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  1. Well, we have had quite a trips away with the caravan, and after quite a lot of hiccups and issues, we are making progress. This is our take on the pros and cons of the age old debate of the motorhome v the caravan. The caravan..... We like: The front window - ie not a steering wheel and gear lever to look at! The floor plan works well for us - rear bathroom, good shower, fixed French bed, centre galley, forward bench seats and chest of drawers with flip top. We like the flip top and to help with payload issues, we have removed the other table. The financial aspect - having sold the motorhome, we are where we are, and we have settled with the VW Transporter as the tow vehicle. Both the VW and the caravan are older than newer, but even if we were to go like for like with nearly new, we would be a lot better off lump sum wise with the VW and caravan. Fuel economy - the Transporter is a baby with the 84 bhp 2.0 engine, although she has been mapped within an inch of her life! She returns around 40 mpg with the caravan on the back, compared to a ownership average of 28 mpg for the tag axle motorhome. The Transporter is fitted with a pop top and bed, so a plan is for a long overseas tour, with maybe 30 nights on one site, leave the caravan there and beggar off into the Dolomites etc with the VW Interior storage - more than most motorhomes and we have empty cupboards and the under bed space to fill (we cannot fill them due to weight issues) Cosy-ness - it is somehow more cosy than a motorhome. We don't like: Water issues - we get through 4 x barrels in a three night weekend - we seem to be constantly at the tap. We could lessen this by using site facilities, but we don't and never will. Payload - a generous payload on the Coachman but we are right on the limit - checked at the weighbridge, so some clutter has to go in the VW - deck chair, heavy items like bottles of gin etc. Speed (resulting in extended journey time) - not an issue on short trips as we are doing at present for weekend breaks although today for example, we were down to 52 mph and caught up with "Middle Lane Melvins" and lorries. The motorhome of course could tonk on in the right hand lane. Could become more problematic on international stuff. Time is of the essence when doing 1500 miles with limited time off work! Coupling up and uncoupling - time taken etc compared to motorhome - roll up, handbrake on, done. We either seem to end up sweating and roasted to death, or wet through to the bone! "Stress levels" in inverted commas - more mindful of weather conditions, wind, cross wind, passing a lorry etc, risk of a blow out etc. Heat in the sun - seems to get much hotter than a motorhome - no idea why. We do the usual tricks - windows open, blinds shut etc on the sunny side. Insurance cost - how can it cost more to insure a £8000 caravan than a £100k motorhome! Restricted routes - for example the mountain passes in Italy which we like! Some are clearly marked "no caravans". (We could of course, site nearby, the clear off with just the VW - see above) The VW is used now exclusively for towing and nothing else. It is good at what it does. Whilst it can legally pull the weight of a Hobby, it cannot do so due to length of the Hobby, so we are still researching options for the Hobby going forward. The motorhome..... We like.... Payload - 1000kg and more Extras - such as satellite dish on the roof without any weight issues Ability to take something with us - such as speedboat or jet ski. We do not have a Showman's licence so cannot put a trailer on the back of the caravan! Flexibility - particularly overseas with free camper stops, pub stop overs, stop over on vinyards etc, water on board Better all year round capability - water on board, waste on board, no issues driving in wind etc, no cancelled trips to due Strom what ever it might be called! More strength in the body - not talking about when driving, but even parked up - just feels more solid. We don't like Comparable space - the caravan wins hands down but a with a twin axle, even better! The overall cost, pound for pound, square foot for square foot So it is quite interesting so far, and quite a few plus points for the caravan. Interestingly, we have used the VW only once whilst on site - that was to go out for milk! We can't fit three x four pint cartons in the fridge, and even if we could, payload wouldn't allow. We may of course use the VW more for getting out and about if we do longer stays in the UK, which at present is looking more likely due to complications with Covid and the pet passport. Russ
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