Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Blackhart

Motorhome To Caravan - Any Advice Please?

Recommended Posts

Hello

 

SWMBO and I have been motorhoming for the past two years but are now set to purchase our first caravan. We enjoyed the freedom that the motorhome gave us for our 'road trips' but now wish to rationalise our 'fleet' of four vehicles down to two, so we reckon a caravan to be towed by our Mitsubishi Barbarian will fit the bill.

 

From an earlier question on here I'm happpy that the set up time (sans awning) will be a bit longer than with the motorhome but will still be acceptable for an overnight stop. I accept that we will change the way we do our trips slightly but are now looking forward to be able to park up for a couple or three days and use the Barbarian to get out and about locally.

 

I was wondering if anyone else on this forum had made the move from mtorhome to caravan and what their experiences were?

Thanks.

 

BH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having done the caravan thing in 2013 (short lived), then Swift Kontiki 669 in 2014 for 2. 5 years and now back to a caravan, here's a snippet of our take on things http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/117976-a-few-mountain-pass-pics/?p=1378360

Edited by Pebble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a caravan, then changed to a motorhome, ended up towing a car on a A frame behind, in the end we changed back to a caravan so much more space

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you have realised, having a caravan gives you the freedom to use the car to get out and about without having an extra car to tow, insure & maintain.

 

Those motorhomes, sure do stop you parking in most car parks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello

 

SWMBO and I have been motorhoming for the past two years but are now set to purchase our first caravan. We enjoyed the freedom that the motorhome gave us for our 'road trips' but now wish to rationalise our 'fleet' of four vehicles down to two, so we reckon a caravan to be towed by our Mitsubishi Barbarian will fit the bill.

 

From an earlier question on here I'm happpy that the set up time (sans awning) will be a bit longer than with the motorhome but will still be acceptable for an overnight stop. I accept that we will change the way we do our trips slightly but are now looking forward to be able to park up for a couple or three days and use the Barbarian to get out and about locally.

 

I was wondering if anyone else on this forum had made the move from mtorhome to caravan and what their experiences were?

Thanks.

BH

 

Last year we came back to caravan after eleven years touring with motor home,we made the change because of age and failing mobility,(wife) as I said earlier,differences we experience are,slower journey,bit more to do on arrival.

Overall,we find the benefits outstrip the disadvantages,after all at our age we are not in a mad rush.

Most caravans of a similar size to a motor home are in fact much roomier,no cab area,better lounge areas.

Downsides we found is we now carry half of the stuff we used to,mostly stuff we never often used,mainly because I tow with a very big car as I personally don't want a big four by four for nipping to the supermarket etc.

Last winter we left for Spain,sailing on the same boat,same time,we arrived on Costa Bravo ninety minutes later than year before,set up was a bit longer,but we did most the day after arrival.

Works well for us, good luck.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We ran a Transit SWB PVC for 2 years and then an Adria Coral Compact 6m motorhome for another 2 years. In both cases we used the vehicles as my daily driver, though I'd also use Mrs SDA's car if available.

 

The need for cash drove us to change over to caravans and a towcar and we've been tuggers for the last 6 years.

 

To be frank there is no 'perfect' rig. Motorhomes tie up a lot of money and usually spend a massive proportion of time on the drive or stored. The bigger they are the harder they are to use locally on holiday and there's the pain of connecting and disconnecting whenever you want to go somewhere. They have an advantage in that they're one unit and easier to just stop and chill on site. They also tend to be more self contained. Dragging a car around with you to get over the size and local use issues seems diametrically opposed to the reason you have a motorhome and if you're going to tow something it might as well be a caravan and then you have a decent size car available at all times.

 

Caravans are a bit more fiddly than motorhomes but generally a car and caravan is less of an investment than a motorhome. It also provides greater flexibility and metre for metre probably more internal space. They require more understanding and expertise to hitch and pitch and usually require two water containers to be filled/emptied manually which can be a pain.

 

Whilst it looks as if motorhomes don't depreciate much on the forecourt this is because dealers work on a £5k margin on used vans. So what's on the forecourt at £35k they gave £30k for and 2 years previously it cost the owner £45k. So the actual depreciation loss is £15k over 2 years but the unknowing punter might think it's only lost about £10k.

 

With a caravan dealers work on a £2k margin and a caravan costing £23k new 2 years ago will be bought in for around £17k and sold for £19k. Depreciation loss, £6k. People will say 'but that doesn't allow for the car's depreciation', well, yes but you'll probably have a car anyway with a motorhome so it's only the caravan that's extra.

 

Providing you're sensible with a motorhome you'll need quite a bit less 'stuff' than a caravan requires.

 

Then, of course, there's the driveability issue. With a motorhome it's one vehicle and with a caravan it's two with all the potential instability issues we debate on here ad nauseum.

 

I'm beginning to feel a twinge to go back to my roots of a 5m motorhome with shower and loo, 4 individual seats, fridge, 2 burner hob. That would take us back to two vehicles with no storage costs. The Adria Twin 500S looks ideal.

 

Oh and in the four years using 9ft high motorhomes as my daily driver I never found an issue with parking. I rarely visit cities where multi-stories proliferate and the relatively few height restricted car parks normally had suitable alternatives nearby.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst it looks as if motorhomes don't depreciate much on the forecourt this is because dealers work on a £5k margin on used vans. So what's on the forecourt at £35k they gave £30k for and 2 years previously it cost the owner £45k. So the actual depreciation loss is £15k over 2 years but the unknowing punter might think it's only lost about £10k.

SDA,I disagree with one point you make, I contacted several dealers when we sold our Adria Coral3litre last year,they all worked on a £10. 000 margin from buy in to forecourt, I discussed it intensely with several leading dealers. all said the same.

We sold it through a motor home broker,after commission we were about £6. 000 better off than best dealer offer.

We chose not to put it eBay ourselves,as we didn't want the hassle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a caravanner then changed to MHs and then back to caravans and now looking at going back to a 7. 5 M MH towing a small city car on a trailer . By using the MH same as caravan and parking on site for a few weeks it gives me the option of driving around into small villages and narrow lanes in a small car instead of a large tow car.

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SDA,I disagree with one point you make, I contacted several dealers when we sold our Adria Coral3litre last year,they all worked on a £10. 000 margin from buy in to forecourt, I discussed it intensely with several leading dealers. all said the same.

We sold it through a motor home broker,after commission we were about £6. 000 better off than best dealer offer.

We chose not to put it eBay ourselves,as we didn't want the hassle.

 

I can only speak from my experience.

 

Our two year old Transit SWB PVC Hightop was purchased for £35k and just over two years later I PX'd it for £23k and it went on the forecourt at Campbells for £28k. The Adria we got from Campbells cost £35k again and two years later Spinney offered me £25K and muttered they could see it on their forecourt for £30k. I advertised it for £30k and settled on £29k, pocketing an extra £4k compared to the dealer's offer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always wanted a motor home and in the future when fully retired may do so . At this point in time We need 2 cars, both have to be reasonably large, so the caravan was for us . If You need to rationalise Your vehicles then maybe You need a caravan, however make sure You have fully researched and decided what You do need to meet Your needs . Motor home to caravan or vice versa isn't always cheap to do, so make sure, You have made the best decision.

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having had a motorhome for 7 years, tugging a VW Up! for the latter few, I was happy. However, my CEO (Domestic) decided she wanted the extra space and luxury of a caravan, so we got our first caravan early last year. Okay, ignition-off-to-beer-in-hand time is now a bit longer, but the extra 20-odd minutes maximum isn't too bad. We got an air-awning, which is actually roomier and easier to erect than the old motorhome's awning.

 

There's lots of additional kit that we got for the caravan that weren't required for the motorhome: fresh and grey water carriers; hitch lock; hitch weight gauge; torque wrench; larger car (the VW Up! would've struggled with a Matchbox caravan); and other bit and pieces.

 

If you do want to make the change, then there's no need to also change your style of touring: quite a few caravanners do one-night stop-overs. Best of luck, whatever you chose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me the economics of a motor home just don't add up. We've got a five berth caravan with most of what we want to be self sufficient. We've got a modest oven/grille,3 burners,heating,a big washroom,lots of storage space,a solar panel etc. We tow it with a 2litre diesel SUV with 4wd and 5 year warranty. The caravan was bought new,the car was unused but registered a week earlier. The whole lot including a towbar cost just short of 30k. For that money we'd get a very modest van conversion that wouldn't really be usable for more than a weekend with good weather. Plus we've been able to buy it in 2 stages and obviously if we wanted to give up caravanning we could sell the caravan and keep the car or leave the caravan on a site and buy a smaller car or. ...,there's quite a few options. Whereas with a motor home you either keep it or sell it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went from Caravan to various Motorhomes for about 7 years and 2 years ago had both, towing the caravan down to Spain for the winter.

Sold the Motorhome and the Caravan and bought a bigger Caravan and the Merc.

 

On reflection I should have kept the Motorhome (Autocruise PVC) and bought a bigger caravan and left it in Spain, which would have been ideal.

 

The reason I did get rid of the Motorhome was that I was not allowed to park it outside my home in London, but I think on reflection I would have got away with a PVC, judging by the amount of vans on this exclusive estate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet sales of caravans are fairly static and sales of Motorhomes are going up - 15% increase in the last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you are a motorhomer at present, (like me), you are aware of the freedom and flexibility. My questions to you at switching time would be things like winter camping (water barrel outisde a caravan) and less wild camping chances.

 

You gain the downsize of your fleet as you call it.

 

Read this article from a few months back.

 

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Russ, very useful.

 

We will be towing with my Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, which I guess will handle a single axle caravan MTPLM of 1,300 kgs and MIRO of 1,151 kgs okay.

 

BH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have 2 small caravans and a lightweight awning for each. We keep one caravan in Portugal and one in the UK. We live in Spain. We have a large VW Caddy. Portugal is only 3 hours away. When we go to UK we stay in a hotel when en route and occasionaly a pop-up tent, if the weather is warm and dry. I'm sure it works out cheaper than a motorhome, plus we don't have to tow the caravan very long distances. Not towing the caravan I can keep up a very good speed on the toll-free Spanish motorways and hotels are much cheaper over here, especially if you pay in euros. Between the Costa del Sol and Santander ferry I only need to stop in 1 hotel.

Our best friends have a motorhome, which looks big from the outside but IMHO is very small and poky on the inside. Our caravans look small on the outside but seem much more spacious on the inside. When we camp together with our friends we always meet up in our caravan in the evening: it only has beds for 2/3 people but is much more comfortable for 4 to sit round a table to eat, drink or play cards etc. Our friends take a scooter with them. When camping we use our spacious car to visit places away from the campsite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our best friends have a motorhome, which looks big from the outside but IMHO is very small and poky on the inside. Our caravans look small on the outside but seem much more spacious on the inside.​

 

An interesting point Mark.

 

We loved the 'U' Shaped lounge layout in our motorhome and went for a similar layout in our caravan. The floor space is about the same but in the caravan with the bathroom at the end it means that the living area of the caravan feels much more open than that of the motorhome.

 

BH

post-81929-0-32639400-1475056175_thumb.jpg

post-81929-0-73647700-1475056200_thumb.jpg

post-81929-0-05463800-1475056267_thumb.jpg

post-81929-0-27913100-1475056280_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We enjoyed the freedom that the motorhome gave us for our 'road trips' but now wish to rationalise our 'fleet' of four vehicles down to two, so we reckon a caravan to be towed by our Mitsubishi Barbarian will fit the bill.

 

I was wondering if anyone else on this forum had made the move from mtorhome to caravan and what their experiences were?

Changing from a camper van or smaller MH may be pretty easy as caravan dealers may well take them in part exchange for a caravan, however if changing from a larger MH that could still be worth more than a new caravan, then an exchange would mean the dealer paying you for stock they possibly do not want. In either case you are probably best off to sell the MH privately (or through an agent) and then purchase a caravan as a cash buyer.

Gordon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Changing from a camper van or smaller MH may be pretty easy as caravan dealers may well take them in part exchange for a caravan, however if changing from a larger MH that could still be worth more than a new caravan, then an exchange would mean the dealer paying you for stock they possibly do not want. In either case you are probably best off to sell the MH privately (or through an agent) and then purchase a caravan as a cash buyer.

Gordon.

Yes, sold privately and caravan purchased from a dealer. The motorhome sold within a couple of weeks and we had a lot of enquiries and offers, I was pleasantly surprised.

 

BH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A motorhome of the same length as a caravan is equal in size and the only difference is the caravan has a gas locker at the front and the motorhome has a bonnet . The caravan is restricted to 7 M usually but a motorhome can comfortably go to 8 M .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On average the bonnet and dash of a motorhome uses about a metre of length, so a 6m motorhome has about 5m of habitation length including the cab seats. A 2 berth end washroom caravan is about 4. 8m internally and a 4 berth around 5. 6m.

 

So to get roughly the same space as a 4 berth caravan you need a motorhome around 6. 6m long overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On average the bonnet and dash of a motorhome uses about a metre of length, so a 6m motorhome has about 5m of habitation length including the cab seats. A 2 berth end washroom caravan is about 4. 8m internally and a 4 berth around 5. 6m.

So to get roughly the same space as a 4 berth caravan you need a motorhome around 6. 6m long overall.

 

Why would you need the a metre more the length lost in a caravan in the gas locker then a shelf before the seating area is over 1/2 - 3/4 m and some use the area over the cab in the mh . As I said the length of a caravan is lost in the A frame so for the same length a motorhome is bigger .

 

 

A 7. 5 M motorhome would be the same if not bigger my 8 M caravan . Most motorhomes look smaller as the beds are raised to accommodate a rear garage .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using internal measurements for both motorhome and caravan Dave. Just pointing out that a 6m motorhome (PVC or Low Profile) has a habitation area that's around 5m.

 

A 4 berth caravan has an internal length of about 5. 6m and therefore to get the same length motorhome you need one that's about 6. 6m long.

 

The external length of the caravan including A-frame isn't really at issue as it's rarely used as a substantive measurement, except in very long vans which are relatively rare. The external length of a motorhome often is an important criteria for owners though. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we had a M/H on order some years back but when I saw the room in a caravan, to us no comparison. The price of the M/H bought a new car and a new caravan. OH said that the main thing is reversing which is sort of opposite from a car, even if you have a mover you still need to know how to reverse. You will need the 'outside stuff' like waste and water butt and hitch and wheel locks but most of the other stuff is the same as the M/H. You haven't got to tax the caravan but IMO you still need to insure it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...