Is a 25-year-old camper van an unwise investment?

My daughter wants to buy a 1997 Volkswagen Caravelle with 97,000 miles. It looks in good condition and has a current MOT. Please advise what we need to check before considering an offer. Many thanks.

Asked on 7 May 2021 by Shaun Dillon

Answered by Dan Powell
The Volkswagen Caravelle is a great vehicle. But at 25-years old, it will be susceptible to a wide range of age-related issues. Any knocking from the suspension can be related to the bushes, while rear springs are known to fail at older vans. Listen for any noises or groans from the power steering, as you turn the wheel from lock-to-lock. Check the fluid and look for any leaks.

Check around the engine for oil leaks, particularly around the camshaft oil seal and oil pump. If there’s rust it will have been damaged at some point. The T4 is very resistant to rot, even around common areas. Any rot, look at another one instead. The side sliding door should operate smoothly and close without any gaps or clunks.

Finally, there really is no reason to buy a T4 without a full service history. People love these vans, and as a consequence keep them serviced. If there aren't stamps in the book then it’s been neglected at some point.
Tags: camper vans
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