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Downsizing


Babstreefern
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Now that I'm on my own, I have been thinking about my 4 berth caravan.  My very first thought when Tom passed was to get rid of it, but I always think, don't rush into it.  I've taken a towing course, and actually enjoyed it.  Then I thought about downsizing to a two berth.  So contacted a couple of places, and I've had an answer from one of the companies, who's asked me to pop in to have a chat.  My Venus is only 12 months old and has only had one outing, which was last September and has had its first service, which was clear, so I'll see what they will do for me.  I did see if they could do a swap-for-swap, but I certainly won't rush into it.  Has anyone else done this before?

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Please, please don't rush. I was told to wait after my wife died. I went my own way and bought two new vans in the first year before I realised there was nothing wrong with caravans and it was down to me. It took a good three years before I dare trust myself. Be careful, it's easy to waste thousands of pounds.

A Fiat Doblo camper and a Lunar Ariva 2019
grace my drive.

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I say go for the two berth, lighter and easier to move. Then go off and see our great country. If you're in the Lakes give me a ring.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Yes, yes!   Don't rush into any impetuous ideas.      After my wife died, I brought the caravan home on my own and quickly sold it.   All the equipment followed so that I had nothing left.   Within six months I'd realized my blunder and started all over again.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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Agree with all the above.  Soon after a bereavement is not the time to make decisions that involve major change or major money, please take your time.

That said, what do you mean by downsizing?  Do you mean less berths or a smaller caravan?  I am a big fan of the Xplore vans and they do a tiny 4 berth (xplore 304) that is smaller and lighter than many 2 berths.  This may not be the only small 4 berth out there.  Have a good look around and consider all your options. Caravan finder is a good website to browse all the layout options.

nanamel

 

Edited by Nanamel
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I've been camping and caravanning for over 30 years both abroad and in this country.  I'm certainly not giving it up as I love it.  I've had an Xplore and it was stolen last year, now got the Venus.  I don't want to go really small.  Our first caravan was the 2008 Avondale Dart 2 berth; the size was actually perfect.  I went onto the website of the caravan firm that has offered to swap, and the only one I think they may offer is actually too small for my tastes.  I may, in the end, keep the 4 berth.  I bring my cat with me which is a very large mainecoon (pictured), and he also likes his space:).  Wispman, I'm not that far from the Lakes as I live near to Stockport, so close to the motorway.  I'm not going out this year now, as our last holiday was 12 months ago, and when we came back, we winterised it, emptying it of a lot of stuff, so couldn't really be bothered to load it back up for just one week.  So looking at going next March/April, was looking at Shrewsbury

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3 hours ago, WispMan said:

I say go for the two berth, lighter and easier to move. 

 

I have learnt how true that is. May I suggest you have a look at Freedom caravans Babs. Leak proof guarantee for 25 years and the Jetstream 1st class has a shower and loo in it. Not everyone's cuppa tea but worth a look but maybe to small for you from what you say.

 

Some specs

 

Shipping Length – 426cm (14’0”)
Body Length – 310cm (10’2”)
Body Width – 203cm (6’8”)
Overall Height – 246cm (8’1”)
Max Headroom – 185cm (6’1”)
Unladen Weight – 680kg
Laden Weight – 750kg
Load Margin – 70kg
Noseweight – 50kg

 

 

See HERE  for a dealer and there are dealers in Stafford too. 

Edited by BOAC
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10 hours ago, Babstreefern said:

I've been camping and caravanning for over 30 years both abroad and in this country.  I'm certainly not giving it up as I love it.  I've had an Xplore and it was stolen last year, now got the Venus.  I don't want to go really small.  Our first caravan was the 2008 Avondale Dart 2 berth; the size was actually perfect.  I went onto the website of the caravan firm that has offered to swap, and the only one I think they may offer is actually too small for my tastes.  I may, in the end, keep the 4 berth.  I bring my cat with me which is a very large mainecoon (pictured), and he also likes his space:).  Wispman, I'm not that far from the Lakes as I live near to Stockport, so close to the motorway.  I'm not going out this year now, as our last holiday was 12 months ago, and when we came back, we winterised it, emptying it of a lot of stuff, so couldn't really be bothered to load it back up for just one week.  So looking at going next March/April, was looking at Shrewsbury

 

Keep it until you would normally have changed it and then decide what you replace it with - we like our 4-berth which isn't a fixed bed, it's more than we need but the space is useful.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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5 hours ago, AndersG said:

What can you do with a smaller van that you can't do with a bigger van?

 

 

 

Easier and lighter to handle and tow thus making it more economical.

Cleaning is quicker and easier on a small van.

Less difficult to put a cover over.

Not so expensive to buy.

Insurance costs less.

On narrow roads means less stress, less exhaustion, and safer driving experience.

You do not necessarily need to have a large tow vehicle

Small caravans take up less space in driveway and carports.

Small caravans allow you to hit the open road without breaking the bank.

 

And lastly, off the top of my head and the MOST important aspect is less surface area for Petal to stick stupid flowers on to.:D

 

Edited by BOAC
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1 hour ago, Black Grouse said:

 

Keep it until you would normally have changed it and then decide what you replace it with - we like our 4-berth which isn't a fixed bed, it's more than we need but the space is useful.

I  like this idea, gives you time to look around without being rushed. You probably wouldn't lose a  much more next year that you would if you sold now, taking into account that the dealers take the vat off before anything else.   As you are an experienced caravanner, I would think that you know what you're looking for. We downsized a couple of 'vans ago to a smaller 4 berth, but didn't get on with it and went back up to what we were used to. 

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7 minutes ago, joanie said:

I  like this idea, gives you time to look around without being rushed. You probably wouldn't lose a  much more next year that you would if you sold now, taking into account that the dealers take the vat off before anything else.   As you are an experienced caravanner, I would think that you know what you're looking for. We downsized a couple of 'vans ago to a smaller 4 berth, but didn't get on with it and went back up to what we were used to. 

 

It takes me years to decide which model to replace a caravan with, 7 years in one case, but I do notice on forums that some people switch quickly, regret it so have to switch again.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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I wonder what is to be gained from swapping to a smaller van.

I doubt a smaller van will significantly change your fuel costs, unless you are also considering changing your tow car.

Will you get any money back, by exchanging the current van for a smaller one?

Realistically, I don't believe smaller vans are any easier to tow, or allow you to go to places a larger van would prevent you from visiting.

If you have a mover fitted the fact that a smaller van is easier to hand manoeuver makes no difference as you never do it.

I would stick with the van you have if you are happy with it, unless you have a good reason for changing it.

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33 minutes ago, mecamero said:

I wonder what is to be gained from swapping to a smaller van.

 

 

 

See three posts above

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Longer vans are actually easier to reverse. I well remember the tangle I used to get into trying to reverse the trailer carrying my trials bike.

Edited by iansoady

Ian.
2013 Freelander 2 SD4 Auto / 2005 Bailey Pageant Vendée; 1952 Norton ES2

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Keeping a larger caravan might allow you to take a relative/friend/children with you in the future. Our caravan is 5 berth, we only need 2 but have thought there could be grandchildren in the future. The extra space though allows it to be used for the bedding/bags.

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16 hours ago, BOAC said:

 

I have learnt how true that is. May I suggest you have a look at Freedom caravans Babs. Leak proof guarantee for 25 years and the Jetstream 1st class has a shower and loo in it. Not everyone's cuppa tea but worth a look but maybe to small for you from what you say.

 

Some specs

 

Shipping Length – 426cm (14’0”)
Body Length – 310cm (10’2”)
Body Width – 203cm (6’8”)
Overall Height – 246cm (8’1”)
Max Headroom – 185cm (6’1”)
Unladen Weight – 680kg
Laden Weight – 750kg
Load Margin – 70kg
Noseweight – 50kg

 

 

See HERE  for a dealer and there are dealers in Stafford too. 

No thanks.  Have seen Freedoms, and way, way too small

Thanks all for your comments.  I'm certainly keeping my options open, as one or two have said, the difference between the size of a 2 berth and the one I've got is about 3ft.  As also stated, you can make rash decisions on the spur of the moment.  I may well keep the 'van and see how I go next year when I've done a few trips out. 

 

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Sorry to hear about your loss. If it was me i would be tempted to keep the bigger van if you already have the car and things to pull it. A slightly shorter van doesn't really make any difference when it comes to towing but the extra space of a large van does make life easier the main one being not having to mess around with the bed. 

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OK.  Been to the caravan place (don't want to name names as they are very good in their own way).  Anyway, the deal was not to my liking at all.  So will keep my existing caravan.  So hopefully, will probably see you about.  I'll be the woman with the cat:D, you can't miss him

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I know someone else with one of those huge, great cats. They take it out in their old moho no problem.

A Fiat Doblo camper and a Lunar Ariva 2019
grace my drive.

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Same here.  No problem with Timber.  He has his own rules when he's at home and when he's on his holidays.  Amazing that a cat can keep to his own separate rules. 

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