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Jmh474

Struggling with first purchase

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone as the title suggests I'm struggling with my first time buy, I have a xsara Picasso 56 plate, and from what I work out I need a caravan under 1000kg which leaves me with 200kg for weight in the caravan, I can no way afford a new car so that's well out the question and only a budget of £1300 the search is not going very well, we really need a 4 berth. 

 

One of the main reasons why we want a caravan is that out younger son is autistic and doesn't do well with new places and we've been advised to try a caravan and let him get used to the idea first before we go away. 

 

My older son is not doing well as me and my partner thinks he feels pushed out because of the time our youngest takes, and he keeps telling us how his friends are going away, we've not really been away since we sadly lost our daughter. 

 

We live in Wisbech if anyone knows of any close to us, any help or advice and guidance people can offer would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks

Edited by Jmh474

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Welcome

A 4 berth caravan under 1000kgs and a budget of £1300 is a very tall order, but not impossible.

It is quite possible that any caravans offerred to you could be damp, rotten or basket cases so you need to take extra care. Have you a family member, neighbour or friend with caravan knowledge who would help to check over possible purchases?

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I have one friend who will come check the van over with me all ready asked him thanks

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from what you have said i think you may have got the weights slightly confused.  When advertised caravans will almost always be talking about the maximum weight so you dont need to factor in the weight of your things as an extra.

 

Unladen Weight: The empty caravan

Maximum/Gross/MTPLM weight: Is the maximum the caravan can weigh with all your stuff in it.

 

I would keep an eye on ebay, there are plenty of bargains about and often they come with lots of accessories. Dont be put off by age, buy on condition.  At the value/age you are looking at a "spongey floor" isnt a concern and not normally a sign of damp, its quite a simple fix and can be sorted in an afternoon with the available kits.

 

For what its worth my cousin was autistic, as a kid our families would regularly go on caravan holidays together.  He was fine with the caravan as it wasnt a new place but importantly for his brothers they really enjoyed going away. When away in the caravan, without all the distractions of housework and routines at home its amazing how much extra time you spend with the kids. As a parent myself this is probably the thing i enjoy most about being away in the caravan as a family.

 

All the best, Tom

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Posted (edited)

We had a 2005 2.0 hdi 90 bhp Xsara Picasso and on the V5C it gives the car max braked trailer weight as 1300 kg, and the car mass in service as 1375 kg. You should check your values on your V5C. If similar you could look at caravans up to 1300 kg MTPLM and then not put much in it when towing.

 

We used it once to tow our caravan, MIRO 1000 kg and MTPLM 1300 kg but was probably about 1050 kg when towed. The car was not really heavy enough to fully control the caravan or powerful enough so was not used again but others seem quite happy towing with the Picasso. 

Edited by Paul1957

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Posted (edited)

My sister and her husband recently bought a mid 90’s Sprite Musketeer, it is 1000kg MTPLM and as dry as a bone inside - okay it’s rough around the edges but for £1500 it’s incredible value for money. I would imagine there are a few dealers who have such stock available from time to time, my brother in law found it local to them by keeping an eBay search going.

 

They have already decided to buy a newer van next year (they bought this as a ‘trial’) and the dealer just said ‘bring it back when you upgrade and I’ll be able to give you most of what you paid back’.

Edited by FrankBullet

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If you're on Facebook, don't discount their Marketplace.

There are a surprising number of cheaper vans in my area.

Yes, some are utter garbage and you wouldn't want to set foot inside them, but there looks to be some gems out there if you're not bothered about up-to-date.

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Posted (edited)

To the OP: have you confirmed the exact towing data?

 

Look for the vehicle plate - it might be on the B pillar (between front and back doors) on the nearside, or on the (inside)  wheel arch of one of the back doors, on a door edge or even on the scuttle above the radiator. It will have four numbers on it which top to bottom are:-

GVW (gross vehicle weight)

MTW (maximum train weight)

Max front axle load (often preceded with a 1)

Max rear axle load (often preceded with a 2)

Subtract the top number from the second number and you have the maximum trailer weight (all in Kg.) - which according to your text will be 1200.

 

As you are new to caravanning it is generally suggested (i.e. guidline, not law) that the MTPLM (maximum technically permitted load mass) should not exceed 85% of the kerb weight of the towing vehicle. Once you have experience under your belt 100% is not a problem. You will also need to know:-

The maximum noseweight (i.e. load on the ball) that the caravan can handle (in most cases for smaller vans this will be 100Kg)

The maximum noseweight  that the towbar will take (usually on a label on the towbar mounting assembly

The maximum noseweight that the vehicle chassis will take (handbook)

Whichever is the lowest of these is the noseweight that you should aim for but NOT exceed - typically it will be around 5-7% of the MTPLM of the caravan.

 

We, the contributors to this group, will be able to give you much more help if we knew exactly which model you have, i.e. engine size and fuel, bhp, etc etc as the towing capability varies accordingly.

 

One final thought - although it is unlikely to apply in this instance: if you passed your driving test on or after 1/1/97 you are restricted to a maximum train weight (i.e. vehicle GVW plus caravan MTPLM) of 3500Kg. To go higher than this you will need to take an extra driving test to upgrade your driving licence from B to B+E.

 

 

 

Edited by Woodentop

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With two boys you may be better with a 5 berth as older 4 berths will be a big snug with 4 in. Sorry Just adding as our first van was a 4/5 berth.....ABI Maurader 1996 and cost £1000, it lasted 2 weeks as there are 5 of us and I then knew I needed a 5 berth as a minimum. 2nd van was a Ranger 500/5 and was still a bit tight with the eldest struggling in the narrow beds. SO last two vans have been 6 berths.

 

Our 3 van was an Adria 542DK and was bought from a family in Scotland who had it for your exact reason and they used it up till he was a older teenager and no longer wanted to go away with his parents. 

 

Pity your so far away there is a dealer here in N.Ireland who specialises in lower price decent honest vans. His start about £2k and its where our second van came from. A fountain of knowledge and I send so many would be caravans his way. Never heard a bad word about him. Has to be others like him your side of the puddle??

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So on the v5c max MTPLM is 1200kg I'm OK with towing as used to tow cherry picker for work (sparky) iv been doing some research and looking with my budget I'm looking at late 90s, I'm hoping that with the 4 birth and the awning may sleep the eldest and possibly his friend. 

Me and my partner check Facebook daily, can always give her a lick of paint, one thing iv found we live in a higher price area for caravans unless I'm will to travel 3 4 hrs lol

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MTPLM is the caravans declared max weight. So I assume the V5C figure of 1200kgs is the max towing weight on the V5C?

In which case any caravans  MTPLM must not exceed it. What is the declared kerbweight of the car?

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Which engine does the Xsara Picasso have ?

 

I have a Citroen brochure for the 2005 models and the 1.6 petrol max towing weight braked is 900 kg but all the other engines are 1300 kg.

 

It also gives unladen weights as 1.6 petrol 1240 kg, 1.8 petrol 1245 kg, 2.0 petrol auto 1326 kg, 2.0 hdi 90 bhp 1300 kg, 1.6 hdi 110 bhp 1313 kg. The mass in service as found on the V5C will likely be 75 kg more than these values as was the case for our Picasso 2.0 hdi which was 1375 kg.

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I know other families who have found that their children with ASD cope better with caravans than other holidays.  As an ex-foster mum, I know that Caravanning worked best for our very very traumatised youngster. ( He is 21 now, and lives independently; aside from the food that I take him, pay for his gas, take him shopping, clean his flat etc.  etc:D

Have you considered a folding camper like a Pennine? ( not to be confused with a trailer tent)   A really large one like a Pullman gives you two big fixed beds, and with the awning you get a big chunk of space.  They are lightweight ( about 1000kg or less) and there are a range of second hand ones out there.  May be worth a google.

Sounds like you and your family have had it tough and deserve some nice holidays, hope you find something that works for you.

Nanamel

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Far reaching set of alerts set up seems critical. You are needing the right seller at the right time. Patience

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26 minutes ago, Sepecat said:

There's a four berth van on Gumtree in Wisbech for £1300, doesn't say what the weight is though.

Might be of interest.

 

https://www.gumtree.com/p/caravans/classic-monza-vitesse-caravan-forsale-/1344637718

Also known as wizbecastan locally. Haha 

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