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why did you buy your type of caravan


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hello everyone

 

as some may know I am researching caravans with the intention of buying one 

 

I was speaking to a colleague at work and he took his caravan in for a service and saw a caravan in the forecourt with a fixed bed. He came away having bought it  as he wanted a fixed bed.

 

So why did you buy your caravan, was it as simple as going to the show room and buying what was there, did you do hours of research and waiting for a particular brand and type

 

we have looked to find the least stressful regarding damp and issues and no caravan seems to come out better. Bailey with it alutec, swift etc 

 

we have some red lines like a fixed bed and square lined shower with nice seating area . If the sink is round or square has no bearing

 

Are we researching to much ? maybe if we pick a few models and see if any come into the dealers. There appears not to be a big choice up here in Scotland but however thats possibly covid causing this

 

anyhoo I would welcome your decision making process. It may just be because you liked the curtains  :P

 

 

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I would strongly suggest that you are ruled by your head and not  your heart ?

With all the research in the world, you can still end up with something that just does not work for you.   Caravans tend to be a series of compromises. The thing is to decide what you can and, more

We did a fair amount of research on layout, then visited / pestered a number of dealers before finding what we felt was right for us, ended up buying new as the difference made no difference if you ge

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Hi Angie

 

We decided we wanted a van after a 7 year break. My only stipulation was a nearly new van in good condition and not too heavy. Other half wanted a fixed island bed and bathroom 'midships'.

 

We went to our nearest dealer, looked at the used vans, then looked at the new model prices and decided to pay the extra as the price difference wasn't that much. As it happens our dealer was an agent for Compass, so we looked at the two models fitting our brief, took the brochure and looked at equivalent models online but still preferred the Compass, and that was that. All we had to do then was negotiate a good price on the mover fitted.

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Purchased each caravan to suit our needs at the time.

Never, purchased on the spot, always researched in detail the designs and options we could have; had all caravans specifically built for us waiting if I recall 6 through to nearly 12 months for it delivery.

 

Its "engineering" in all cases has been the overriding factor, followed by its ability to meet our requirements, not the style.

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We wanted a 2-berth end washroom van from a reputable manufacturer. We wanted a solar panel and somehere to hang the bikes in transit. We wanted to deal with someone close at hand in case of warranty issues and that's how we came to buy an Eccles 480 from a dealer about 1.5 miles away.

hawkaye :beardy:

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First caravan was bought privately, the second was from a dealer. They had a van we liked in terms of layout (main requisites are end fixed bed and mid bathroom) so we traded in the old one. The dealer is close to us and have storage facilities which are cheaper than our previous storage facility. It ticked all the boxes, but we did do a lot of research first. Very happy with our decision.

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With all the research in the world, you can still end up with something that just does not work for you.  
Caravans tend to be a series of compromises. The thing is to decide what you can and, more importantly, what you cannot live with. 
Go and look at layouts you think you may like. Sit in them for a while, and try to imagine how you will use the space. Make a note of the things you don’t like. Eventually you will find what you want

 

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For 11 years, from new, we had a fixed island bed, twin axle caravan with full awning and bedroom annexe. Great for touring and fun as the tribe grew up but once grown up holidaying with Mum & Dad wasn't cool anymore.

Just the two of us carried on with the large caravan for a few more years, but with a porch awning, then decided to downsize caravan and it's tow car. Spent months researching and viewing makes and models. Decided a fixed bed was nice but not essential so settled on a side dinette, no fixed bed and the availability of bunks for grandchildren if they want to come with us when they are old enough.

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We did a fair amount of research on layout, then visited / pestered a number of dealers before finding what we felt was right for us, ended up buying new as the difference made no difference if you get my meaning. Whilst using the van we inevitably had the conversation about wouldn't it be nice if we had this or it did that, all normally with a chilled glass of something. Absolutely nothing wrong with our first van, but went along to a dealer for a few miscellaneous bits when I heard OH saying yep that answers all our wouldn't it be nice list, so how much to change, at that point I knew it was game over.... Very happy with our choice and very happy with the dealer although they are just over an hours drive away.

 

My advice is to keep looking, take your time you will soon work out what is probably best for you and also before you part with any money make sure your tow car is suitable for your choice of caravan, then buy, then get out there and enjoy yourself.

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2018 Volvo XC60  D4 AWD + Penshurst Premier Plus (AKA Elddis Affinity 550)

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It is almost inevitable that what you think is your ideal caravan layout will turn out not to be once you have used it a few times.

Some of the things to decide, (after the max size/weight you want) in no particular order are.

 

  1. Fixed or make up bed bed (probably the single most important question) 
  2. If fixed, side (French) Or island bed (think night time excursions) 
  3. Is the size of the bathroom important (think how much time you will spend in it)
  4. Where do you want the bathroom. If just the two of you then rear is OK BUT if you think you might have “guests” at any time (grand children?) then a centre bathroom will be better because the guests won’t have to squeeze past you to get to the toilet during the night. 
  5. Do you want/need a fridge freezer or just a fridge

Once you have decided on the above list go and look at as many caravans as you possibly can. Make a list of what you don’t like about each one (it will be a shorter list than what you like) That will enable you narrow your list of desirable caravans  down a bit. Then decide on what you are, and are not, prepared to compromise over. There is always something you have to compromise in a caravan.  That will narrow your options down a bit more. 

 

Compare the price of new versus used, sometimes the difference isn’t as much as you expect. 

 

Finally be prepared to change it once you have used it for a while! Most of us have done that because, what you think is “right for you” probably won’t be for some unforeseen reason. 

 

We bought our current caravan because it had the layout we had decided we wanted after a few years of experience,  and it was a dealer special at what we considered a real bargain price compared to the “basic” model.  18 months in and we are still delighted with our choice. (I have purposely avoided identifying my choice as it’s exactly that, my choice and I don’t want to try and influence anyone else) 

 

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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We usually buy Swift as I personally like the construction method. With our current caravan we wanted a twin axle with a mid bathroom, fixed bed and a low MTPLM. The 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB ticked all of the layout requirements and it’s MTPLM of 1624kgs was the final piece of the jigsaw.

Edited by GaryB1969

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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We had to look at weight.  So three years ago, we bought an Xplore 570/4 (brand new).  One year later, it got stolen, and we bought the Venus 504/4 because it was cheaper than the Xplore.  And so glad.  the Venus is so much better than the Xplore.  And my real reason for picking the Venus, is that it looks cool!!!!:D

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when we started we wanted a motor home, we did a lot of homework and looking  about for our ideal m/ h ,  we ordered it,  however we waited and waited and the promises that were made were unbelievable, so after 6 months we cancelled it , long story.   We had bought all the things for it so were really disappointed.  Anyway we were out one Sunday and came across a caravan dealer, sitting in the caravan, the only doubt we had was that OH had never towed before. We ordered the van and we were treated like royalty throughout,  my OH took to towing like a duck to water and we kept that van for 5 years.  We have changed  the van a few times over the years, mostly to accommodate our advancing years, We have always had a fixed bed  and a proper place to put the TV ,  I also like the electric hob and microwave, my OH likes the ATC, solar panel and the motor mover. On our present van we have the shower room mid ships which I still don't like but OH loves it. 

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After holidays in the US/Canada/Alaska in hired RVs we decided we enjoyed that type of holiday and it was time to invest in our own. But as we needed two cars, and already had one which was large enough to tow, it seemed to make sense to go for a caravan rather than a motorhome. However we were cautious at first and dipped our toe by buying privately a 2nd hand small single axle van (Compass Omega 482) with a lot of thrown in extras. Whilst a good purchase and a lovely van we soon realised we would much prefer a fixed bed and much more room. After a good bit of research we sold on and bought privately again a Elddis Super Sirocco twin axle with 'L' shaped lounge, fixed side bed and rear bathroom. Another fine van that gave good service for several years. As we approached retirement and the prospect of much longer and more frequent trips we started thinking about upgrading to a younger or even new replacement.  The only layout change we desired was single beds for convenience and comfort and having had both 'L' shape and twin sofa lounges a confirmed preference for twin sofas with central cabinet with pull-out small table. A good sized rear bathroom  remained a must. We researched endlessly looking at shows and dealers and although our van was ageing we struggled to find anything that was attractive enough to warrant what would be a significant investment. Our van seemed solidly built in comparison to the new vans we were viewing which seemed to be more style over substance. Whilst quite glitzy the modern vans somehow didn't appeal sufficiently. The only ones that did (e.g. Buccaneer) disqualified themselves through their poor payload. We wanted a twin axle which included or to which we could add a quad mover, aircon, levelling system and a fixed roof wind out awning whilst retaining a decent personal payload. It was proving a difficult task . . . until we came across the Knaus Starclass. This fulfilled all our requirements and had a more understated styling and finish we actually prefer. The standard of build also, to us anyway, seems to be in a different class.  A substantial discount tipped us over the edge, though lockdown prevented planned collection in March so we only took delivery in July.

I can't say its faultless, (we are still trying to get some minor electrical gremlins sorted), but the overall quality has left me impressed and we are very satisfied.

Apologies for the long post but you did ask  . . . :)

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Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

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

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When we toured, I’ll be honest and say for me it was the upholstery which always swung it.

The layout was important but most manufacturers do very similar layouts. There’s no way I could have lived with some of the dreadful colours used by some manufacturers, or the fancy pants patterns 🤢

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Cant go wrong with a bit of research, when we last changed vans (4 years ago) we worked out what we wanted in the replacement van, then looked at what vans had the layout we wanted and went from there, ours choice was based around,

 

1. Fixed Island bed

2. originally a mid ships bathroom which then changed to an end bathroom after looking at a couple of mid bathrooms

3.  Alde heating

4. big fridge with freezer

 Ended up with a swift conqueror 645 and love it, the caravan we were selling was a swift and we'd had no issues with it so was slightly inclined to go swift again, and in 4 years with this one we've had no issues (maybe lucky) and weight wasn't a consideration for us.

 

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We wanted a small caravan for the European touring we mostly do. Can’t be bothered with awning. Gave up putting up tents when we stopped tent camping. Fixed transverse double bed at front. Bench  seats & table in middle. Kitchen & toilet at rear. Sounds the ideal layout to me but UK caravan makers would disagree.

 

Popular continental make layout so French made Caravelair it is. Keep it simple so no water heater or shower specified. Works for us.

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We are Mr. D, our 11year old daughter, and myself. We knew that our daughter would be using the bedroom, so that Mr. D and I could be free to eat and drink in the living room later in the evening, while she was in bed. We discounted the bunks with dinette option, as she was growing fast ,so would soon outgrow them. We therefore chose a twin bedroom - with 2 ft 4 one beds -  so she could have a bed to sleep, and we fashioned a sort of sofa with long bolster pillows and large scatter cushions on the other bed. TV on wall stand, proper solid sliding door, and she has her own private space, very important for an adolescent. 

 

It was important that we had a central bathroom so that people could use the toilet at night without having to walk through a bedroom to do so. This also has a solid door, so you can close off the whole bathroom. This creates a pretty effective sound barrier, so our daughter can e.g. watch a dvd in the bedroom, while we listen to the radio or watch TV in the living room, without either disturbing the other. So we have our own privacy.

 

Our van is stored on our drive so that meant the length - and width - were limited, as was our budget, obviously. 

 

 We wanted to buy a new van.

 

With all that, the only one ticked all the boxes, and was available at a nearby dealer, was the 2019 Elddis Avante 574 that we ended up buying. And so far we are very pleased with it. :)

 

If we still have this van when our daughter no longer wishes to come on holiday with us, we'll probably put a custom sized block of memory foam on a long, low stool between the twin beds, to sort of make them into a king size bed area for the two of us. It'll mean we'll lose the use of the chest of drawers, but there's bags of storage elsewhere.

Edited by Susan D
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wife wanted a modern van and a van where the shower floor was not the bathroom floor. We wanted double dinette as it was and still is, our preferred layout. Like a lot of people this meant changing the car. My replacement tow car was half the price of what it was replacing and 7 or 8 years on it, still makes me feel good when I drive it. Much prefer it to what it replaced

 

macafee2

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We are Mr. D, our 11year old daughter, and myself. We knew that our daughter would be using the bedroom, so that Mr. D and I could be free to eat and drink in the living room later in the evening, while she was in bed. We chose a twin bedroom so she could have a bed to sleep, and we fashioned a sort of sofa with long bolster pillows and large scatter cushions on the other bed. 

 

It was important that we had a central bathroom so that people could use the toilet at night without having to walk through a bedroom to do so. 

 

Our van is stored on our drive so that meant the length - and width - were limited, as was our budget, obviously. 

 

Oh, and we wanted a new van.

 

With all that, the only one ticked all the boxes, and was available at a nearby dealer, was the 2019 Elddis Avante 574 that we ended up buying. And so far we are very pleased with it. :)

 

If we still have this van when our daughter no longer wishes to come on holiday with us, we'll probably put a custom sized block of memory foam on a long, low stool between the twin beds, to sort of make them into a king size bed area for the two of us. It'll mean we'll lose the use of the chest of drawers, but there's bags of storage elsewhere.

 

The decor is very neutral, cream and beige, but we don't mind, we just work with it. I ordered two sets of bedding in shades that complement it nicely. That was important to me.

Edited by Susan D
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We started with a small used Swift 2 berth with a corner shower/toilet with rear kitchen next to it and 2 long settees in the front. The shower was really inconvenient as the toilet floor got wet and had to be dried off and the cold shower curtain stuck to you. This was swapped for a Lunar with rear washroom and side french fixed  bed . This caused problems with night visits so we swapped to our current van an Elddis 554 with side slide out bed , rear washroom. We researched every van and thought they would be suitable but when we used them they're short comings were revealed . The current van suits our needs but comes after nearly 20 years experience . I would add that your choice of caravan doesn't seem to make any difference to how much you enjoy a holiday.

Frazer

Kia Sportage towing Lunar Ultima SE

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Knew we wanted bunk beds and then spent weeks and weeks researching...

  • layout and size of bunks
  • size and weight
  • year and likely cost
  • reviews
  • make, model, look and features

Settled on 1 of 2 caravans (make, model and year). Travelled to dealer who had one of the two caravans we wanted and also a variant of the the other. Just out of interest, sat in a Bailey Pegasus Palermo and loved it. The one the dealer had wasn't for us, but in the car before driving away we found one for sale privately and made the call :)  

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Sorry, don't know what went on with the two near identical posts there! Major editing fail! :o

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We bought out first van 3 years ago, it was a 4 berth with a  rear dinette that went up into bunks. We bought that thinking it would be great for taking the grandkids away. After touring Scotland for 18 nights, and having to make up the bed every night, we Came home and sold it and bought our current Bailey with a fixed french bed, far better and suits our needs better. 
After using this one for 2 years we are now in the market for a change and will be looking for another fixed bed model next year, but this time an island bed with a centre washroom. It’s took 2 vans, 3 years and loads of research, but I think we have settled on what could be the perfect layout. The island bed will stop me disturbing my wife when I have to climb over to make the inevitable trips in the “wee” small hours, and the centre washroom/toilet will mean the grandkids can use the toilet without disturbing us in the night. 
 

I tend not to buy anything unless I research it to death first, much to my wife’s annoyance, but with caravans I think you never really know whether you have struck gold or not until you have used it a few times in all possible scenarios, for us that’s  with and without the tribe, 

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We were camping in Corsica in 1994 with our Conway folding camper and had just had to evacuate our campsite due to a forest fire. Camping on a harbour jetty we thought about changing to a caravan and made a list of what we would want in a caravan. We had some ideas mostly from seeing continental caravans and in September of that year we visited the Lawns to view caravans and these had some influence on our list. Long term caravanners might remember what caravan design and fittings were like in the mid 90's and will possibly realise why looking at our list we kept our folding camper for another 6 years.

Caravan to have, not in any order:-

Permanent double bed (a must)

Lift up gas locker box with gas struts

Lift out table

Removeable carpets (a must)

Cassette toilet

Fridge/freezer

Overhead aircraft style locker doors (a must)

Latching opening windows

Fly screens

 

It was only in 2000 that we saw a Swift Group caravan (Challenger 500/Eccles Onyx) which began to match our needs and we bought the Onyx, obviously a design with a permanent bed and a design which another person viewing it described as "hopeless as you lose half the sitting space in the van". I wonder what her thoughts would be on current permanent bed designs where the front sitting space length is compromised by having a full width washroom.

In the end our choice of first caravan was an inevitable compromise and we still live with a newer caravan of a very similar design.

 

John. 

 

 

 

 

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