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Hello all

 

We are looking to start caravanning and would like to know your views on caravan ages

 

Looking at caravan prices we have determined that we are going to be able have a six to ten year caravan.   We are however thinking as a starter we get a £5 - 6k around the 2005 range. We would be looking to keep it until we retire in five years and upgrade . By then it would be twenty years old. 

 

Is this wise or are we better going direct the younger year caravan  to negate the risk of higher issues on a older caravan. ( obviously younger caravans can have issues too)

 

we were looking at a 2013 Valencia the other day and also a 2005 coachman and realistically both did the same job. Thought maybe spruce it up a bit or is this false economy

 

thought welcome

 

 

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Hi Angie,

Start from the position that all caravans have the potential to leek, regardless of age. Therefore choose a caravan that is dry, and suits both your pocket and preferred layout. I have known 'new' caravans that after standing on  dealer's forecourt a while are showing signs of damp but equally I have been in caravans that are many years old and still feel perfectly snug and dry.

A caravan that has been trailed thousands of miles in theory has a greater potential for leaks as the body will likely have flexed more over time, whereas one that has remained in one location is possibly less risk of leaks. Similarly one that has been towed predominantly on motorways will have been stressed less than one that has bumped along many a country lane.

In other words , unless you know the history of a particular caravan you only have your own judgement and the use of a protimeter to guide you. When considering a purchase, it can be helpful to approach an owner's club for advice as their members will have first hand experience of the make, and possibly the exact model you're thinking of.

Gordon.

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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In general,  condition of a caravan is far more important than age. I would much rather have a sound, tidy and dry 15 year old van than a 5 year old box of rot!

Bear in mind that from around 2010 Bailey and Swift Group changed construction methods to significantly reduce the proportion of wood used in the structure of the vans.

As to branding, all makes have both advocates and detractors.

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As Stevan says condition and service history plus damp test results.

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As stated repeatedly, condition is more important than age. And condition will usually be directly related to maintenance history and the attitude and vigilance of the previous owners. Many advocate buying from a dealer as this theoretically gives you a modicum of comeback but you get no real sense of the vans history and there are bad dealers as well as good.

My two previous vans were bought privately and being able to meet and assess a previous owner in addition to a thorough examination of the van itself gives a valuable insight into what you might expect from a caravan coming from their ownership.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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13 minutes ago, Stevan said:

In general,  condition of a caravan is far more important than age. I would much rather have a sound, tidy and dry 15 year old van than a 5 year old box of rot!

Bear in mind that from around 2010 Bailey and Swift Group changed construction methods to significantly reduce the proportion of wood used in the structure of the vans.

As to branding, all makes have both advocates and detractors.

 

Definitely worth considering but note it was 2014 that Swift started to replace most of the structural wood with plastic on their mainstream models.  As Stevan points out, it doesn't remove the issues of water ingress but reduces the damage that can be caused by it.

 

A good dealer with a sound reputation and a good warranty help to alleviate some of the worries. 

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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11 minutes ago, Jezzerb said:

As Stevan says condition and service history plus damp test results.

As many people service there own vans as they get older a service record becomes less and less important, What would be important is a service report from a recent service. It will show as, hopefully dry, and the brakes etc will have been examined thoroughly and rectified if required. Don't forget the age of tyres.

Edited by Fenester
typo corrections
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Personally I do not put much store in service history other than for preservation of any warranty entitlement.

Apart from warranty, what matters is condition on the day, not whether it was looked at in the past.

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25 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Personally I do not put much store in service history other than for preservation of any warranty entitlement.

Apart from warranty, what matters is condition on the day, not whether it was looked at in the past.

Agreed, even the car MOT is only good for the day on which it was tested, who is to say the car could have been severely abused off road etc after the test and before you buy.

2013(13) Sorento KX2 2. 2 Diesel Manual, (With smelling clutch) Glittering Metal (Metallic Grey) dragging a 2020 Coachman VIP 520 with a Powrtouch Evolution Motor Mover (Towing @ 80. 0%) :)

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Gordon said:

Hi Angie,

Start from the position that all caravans have the potential to leek, regardless of age. Therefore choose a caravan that is dry, and suits both your pocket and preferred layout. I have known 'new' caravans that after standing on  dealer's forecourt a while are showing signs of damp but equally I have been in caravans that are many years old and still feel perfectly snug and dry.

A caravan that has been trailed thousands of miles in theory has a greater potential for leaks as the body will likely have flexed more over time, whereas one that has remained in one location is possibly less risk of leaks. Similarly one that has been towed predominantly on motorways will have been stressed less than one that has bumped along many a country lane.

In other words , unless you know the history of a particular caravan you only have your own judgement and the use of a protimeter to guide you. When considering a purchase, it can be helpful to approach an owner's club for advice as their members will have first hand experience of the make, and possibly the exact model you're thinking of.

Gordon.

 

Thanks Gordon

 

that makes sense, I am amazed how much a fifteen year old van is . I see some a lot cheaper if your confident to go private, also the dealers down in England appear also to be cheaper than Scotland.

 

I am going to join the caravan and camping club shortly , just for a source of information

 

We went to a local dealer the other day, a  big dealership, and naively thought that the caravan especially when you were spending £14k would all be shiny and clean outside.  The car dealers have their outside cars all cleaned and we were amazed how  dirty and in need of a dam good clean outside they were. Maybe this is normal , will need to go looking at other dealerships as we were not impressed by this one.

 

Anyone with recommendations , happy to travel about 100 miles from Fife. Not sure about going further as if there are issues taking it back i might be a challenge. Again would you folks would happily go further from home to buy from a dealer

 

thanks again

Edited by angie2020
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8 minutes ago, angie2020 said:

 

Thanks Gordon

 

that makes sense, I am amazed how much a fifteen year old van is . I see some a lot cheaper if your confident to go private, also the dealers down in England appear also to be cheaper than Scotland.

 

I am going to join the caravan and camping club shortly , just for a source of information

 

thanks again

 Hello Angie ,  aye you will get a nice wee starter van well within your budget. I have seen wee 2005 belters going for  3 and a half grand upwards on the private market but can practically double in price in a dealership. This time of year historically as the season ends the private market can blossom but the staycation newbies may have put a dent on that one. As Gordon stated service history and a thorough damp check and I mean thorough is a must.

 

For example I recently went back to the fold  after giving it all up and bought a lovely spotless wee 2009 2 berth Elddis . Really just for me with the Mrs coming with me the odd occasion. The issues I have had since purchase at just under 3k was a replacement RDC for the heating as the fuse kept tripping when I put the air blown on leccy side , a replacement front  window seal after noticing a slight damp issue, recently renewed the two small rear skylight fly blinds. Was not a small fortune. The skylight blinds broke simply due to getting brittle with old age and my sausage fingers. I also broke the Whale external water connector cover, again brittle due to old age but easily replacement for buttons. Its things like this that tend to go. If your purchase is dry but with no service history you could get a local mobile caravan engineer to give it the once over for peace of mind and would easily give you 5 years or more. After Gordons statement on high mileage caravans with flexing issues it makes me wonder why the manufacturers don't have some sort of mileometer. Not a bad idea ?  Oh and never mind the C&CC , CT is the best place for info ;).. Hope you get what you want....

 

GAS ....

"to be auld and wise you must first be young and daft "

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3 minutes ago, GAS said:

 Hello Angie ,  aye you will get a nice wee starter van well within your budget. I have seen wee 2005 belters going for  3 and a half grand upwards on the private market but can practically double in price in a dealership. This time of year historically as the season ends the private market can blossom but the staycation newbies may have put a dent on that one. As Gordon stated service history and a thorough damp check and I mean thorough is a must.

 

For example I recently went back to the fold  after giving it all up and bought a lovely spotless wee 2009 2 berth Elddis . Really just for me with the Mrs coming with me the odd occasion. The issues I have had since purchase at just under 3k was a replacement RDC for the heating as the fuse kept tripping when I put the air blown on leccy side , a replacement front  window seal after noticing a slight damp issue, recently renewed the two small rear skylight fly blinds. Was not a small fortune. The skylight blinds broke simply due to getting brittle with old age and my sausage fingers. I also broke the Whale external water connector cover, again brittle due to old age but easily replacement for buttons. Its things like this that tend to go. If your purchase is dry but with no service history you could get a local mobile caravan engineer to give it the once over for peace of mind and would easily give you 5 years or more. After Gordons statement on high mileage caravans with flexing issues it makes me wonder why the manufacturers don't have some sort of mileometer. Not a bad idea ?  Oh and never mind the C&CC , CT is the best place for info ;).. Hope you get what you want....

 

GAS ....

 

 

Hi GAS

 

Thanks so much for replying

 

I know the staycation folk are really mucking it up for me . I have worked full time for 39 years and now I have went part time and my partner has retired ,we want to do what we have been talking about for years. That being get a dog and caravan

 

Well do not get me started about the price of pups just now . I would get a older dog but finding one that will be fine with a cat and is not from a puppy farm is a nightmare. This will need to wait until all the folk who have gotten lockdown dogs put them into rescue or the price of pups come down.

 

Caravans seem to be flying out the door just now too.

 

Timing is everything, might just stay full time for a while longer - hmmm maybe not

 

 

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Angie 2020: There is likely to be a bit of an increase in second hand caravans on the market over the winter. Optomistically, new caravanners finding its not what they wanted,or it is what they wanted and will get a new/better one, don't like winter so they will get rid of it, AC19 vaccine is becoming available so they dont want a caravan any more. UK caravan manufacturers started production and supplies are available. If I was in your boots I would wait unil Feb/March and stash some cash for 5 months.

Ern

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3 minutes ago, Ern said:

Angie 2020: There is likely to be a bit of an increase in second hand caravans on the market over the winter. Optomistically, new caravanners finding its not what they wanted,or it is what they wanted and will get a new/better one, don't like winter so they will get rid of it, AC19 vaccine is becoming available so they dont want a caravan any more. UK caravan manufacturers started production and supplies are available. If I was in your boots I would wait unil Feb/March and stash some cash for 5 months.

 

 

Thanks very much, yes I think we will keep gathering information and be ready to pounce next year.

 

Saturday night last night and we were watching youtube on how to set up the caravan toilet cassette.  Who knew youtube could be as informative and not just have cat videos :rolleyes:

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If caravans on a dealers forecourt are not spotlessly clean that would tell me one thing. It’s time to walk away and go elsewhere.!

 

If they cannot be bothered to keep them clean I would have little faith in the quality of any other work, such as any servicing and or damp checking they had (or had not) carried out.  Plenty more dealers around.

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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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Sorry disagree with the service is like an mot. Some and it doesn't have to be main dealer service shows care.

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Are you looking for a two berth?  We have one for sale. A Swift Corniche, 2011. It has been stored covered in the south of France and has not been sat in snow or lots of wet weather. Comes with a mover,  an AL-KO wheel lock, alarm, and is in excellent condition for a 9 year old van.  Also a canopy awning which is 3 years old if needed.  

 

Bergamo

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17 hours ago, angie2020 said:

the dealers down in England appear also to be cheaper than Scotland.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe any caravans are manufactured in Scotland, so there will always be an initial transport cost of new caravans to cover.

 

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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18 hours ago, angie2020 said:

 

Thanks Gordon

 

that makes sense, I am amazed how much a fifteen year old van is . I see some a lot cheaper if your confident to go private, also the dealers down in England appear also to be cheaper than Scotland.

 

BE WARNED! Any deal, whether private or dealer, that appears to be too good to be true usually is!

Only rarely will you find anyone selling a van for significantly less than it's worth. A 5 year old box of rot isn't worth much.

With a dealer you have some protection from the Consumer Rights Act, but this is only as reliable as the dealer.

A private sale is pretty much at your own risk, so get someone who knows used caravans to look at it with you.

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21 minutes ago, Stevan said:

BE WARNED! Any deal, whether private or dealer, that appears to be too good to be true usually is!

Only rarely will you find anyone selling a van for significantly less than it's worth. A 5 year old box of rot isn't worth much.

With a dealer you have some protection from the Consumer Rights Act, but this is only as reliable as the dealer.

A private sale is pretty much at your own risk, so get someone who knows used caravans to look at it with you.

Absolutely essential advice.

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12 hours ago, Bergamo said:

Are you looking for a two berth?  We have one for sale. A Swift Corniche, 2011. It has been stored covered in the south of France and has not been sat in snow or lots of wet weather. Comes with a mover,  an AL-KO wheel lock, alarm, and is in excellent condition for a 9 year old van.  Also a canopy awning which is 3 years old if needed.  

 

Bergamo

 

Morning,

 

 

sorry its a four berth with a fixed double or singles

 

thanks so much anyway

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17 hours ago, angie2020 said:

 

 

Thanks very much, yes I think we will keep gathering information and be ready to pounce next year.

 

Saturday night last night and we were watching youtube on how to set up the caravan toilet cassette.  Who knew youtube could be as informative and not just have cat videos :rolleyes:

Wow! Saturday night? 

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Ern

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Delivery costs are the same if you are 5 miles or 500 miles.

 

The reason that vans are dearer in Scotland is because there are less sales.

 

Caravan Finder is a good source of second hand vans and will give you a good idea of what is available.

 

Ian from Fife

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2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

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In many ways buying a caravan is like buying a car and he older it is the more likely it will go wrong but an older well looked after example might still be a better buy than a newer one that has had a less favourable history. Basically if you are not familiar with them then the pitfalls are very similar and buying from a reputable dealer is far safer than a private sale where you may miss problems that an experienced caravanner would not.   If you want to buy privately get someone who knows the subject to help you or get a mobile engineer to look over for you.

As the others say damp is the main thing to look for and a check is fairly straightforward if you have the meter, but you also need to check all working parts and equipment.

You can check if it might be stolen or on HP by going to CRiS with the caravan's CRiS identification number.

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I don't know if this appeals to many, but there's also the point that on a well-found older model in good nick, there's less technology  to go wrong, or even just to manage. I once  had a long and impassioned recitation from a lady walking past our very low tech 'van on how they had bought this expensive new bells and whistles job, and she was heartily sick of not being able to work so much of it, starting with the water heater, which seemingly required much programming. Ours has an on switch and an off switch!

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