We might all decide to buy everything brand new if we had the chance and so avoid problems created by previous owners and to be more sure of the attention and good service of the manufacturer. It is also true, however, that many of us have an eye on getting a good deal – even if we are not compulsive bargain hunters and in the area of trailer tents/folding campers, as with cars, it is often the case that buying pre-owned can on balance be a better bet.
Unless you are looking for a real bargain basement set up (perhaps you just want to try this type of holiday out for the first time), or are a vintage fan, then as with buying cars a good idea is to look at those second hand set-ups that include what you have read up about as being must haves from reviews of new vehicles.
So if you like the idea of manmade breathable fabrics, carbon fibre poles with gas aided assembly and any other ideas you have seen that you like look for these when trawling through the used set-up choices. Unless something is completely new in the current season, you will often find that pre-owned set ups that are only a couple of years old will have many of the things you require.
This is great in theory but do bear in mind, that with something that deteriorates – like any type of vehicle – eventually even the most loved specimens will show their age, fading repairing and little knocks, bends and scratches will all be present. If you are buying a trailer tent/folding camper as ‘new to you’ clearly these types of characteristics need to be kept at a minimum. As canvas and storage are also involved in the trailer tent/folding camper world you are also at the mercy of the quality of the previous owner’s level of ‘love’ for their vehicle. It may not have been up to standard, and a poorly maintained set-up may make it older in terms of deterioration than its actual age.
When buying second hand always get the owner to explain how everything works and get them to show you. Carry out your own checking of all items of the vehicular part of the set-up and also the accommodation – do this in a well lit place, take your time, and be prepared to crawl under things with a powerful torch. Check all fabrics, fixtures and fittings, carpets, windows, wooden parts as well as the crucial things like breaks and towing equipment.
The upside of doing all this, apart from the satisfaction of knowing, having checked everything to your satisfaction that you have got yourself a good deal is that, on the one hand, you might decide to go for a more superior make or larger accommodation with the money that you have saved from not buying new – or buy some new accessories (such as extra space) to add to your accommodation, or, on the other hand, you have the money saved to spend on other things that you enjoy doing in life.