Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
apitherapycentre

Towing Weights Nightmare, Can You Help Me Select A Good Tow Car And A Caravan? Im Disabled And This Is To Help Start A Charity For Disabled People :)

Recommended Posts

Thinking about it, I'm not sure the types of vehicle you are considering will help you very much. My V70 had a Gross Weight of 2310kg and many V70's weighed more. My car would've only allowed you a caravan of 1190kg MTPLM, more than 800kg I'll grant but still a fairly restricted range of potential small vans. Maybe a smaller car that'll weigh less and pull, say, 1300kg would be a better bet.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The money lost on swapping a perfectly OK discovery for something else would be far better spent on a towing course. Any new-to-you car could easily need £500 spent on it.

 

Otherwise you'll always be just on the margins of what you can legally tow.

 

I think the sweet spot for a 'B' only licence is a caravan about 1300 to 1400Kg, pulled by a car with a MAM just below 2100Kg. You'd be very restricted on the choice of both car and caravan. If you really wanted to go this route, you're looking at cars such as the Mk3 Mondeo (a pretty decent tow car - especially in the estate version).

Edited by Tigger
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you AJ that is really nice of you, I really appreciate it :)

 

I paid out to a caravan inspector/delivery driver when I sent them to check out the caravan I got scammed on.

 

Paid the seller a deposit and on the approval of the inspection from the guy I employed of 26 years experience, I would send the seller the remaining balance and then the inspector would deliver the caravan to me from Leeds to Carmarthen South Wales.

 

Inspector told me the caravan wasn't worth £500 scrap and the seller wanted a total of £2300, of which I had paid an £800 deposit for as they told me all was okay.

 

When the inspector was taking photos to send me as proof, the sellers friends turned up and started getting aggressive towards him. I told the inspector to leave and apologised that he had to deal with that.

The inspector charged me a total of £357 for this. So I lost £800 in deposit and £357 to an inspector.

Still I guess that's better than losing all £2300. All that I'd saved from my disability allowance. S*@t happens as they say.

Thankfully I have gained some support through the project/charity and some lovely people in Devon have agreed to let me live on there land, they are in the process of a 5 year rebuild of a farm property, so I have the right to be there and thankfully no rent to pay so the money can go toward setting up the Honeybee farm.

In future use an NCC Approved workshop service technician nearest to where a potential purchase is located. The charge should be less than £100 and that will include a damp test. However they will not tow the caravan for you to a destination. Have you also taken into consideration that you may have to buy a number of caravan associated items like water and waste containers, electric cable etc.

In addition, the car needs to be registered to an address which cannot be a campsite plus it will need to be insured and unlikely they will insure it if the address is a campsite. Have you thought about re-direction of your mail. Hopefully the phone is PAYG and can be used for a broadband connection? What about your bank account and you will have to notify the DWP of the change of circumstances. Have you found a site that will allow you to stay tong term? If disabled how will you cope in the winter with water, heating and emptying the loo?

I would think about these things before deciding to sell up my car and then buy another car and caravan. A new second hand car will have to be registered to a permanent address. It will also probably be wise to insure the caravan because if something goes wrong i. e. it is stolen, you have no home and probably no cash to replace it.

What you want to do is very noble, but you need to think of yourself and your disability because if you can manage a charity, the DWP may decide that you are able to work and remove your disability payment. Apologies if I sound a bit harsh, but one needs a reality check every now and then. Whatever you decide I wish you all the best. :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think going for an older caravan will help you on the weight front, i recently aquirred a 1993 4 berth van which only has a MPM of 1000kg (still above your 800kg limit currently) but you could probably get an older 2 berth within your weight limit.

 

RE changing tow car, there are lots of cars that would do you, my dad used an old K Reg BWM 525i which towed just fine, although was a bit of a dog in general to be fair. He picked it up for £350 and ran it with no repairs for 6 years.

 

The 1. 9TDi PD engine in the Audi/ VWs is a bomb proof engine and would think it would have more than enough guts to pull a caravan of the weight you will be looking at to stay within your limit. You can also have them remapped to significantly improve torque with no detrimental effect on reliability and imagine there are plenty of older Passats or A4s out there

 

I wouldn't worry so much about the 85% recommendation as you are not planning to tow it much and as long as you take it nice and steady then i', sure you would be fine as long as you stay under 100%.

 

Durbanite makes some very good points above, although i guess you can use the house which is being built as a fixed address, the physicality of it all needs some serious consideration with your circumstances in mind, perhaps it may have been worth spending some weeks away in a caravan before taking the plunge but i guess its too late for that now. ..

 

As someone else mentioned above, bear in mind that you will need quite a lot of other "stuff" to go with your caravan like water tanks, waste tanks and all the other odds and sods that go with a caravan which can add up very quickly. Also some thought will be needed around what to do when the weather gets cold and the water tanks start freezing and the gas in the bottles doesn't work anymore. .. You will probably need to insulate the water and gas pipes and find some way of keeping the storage's warm, let alone yourself. Maybe worth asking to be hooked up to the water mains (probably at your cost) straight out of the ground which would help stop it freezing to a point,

 

When looking for your caravan, bear in mind you will probably want something like a 4 berth "double dinette" at least so it allows you to have a proper bed set up and have separate seating as you wont want to have to put the bed up and down everyday or sit on your bed during the day. This would also allow you to have a proper mattress on the bed rather than the seat cushions which will improve comfort significantly.

 

Gas is something else you need to think about as this will get expensive to run a caravan, especially over the winter if using gas heating, so the purchase of a big bottle should probably be considered, and then you have the issue of moving a large bottle around/ transporting it to get it replaced, or paying to have one delivered.

 

Will you have a mains supply from the house? If so, will the owner want a contribution towards the electric you will be using. Again, cant imagine that a caravan is going to be particularly efficient with its energy consumption as they are not designed with this in mind. If using electric heating then you are going to be racking up the meter over the winter. ..

 

What about washing your clothes? You wont have space for a washing machine inside the caravan. .. Fridge/ freezer size. .. most, especially older, caravans only come with a very small fridge and tiny freezer space meaning you will need to be going shopping every couple of days as you wont be able to keep much in the van.

 

Some consideration might be given to keeping some money back and "improving" your caravan once you have it. Adding insulation to the roof and walls with help keep the heat in over the winter, as will replacing old seals around windows and doors. Also, as you are hopefully going to be in one spot long term, building a more permanent environment around you such as a ramp to get in, maybe a sheltered area like an awning to give you a bit more space in the warmer months. More insulation under the van.

 

Another consideration is, if you are asked to move on but the caravan has been in place for a long time, bear in mind that if you leave the wheels on then the tyres might be flat spotted and in bad condition. Brakes may be seized on etc. ..

 

I don't think you have mentioned what your disability is but if you struggle with a manual car then are you going to be alright with the mobility challenge of getting in and out of a caravan and also moving around in such a confined space? Having showers in the tiny cubicles etc. ..?

 

Hope i haven't put too much of a downer on you but i think there is a lot to consider when taking a jump like this

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to be living at one place in the caravan, keep the Disco and pay someone to deliver your van too you, then when you can, do the BE, did mine 2 years ago. This way you keep a good car and get a caravan fit for purpose.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a general comment, you seem to be going about this in completely the wrong way.

Picking up on a lot of other helpful suggestions, here is a short list of ideas.

 

You have decided on a solution and a timescale and then forced yourself to discard many sensible options because they don't fit.

 

You also seem to be desperately chasing "cheap" without considering the total cost. As witness your problem with trying to buy a caravan from an online advert and which is a very long way away.

 

A few suggestions:

 

  1. You say that you are going to be permanently sited (i. e. static) at a free location. Yet you seem hell bent on buying a touring caravan and changing your car to tow it. Why? As Jiffy176 says, one sensible option is to get someone to tow it for you with your current vehicle.
  2. You admit to being a complete novice when it comes to caravans, and also to having a disability (although you don't say what it is) which makes it difficult to drive a manual car. Towing is therefore only one of your problems. You also have to hitch the van up to the car, and unhitch and pitch and level the caravan when you get to your site. If you have reduced mobility then you are likely to need help for both of these. Unless the caravan has a motor mover then it requires quite a bit of muscle to manhandle.
  3. Again, why a touring caravan? Does your plan involve touring the country away from your permanent base? Again you don't say. Building projects always seem to have an old static caravan and there is a ready market for old caravans from holiday and residential sites. Quick search gives http://ianjamescaravans. co. uk/self-builders-construction/ with prices starting from £995. A static caravan will be much more suited to permanent living.
  4. You have set yourself a six week deadline which is artificially restricting your choice of unit (if you really need a touring caravan) so why not find temporary rented accommodation until you can pass your B+E test? It may look expensive up front, but if you need to tow it is an option which will pay dividends in the medium turn.
  5. As in (4) if it is hard to find a suitable caravan at the height of the holiday season then why not defer the purchase until the end of the season (September?) when it will be a buyer's market. You seem to be driven by this 6 week deadline you have imposed on yourself. Buy yourself a couple of months leeway and save yourself money and hassle in the medium term. The worst way to make a buying decision is with a very restricted range of choice on a very restricted timescale. Bad decisions are almost guaranteed.
  6. Buy local! You have fully demonstrated the costs of trying to buy something in an area you do not know from people you do not know. It may be that it will cost and extra £500-£1,000 to buy from somewhere local but you massively reduce your financial risk. Cheap does not always equate to good value.

The main thing as far as I can see is not to buy under pressure of a time limit. My worst purchases have invariably been when I though I needed something NOW and couldn't wait for the right item to turn up. Also wasted money when I decided that I couldn't afford to do a proper job and cut corners. Take a deep breath and see if you can work on that 6 weeks.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Apitherapycentre, as you are new to this caravanning malarkey I would keep things as simple as you can. It seems to me, and from what I have read others too, that you are giving yourself too big a challenge.

As I see it you are going to site a caravan in Devon for a few years.

You are very wary having already been scammed

Your current car/license leave you very little choice

You have already spent a couple of thousand pounds on your current car and I assume are happy with it at the moment

No time to do the B+E test

So what are your options

continue with your quest to find a caravan plus all accessories of a sufficient size to live in for a few years

May need to buy a new towcar which will pull the caravan but due to your budget constraints looks like iit will have to be 100k plus miles with whatever faults come with it. Hmmm

No I'm a simple guy and I like simple solutions to problems - my motto (at least one of them ) simple is always good!

So I'm with Jiffy176, get some help buying a caravan to suit your needs and then get someone else to tow it to Devon, either a friend or pay someone. That will sort your immediate problem leaving you with a car you are happy with until you either pass your B+E or else make other arrangements.

 

Keep it simple

 

Good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Apitherapycentre, as you are new to this caravanning malarkey I would keep things as simple as you can. It seems to me, and from what I have read others too, that you are giving yourself too big a challenge.

As I see it you are going to site a caravan in Devon for a few years.

You are very wary having already been scammed

Your current car/license leave you very little choice

You have already spent a couple of thousand pounds on your current car and I assume are happy with it at the moment

No time to do the B+E test

So what are your options

continue with your quest to find a caravan plus all accessories of a sufficient size to live in for a few years

May need to buy a new towcar which will pull the caravan but due to your budget constraints looks like iit will have to be 100k plus miles with whatever faults come with it. Hmmm

No I'm a simple guy and I like simple solutions to problems - my motto (at least one of them ) simple is always good!

So I'm with Jiffy176, get some help buying a caravan to suit your needs and then get someone else to tow it to Devon, either a friend or pay someone. That will sort your immediate problem leaving you with a car you are happy with until you either pass your B+E or else make other arrangements.

 

Keep it simple

 

Good luck!

+1

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The money lost on swapping a perfectly OK discovery for something else would be far better spent on a towing course. Any new-to-you car could easily need £500 spent on it.

 

Otherwise you'll always be just on the margins of what you can legally tow.

 

I think the sweet spot for a 'B' only licence is a caravan about 1300 to 1400Kg, pulled by a car with a MAM just below 2100Kg. You'd be very restricted on the choice of both car and caravan. If you really wanted to go this route, you're looking at cars such as the Mk3 Mondeo (a pretty decent tow car - especially in the estate version).

Thanks Tigger, you are 100% right in what you say. I think for now I am going to take one problem out of the equation and keep the Discovery I have. Then I can buy a caravan and have it delivered to my friends farm, when there I will do the B+E test. £500 is better spent on the test than on an old car that I buy that will no doubt as you say, need work doing. I appreciate your advice :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In future use an NCC Approved workshop service technician nearest to where a potential purchase is located. The charge should be less than £100 and that will include a damp test. However they will not tow the caravan for you to a destination. Have you also taken into consideration that you may have to buy a number of caravan associated items like water and waste containers, electric cable etc.

In addition, the car needs to be registered to an address which cannot be a campsite plus it will need to be insured and unlikely they will insure it if the address is a campsite. Have you thought about re-direction of your mail. Hopefully the phone is PAYG and can be used for a broadband connection? What about your bank account and you will have to notify the DWP of the change of circumstances. Have you found a site that will allow you to stay tong term? If disabled how will you cope in the winter with water, heating and emptying the loo?

I would think about these things before deciding to sell up my car and then buy another car and caravan. A new second hand car will have to be registered to a permanent address. It will also probably be wise to insure the caravan because if something goes wrong i. e. it is stolen, you have no home and probably no cash to replace it.

What you want to do is very noble, but you need to think of yourself and your disability because if you can manage a charity, the DWP may decide that you are able to work and remove your disability payment. Apologies if I sound a bit harsh, but one needs a reality check every now and then. Whatever you decide I wish you all the best. :D

Thanks Durbanite for all your advice.

 

I will look into the NCC for future caravan inspections, thank you.

Thankfully the mobile signal in the area I will be moving to has a good signal for internet so that is that solved.

Regarding all the accessories that will be needed, I am hopeful that whatever caravan I buy will have the accessories with it, should they not come with the caravan. I have some money set aside for the purchase of those items.

 

Registration for the caravan and my car will have to be registered at the address I will be living at. I have bee assured by the bank that I can have my bank registered at a care of address, so that will enable me to continue to receive my benefit payments.

 

But you are right, there are other things that need to be considered too. Thank you for bringing them up, another persons view is always very productive in this situation. Clearly I need to look into things a little bit more. Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think going for an older caravan will help you on the weight front, i recently aquirred a 1993 4 berth van which only has a MPM of 1000kg (still above your 800kg limit currently) but you could probably get an older 2 berth within your weight limit.

 

RE changing tow car, there are lots of cars that would do you, my dad used an old K Reg BWM 525i which towed just fine, although was a bit of a dog in general to be fair. He picked it up for £350 and ran it with no repairs for 6 years.

 

The 1. 9TDi PD engine in the Audi/ VWs is a bomb proof engine and would think it would have more than enough guts to pull a caravan of the weight you will be looking at to stay within your limit. You can also have them remapped to significantly improve torque with no detrimental effect on reliability and imagine there are plenty of older Passats or A4s out there

 

I wouldn't worry so much about the 85% recommendation as you are not planning to tow it much and as long as you take it nice and steady then i', sure you would be fine as long as you stay under 100%.

 

Durbanite makes some very good points above, although i guess you can use the house which is being built as a fixed address, the physicality of it all needs some serious consideration with your circumstances in mind, perhaps it may have been worth spending some weeks away in a caravan before taking the plunge but i guess its too late for that now. . .

 

As someone else mentioned above, bear in mind that you will need quite a lot of other "stuff" to go with your caravan like water tanks, waste tanks and all the other odds and sods that go with a caravan which can add up very quickly. Also some thought will be needed around what to do when the weather gets cold and the water tanks start freezing and the gas in the bottles doesn't work anymore. . . You will probably need to insulate the water and gas pipes and find some way of keeping the storage's warm, let alone yourself. Maybe worth asking to be hooked up to the water mains (probably at your cost) straight out of the ground which would help stop it freezing to a point,

 

When looking for your caravan, bear in mind you will probably want something like a 4 berth "double dinette" at least so it allows you to have a proper bed set up and have separate seating as you wont want to have to put the bed up and down everyday or sit on your bed during the day. This would also allow you to have a proper mattress on the bed rather than the seat cushions which will improve comfort significantly.

 

Gas is something else you need to think about as this will get expensive to run a caravan, especially over the winter if using gas heating, so the purchase of a big bottle should probably be considered, and then you have the issue of moving a large bottle around/ transporting it to get it replaced, or paying to have one delivered.

 

Will you have a mains supply from the house? If so, will the owner want a contribution towards the electric you will be using. Again, cant imagine that a caravan is going to be particularly efficient with its energy consumption as they are not designed with this in mind. If using electric heating then you are going to be racking up the meter over the winter. . .

 

What about washing your clothes? You wont have space for a washing machine inside the caravan. . . Fridge/ freezer size. . . most, especially older, caravans only come with a very small fridge and tiny freezer space meaning you will need to be going shopping every couple of days as you wont be able to keep much in the van.

 

Some consideration might be given to keeping some money back and "improving" your caravan once you have it. Adding insulation to the roof and walls with help keep the heat in over the winter, as will replacing old seals around windows and doors. Also, as you are hopefully going to be in one spot long term, building a more permanent environment around you such as a ramp to get in, maybe a sheltered area like an awning to give you a bit more space in the warmer months. More insulation under the van.

 

Another consideration is, if you are asked to move on but the caravan has been in place for a long time, bear in mind that if you leave the wheels on then the tyres might be flat spotted and in bad condition. Brakes may be seized on etc. . .

 

I don't think you have mentioned what your disability is but if you struggle with a manual car then are you going to be alright with the mobility challenge of getting in and out of a caravan and also moving around in such a confined space? Having showers in the tiny cubicles etc. . . ?

 

Hope i haven't put too much of a downer on you but i think there is a lot to consider when taking a jump like this

Well Firediamonduk

 

You have certainly opened my eyes to the situation I am walking into.

 

Firstly, I have decided to forget another car, as the consensus seems to be that I would only waste more money on a car I know nothing about. So I will keep the Discovery, buy a caravan and get it delivered to my friends land in Devon. While there I will complete the B+E test and spend the money on that instead of fixing a new second hand car. So that that sorted out :)

 

Next is the the situation surrounding the site I will be on. The site is owned by some people and now I consider friends that I have met in conjunction with the Beekeeping charity I am trying to start. They own the land and it is a smallholding, currently they are in the process of converting an agricultural building into a residential dwelling.

They have been living on the land in there own caravans and vehicles for the past few years while they are converting the property.

There is running cold water via a site tap and there is also an Electricity supply there. Although I would prefer to be as self sufficient as possible, so I will be getting a solar panel of decent strength to hopefully cope with the power I would be using.

I will have the use of the washing machine they have in the building there. Otherwise there is a town nearby that I can use the Laundrette.

 

Keeping warm in the winter months is the main concern that I have, as you mentioned with the gas not working when it is too cold etc. So definitely I do need to do some research into insulating the caravan, water tanks, gas bottles etc. My lack of any knowledge in this direction is obvious from a mile away.

 

I will definitely also order each time a large gas bottle, I am bound to go through it like no tomorrow during the winter months.

 

I hadn't even thought about replacing the seals, again showing my complete naiveness. This will be something I will have to look into regarding costs etc. Also along the same lines with insulating the caravan. I had thought about straw bales surrounding the exposed weather sides to help keep warmth in. But just a thought.

 

Finally the disability I have is called Cauda Equina Syndrome, I suffered a Sub Arachnoid Haemorrhage at the age of 27. While in hospital, a failed Lumbar Puncture caused the Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES). The hospital denied the CES and after 6 weeks in hospital, they then agreed that it was caused by the Lumbar Puncture, but by that time it was to late to surgically intervene. I suffer with chronic pain in my lower spine and from the waist down. Good days and bad days, lack of mobility as I use walking sticks.

 

I know that with my disabilities, living in a caravan is probably not the best recommendation. But I am on my own and have a limited time left that I will still be mobile enough to make this dream of mine in setting up the charity, before I am wheelchair bound. Currently I have no dependants and for the past few years I have been slowly declining, so before it's too late I want to be able to live for a while instead of existing as I have done for the past 7 years.

 

You have certainly opened my eyes to a lot of things that I hadn't considered and although I am quite worried, you haven't put me off, so don't worry. I value yours and everyone's opinions here on Caravan Talk. You guys have the experience and knowledge to let me know exactly what I am in for.

 

Many thanks to you for the detailed post you have given me :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a general comment, you seem to be going about this in completely the wrong way.

Picking up on a lot of other helpful suggestions, here is a short list of ideas.

 

You have decided on a solution and a timescale and then forced yourself to discard many sensible options because they don't fit.

 

You also seem to be desperately chasing "cheap" without considering the total cost. As witness your problem with trying to buy a caravan from an online advert and which is a very long way away.

 

A few suggestions:

 

  1. You say that you are going to be permanently sited (i. e. static) at a free location. Yet you seem hell bent on buying a touring caravan and changing your car to tow it. Why? As Jiffy176 says, one sensible option is to get someone to tow it for you with your current vehicle.
  2. You admit to being a complete novice when it comes to caravans, and also to having a disability (although you don't say what it is) which makes it difficult to drive a manual car. Towing is therefore only one of your problems. You also have to hitch the van up to the car, and unhitch and pitch and level the caravan when you get to your site. If you have reduced mobility then you are likely to need help for both of these. Unless the caravan has a motor mover then it requires quite a bit of muscle to manhandle.
  3. Again, why a touring caravan? Does your plan involve touring the country away from your permanent base? Again you don't say. Building projects always seem to have an old static caravan and there is a ready market for old caravans from holiday and residential sites. Quick search gives http://ianjamescaravans. co. uk/self-builders-construction/ with prices starting from £995. A static caravan will be much more suited to permanent living.
  4. You have set yourself a six week deadline which is artificially restricting your choice of unit (if you really need a touring caravan) so why not find temporary rented accommodation until you can pass your B+E test? It may look expensive up front, but if you need to tow it is an option which will pay dividends in the medium turn.
  5. As in (4) if it is hard to find a suitable caravan at the height of the holiday season then why not defer the purchase until the end of the season (September?) when it will be a buyer's market. You seem to be driven by this 6 week deadline you have imposed on yourself. Buy yourself a couple of months leeway and save yourself money and hassle in the medium term. The worst way to make a buying decision is with a very restricted range of choice on a very restricted timescale. Bad decisions are almost guaranteed.
  6. Buy local! You have fully demonstrated the costs of trying to buy something in an area you do not know from people you do not know. It may be that it will cost and extra £500-£1,000 to buy from somewhere local but you massively reduce your financial risk. Cheap does not always equate to good value.

The main thing as far as I can see is not to buy under pressure of a time limit. My worst purchases have invariably been when I though I needed something NOW and couldn't wait for the right item to turn up. Also wasted money when I decided that I couldn't afford to do a proper job and cut corners. Take a deep breath and see if you can work on that 6 weeks.

Thank you LittleGreyCat for your comments. I will try to answer them one by one as you have listed them.

 

1. I have decided to not tow it myself now. I am going to buy a caravan and have it delivered to my friends land.

 

2. I will have the help of my friends who live on the land where I will be staying. So should I need help they have said they will.

 

3. I have no intentions of touring the country at all. I have been told that due to the planning laws surrounding there build that no static caravans are allowed to be placed on the land. So for that reason and not to get my friends in any trouble is the reason why I need a touring caravan as opposed to a static one.

 

4. I have a 6 week deadline because my landlords have decided to sell and have issued a possession notice, this have given me the 6 week deadline as I could do without any court battles at this point in time. I don't have the money to pay out for a deposit on a house and the first months rent as well as the money to buy a caravan along side that. This is the reason for doing this all now, so that I can lower my outgoings instead of increasing them on a monthly basis.

 

5. I agree 100% with you, If it were not for the possession notice and my landlords selling the property, I would not have the 6 week deadline. I would then be able to buy at the end of the holiday season and saving money.

 

6. I am trying to buy as local as I can. I have been an visited along with emailing all the local caravan sales companies, all have been of no help whatsoever. That's the reason I have now joined this site in order to get clarity on what I could do from the people in the know. You.

 

I agree with all of your comments, if it not for the time constraints that I have not chosen, I would not be doing this all now when costs are high along with the risks too. But I don't have any choice in the matter.

I can't afford to keep renting privately, so I thought the best way forward was to eliminate the biggest cost of all at the moment for me which is rent. Buy a caravan and save money to get back on my feet again. But the task is now seeming almost impossible with all that I am up against.

 

Thank you for your comments, they have all given me a lot to think about. When your completely alone, it's hard unless you get another persons point of view. Thank you.

Hi Apitherapycentre, as you are new to this caravanning malarkey I would keep things as simple as you can. It seems to me, and from what I have read others too, that you are giving yourself too big a challenge.

As I see it you are going to site a caravan in Devon for a few years.

You are very wary having already been scammed

Your current car/license leave you very little choice

You have already spent a couple of thousand pounds on your current car and I assume are happy with it at the moment

No time to do the B+E test

So what are your options

continue with your quest to find a caravan plus all accessories of a sufficient size to live in for a few years

May need to buy a new towcar which will pull the caravan but due to your budget constraints looks like iit will have to be 100k plus miles with whatever faults come with it. Hmmm

No I'm a simple guy and I like simple solutions to problems - my motto (at least one of them ) simple is always good!

So I'm with Jiffy176, get some help buying a caravan to suit your needs and then get someone else to tow it to Devon, either a friend or pay someone. That will sort your immediate problem leaving you with a car you are happy with until you either pass your B+E or else make other arrangements.

 

Keep it simple

 

Good luck!

Cheers Omega54

 

I agree with you 100% and that is what I am going to do. Thank you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick message to all that have posted comments and advice for me. A big thank you to you all. I take on board all you have said and will make sure that I open my eyes a lot wider moving forward.

 

For all that want to know and have asked, my disability is called Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spinal nerve pain problem that affects my pain centres from the waist down. I can walk but with reduced mobility and I use walking sticks. My age is 34 years old, so while I am young as far as years go, many people find it hard to believe what I suffer with. It basically means boat loads of pain.

 

I am determined to make this a success. I will for now forget the change of tow car and concentrate on finding a local dealer or privately owned caravan here in or near Carmarthen and buy from them. I will then have the caravan towed to Devon for me and over the months there I will pass my B+E test.

 

With size and weight now not being an issue, I would like to find a caravan of decent size for me to live in. After some research, I have found that Hobby caravans, while expensive, seem to offer the best regarding size, space and facilities. With being disabled it may help to have a bigger sized caravan and Hobby appear to be the biggest on UK road that can be towed for when I pass my B+E.

 

With this now being my plan, if there is anyone in the South Wales, Carmarthenshire area that is in the Caravan trade or would like to help me, I would very much appreciate any time you can spare.

 

Many thanks to you all :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing,

 

When I said Hobby, I didn't mean that brand only. I was referring to the size of the Hobby Range.

 

Any suggestions of other makes and models of a similar size and a budget of up to £3000 max would help me. Thanks :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

Regarding your B+E try ringing Peter Symthe in Mansfield he may be able to help you, free accomadation over 70 miles, I worked for him and has a very good reputaion .

 

Why not a static caravan? or have I missed that answer.

Be careful buying a Hobby.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A word of warning about Hobby caravans (and Fendt and Tabbert).

They are wonderful caravans and much loved by the traveller community but there is a law about legal towing which you need to consider.

Any caravan that has a body length (that is excluding the triangular towing hitch at the front) of greater than 7 metres can only be legally towed by a vehicle with a GVW of over 3. 5 metric tonnes.

This rules out nearly all cars, vans and pickups including your Land Rover.

 

You would need a large mini bus or a small truck to tow it (one also used for laying tarmac drives is apparently ideal).

We started out looking at a Hobby but eventually gave up because of this.

Because the main market for these caravans is the traveller community the dealers only seem to import the larger (over 7 metres) caravans.

 

Another point of concern; these Hobby caravans are usually 2. 5 metres wide.

This means that you don't have to pay VAT on them because they are classed as a static caravan.

You have said that you can't site a static caravan in Devon.

 

So you would have to look for a small version, which when we looked were scarcer than hens teeth.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

Regarding your B+E try ringing Peter Symthe in Mansfield he may be able to help you, free accomadation over 70 miles, I worked for him and has a very good reputaion .

 

Why not a static caravan? or have I missed that answer.

Be careful buying a Hobby.

Hi German in the blood,

 

Thanks for your comments. I am very wary of a Hobby as that was the caravan I ended up getting scammed on. I just mean that sort of size, considering I will be living in it.

 

Regarding the reason for not having a static one, I have been told that due to the planning laws surrounding my friends build of there property and changing from agricultural to residential that no static caravans are allowed to be placed on the land.

So for that reason and not to get my friends in any trouble as they are doing this to help me. That is the reason why I need a touring caravan as opposed to a static one. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A word of warning about Hobby caravans (and Fendt and Tabbert).

They are wonderful caravans and much loved by the traveller community but there is a law about legal towing which you need to consider.

Any caravan that has a body length (that is excluding the triangular towing hitch at the front) of greater than 7 metres can only be legally towed by a vehicle with a GVW of over 3. 5 metric tonnes.

This rules out nearly all cars, vans and pickups including your Land Rover.

 

You would need a large mini bus or a small truck to tow it (one also used for laying tarmac drives is apparently ideal).

We started out looking at a Hobby but eventually gave up because of this.

Because the main market for these caravans is the traveller community the dealers only seem to import the larger (over 7 metres) caravans.

 

Another point of concern; these Hobby caravans are usually 2. 5 metres wide.

This means that you don't have to pay VAT on them because they are classed as a static caravan.

You have said that you can't site a static caravan in Devon.

 

So you would have to look for a small version, which when we looked were scarcer than hens teeth.

Thanks again LittleGreyCat,

 

all information has been thoroughly absorbed. Now I know to steer clear of the Hobby, Fendt and Tabbert brands then. Didnt realise that they were classed as a static due to the size. Again all valuable and much needed information for me to take on board.

 

Cheers :)

 

I will have a look and see what the options are online.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some non UK vans like Hobby may not have a cooker so do check as you will need a cooker, hobs, toilet, shower, basin, fridge.

Don't assume any caravan will come with the extras. We tend to keep them when we px a van for a new one.

Extras include Aquaroll to hold fresh water, pump, Wastemaster for grey waste water, leisure battery, pots, pans, cutlery, glasses, Propane gas (works below zero), and other things I have missed.

 

Awnings can be had 2nd hand but they must be the right size to fit the caravan. They nearly double the caravan space.

 

With used vans the biggest problem is damp. Beg or borrow a damp meter to check any possible caravan purchase. Anything up to 15% is OK. Sometimes used vans are drier than new vans, judging by threads here on CT. But people don't post if their van is dry so we tend to hear of the problems, here on the forum.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing,

 

When I said Hobby, I didn't mean that brand only. I was referring to the size of the Hobby Range.

 

Any suggestions of other makes and models of a similar size and a budget of up to £3000 max would help me. Thanks :)

 

As posted above, the main suspects are Fendt, Hobby, Tabbert.

I think you may have a major problem with that budget.

 

Hmmm. . . .

 

Autotrader gives http://caravans. autotrader. co. uk/used-caravans/tabbert/comtesse/1996-tabbert-comtesse-515sdw-clydesdale-east-cfpa-2c929a7a5cc0530b015d27104bfd4625/makemodel/make/tabbert which is only 2. 3m wide and a sensible length. Almost within budget at £3,250.

 

A larger caravan (note the free delivery anywhere in the country) http://caravans. autotrader. co. uk/used-caravans/tabbert/vivaldi/2009-tabbert-vivaldi-excel-winsford-cfpa-2c929b9a5cc055c5015cefdd8c704fde/makemodel/make/tabbert at just a tickle under £6k.

 

On the second one I think this will fall into the awkward size range.

 

These Hobby, Tabbert and Fendt are an interesting challenge.

 

The dealers (at least the ones we visited) seem to be part of the traveller community as well as caravan dealers.

They were very nice and helpful but they can sometimes (I am told) be a law unto themselves so anything that falls under the sale of goods act might be difficult to sort out, which may be more hassle than you want.

 

The caravans appear to be technically illegal to tow in the UK (but are fine anywhere else in the EU).

The caravans appear to be technically static/residential caravans although they look like tourers and are perfectly good as tourers. So parked on the farm they would not look like a static.

 

Some people allegedly tow these in the UK and have never had any problems.

On Ireland we met someone who had one for his large family and towed quite happily with a pickup.

 

So, assuming you can find one at the right price, you have a limited risk whilst the caravan is being moved.

You have to decide if this is acceptable.

Or just hire a minibus to tow it.

 

Edit: I think I may be mangling "static" with "residential". They aren't static because they can be towed away at any time and have the full complement of lights, brakes, etc as opposed to the true static caravans which have a hitch and tiny wheels just to qualify as a mobile home for tax purposes. So apologies for confusing things.

 

I have just had another dig on the Internet and the whole thing is a minefield; the maximum towing width is now 2. 55 metres to harmonise with the EU and so the original zero rating for residential caravans also seems to have changed because it was based on vehicle dimensions.

Edited by LittleGreyCat
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

As posted above, the main suspects are Fendt, Hobby, Tabbert.

I think you may have a major problem with that budget.

 

Hmmm. . . .

 

Autotrader gives http://caravans. autotrader. co. uk/used-caravans/tabbert/comtesse/1996-tabbert-comtesse-515sdw-clydesdale-east-cfpa-2c929a7a5cc0530b015d27104bfd4625/makemodel/make/tabbert which is only 2. 3m wide and a sensible length. Almost within budget at £3,250.

 

A larger caravan (note the free delivery anywhere in the country) http://caravans. autotrader. co. uk/used-caravans/tabbert/vivaldi/2009-tabbert-vivaldi-excel-winsford-cfpa-2c929b9a5cc055c5015cefdd8c704fde/makemodel/make/tabbert at just a tickle under £6k.

 

On the second one I think this will fall into the awkward size range.

 

These Hobby, Tabbert and Fendt are an interesting challenge.

 

The dealers (at least the ones we visited) seem to be part of the traveller community as well as caravan dealers.

They were very nice and helpful but they can sometimes (I am told) be a law unto themselves so anything that falls under the sale of goods act might be difficult to sort out, which may be more hassle than you want.

 

The caravans appear to be technically illegal to tow in the UK (but are fine anywhere else in the EU).

The caravans appear to be technically static/residential caravans although they look like tourers and are perfectly good as tourers. So parked on the farm they would not look like a static.

 

Some people allegedly tow these in the UK and have never had any problems.

On Ireland we met someone who had one for his large family and towed quite happily with a pickup.

 

So, assuming you can find one at the right price, you have a limited risk whilst the caravan is being moved.

You have to decide if this is acceptable.

Or just hire a minibus to tow it.

 

Edit: I think I may be mangling "static" with "residential". They aren't static because they can be towed away at any time and have the full complement of lights, brakes, etc as opposed to the true static caravans which have a hitch and tiny wheels just to qualify as a mobile home for tax purposes. So apologies for confusing things.

Thanks for that again LittleGreyCat, you helpful person you :)

 

I think within my budget I am going to be looking at a rather older model of caravan. Probably model year of 1995 up to year 2003/4 if I am lucky. But at the higher end, if the deal seems too good to be true, it generally is from my extremely limited experience.

 

I will keep searching for something local to me in Carmarthenshire or South Wales generally, that way I will be able to see it for myself before taking the plunge.

 

Avondale Dart seems to be a caravan that is for sale a lot on ebay, gumtree and auotrader alike. But the bigger the better for me as will be living in it predominately, unless the need to move arises which I don't expect, but will be prepared for either way.

 

One phrase I am going to have to start living by is this. "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail" :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some non UK vans like Hobby may not have a cooker so do check as you will need a cooker, hobs, toilet, shower, basin, fridge.

Don't assume any caravan will come with the extras. We tend to keep them when we px a van for a new one.

Extras include Aquaroll to hold fresh water, pump, Wastemaster for grey waste water, leisure battery, pots, pans, cutlery, glasses, Propane gas (works below zero), and other things I have missed.

 

Awnings can be had 2nd hand but they must be the right size to fit the caravan. They nearly double the caravan space.

 

With used vans the biggest problem is damp. Beg or borrow a damp meter to check any possible caravan purchase. Anything up to 15% is OK. Sometimes used vans are drier than new vans, judging by threads here on CT. But people don't post if their van is dry so we tend to hear of the problems, here on the forum.

Thanks WispMan

 

I am online now and about to buy a damp meter for sure. Without that I feel I will lose no matter what caravan I buy. Will end up with large bills I could do without :)

 

Will definitely make sure that the caravan has all the amenities I need in order to live reasonably comfortably.

 

I would prefer I think a caravan with a separate shower and toilet as opposed to having a fixed bedroom. Keeping my disabilities in mind it would make sense. Unless there are any caravans on the used market that have both? I think within my budget I very much doubt that :)

 

Any suggestions of caravan makes and models too look at or you may know of anyone local to me that you or any CT members can recommend would be very helpful. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember visiting the Hobby stand at the NEC a few years ago. It mainly had motorhomes but there were two caravans, both ENORMOUS things. I studied the displayed range listand asked a salesman why none of the smaller caravans were present and he looked at me as if I was mentally defective. So yes Hobby do make smaller caravans but their UK concessionaire has a perception that nobody wants them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember visiting the Hobby stand at the NEC a few years ago. It mainly had motorhomes but there were two caravans, both ENORMOUS things. I studied the displayed range listand asked a salesman why none of the smaller caravans were present and he looked at me as if I was mentally defective. So yes Hobby do make smaller caravans but their UK concessionaire has a perception that nobody wants them.

I think that the Hobby people need to do there homework a bit better. I'm sure that there would be a huge market for smaller Hobby caravans here in the UK, considering our towing rules, it would make sense to tap into a new market for them in the UK.

 

Steamdrivenandy, if your ever in the Carmarthenshire area, I am sure you would much enjoy the Gwili Steam Railway. I live but a mile from it and can often hear the steam whistle of the locos. Be sure to get in touch if you'd like a visit, with your love of all things steam I thought it may be of interest to you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again, just had a quick look through the classifieds here and there is an Abbey 4 berth within your budget. It comes with everything needed, has a separate bathroom and the ability to permanently make up a single bed. The seller also says that he could help with delivery. ......might be worth a look. At least you are unlikely to be scammed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...