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Wild traveling with 2012 Elddis Avante 646


Vaclav
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Hi all, I'm new member here and, nevertheless I'm from Czech republic, I've just became owner of used 2012 Avante 646. Its our first own caravan, and we are just waiting for some updates at dealers service, like water tank, bigger battery, adding USB charges, etc - and then our journeys can begin. 

We are planning to do many 'small' few days trips over the year, rather than few longer stays in camps, we want to camp wild where it is possible. Sure with such big caravan I have to plan parking properly, but I don't want to be forced to look for electricity and water every night.

 

So, from what I've wrote it is apparent, that we expect quite heavy load for the caravan, lot of towing rather than being parked in the camp for weeks, kitchen, toilet and all equipment of caravan will be used regularly, we have also three small kids, so interior will be under heavy pressure of usage :)

 

I would like to ask if there is anybody experienced with similar usage of this or similar models? Most UK caravans seem to invite you for calm weeks parked in camp, rather than moving every day, so I wonder how this used vehicle will cope with such usage. Any recommendations, thoughts, opinions?

 

I've read a lot of criticism on quality of UK caravans including Elddises here on caravantalk, I guess I will soon have some own experience and opinion on it. Does anybody think, that I should pay some special attention for some parts of chassis or body to keep it in good shape? Are there any 'well known issues' that can appear when caravan is towed regularly?

 

Thank you for any opinion, advice or experiences!

Vaclav

 

(If you wonder why somebody in Czech buys Elddis, you can check this dealership - they specializes to UK caravans in used section: https://karavany.burimex.cz/aktualni-nabidka/)

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There is usually no shortage of advice here at Caravan Talk so I am a little surprised that no one has responded to your post in 22 hours! Perhaps the usually helpful folk are all on holiday in there caravans....

 

You are probably correct in surmising that many Brits use their caravans for longer stays rather than travelling on frequently, except of course, those of us who travel long distances to search out the sun in winter - and even then there is usually a long stay at the end of the journey.

 

Whether you make your bed in a different place every 1 or 2 nights or only every 1 or 2 months shouldn't (IMHO) make any difference to the wear and tear on the habitation area. Three small children might! Having just had a holiday with 4 grandchildren I would suggest making sure you have the means to tidy and sweep up after them - grit walked in to the van will very quickly take it's toll on the comfort and condition of flooring and furnishings. If you won't have access to EHU make sure that while travelling you charge phones, computer and games consoles to avoid disappointment at bed time:-) Perhaps invest in a second leisure battery and install a charging point for it in the luggage area of the tow vehicle, that way if you stay more than 1 or 2 nights in the same place you can keep a battery topped up during days out or shopping trips. While your dealer is making additions, a decent roof mounted solar panel will be a useful addition if you can afford the initial cost. Carry 1 or more of those power bank phone chargers and keep them charged when there is chance.

 

For peace of mind on the road, check tyre pressures regularly and carry a foot pump to replenish them, don't wait until you 'need' fuel (for the tow vehicle or caravan gas supply) to replenish it. Off grid, hot water, fridge, cooking and some heating in the evenings and early morning can easily eat through 10Kgs of LPG a week.

Carry a small spirit level and something to put below the wheel(s) on the low side of the van and packers for the corner steadies so that if your chosen wild spot isn't billiard table flat you can level the van and sleep comfortably.

 

Good luck!

 

Jim

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Jim, thank you for response.

 

Grit and dirt from outside, especially with the kids, is quite a topic. While staying on place for few days, one can set up the entrance to work as expected, place doormat outside, use awning or even make the crew to put shoes off when entering. During short stops, to make lunch or sleep over, it will not be as easy. There can be dirt on the place, it can rain etc. So I plan to use some inner doormat, and I'm thinking if I should use original fitted carpets, or if I should make others, that will be easier to clean and easy to replace then regularly (each season maybe).

 

 Second leisure battery is good idea, I'm equipping 230Ah one to the caravan, I think that tow charging is not much effective (except long trips), so backup battery kept topped in car  would help.  Solar panel system is definitely on to-do list, but budget says: next season :)  

 

I plan to buy home air compressor to check caravans tyre pressure, I think there is quite few gas stations, where compressor equipped place expects trailers to be checked.

 

Small spirit level is on shopping list, I want to try leveling for few times before I buy further equipment. For example, standard wedges used for motorhomes are quite big, so I want to ensure I need them. 

 

Since my post is not direct question but rather request for some experiences and opinions, some caravaners maybe radher skip such pointless topic :)  

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What is the max plated weight of the caravan? If you are expecting to carry your water with you don't forget each litre will take 1Kg off you weight allowance.  If you are wild camping what provision do you plan to make for disposing of you toilet waste. I ask because here in the North of Scotland to many wild campers think it's ok  to just dump their waste wherever they see fit, bags full of rubbish and toilet contents can be found in or near to many scenic sites!

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Hi and welcome Vaclav.

 

I did try to respond to your initial post very shortly after you had posted, this website 'hooked up' on me and I lost my post :(.

 

As said, carrying water is going to take up a lot of your payload, it might not be easy to avoid filling up each day, that plus all the belongings of 2 adults and 3 kids plus food etc. will likely mean a lot of weight being carried and tow hitch loading may be compromised.

 

I would have no concern about wear and tear on the caravan being used for multiple and frequent trips, that is what they are designed to do and whilst there will be wear and tear it should all be manageable with a regular maintenance regime.

 

Good luck and enjoy your outings.

Edited by Sea&Sand
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Be prepared that things in the van will break or need repairing so take a small toolkit and a roll of duct tape. 

Also, I think travelling with the inboard tank full or partially full may cause instability when you tow. I dont think they have internal baffles.

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Weight of empty caravan is 1450 and maximum is plated  1650kg, if I understood 2012 brochure correctly caravan should be capable to run with 1850 kg as max, so maximum weight can be updated in its registration - I will ask about this possibility during registration. We are installing 70L tank, battery weights 57kg, so available load of 200kg is definitely not sufficient to load all what is needed.  I plan to visit vehicle weight once we have everything in place, and check tow hitch load as well, but if these weights will be out of expected values, I'm not sure how to fix it, I can travel without water in the tank, but I don't see much other possible solutions.

I thought that tank has internal baffles, I will check it, if it does not it is another reason why to travel with empty tank.

 

About the waste, it will probably need some decent planning and some experience about the speed of filling of toilet, but I'm definitely not going to empty it somewhere in the nature (in Croatia I saw comments in park4night app, that on some sea spots used by wild campers is possible to see people emptying toilets to the sea - that's disgusting, as well as put it somewhere behind tree), maybe only solution to full toilet waste is to have more waste tanks for the toilet - but spare tanks are probably quite expensive.

With waste water from cocking, bathroom, etc. we plan to use all 'bio friendly' cleaning stuff, so it should not do any harm when water goes somewhere on the ground, but it doesn't mean I will just let it  leak as we stop, I will use mobile tank under the caravan and I hope is not hard to find some kind of drain almost everywhere.

 

Carry some toolkit is definitely good idea, it will at least make me to collect all the tools currently scattered all around the house, and keep it in one place :)

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