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#1 JohnRuss

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:21 AM

We have just bought one of the new Venus 500/4 vans, and are spending a few days in it, testing it out before we travel to Portugal.

So far, everything is very positive - no, the cupboard doors are not as sturdy as our old van - an Olympus - but we have no children, and dont generally slam doors etc, and the big advantage, me being only 5*6" and the wife 5*2", we can both get cups out of the cupboard, which was a real task with the much taller Olympus.

The fitted twin beds are most comfortable, and the bathroom is adequate for out needs.

The only down side was that the place they had put the TV connection in the lounge was very near to the sink - not a good thing water and television mix, so we paid extra to have another tv point put in under the front window. While we were at it we also got an outside electric socket fitted.

Early days yet, but comparing the Olympus to the Venus - Venus has a lot of well thought out things that were missing from the Olympus, and it is a good 250kg lighter.

#2 Guest_jks_*

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:18 AM

We looked at the van and thought it was excellent value for the money.
What stopped us was no option for drawers at the front and no window in the door. Made it look closed in.

#3 Rogerc0

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:37 AM

We have also just purchased a Lunar (our first lunar) a 2011 Donnington 544 a special based on the Quasar. So different from the Swift Challenger we previously owned. Yes the quality is not quite as solid as the swift but then every caravan we have owned has been a compromise from the previous one. The light weight towing of the Lunar vans has to be a bonus especially with the ever increasing cost of fuel and we also didn't need to change the tow car. Storage around the kitchen is less but with some reorganising it all now works, moved the plate and cup holders along one cupboard and that storage works much better for us. Ours is a bouble bed arrangement and the storage under is fantastic, every thing out of the way when travelling. We liked the two bed layout of your van but couldn't find the right van in our area.
We also had a trial weekend away and learnt a lot especially about the pressurised water system.
Came home and made the changes and additions so next trip should go a lot smoother.
Enjoy the van and your trip to portugal.

#4 Capricorn12

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:29 AM

We looked at the Venus 490 but sadly it was too long to fit on our drive. It did seem to have a lot going for it apart from the decor which looks better in the flesh than it does in brochures. We were desperate to get a fixed bed with end wasroom that wasn't by the side of the bed as our last van was because my wife has a mobility problem and it was a strain to have to shimmy down the bed to use the loo at night. In the end we got the Bailey Orion 430/4 which is 1 inch shorter than our last van outside but 20 inches longer inside due to having no gas locker at the front. Most things apart from the gas locker are similar to the Venus including the Whale heating but as you say some compromises have to be made to get what you want at the price you want to pay.

#5 JohnRuss

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:44 AM

We have been in Portugal for one month now with the Venus, and apart from the outside water pump failing, everything has worked very well. When the pump went, someone on the site sold us one for 20 euro, and our dealer, Chichester Caravans, Bromsgrove, sent us a new one out with a 20 euro note !! As I said in my previous post, in some cases this little cheap van is far superior to our Olympus - and we are still thinking this. There were no marks (dents etc) on the front of the van after the journey of some 1000 miles, it is much easier for me to reach things in the cupboard - I am only 5'2", the twin beds are exceptionally comfortable, the whale heating is very good and the hot water heating is excellent. The stove, which is smaller than in the Olympus, works well for us, there are only 2 of us, so dont really need 4 burners and a large oven, with separate grill. The bodywork looks excellent, and does not appear to be any thinner to other models. As I have said, really pleased so far with this van.

#6 beejay

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

When the pump went, someone on the site sold us one for 20 euro,

CHICHESTER CARAVANS sent us a new one with a 20 euro note


Two good samaritans at once! :)

The dealer deserves a larger mention for his service and goodwill. ;)

#7 RobJS

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:07 AM

Just reading this.. WELL DONE CHICHISTER CARAVANS!!! That's good old fashioned service for you!

#8 Gimps

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:43 AM

Ive got the 490/4 and love it. Cant fault anything on it. Other than the nose weight being a bit of a pita but ive not been back down to faff about with it

#9 JohnRuss

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:00 AM

We are still in Portugal - no more problems with our lovely 500/4, had a really heavy ice shower 2 days ago - the sound on the roof was horrendous, so yesterday got up to have a look - not a mark - in fact after all the travelling to Portugal, there is not a mark anywhere on the body - our last van a 2011 Bailey Olympus had several dents in it after travelling to Portugal. Have booked the van in to Chichester at Bromsgrove for one or two little things to be done, what a great company they are - nothing seems too much trouble for them, i would highly recommend this firm to anyone thinking of buying either second hand or new/



#10 warrenb

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:44 AM

The heating fan is noisy those isn't it, I guess it is going full blast when initially turned on, but does seem quite noisy.



#11 warrenb

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:51 PM

Also some information for people with Venus's. The plus pack is 33kg and is not included in the MRO, so should be taken from the payload alowance.



#12 JohnRuss

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:30 AM

yes the heating fan at 2000 is a bit noisy, but we only use that for a short time to get the van warm. At 1000 not too bad, and at 500 good - we are inclined to use our oil filled radiator if it's not too cold, and especially through the night, so we have silent running !!!



#13 Sea Dog

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:53 AM

Concerning CHICHESTER CARAVANS. We pick up our Clubman SB from them tomorrow at the Winchester branch. Having dealt with them over the past few years we have found their customer service is second to none. Let you know how we get on.

 

Richard



#14 Gimps

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:19 PM

Hi do any of the Venus owners have a porch awning?

 

We would like one but would like to hear what others have first before jumping in.

 

Cheers



#15 JohnRuss

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:18 AM

We dont have a porch awning, but do have a Kampa Pro and it is excellent. Has now done 10 months in the Sun in Portugal (Over 2 years) 1 reasonable season in UK, and 1 terrible season in the UK. May buy another one this year.



#16 Gimps

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:38 PM

Cheers i was considering the kampa pro. Glad to hear its decent. We want someting two of us can sit in but not a whole awning.

#17 Gimps

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:25 AM

Decided to go for an Outdoor Revolution Compactalite Pro 325. Was reduced to 185pounds so thought i would give it a try

#18 warrenb

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:59 AM

I am thinking of getting the compactalite, let me know how it goes..



#19 Gimps

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:14 AM

Im very happy with mines. But why on earth dont awnings and porches come with instructions!?!?!?!? Is it so on an easter weekend when the sites full everyone has entertainment.

But on the whole i really like the compactalite. And the 325 has plenty space. Light enough to put up yourself

#20 marjill

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:06 PM

Been in touch with Lunar. They have uprated my 500/4 to 1295kg mptm at no extra cost. The chassis is rated at 1300kg, so the Extras Pack is no problem.

Also some information for people with Venus's. The plus pack is 33kg and is not included in the MRO, so should be taken from the payload alowance.






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