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Copple

What to buy over here....

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Hi all,

 

bit of a strange one this. I have recently relocated to New Zealand and I am looking to purchase a caravan. I have previously had campervans and motorhomes so have some familiarity with camping and touring. However my knowledge of caravans is  limited. The price of used caravans over here is ridiculous and for $30,000 around £15,000 you get a 2008-2009 model. I guess by the time you factor in shipping and the salesman markup you arrive at the price. 

 

So  I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice about makes to avoid to look for?  Bailey caravans seem to be very popular over here , 2010 Ranger and the earlier Pagent series 6. We are looking for a 4 berth and flexible about the setup as my children are only 5 and 7.  

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

 

Copple

 

Below are some of the models I have been looking at...

 

https://www.bestcaravans.co.nz/vehicle/2010-Bailey-Ranger4604/5287?s=1

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2633636531

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2637469695

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2618756352

 

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Posted (edited)

Swift's are quite popular in Aus and NZ, with most British brands there have been good and bad examples of every one made, some owners have had bad experiences with a particular model whereas others love them.  If it were me I'd be choosing a model with a decent local dealer support network so if something goes wrong you aren't trying to source parts yourself from the UK.

 

From the one's you've listed, Avondale are no longer trading so any body parts will be difficult to get hold of, but most mechanical bits (chassis, water heater etc) will be common across makes so should be reasonably easy.  With any caravan that has timber in it's construction (as all of your examples have), a thorough damp check is critical.

 

This one https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2618756352  is based on the 2010 Swift Charisma 550, we had one new for two years and it was a very nice caravan with no faults.  The only poor part was the pull-down TV storage compartment which tended to drop down while towing and to be honest, I think you'd struggle to get a decent TV to fit in there now.

 

 

Edited by GaryB1969
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There are some forum members located in New Zealand and Australia. Perhaps some frank opinions about dealers and makes would be useful. For a family with a couple of small kids I think you need to consider that you may want the kids tucked up in the evening while you sit and relax, so a layout with bunks and a front lounge/sleeping area may be siutable. There are other layouts which may be practical but its a matter of looking to see what is available and think hard about the daytime/nighttime issue.  Swifts Sprite range and Baileys ranger too, seem very popular with young families. In those ranges you get quite good value for money and the basic caravans are just the same as the upmarket ranges. 

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Hi Copple, welcome to NZ. I am on our second Bailey just now a Pegasus Rimini GT65. We previously had a Senator  Virginia 6. Had no trouble with either and only really got the Pegasus so we had the Alutec frame. Yes they are dearer than the UK but not much you can do! Parts for Baileys are easily got from a few places or will get them for you if needed. I guess you may have heard of " Tradme " online like EBay but all NZ sales. A very good place to find things for sale. If you want to go to the bother you could get some one in the UK to buy a van for you and then there is a company that's looks after all the rest for you sending it over for you to NZ. They do it all , paperwork , arrange shipping to a port of your choice in NZ . This can save you up to $10,000 NZ if you want to go to the not to much bother.  I think it takes about 2 months. Of course you can do as my friend did went over and brought a van , had a month tour around with the van ( don't know what he towed it with ) then arranged shipping for it back to NZ.  I brought my two from a Dealer in Christchurch , so I could trade in my old one. There are heaps of people importing them . Make sure if you buy a freshly imported one they have fitted the NZ power point fittings, done the gas / LPG eqt conversion and the car to caravan wiring as we have it here. A good dealer will usually give you a new toilet cassette , new water and grey water tanks and fit new tyres . Some will also do the self containment mods and get you the certificate so you can camp almost where you like if you wish. ? Good luck .

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Australia has caravan and Motorhome makers. Surely it has to be better to buy one of those????

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23 minutes ago, James Donald said:

Hi Copple, welcome to NZ. I am on our second Bailey just now a Pegasus Rimini GT65. We previously had a Senator  Virginia 6. Had no trouble with either and only really got the Pegasus so we had the Alutec frame. Yes they are dearer than the UK but not much you can do! Parts for Baileys are easily got from a few places or will get them for you if needed. I guess you may have heard of " Tradme " online like EBay but all NZ sales. A very good place to find things for sale. If you want to go to the bother you could get some one in the UK to buy a van for you and then there is a company that's looks after all the rest for you sending it over for you to NZ. They do it all , paperwork , arrange shipping to a port of your choice in NZ . This can save you up to $10,000 NZ if you want to go to the not to much bother.  I think it takes about 2 months. Of course you can do as my friend did went over and brought a van , had a month tour around with the van ( don't know what he towed it with ) then arranged shipping for it back to NZ.  I brought my two from a Dealer in Christchurch , so I could trade in my old one. There are heaps of people importing them . Make sure if you buy a freshly imported one they have fitted the NZ power point fittings, done the gas / LPG eqt conversion and the car to caravan wiring as we have it here. A good dealer will usually give you a new toilet cassette , new water and grey water tanks and fit new tyres . Some will also do the self containment mods and get you the certificate so you can camp almost where you like if you wish. ? Good luck .

 

Thanks for the reply. Out of interest which dealer did you use? I am also in Canterbury too. I considered importing one but to be honest that seemed like a lot of hassle unless you are spending big. my budget $30,000ish 

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daveat92. Australian caravans both new and used are on average. 15 to $30000 more than UK ones true !! ??? Also at least a ton heavier ?

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, daveat92 said:

Australia has caravan and Motorhome makers. Surely it has to be better to buy one of those????

 

It does but they are very expensive in comparison!

 

1 hour ago, Ern said:

There are some forum members located in New Zealand and Australia. Perhaps some frank opinions about dealers and makes would be useful. For a family with a couple of small kids I think you need to consider that you may want the kids tucked up in the evening while you sit and relax, so a layout with bunks and a front lounge/sleeping area may be siutable. There are other layouts which may be practical but its a matter of looking to see what is available and think hard about the daytime/nighttime issue.  Swifts Sprite range and Baileys ranger too, seem very popular with young families. In those ranges you get quite good value for money and the basic caravans are just the same as the upmarket ranges. 

 

Thanks, your ideas about find decent traders to use would be useful. It maybe worth me putting up another post. We've looked at the various layouts and think the full bed at the back is the best fit for us or possibly the sofa at the front and back. 

Edited by Copple

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Hi again Copple, can't remember the name right now but will have a look and come back. I didn't buy both from the same Dealer. The Senators are good spec vans I recon and ours had the island bed. We didn't like the side bathroom as much as the rear one we have now. There are quite a few importers in Christchurch and I think most of them fairly good.

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14 minutes ago, James Donald said:

daveat92. Australian caravans both new and used are on average. 15 to $30000 more than UK ones true !! ??? Also at least a ton heavier ?

Crikey !!!

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45 minutes ago, James Donald said:

 .....water tanks and fit new tyres . Some will also do the self containment mods and get you the certificate so you can camp almost where you like if you wish. ? Good luck .

Thats interesting. Can you describe what the mod's are please.

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6 minutes ago, daveat92 said:

Crikey !!!

 

Worth having a "Google" of some of them, they are similar to some of the American models, very robust!

Glossop Caravans have a lot of experience exporting both new and used caravans to Australia and NZ (and Asia).  I suspect other dealers will be the same.

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Hi,

Have a look at this forum.

https://www.caravanersforum.com/

 

It is mostly Australian,  with a smattering of kiwi chucked into the mix, Maybe be able to give you a bit of advice.

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NZ is where UK caravans go to die and it's quite amazing to see so many ancient models on the road - the caravan version of Cuba I suppose! The prices, even for second hand, are eye watering, all due to shipping costs and a hefty import tax.  Aussie caravans are nothing like our UK models, largely built to withstand some serious off road travelling, and priced accordingly.

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9 hours ago, MalH said:

Aussie caravans are nothing like our UK models, largely built to withstand some serious off road travelling, and priced accordingly.

 

There are dozens of caravan manufactures here that cater for all sorts of roads. The largest caravan builder, Jayco, build dozens of different models, from offroad outback types to blacktop only models, big and small (they are expensive  though compared to the UK). They even build motorhomes. Jayco would certainly have a presence across the ditch in NZ. 

I haven't been to NZ since 1976, but I remember the caravans, as there must have been some sort of law that required the driver to be able to see right through the caravan using the normal review mirror attached to the car windscreen. The front and rear caravan windows were low down with a clear line of sight from front to back; looked bizarre!  I also remember the max speed limit, even out in the country was 80kph. I got pulled over by a cop, but he let me off because I was from 'out of town'.

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With regards to layout, I echo a previous comment about avoiding the fixed bed layout if you have kids. As soon as they go to bed you've lost your lounge. Unless you give them the bed! Fixed bunks or the lounge / bedroom area at the back is the way to go - we have fixed bunks. 

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6 hours ago, ddcman said:

There must have been some sort of law that required the driver to be able to see right through the caravan using the normal review mirror attached to the car windscreen. The front and rear caravan windows were low down with a clear line of sight from front to back

 

Back then most UK caravans were built this way, indeed the first couple I owned (a Sprite 400 and a Thomson Glen) had through vision.  Swifts in particular tended to have low windows front and back.  Amazingly, you still see plenty of ex-UK caravans from the 60s and 70s on NZ roads.

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On 01/06/2020 at 11:18, GaryB1969 said:

 

Worth having a "Google" of some of them, they are similar to some of the American models, very robust!

Glossop Caravans have a lot of experience exporting both new and used caravans to Australia and NZ (and Asia).  I suspect other dealers will be the same.

  It's a long way to take it back for a service ;)

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4 minutes ago, Flat_at said:

  It's a long way to take it back for a service ;)

 

I had enough grief getting them to do warranty work when required and I'm only a couple of hours away! :D

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21 hours ago, swirly182 said:

With regards to layout, I echo a previous comment about avoiding the fixed bed layout if you have kids. As soon as they go to bed you've lost your lounge. Unless you give them the bed! Fixed bunks or the lounge / bedroom area at the back is the way to go - we have fixed bunks. 

Thanks for this I will have a re think with the wife. I do quite like the seating area at the front and back. As you say it gives you more flexibility with the kids. I guess the fixed bed is more comfortable so you trade a bit of comfort for practicallity. 

 

 

Thanks everyone for your input! :)

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Hi Copple, I've been following this with some interest. I am also in NZ, Dunedin. I purchased a Bailey Ranger 460 with fixed bed 2006 over 2 years ago. It suits my partner and I as a touring van. Our family well grown up and we have inflatable awning if they decide to overnight with us. The pullout double bed in the front is ok as short term but would not be big enough to use as 2 singles. Would be happy to provide any other info to help you on the road..... Peter

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1 hour ago, Pedromanus said:

Hi Copple, I've been following this with some interest. I am also in NZ, Dunedin. I purchased a Bailey Ranger 460 with fixed bed 2006 over 2 years ago. It suits my partner and I as a touring van. Our family well grown up and we have inflatable awning if they decide to overnight with us. The pullout double bed in the front is ok as short term but would not be big enough to use as 2 singles. Would be happy to provide any other info to help you on the road..... Peter

 

Thanks Peter I apreciate your reply. We would be looking to use an awning too for the extra space. I have seen this listed which looks quite interesting. As it allows us to put the kids to sleep at the back! 

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/caravans-motorhomes/caravans/17-20-ft/auction-2630175067.htm?rsqid=c1dc25936172451684bef82cd4688f4b-001

 

May go for a look at weekend

 

 

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Hi Copple,  yes one of the places I mentioned was , Caravan Planet , in Hayton Road. Wigram Christchurch. Forget the other sorry.

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19 hours ago, Copple said:

 

Thanks Peter I apreciate your reply. We would be looking to use an awning too for the extra space. I have seen this listed which looks quite interesting. As it allows us to put the kids to sleep at the back! 

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/caravans-motorhomes/caravans/17-20-ft/auction-2630175067.htm?rsqid=c1dc25936172451684bef82cd4688f4b-001

 

May go for a look at weekend

 

 

Looks nice.  Not too heavy for tow car of choice and self contain cert already done (a bit of a hassle saved). My choice was based on fixed bed, then worked from there. Hope all works out for you...Peter

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