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Dave_N

Caravan and motorhome

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I currently have a caravan that I bought new at the end of 2016.  It gets used,  but nowhere near as much as it could be.

i have been contemplating the idea of getting a motorhome for around £10k, but I am thinking of keeping the caravan as well.  My idea was to use the MH for weekends away and the caravan for the longer holidays.

Has anyone done this, or should I just get rid of the caravan or stop thinking about a MH?

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Thinking along the same lines but in our case we are thing of selling the caravan and one of our two cars. .. the cars are probably doing six or seven thousand miles a year between them and we feel that a motorhome may get more 'short break' use than the caravan.

 

A dilemma as a motorhome to meet our requirements (euro 6) is hugely expensive where the cars and caravan owe us nothing and are all in excellent order.  

 

Difficult.

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37 minutes ago, Dave_N said:

I currently have a caravan that I bought new at the end of 2016.  It gets used,  but nowhere near as much as it could be.

i have been contemplating the idea of getting a motorhome for around £10k, but I am thinking of keeping the caravan as well.  My idea was to use the MH for weekends away and the caravan for the longer holidays.

Has anyone done this, or should I just get rid of the caravan or stop thinking about a MH?

 

I have thought along those lines, to allow wild camping in remote areas - but decided not to because of the low(er) power-to-weight ratio

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I have had both and at the moment just gone back to a motorhome .  

 

IMO The motorhome will give more freedom to tour when setting up only takes a few minutes or less . They are easier if travelling to Europe as they are able to park up in Aires .   The motorhome also gives better opportunity to wild camp than a caravan . I tow a small car so means I don't need a large car all year but a small run around . I have a aqua roll and wastehog and caravan air awning so it gives the same as a caravan .

I have just come back from 6 weeks in Scotland with 4 weeks in the Highlands with most of the place not caravan suitable .

 

 

Its down to choices .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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I've always fancied a Bongo camper as a tow car :)

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Paul_B said:

I've always fancied a Bongo camper as a tow car :)

 

 

 

 

IMO one issue then is once you site the caravan your running out in a large vehicle which can be limited in rural country lanes and villages in like Cornwall and Wales .

 

 

Dave

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38 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

IMO one issue then is once you site the caravan your running out in a large vehicle which can be limited in rural country lanes and villages in like Cornwall and Wales .

Dave

 

:unsure:  a Mazda Bongo isn't much larger than a standard tow car and smaller than many.

 

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I've just moved back to a campervan from running caravans for the last 8 years. In fact it's al.ost identical to the van we ran from '06 to '08. It's on a Mk7 Transit base, rather than Mk6 and is the MWB version,  rather than SWB. So a foot or so longer. The actual accommodation area is identical and the extra length has increased the depth of the 'boot from 2ft to 3ft. This means the kitchen worktop is also 3ft deep as it's above the 'boot. More worktop than most vans three times the size. Also above the 'boot', the wardrobe is wider, with two instead of one door and opposite there's an extra roof locker to use the additional space.

 

Four belted seats, two nearly 7ft long single beds, or a big double. A toilet 'room', compressor fridge, hob and sink combo, mains boiler, two leisure batteries, two Heki's, main table, outside table and 'coffee' table.

 

The 'boot' is across the width of the van, 4ft 6ins between wheel arches and another 14 inches or so from wall to wall. So a space nearly 6ft wide by 3ft deep and 3ft 4ins high. Our double dog crate fits in, no trouble, with the door matching the doorway from the van interior. 

 

It will serve as my daily driver if Mrs SDA is using the Yeti and this weekend I've transported her and her singing gear (music, folding music stand etc) to Hf in Malhamdale where she's leading a singing weekend. The dogs and I are at CMC Bolton Abbey, enjoying the woods and riverside walks after a gorgeous drive through the lanes from Malham. Yesterday I popped into Skipton for supplies, though I could've eaten at the cafe just outside site. This morning I cooked myself fried tomatoes and bacon on the hob and it was gorgeous, in a lovely site with a clear blue sky.

 

OK, it hasn't got masses of space, but it's space that makes a van big and a big van is less usable as an everyday vehicle. We accept the lack of space and load and live accordingly. Mind I can't think of another model that can accommodate a two dog crate (medium size dogs), a folding puppy pen and folding canvas crate to keep them corralled and two folding chairs, plus lots of other stuff in a campervan that's just 17ft long. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

Its down to choices

Got it in one :D

Generally small to medium size motorhomes are better for touring while caravans and larger motorhomes are best to set up a base camp and explore from there. As for using the towcar to explore an area, we found that a 4x4 could get to many places that a typical small car that would be taken with a MH cannot. But I agree we all have to make the choice as to what suits us best.

Gordon

4 hours ago, Dave_N said:

i have been contemplating the idea of getting a motorhome for around £10k, but I am thinking of keeping the caravan as well.  My idea was to use the MH for weekends away and the caravan for the longer holidays.

I'd be inclined to agree and do as you suggest to see how it works. Then take a decision whether to carry on or change the bias to caravan or motorhome.

Gordon 

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So has anyone OWNED both at the same time?

Edited by Dave_N
Made owned bold and uppercase

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The problem I have with running two at the same time is the waste of space/resources. By that I mean that you really only need one kitchen and one bathroom and because you want to use the motorhome on its own, then both need to be in the motorhome. That leaves you with a caravan that's just a lounge and bedroom, which nobody makes. And then if you need the loo in the night, do you waddle to the van in the dark. So then you have to have a washroom in the caravan and one in the motorhome, which seems pointless.

 

I know someone who ran a VW T5 camper and a caravan. She said they only used the caravan for sleeping in and the kitchen was never used and only the toilet and washbasin was used in the washroom. That was until they got a Discovery instead of the T5.

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10 minutes ago, Dave_N said:

So has anyone owned both at the same time?

Yes, I had an Autocruise Pace and a Bailey Ranger 550!

 

I currently have a Vito Camper and a Bailey Pegasus Verona!

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If you've never had a motorhome, why not hire one to see how you go.

 

Personally, I prefer a caravan, which gives you more freedom for days out, your caravan being the base.   Motorhomes are very cumbersome to park in car parks or on streets in towns and/or cities.   

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53 minutes ago, Babstreefern said:

If you've never had a motorhome, why not hire one to see how you go.

 

Personally, I prefer a caravan, which gives you more freedom for days out, your caravan being the base.   Motorhomes are very cumbersome to park in car parks or on streets in towns and/or cities.   

That’s why a want a caravan, but it’s a pain setting off on a Friday night, only to return on a Sunday.  Where I don’t need to go anywhere by car once set up, a motorhome would be better and the caravan would be better for longer trips.  

Basically I want to have my cake and eat it.

Just wondering if anyone has made it work having both.

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46 minutes ago, Dave_N said:

That’s why a want a caravan, but it’s a ball ache setting off on a Friday night, only to return on a Sunday.  Where I don’t need to go anywhere by car once set up, a motorhome would be better and the caravan would be better for longer trips.  

Basically I want to have my cake and eat it.

Just wondering if anyone has made it work having both.

 

What is there to making it work? Only you can judge the financial implications and the parking - but all the other skills are surely transferable?

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13 hours ago, Dave_N said:

That’s why a want a caravan, but it’s a pain setting off on a Friday night, only to return on a Sunday.  Where I don’t need to go anywhere by car once set up, a motorhome would be better and the caravan would be better for longer trips.  

Basically I want to have my cake and eat it.

Just wondering if anyone has made it work having both.

I hired a motor home a couple of years ago to see what it was like, and took it to France.  

It was OK to pitch up and be ready for action so to speak, but it was a very noisy drive, unpleasant at anything over 60 mph, the ride was wallowing, and everything rattles and squeaks. I found it OK to park, as the mirrors are excellent and the turning circle good, just had to watch out for overhanging tree branches.

But, you have to plan shopping and doing things before you pitch up,(if you dont want to pack up again) this is where the van and car comes up trumps.  

 

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13 hours ago, Dave_N said:

That’s why a want a caravan, but it’s a pain setting off on a Friday night, only to return on a Sunday.  Where I don’t need to go anywhere by car once set up, a motorhome would be better and the caravan would be better for longer trips.  

Basically I want to have my cake and eat it.

Just wondering if anyone has made it work having both.

 

 

There are members on here with both a motorhome and a caravan .

 

As for setting off the motorhome garage on mine is already loaded and I even leave clothes in the cupboards so saves loading  and unloading cars  .

 

 

Dave

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Many years ago an aunt and uncle from Quebec bought an Airstream and an RV and toured the whole of North America for a couple of years. They'd set up the Airstream as a base and do week long side trips in the RV. Somehow it seems a touch OTT for Europe though.

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14 hours ago, Dave_N said:

So has anyone OWNED both at the same time?

 

It will depend on what you class as a motorhome,  If like the majority of Joe Public who can differentiate between campers and RVs then no.  if like the caravan club and every vehicle that you sleep in is a motorhome then yes.

 

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Member Foghorn Leghorn has got a newish Bailey coach-built motorhome and a newish caravan and towcar so he could give a personal account ?

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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18 hours ago, Dave_N said:

That’s why a want a caravan, but it’s a pain setting off on a Friday night, only to return on a Sunday.  

 

I personally haven't owned both but we have a caravan our grandparents have a motorhome and we regularly holiday together. The idea that they are much quicker and easier than a caravan is a bit of a fallacy IMO. Even if you have on board tanks you still have to empty and fill them, levelling can be a right PIA if on an uneven pitch, still have to roll out the EHU cable etc, apart from winding the legs down you still have to do the same jobs with a motorhome though it may be at different times which makes them seem like less hassle.

 

Maybe the answer is to just make your caravan life easier, ours mainly gets used for weekends away as such we have made it simple as possible to set up and break down. I have a box that sits just inside the door of the caravan and this includes, drill winder for the legs, levelling blocks, EHU cable and the security clamps so everything is to hand, once used everything it normally gets slid under the caravan. Also the water barrels, water pump, waste master and waste pipes are all just on the floor in the caravan rather than "put away" as such so again all to hand. Before we leave site we empty the toilet and remake it again, we also fill up the flush with any water left over from the barrels so its another job we dont have to do on arrival next time. We dont normally bother with the EHU either as for a weekend there is normally no need. Also we are not too fussy about levelling, normally one scaffold board gets you close enough especially on proper campsites.

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Filling up with water is just driving to the motorhome service point and fill the water tank less than 5 minutes then drive to pitch and when leaving you drive to the motorhome service point and pull up over the grills and open the drain cock for the grey water while that is emptying they usually have a black water point next to them so done in minutes  with no carting containers about .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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20 hours ago, Dave_N said:

So has anyone OWNED both at the same time?

Yes we do. We have a Swift Challenger 2 berth which we bought for touring a couple of years ago when we stopped doing long winters in Spain. Previously we had a slightly larger Swift with a fixed bed for wintering in Spain. We have a family owned Hobby 750 tag axle which we have never used, and don’t like but our son loves it. I can no longer drive it anyway because my licence doesn’t cover it. We have towed for almost 48 years, and have decided we like it. Our little Volvo gets us about in comfort when we have unhitched.  

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I can see the appeal, we had a weekend away and in reality it’s 7pm Friday to 11am Sunday - what I would say though is I can’t think a motorhome would actually make it any quicker - it took me 20 minutes from checking in to the caravan all being set-up although granted there was no awning to put up. Putting it all away yesterday took a little longer, perhaps half an hour.

 

By far the biggest ball-ache is traffic on a Friday which is a pain whether you are towing or in a motorhome - sadly somebody had hit the central reservation at Newmarket on the A14 so we had to find an alternative route which is not easy with a caravan or a wife that cannot read a map to save her life!

 

I did get the caravan Thursday night so it was all packed ready to go but again apart from what was in it all we added was some clothing, toiletries and food - none of which took long.  The outside chairs and toys were in the boot of the car.

 

Didnt realise in time that I start work late today, so we could have gone up in two cars on Friday and I could have come back today with the caravan whilst Mrs fb could have set off first thing to get her and FB junior back to school - schoolboy error!

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It's the awnings that are the PIA.

 

Last year our caravan was on a store n stay site. When we wanted to use it the site pulled it from store and levelled it. All I had to do was connect the on-pitch fresh and waste, the EHU and transfer all the gear from the car. But then erect the porch awning and take it down and pack away after. That takes a lot of time, a lot of bending, a lot of  kneeling, banged thumbs, broken nails, sweating and swearing.

 

This year I've a 17ft long Transit panel van conversion. I've just done 3 nights at Bolton Abbey CMC and loved it. On Saturday I went into Skipton for supplies and parked in a busy town with no problem. The rest of the weekend the van stayed put and the beardies and I walked the woods and the riverside walks in gorgeous weather.  Cuppas and sandwiches in the tea room next to the site. It couldn't be better.

 

I extended the Fiamma wind-out sunshade a couple of times but that's really no hassle and today I had everything packed away and the grey water emptied in 30 minutes. Then off to pick up Mrs SDA at nearby Malham. 

 

Keep it very, very simple is the answer.

 

 

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