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I would prefer to buy another caravan but my wife, daughter and son in law are gunning for a motorhome.   I have tried explaining  the restrictions  and the extra expense that come with  a motorhome but my arm is being painfully twisted. So, can anyone  who has tried motor homing and gone back to caravanning persuade my family that caravanning is the way to go?

 

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I doubt that I can persuade them, but I suggest you hire a motorhome for a couple of weeks to try before buying.

 

We hired a Swift 6 berth for a month's touring  and that experience lead us to buying a Lunar caravan.  

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I agree hire before you buy . It might sound expensive but it’s a lot cheaper then buying the wrong thing. Try ikonic campers they do hire motorhome. Good luck.

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I have indeed, had both a MH and a Caravan.

 

I could spend 10 minutes convincing you that a MH is the only logical answer, and the next 10 minutes convincing you that a caravan is the only sensible choice.

 

It all depends on what you want at the time. The main points are.

1. A MH costs CONSIDERABLY  more than a car AND caravan. (Just look at the prices and weep!) 

2. With a caravan you can “set up home” and then use your car to tour the area, with   a MH you have to pack everything up before you go anywhere (even to the shops) Electric bikes help, but the realistic range is only a few miles.

3, With a MH you can “wild camp” which you cannot do with a caravan so easily.

4. A MH has additional annual costs such has VEL/MOT plus more tyres to replace.

5. Size for size there is more space inside a caravan (no engine, steering wheel, driving seats to accommodate) 

6. With a caravan you can replace your car and caravan at separate times, with a MH the replacement cost cannot be split.  

 

There are plenty of other points of course but those are the ones that have come to my mind at short notice.  

 

My biggest bit bit of advice is DONT RUSH any decision.

 

Andy

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56 minutes ago, Odd days said:

I agree hire before you buy . It might sound expensive but it’s a lot cheaper then buying the wrong thing. Try ikonic campers they do hire motorhome. Good luck.

My daughter's family hired a Motor Home for this year's holiday and the inconveniences persuaded them to buy a caravan.

Gordon

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You need to tell us whats on offer, aka what motorhome or caravan, and then we can take the appropriate side easier 😆

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Much depends on you rage and your ability to get about without transport.

If you are young enough and fit enough to walk or cycle long distances so that you don't  need to  use the MH to explore places OK but if like us as we near 80 you will benefit from the use of the car.

I feel with a MH you are more likely to get up and go at the drop of a hat.

My guess is that SWMBO will win.

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We had our first motorhome in 1973 and went over to a caravan in 1975 when we started a family.

Since then we've had numerous examples of both and have toured all over the UK and Europe so maybe I qualify to pontificate on the subject?

 

Motorhomes and caravans require a completely different attitude to get the best out of them and in my experience ex-tuggers (motorhomer slang for caravanners) don't transfer to the ways of motorhoming easily. You'd need to forget most of what you know about touring caravans and start again from scratch.

 

Family size is important. A motorhome can very cramped in relation to a similarly sized caravan so personal privacy is at a premium. As a result I would recommend motorhoming to young couples or retired couples but NOT families.

Second important point is that if you do most of your touring in the UK a caravan wins hands down. The UK is very anti-motorhome and you'll be unable to use one to its full potential.

If however you tour overseas than you'll find that a motorhome has huge advantages over a caravan. Massive choice of very cheap and interesting stopovers. almost unlimited freedom, easier driving experience, complete absence of the need for forward planning etc.

 

Read the comments from Mr Plodd, what he says is valid and correct - but IMO it's more about attitude rather than cost (although you obviously need to be in a position to afford the change).

 

Having used both for many years I don't decry either - but they are VERY different, don't assume that you'll be able to move from one to the other easily.

 

BTW: You don't get the "real" motorhome experience by hiring, they need to be "personalised" to get the "full" experience.

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Hi

We have had 2 motorhomes and moved to them in late 2012. Both of ours were AutoTrail and we did buy new (fortunately we did buy cash so could do a good deal with both). Our first was a 'toe in the water' and was a 2 berth end kitchen and washroom layout - this was really good but you find that there are limitations in respect to storage. We kept this for about two and a half years before looking for something larger and we got a 7. 6 metre long MH with singles beds, L shaped kitchen and separate shower and toilet/hand basin   areas amidships.   This had a lovely large 'garage' area which met all our storage needs and more.

We go to France for about 14 weeks overall in a year and our holidays normally are touring inasmuch as we move on every few days but sometimes stay for a week if we like the area so MH really suited our needs. However we do take a later European holiday where we meet up with friends and stay on site for a few weeks and this is where we felt trapped without having a car to get around with. We did take our MH's out though both shopping and visiting sights of interest. In England we found having the MH a pain as wherever we went no one wants MH's especially car parks etc. so we always chose sites that had public transport reasonably nearby.

We loved our last MH, great driving position, comfortable, easy to set up and leave especially if the weather was inclement and do still love them. Another plus is the MH fraternity is much more friendly and we have been 'camping' for 40+ years.

However last year we decided that we might change back to a caravan partly for the reason of missing having transport when on site but also being greedy, we did miss not having a 2nd car (I always had to use my wife's car when it was available !). This year we have toured exactly the same as we have done in the MH but this time we have taken the car solo to places we would never have done with the MH (and in the past we have taken our MH's through some tight areas as we always travelled cross country and not via autoroutes unless the were free).

One final point is that the lounging space in a MH is always restricted - yes we had a lovely bedroom area and sanitary accommodation plus a L shaped kitchen but you do not have the sprawling space that we have in our caravan. Therefore now, if the weather is inclement we have no problems lounging about, walking around a making a cup of tea, etc. On the other hand when on the move and you need a comfort break it was so easy with the MH - just park up and stop, just move to the loo in the MH whereas in a car/caravan combination it is a different matter.

Servicing is another matter - one service for the habitation area and a separate one for the vehicle (often MH dealers cannot or do not have the facility to do both) and thereby this can also be an issue to find a garage that could lift up and service a heavy MH (we used a very good HGV main dealer for ours). If you had something wrong or a warranty issue with the habitation side and the dealer kept the MH you were then without a vehicle - luckily we were never in this position.

In all, so many fors and againsts - as I said we still love MH's and who knows we may change back at some time in the future and if we do it would be an A Class next time around.  

Hope this gives you some food for thought.

Alan

 

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We live in a smallish English town of about 28,000 people that visitirs seem to want to visit from time to time.

Caravanning, we have visited many towns of a similar size.

 

Now work out where in our town (Kendal, Cumbria) you would park a MH? Some are using supermarkets who are subject to a 2 hr limit to park. No ANPR except at Homebase at the moment.

 

Caravanning - we do enjoy pottering in these small towns. With a MH they are a no-no unless the authority have decided on a P & R.

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Not a motorhome, but close enough: My wife wanted a classic VW camper van, so I rented a 1970's Bay Window Westfalia, as a present and way to try it. Due to the limitations of speed/endurance we stayed at one C&CC site within about 60miles of the rental place. Space, comfort and driving leg room aside, my main issue was the lack of separate car. As others have said, having to pack up everything to use your accomodation as a vehicle was a real pain and put us off the camper as a holiday method. We bought a classic caravan with a similar level of space, comfort and features as a toe in the water and have stuck with caravans since. The only issue with a caravan for me is the set-up process, as it discourages you from moving on too frequently, which is the main draw of Motorhomes.

Edited by Custard Avenger

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Having owned and used most variations from backpacking with a one man tent to touring in an american RV I think I'm qualified to say I understand the advantage and shortfalls of each.

Putting aside the financial implications, the major differences between motorhomes and caravans relate to ease of transport away from a site, ability to park anywhere, and lounging space when on site.

Caravans generally offer a better fixed base from which to explore an area while motorhomes generally are better for short stopovers during a touring holiday. If touring, personally I would tend towards a small camper style MH that can access most areas a car can and is not restricted in speed by towing,  but with the advantage that it can provide sleeping accommodation and there is always a kitchen and loo available. If staying in one destination and travelling each day from there, then clearly a caravan will provide a better base from which to do that, and if your towcar is a 4x4 then there maybe additional opportunities to explore off road.

Our present outfit sits somewhere between the two as we currently have a large RV and tow a microcar on a trailer. The RV provides superior accommodation space to both a caravan and most motorhomes on site, while the little car can get to and park in places where even a normal size car may struggle. Consequently we tend to use the RV more like a caravan and tour in the car.

That said, my heart is still with caravans and I feel sure that eventually we will downsize again to a comfortable normal size caravan and towcar.

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Thank

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Thanks everyone for your replies, I will pass your comments on to those in my family that favour a MH.

My wife and I recently took a coach trip to the Rhine ( I guess that's a give away to our age group) it soon became obvious that Germany welcomes MHs with open arms.

What struck me was the number of cycle paths that followed the river for miles and miles from the campsites.

Our trip encountered its fair share of long delays on the notorious M25 and I felt sorry for those motorists especially those with children that wanted the loo.

That's when travelling by coach, MH or caravan comes in handy.

We stayed in a hotel just south of Koblenz, a beautiful part of the world, a shame its 500 miles away, however once we crossed the channel we made good time, no road works, no  congestion.

So yes, I agree, I can see where a MH comes into its own when hop skipping across the continent, something I may consider when I run out of places to see in the UK.

It has just occurred to me, there is a way to keep everyone happy, the son-in-law can buy a MH, I'll buy a caravan so we can swap as and when it suits.

Thanks again for taking the time to post your replies, much appreciated 

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As you can see from my signiture we have both. but we do prefer the moho. Altho it is large(swift kontiki 669 twin axles) its more economical than the car towing the van

3. 0 l auto moho 28mpg, 2. 5l d5 xc90 solo 32 and towing approx 21mpg.

i beg to diff with having to pack all item away with moho. 2 x tv stay put.(we have the fixed bed and luton over cab beds) so no beds to make up put down. the only other thing we leave out is the kettle. but the moho was £90k. vel on the moho was £160 this year compared to the volvo at £400

car and caravan can be better if staying put for longer periods,but is out weighed by the cry of limited weights you can carry,even with the big twin wheelers at 140kg payloads is bad language  removed. Nose weights are becoming higher meaning larger cars, even when your not holidaying. storage of a car and caravan needs to be bigger. double drive or storage compounds. tv etc also has to be put away raising lowering jacks etc. Ok our buccaneers have self level.

car £68k and caravan £38k so simular prices but as said can be spread out, so its all about individual needs.

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I had caravans gone to Motorhome then gone back to caravan and now gone back to a Motorhome .

 

I have a motorhome that I can use for touring with simple set up and packing up times but I also have a small car that I trailer  when I use the Motorhome as a caravan and also a caravan awning . So this gives me the best of both options .

 

It's down to choice .

 

 

Dave

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I have a caravan, and prior to owning that borrowed a motorhome a good number of times. The problem with the motorhome, was that it was not really big enough for a family of four to be away for a week or so, particularly if you get wet weather etc. or go away in the winter. A bigger motorhome would obviously solve this problem, but the motorhome we used, was just small enough to park in most car park spaces. So if you had a bigger motorhome for more space, it wouldn't be practical to visit many places, since you wouldn't be able to park it easily. This is fine, if you intend to just drive to a site and not move, but we like to visit interesting places which we drive to whilst away, at least some of the time. We now have a VW Caravelle as our tow vehicle, which provides plenty of space when out and about, and a bigger caravan and awning for siting and not moving.

 

The choice between caravan and motorhome definitely comes down to how many people will go away in it, and how you are going to use it.

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Our leisure vehicle adventure started in 2006 with a Horizons Unlimited Innovation 1 panel van conversion built on a SWB Transit.

 

2008 we moved to an Adria Coral Compact motorhome, about a metre longer but with a built in shower. 

 

2010 we tried caravanning with an Eriba Touring Troll

 

2012 a slightly more modern Troll

 

2014 a move to a more conventional Lunar Quasar 464

 

2016 a 'mainstream' Bailey Pegasus 2 Rimini 

 

2018 full circle, a Horizons Unlimited Innovation 3 built on a MWB Transit.

 

So 12 years, two PVC's, 1 motorhome, 4 caravans.

 

As long as you keep control of the 'stuff' you buy, or try to store, in your leisure vehicle, accept each ones particular limitations and enjoy their benefits, there is no absolute ideal, only the best compromise that you can achieve.

 

Currently I enjoy running a van that is of a size used by masses of trades people throughout the land and they seem to get to most places. It's just a bit longer than an average car, parks easily, seats four, sleeps two, has proper onboard toilet, fridge, hot water, sink, 3 ring hob, masses of worktop, loads of storage and a big boot for our dog crate.

 

There is no right or wrong between motorhome and caravan, it's just what suits your needs at the time. I will say that in moving back to a PVC I've happily done away with noseweight gauge, winding steadies, hitching procedures, aquaroll, wastemaster, motor mover, loading issues  etc.   

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We've done both.  

Now we find a cheap flights on easy jet. ....... :ph34r:

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Must admit my wife keeps talking about a MH when the kids won't want to come with us. That's a few years away and having dipped my toe in France and seeing how MH are accommodated for, I can see the draw. I wouldn't even consider a MH with two kids and a dog but when the kids are old enough to fend for themselves and it's just us and maybe a dog then with a couple of ebikes a motorhome I think would be good to punt around Europe for a couple of years.   If caravans were given the same access maybe my mind would be changed.  

 

Edited by Jiffy176

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After 30 odd years of having various caravans we changed to a motorhome  six years ago and enjoy the way of life. It keeps me fitter than having a caravan despite having a seriously dodgy knee! It is not for everyone and a change not to be done on a whim. We thought long and hard before making the change. Funnily enough today we have just placed an order for a new motorhome so I suppose we have to be committed to the way of life which we find much simpler and less stress inducing than a caravan despite having towed over 80000 miles! Anyone thinking of making the change I am more than happy to discuss via PM if required.

 

David

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IMO motorhomes are more for stopping 1 or 2 nights and a caravan is for stopping 1 or 2 weeks.   

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3 hours ago, joanie said:

IMO motorhomes are more for stopping 1 or 2 nights and a caravan is for stopping 1 or 2 weeks.   

I suppose our average stay is 3/4 nights and  sometimes 7 nights. Even when I had a caravan I rarely stayed two weeks in one place!

 

David

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I'm getting to the stage where a weekend away in a camper sounds good, I don't fancy a bigger motorhome type bus thing as I would consider that to be less practical than the caravan. 

I'm in two minds as I've been looking at seasonal pitches within a hours drive and it seems a better idea, good for weekends or a week and a good starting point for when wanting to go further afield.

 

Up to now plan "B" has more plus points :)

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One problem with having a motorhome, rather than a campervan, is that you usually need another vehicle as a daily driver. For a couple that means an extra lot of cost in depreciation, VED, insurance, servicing etc. We have one car and the 5.2m long camper, so only two vehicles. The car gets used for most daily driving, but if Mrs SDA needs it at the same time as I do then I can take the campervan for whatever I want to do.

 

Yesterday Mrs SDA was at a craft fair, with the car, all day and so I took the camper to a local supermarket for supplies. A 6m or above motorhome could be used in that way but would be more difficult to park.

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