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Dannyprice1989

Folding campers/caravans

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Hello again everyone,

After advice again. ..previously asked about a caravan to suit my car, looking at getting a new car soon (bigger engine) so holding off on the caravan until maybe next year or so, in the meantime, looking at getting a folding camper or folding caravan, any ideas or experience on any that would help me choose?

thanks 😁

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We had a Conway Countryman folding camper before we moved to a caravan. It was very versatile, easy to tow, and complete with kitchen, awning, and sun canopy.

We changed to a caravan so that we get a longer season, and not be worried about damp canvas, and no central heating.

 

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We had a Gobur for many years and were exceptionally pleased with that, but whether they suit wholly depends on what your requirements are. The product is what it is, what is IMO not in question is the first rate build quality.

 

Far from a cheap option, such quality rarely is.

Edited by JTQ

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Might be a bit of a taboo discussing folding campers on here but hey-ho! :unsure:

We've had a couple of them a few years back - Pennine Fiesta and a Pennine Pullman - before changing to caravans. I do miss them at times!

Great pieces of kit, very light to tow, beds stay up (no faffing about every night/morning), easy to store (in garage in our case) and loads of room with the awning up.

As previously said, the downside is packing away damp but if have room at home, it's not too much of a problem to dry them out.

BTW, both our campers had heating fitted to them.

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I had a Pennine fiesta 4x4 for 18 months then I changed to a Pennine Pathfinder like the one above it has proper sprung mattress  . as has been said they are very versatile and very easy to erect the downside if it gets wet you will need to dry it as soon as practicable I did use mine in winter as well also it retains its value if you decide to change to a caravan in the future.

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Remember a folding canvas based camper is not much good in the winter, plus it's a problem drying it at home when wet. Also not usual to have any plumbing facilities. The latter are not a problem on a fully equipped site. Easy to tow and manhandle.

Good value, but not as versatile as something like a Gobur.

 

You need to decide your priorities and budget.

 

Perhaps look at a small used caravan line a Lunar Ariva?

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I would think a "used" canvass based trailer tent, which is accepted by the C&MC by the way, is a cost effective first step into this hobby  as a taster to see if as a hobby it is for "you". Not that one necessarily needs to "move" on as there is undoubtedly something we find enchanting in living under canvass, in the main season.

I suspect trading in a few years old trailer tent after adding on a season or two will not bring much depreciation?

Probably as vehicles are getting lighter so less capable of towing a caravan and the number of punters with only a "B" license is an increasing %, then hitherto depreciation levels of these units can be expected to relax even more?

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We had a Conway Cardinal Clubman folding camper for 8 years up to 2000 and towed it with a 1. 6 l petrol Peugeot 405 saloon. Towing was never a problem, it never needed a hitch stabiliser and it came with us to among other places southern France, Hungary, Austria and Italy. Because of the stability we never thought about the weight. I would add that at the time we were in work and basically used it from Whitsun to the beginning of September.  

 

Can echo other posters comments about drying out and storage. Ours had an "under bed storage tent" which meant we always had space on short stops to store an awning, sun canopy, chairs and other items we carried in the body of the trailer.

 

We could use ours on both the major clubs sites, with the added bonus of using it on tent only sites in the C&CC .

 

We sold ours to a couple who were taking it to southern Spain to use as temporary accomodation while they looked for work.  

 

John.

Edited by John19

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Some years ago, the main ones were Pennine and Conway, now amalgamated.   We tried to keep to the Conways as personally, they were better.   We've had the large 6brth Sterling, 4brth Countryman and an earlier one, which I can't quite remember.   I loved them all.   It was even cheaper on the French motorways as you only pay for the car, not the trailer.   The motorway tolls only go for height, not the length, so hence, folding campers were always free:D.   The space in these though were enormous, especially the Sterling or Pathfinder (Pennine).  It amazed some people on sites who had never seen one, how much space there was compared to a caravan

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We had a Pennine Pullman for 8 years before we turned to caravans. We were lucky that we could dry it in our garage if we packed it wet. Were they come into there own is with a large family, we had 3 children so everybody could sleep inside . The awning could then be used as a play room, dining room or lounge. We had the awning extension as well that served as a toilet tent. On 1 site somebody said it was the size of a small bungalow. The downside is a shorter season because they are harder to heat. We loved our breaks in it but when the kids no longer wanted to come and we fancied more comfort we changed to caravans. It doesn't matter what you go away in regards to enjoying yourself.

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We had a 4 berth Esterel folding caravan for about 5 years.   Very easy to tow with my Astra and kept it in the garage.   Could not open it up completely in the garage but we could open the lid and partly open the end wall to reach inside to pack things.   Being fibreglass it had solid walls for weather protection but it was tricky to erect in any wind (same for tents I guess).  Main problem was advancing age made erecting and folding stressful.   My wife is not very tall and found it difficult to push the side walls in while I was inside to take the weight.   Ends have gas struts so much easier.   Generally if you are not too old and are fit there are many advantages but they are a bit basic by modern standards.

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