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Fraczish

New entry level Vs used Mid range Van

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Morning all!

So we have been chewing through some options for our next Van purchase. 

After a great deal of cyber window shopping and a few dealer visit's it's become apparent that if we were to up the budget a touch to around £16/£17k then you are knocking on the door of New 2019 Vans such as the Bailey Phoenix (entry level?). For the same money you can buy a  Pegasus (midrange?) 2016/2017 for example.

 

What are people thoughts about the benefits of buying New albeit the entry model against buying a 2/3 year old Van from further up the range?

 

Many thanks for all contributions.

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Buy a two year old caravan - let the first owner have all the warranty hassle.

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Very much personal preference. Some folks have to have new, others prefer second hand, working on the theory that any niggles will have been ironed out by first owner. 
personally, I wouldn’t look at it as new Vs old, but as what suits me and my caravaning needs

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Assuming that you examine and choose a used van carefully, and ensure that it has been serviced in accordance with the warranty.

New: Full warranty, but significant risk of teething troubles.

Used: Teething troubles should already be sorted but limited warranty.

 

 

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Thing about buying new is warranty, we bought new 2016 Coachman, taking it in for a service was a right pain in the bum! 

For some even more so as dealers can insist on an empty caravan!

Nothing wrong with secondhand, some right bargains to be had, "Bought new, used twice" 

Plenty of those about.

 

Spec is down to choice, no matter what model from that range you buy,  your still buying the same made box. Only thing I insist on is ATC, wouldnt have a caravan without it, everything else is just fluff.

Current caravan Coachman Pastiche, previous caravan Bailey Ranger, both do the same job!

Edited by Wellys and Mac
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Just to add that buying from a dealer your rights are exactly the same as if buying a brand new caravan.  Buy using a credit card to pay the deposit and have some of the cost on hire purchase.  You are then well covered in the event there is an issue.

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Some entry level models are quite high spec'd so see what extras you really do need before dismissing entry level models. We had several mid range aswift Challengers before changing to a Sprite in 2018. We don't miss anything.

 

We prefer to buy new but we're all different.

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We bought our Pursuit new since every time we looked at a used van we realised we could get a new van for the same kind of money. A few small warranty issues was fixed at the service a year later but nothing serious enough that we needed to go in before then.

We are now picking up our new Phoenix in January.

 

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There is no right answer to this, it is what suits you best. With a new caravan you should get a decent guarantee and it should last longer but you may have to sort out some teething problems so need a good local dealer.

Buying secondhand saves money, but loses some or all the guarantee, and if you do not do follow the transfer or get the paperwork needed, all of it. You might have all the initial problems sorted, but again if you buy our last caravan you get one that we had lost faith in after it leaked twice.

Probably the best advice is decide what level of caravan you want and take either the new basic one or the older better specified one whichever suits you best.

If you buy new you do get a bigger drop in value when it leaves the showroom but they do hold their value far better than cars. Our last one, despite the leaks, lost only about £7,000  over four and a half years.

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We were fed up with our caravan a couple of months ago and considered dumping it in exchange for either a new entry level one, or second hand mid range one.  We went to see a new Bailey Pheonix and a 2 yr old Bailey mid range caravan. The dealer was doing very nice deals on the new Bailey Pheonix, but not the used model. The difference in final "price to change" was significantly in favour of the new budget cost caravan.  

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A new Phoenix is pretty much a direct replacement for the Pegasus anyway, the Discovery is more of a modern Pursuit.

 

We have only ever bought one van, a new one for the same price as a couple of years old used one of a ‘higher’ spec - I would always go new.  One of the main benefits is that caravan manufacturers tend to increasingly put more stuff on them so the older van won’t really be much higher spec at all, perhaps the interior trim will feel a little posher but that’s it. I would look at a dealer special Phoenix against a Pegasus that’s a few years old and really ask what the benefit is in buying the used van.

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I really appreciate everyone's view points on this!

It does seem to me atleast that the only main difference is the quality of the fixtures and fittings? The specs between a given new van and similar laid out 3 year old seem to be negligible, atleast on paper. Would there be any differences in things like insulation and warmth etc that don't necessarily show up on spec sheets? Or is it a case of the outsides are all pretty much the same?

 

Keep your views coming guys, it's incredibly useful. Thanks again

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We’ve only ever bought one van and we chose the brand new, lower spec option. Perfect decision for us, we love our van and after 4 years have had little or no problems with it. 
 

but it’s going to be a personal choice, some people want more bling, we were more interested in everything being new and ours and only ever used by us. 

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We bought our first caravan, a Bailey Ranger, 3 years old, to decide if we liked caravanning ! Got fed up making the bed every night!

500 nights later swapped for a brand new Bailey Pursuit, 430/4. fixed bed!
Some 3 years and 600 nights later we decided that climbing over each other to get to the loo in the night was not fun anymore, so we moved on to our Bailey Phoenix 640. Now had it 14 months and done over 260 nights.

We love the Mid bathroom and island bed.

Will probably look to upgrade in a few years.

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43 minutes ago, Fraczish said:

Would there be any differences in things like insulation and warmth etc that don't necessarily show up on spec sheets? Or is it a case of the outsides are all pretty much the same?


If anything a more modern caravan will have a better level of insulation, I think all vans are now level III - this is probably debated by some as others would argue that a new vans tend to leak compared to solid old caravans and vans like Swift have changed some of their ranges from having a wood-free construction to returning them to wood floors but as a rule of thumb newer will be better in this respect.

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Grade 3 insulation is a thermal measurement and despite the name has no requirement on the insulation! Big enough heater and a van with no insulation would qualify.

 

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I would start by looking at what your driving licence allows you to tow, what your car can tow and then decide on the layout that suits you and your family. Knowing what your budget is then lets you look at new and used caravans.  

 

We have bought 2 new caravans, the first we were going to buy used but found they did not cost much less than a new one with the offers available. Our second we wanted another new one since we keep our caravans for  a long time, first was 11 years and the latest is 9 years so far.

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One other benefit of an entry level is it will be lighter than the equivalent higher spec. In our case we went from a 2016 single axle Swift Challenger to a 2018 twin axle Sprite with only a 60kg weight gain.

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We have always bought new. Our first caravan was a Lunar Quasar 556 which while a lovely caravan didn’t suit us as blown air heating, narrower than the other Lunar higher spec ranges, no ATC and no fixed bed. Therefore, at that time to get what we wanted we had to buy the Lunar Delta Ti. That was in 2011.

 

After deciding to return to caravaning this year we decided on a particular layout and we went to look/buy a top of the range caravan. However, after looking at mid range options we found all our requirements were covered by this level and there was no good reason to spend an additional £7k on a higher range caravan. With the money saved this paid for some really nice optional extras. 
 

The best advice I can give is to list your must haves, then the what would be nice and finally the layout that suits you best. Once you have this information it should be easier to work out which range is for you. Good luck.

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My opinion for a caravanning newbie would be to get a used caravan first.

Unless you have had previous experience with a caravan, maybe with parents, you may well not get the layout that suits your needs best. And changing a caravan is necessarily expensive and you would take less of a loss with a used one.

If you can rent a caravan similar to the layout you think is best, then I would do this. You just don't know exactly what you need until you have to live with it. You may think the chore of setting up the beds every night a minor irritant, but it is still a chore that at some stage you will wish for a fixed bed. Then you get a fixed bed model, and because it's an odd shape and not as big as your super king bed at home, you then need another layout,  or maybe single beds. SWMBO may want a large bathroom to disappear into for an hour every morning and evening. You may not want a shower facility.....until you go to a CL with your new found Caravanning friends and realise how useful it is. "Off grid" is not as popular as it once was - "off grid" was the norm not so long ago.

There are caravans - as there are cars and houses - that are more form than function. I suggest that on each Make's page on this forum there are posts to the effect that it's designer had never been in a caravan!

There are minor things in my current van that I would change and have/not have in my next van. Nothing to force a change, but another item on the requirement list to take into account next time.

Not the most popular opinion, but I'd say to spend less on the first van. Maybe "rough it" for a year, then change to a van layout (and it's fittings)  you definitely want. There's no substitute for experience.

FWIW, I was Caravanning from an early age with my parents. Going from a basic caravan to one that was "luxury" - it may even have had an electric water pump. No hot water. No mains electric. So my first van of my own was an old,  but upper range one that we had for many years.

 

Everyone likes something new and shiny

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hi i bought a new 2018 unicorn £24000 a year later i wanted a motor home so went to trade it the first place offered me £15500 i was shocked the van had been used about 4 times new auto mover in as new condition i sold it for £17000 to a dealer who is now selling it for £20000 so i would buy a used one with warranty still in place there are bargains about if you can find them   

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20 hours ago, Paul1957 said:

I would start by looking at what your driving licence allows you to tow, what your car can tow and then decide on the layout that suits you and your family. Knowing what your budget is then lets you look at new and used caravans. 

 

A very good point as to whether the OP has B+E or not as that will make a big difference to their choice of caravan.  They also do not mention the model of car and engine size.

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Thank you for the replies.

The question of layout/weights and trying a cheap van  wasn't really what this thread was about.

We are on our second used Van of low value, we are looking to upgrade to a newer & lighter Van 

I do not have the B+E and currently don't have a need for it.

 

I've really enjoyed reading people's different viewpoints and is very helpful! We are going to look at a few different options in the next week or so. Hopefully I can update this in a sort while!

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Like PR1 we went for a (new) dealer special Phoenix. 

 

Very, very pleased with it and, unlike the “standard” spec it came with ATC. 

 

The easiest way to sort the wheat from the chaff is to look at as many caravans as you can and make a list of what you DONT like in each one. (It’s easier than listing your likes) Then decide what, if anything on the list you are prepared to compromise over. That will whittle the possibles down to a few probables.

 

With a new caravan you might have some warranty issues, but they will get fixed for free. Plus you get a decent warranty period on things like the fridge etc which can  be expensive to repair IF they go wrong. 

 

In the end its your money money so you need to decide whether a new or used one offers you the best value for your needs. Buy with your head not your heart!

 

As a few others have said you need to be aware that, with your current driving licence, the maximum possible plated (not actual) train weight of your car and caravan must not exceed 3500kg If it does you would be driving without a licence, and without a licence (for that class of vehicle) you CANNOT have insurance (even if you have paid a premium) 

 

The Maximum train weight is the second largest number on your cars “plate” plus the MTPLM weight of the caravan. The only proviso to that is that no matter what the number you get from adding the two above numbers together, they must not exceed the largest number in your tow cars “plate” 

 

(If you are aware of the last two paragraphs please ignore them, but someone else might find it useful hence my post.)

 

Andy

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if you were buying one of my previous caravans then I would say get second hand, however if you can afford a new van  then why not go for it.  It's a lovely feeling having everything brand new.

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