either pay a deposit followed by a lump sum covering the balance on collection, or consider a number of funding options*.

Caravan finance can be arranged over a period of one to ten years, enabling you to spread the cost. With flexible deposits and fixed payments, you will always know where you are.

You can click here to use the credit indicator to find out if finance might be an option for you. Feedback is immediate and doesn't affect your credit rating.

*Glossop Caravans Ltd is a licensed credit broker and deals with a range of finance providers. Finance is available to UK residents aged 18 years or over and is subject to status.

Caravan Warranty
We offer a unique, industry-leading Platinum Warranty. This is a comprehensive warranty.

Caravans up to 5 years old are covered for water ingress repairs up to the price of the caravan, plus electrical components, chassis, towing mechanism, brakes and suspension.

Caravans 5 to 10 years old are covered for water ingress repairs up to a value of £1,000, plus braking systems, towing mechanism, chassis, suspension and interior components.

Caravans 10 to 15 years old are covered for water ingress repairs up to £500, plus costs of up to £1,000 relating to the braking systems, towing mechanism, chassis, suspension and interior components.

Terms and conditions apply.

Insurance
When you are towing your caravan, you are covered for any damage it may cause to other vehicles. All you have to do is tell your insurance company that you are towing a caravan.

While you aren't required by law to take out a specific caravan insurance policy, you should consider investing in comprehensive cover to give you peace of mind. It is important to note that if you take finance for your purchase it is a condition of a finance agreement that you must insure your caravan.

Several specialist caravan insurance companies offer excellent policies, and typical cover would include:

Cover for accidental damage, storm and theft
A new for old option (with some companies this applies to caravans up to 15 years old)
Emergency accommodation cover, so that you can continue your holiday in the event of an accident/mishap
Most policies specify that you have a hitch lock and wheel clamp. Premiums will generally be lower if you show proof of extra security measures, such as alarm systems, caravan tracking devices and a locked barrier.

Storage
Many people keep their caravans on their own property between holidays and breaks. If you don't want to, or don't have enough space, there's a choice of storage options countrywide.

We have a list of recommended storage places within a 50-mile radius of Glossop. Many are accredited by the Caravan Storage Site Owners' Association (CaSSOA).

If you live further than 50 miles from Glossop, visit the CaSSOA website (www.cassoa.co.uk).

CaSSOA assesses storage sites across the UK for their level of security and facilities. Three levels of security - Bronze, Silver and Gold - are based on features including CCTV, alarm systems and perimeter fencing.

And storing your caravan at a CaSSOA-rated site makes you eligible for policy discounts with many caravan insurance companies.

Accessories
We can get you off to a great start with our Starter Pack that includes:

An Aquaroll fresh water container
A Wastemaster wheeled waste water container
A waste water connection hose
A mains electricity lead
A gas regulator and connection pipe
A leisure battery
A number plate
Caravan step
Corner steady winding handle
Also on your 'essentials' list should be:

Toilet chemicals to keep your loo fresh and in good working order
Gas cylinders - Propane comes in red cylinders, butane in blue. Choose propane for frosty weather as butane doesn't vaporise in sub-zero temperatures.
Towing mirrors – these must be fitted to your car's door mirrors, extending your field of vision along both sides of the caravan.
Extras

Remember everything you put in your caravan will add weight so it is worth looking at specially-made, lightweight interior accessories - everything ranging from cutlery and kitchen accessories to tableware and tumblers.

Don’t forget sleeping bags or bedding and outdoor furniture. To keep your purchase safe, security fittings for the wheels and hitch will also help to reduce your insurance costs; a caravan cover is a big help in protecting your caravan especially during winter months.

Ready for our great adventure

Time off. Take off. Together.

Relax and enjoy the whole experience, and you’ll grow in knowledge and understanding without really trying.

Don’t try too hard to take in everything at once. A sense of humour, a smile and a little laughter go a long way as you learn all about caravanning. Take time to sit back and enjoy the ride!

Pick your perfect pitch

Choose anything from a quiet, secluded farm setting to a bustling family-oriented site buzzing with activities. The Camping and Caravanning Club and Caravan Club have a nationwide network of accredited locations with guaranteed standards of facilities. Both are a valuable source of advice and information for people new to caravanning. There's also a wide selection of privately-run sites across the UK.

Look at your lifestyle

If you have young children, go for a site with a play area, plenty of open space to explore and run around in and close to family attractions and/or the beach. If you have a dog, choose one in an area with plenty of public footpaths, open access land or beaches where you are allowed to walk them. To relax and unwind, opt for secluded surroundings, where the only morning call is likely to be birdsong.

Boost your confidence

Book a basic manoeuvring course so you feel confident when handling your caravan and can learn to appreciate the basic principles of both towing and reversing. It might seem strange at first, but you'll be surprised how soon you get the hang of it. Both The Camping and Caravanning Club and Caravan Club can advise.

Try a short first tow

For your first great adventure, it's a good idea to select a site that isn't too far away from home, so that you can get used to the feel of towing your caravan without too long a journey. Second time round, you'll feel much more relaxed at the thought of venturing further afield.

Suss out your stay

Think about what you want to do when you arrive. Will you be using the site as a base from which to explore the surrounding area, or would you prefer to have lots of facilities on site, so you don't have to stray too far? Do you want a countryside break or a beach holiday? Do you want peace and quiet or plenty going on? This will help you choose the perfect location for you.

Explore and experience

As you gain experience, take the opportunity to explore areas of the UK you have never been to. If you're planning regular weekends away, you'll be pleasantly surprised just how many fascinating destinations are within a short drive of where you live. If you fancy an overseas break, both The Camping and Caravanning Club and Caravan Club can recommended accredited locations overseas and will book the whole package for you, including sites and ferries.

Swap ideas and information

Ask for help if you need it, with everything from setting up your caravan safely to finding out about things to see and do and places to shop and eat in the surrounding areas. Talk to other caravanners about sites they have been to that they would recommend. If they're staying alongside you at a site you both like, chances are you'll enjoy locations they've been to before. Word of mouth is often worth its weight in gold.

Enjoy yourself!

Don't try too hard to take everything in at once. Relax and enjoy the experience, and you'll grow in knowledge and experience without really trying. If something goes wrong, put it right together with a sense of humour and a smile. A little laughter goes a long way - and once you've sorted the problem, you won' make the same mistake twice!

Speak to us!

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emailinfo@glossopcaravans.co.uk

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