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About JNH

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  1. To be honest, this is probably where we are. I have seen several vans that we like (albeit online, as I'm still 9000 miles away) for around the £5k ballpark. I am also very confident in being able to find something reasonable to tow with for less than that. I have owned many VAG group PD engined diesels and for reliability, simplicity and efficiency they are second to none. Parts availability and support is vast and any maintenance I can DIY. Would people recommend visiting a caravan trader as opposed to private?
  2. Oh dear, where in the UK was this? I am looking at mainly Passat, A4 Avant and or Octavias for towing. Certainly the 2.0TDI's around the 06-09 vintage. Has anybody any experience with these in particular?
  3. Wow that set up look's incredible; looks more akin to a static! I am sorry to hear of your illness. So in general, most sites are fairly accommodating to "long termers"? Is there anything we can do to ensure we get the best possible rates, short of being fairly blunt and asking? Do a lot of sites only open seasonally? We have a UK base address (where we can stay whenever we like) and where all our correspondence will go. So far, our two must-have's were fixed bed and awning, coincidentally. We have both agreed we prefer the internal set up of a fixed bed, at least allowing us to separate leisure and sleep. In an ideal world, a fixed bed caravan that also has a small fixed table two seater area so my partner would have a sort of permanent work area. I have seen several with this set up, albeit on the larger end of the spectrum. Is a motor mover a necessity? That does sound pleasant! :-) I will keep this in mind, any particular brands? That is great to hear and totally reassuring. Just kind of reaffirms what we hoped in terms of plausibility. How does the internet work, is it a dongle that works via the mobile phone network? How do you find the signal availability and reliability? This is one thing we will certainly need to ensure we have access to for work. We do not have too much in the way of personal belongings any more but I can certainly see how these things accumulate rapidly. I am still coming to terms with MAM and the in's and out's of towing restrictions. As I only passed 10 years ago, I will have to do my B + E. I believe I am allowed up to 3500kgs combined but I have a fear we will surpass this so will be taking my test. I have experience with trailers through work, but this is a completely new world for me. We have to start somewhere, right?
  4. Thank you. As mentioned, we have a UK address already connected to our bank accounts, electoral roll, etc. It is my parents address. So all mail will go here. In terms of finance, we have a small savings pot we are happy to use. It isn't massive, but would see us able to purchase an older caravan and offset any initial costs with no issue. It will certainly be at the more budget friendly end of the market, but we are prepared for that. (£4k - £7k) Hi Paul, We are no stranger to the costs of UK home ownership, having owned houses before (we've never rented, actually) We were comfortably spending £1,500 - £2,000 a month before we left to travel Australia and will not have the luxury of two full time incomes this time around, hence the caravan idea. My partner has been to university before and has no desire to indulge in student life again, it is a post graduate course designed to compliment her existing degree. I realise sites may not be entirely too close, but she will have access to a car at all times, as I can work from home if I need to. I am ex motor trade and not too concerned about finding a solid, reliable tow vehicle. Infact, it is probably the stage I feel most comfortable and at home with..
  5. Hello everyone. I have arrived here looking for some solid, hopefully unbiased, honest advice in regards to something you will all be undoubtedly more experienced with than myself - caravans. I will start off by pre-emptively explaining that what I know about towing, caravans and site life in general you can probably fit on one hand. The internet is a vast, knowledgeable hub that I turn to on these occasions and my path has lead me here. I will also add that this is a serious post and serious answers will be appreciated. Having spent the best part of the last 12 months living a rather nomadic life around Australia / Indonesia we will be returning back home to our green and pleasant land while my partner does a year long post graduate degree. Having sold our home and pretty much all our worldly belonging prior to departure we are in a good neutral standing with minimal financial commitments, outgoings or tethers to the otherwise fairly materialistic normality. We are no strangers to living in small spaces nor the unpredictability associated with having a moving home having done the majority of East & Western Australia in a Mitsubishi Express. While we could rent temporarily we are far more intrigued by the idea of living for a year in a touring caravan. The ability to drop anchor anywhere we need to (due to rather open ended university selection) would be ideal, as otherwise we would be limiting ourselves due to living cost restraints and subsequently probably having to settle for a lesser choice. I know it isn't as simple as turning up and staying in one spot for 12 months, I am aware of the limitations of maximum stay policies and the nuances they may bring. But I am aware there are full timers among you and I know it is feasible - challenges aside. We have a good grounding in that we have a base UK address with family if need be, we have a healthy budget and we can work remotely if need be. I like to think if we were to do it, we'd probably never be in a better position. My biggest questions are probably thus: A. Are we absolutely mad? Is this completely not feasible in today's climate due to restraints and restrictions surrounding site time policies / other red tape we are unaware of? B. As a first time buyer with no caravan purchasing experience, what would be your process in selecting the right one? (If you did it from scratch) C. What will I most definitely need to be aware of that I won't know about - insurance limitations? additional costs? the realities of ownership? site fees year round? Any input is gold at this stage, even if you want to be entirely condescending and throw me under the bus, I can deal with it. After-all, it's all theory work at this stage. JNH.
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