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Touring caravan to be used in Garden (Scotland)


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Hi, I live with my family and work abroad on ship, for Covid reasons I was looking at putting a touring caravan in our garden so I can live separate from my family for two weeks when I get back from sea (the covid incubation period).

 

As it is would be in our garden and it is kind of being used as an extra bedroom, I don't think I'd need planning permission? I'm in the Highland region of Scotland.

 

I'd also probably use the caravan to go on actual tours next summer when the pandemic eases, so it's not going to be a permanent fixture.

 

I was thinking of getting a Freedom First Class or a Freedom Twin Sport as they have toilet and shower facilities. I'd also be able to wire in electrics from the house.

 

I could also splash out and get something bigger, but I look of the freedom one because they're small and easy to tow around, plus they have a GRP shell that is quite leak resistant I read. 

 

The only problem is my current car has a maximum towing rating of 700kg braked, I'm planning on getting a car with a better towing rating. The freedom caravans are listed as 700kg unladen, if I have nothing in it would it be legal to tow?

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

AFAIK. you would be legal, but don’t overlook that the factory MIRO does not normally include things like gas bottles or leisure battery. If you have a mover, that’s extra weight. 

 

I'm struggling to figure out if I'd be legal.

 

It's in Dutch by I have a car with the same spec as this:

https://allekentekens.nl/kenteken/KG807F

 

The guy at the site below says:

 

Quote

 

The car’s kerbweight, the car’s towing limit, the car’s Gross Train Weight (GTW) and the caravan’s Maximum Technically Permissable Laden Mass (MTPLM).

 

Legally, if you add together the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of your car and the MTPLM of your caravan, the total weight must not exceed the GTW of the car.

 

 

https://freedomtwinsport.wordpress.com/weights/

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Legally, if you add together the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of your car and the MTPLM of your caravan, the total weight must not exceed the GTW of the car.

--------------------------------------------------------

 

When looking at the GTW, the car and trailer weights can be any combination that does not exceed the max of either so not loading a car up to max allows a heavier trailer subject to any towing limits set by the car manufacturer which in your case you have said is 700 kg.

 

You would need to see what the caravan MIRO includes since it often includes gas bottles and water but not a battery or mover (you should not need one on a 700 kg caravan). By not carrying any water or gas bottles it can give you about 20 kg back so the actual towed weight if you do not put anything in or  a battery could be less than 700 kg for the caravan you mention.

Edited by Paul1957
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I don't know how tall you are, but at 6ft, I can't stand upright in the Freedom range of vans.

That may not be any problem at all, but be advised.

Edited by daveat92
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2 hours ago, daveat92 said:

I don't know how tall you are, but at 6ft, I can't stand upright in the Freedom range of vans.

That may not be any problem at all, but be advised.

 

Ok thanks that's good to know.

 

Can you recommend any other ones? 

 

It would be good to have one that can be hooked up to an external power source, also better if external water and sewage disposal can be connected for where it is parked in the garden.

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Most touring caravans have mains voltage systems, known as EHU, electrical hook up. 
Touring caravans are designed to use water from supply barrels, but there are systems available for connection to mains water supply. 
Waste water falls into two types, grey and black. Grey waste is sink and shower waste. This can be sent down suitable drain. Black water is the toilet waste. This is collected in a cassette system, and has to be emptied every couple of days. There is no option for connection to sewer systems 

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I don't know the weights, but would a Silver pop top be light enough?  More space than a Freedom but still compact to tow.

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The Freedom is a good caravan but very basic and some have a load allowance too low to be practical for touring. In the highlands in winter I would avoid poptops as they will not have the insulation. For a small caravan with a decent level of comfort and insulation I would possibly look at a Swift basecamp if it s within your budget, or a Lunar Ariva.

Basically unless their is a restriction on the use of the property for parking caravans there should be no legal problems. If there is, come back with more details particularly who it is in favour of.

Do check the buying guides though, so you know what to look for and how to proceed if buying privately.

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Grey waste water (from basins and shower) and Black waste (from toilet) can be connected to foul sewer provided that it is correctly plumbed in. There is a conversion kit for the Thetford toilet used in most touring caravans however these are quite expensive, and emptying a cassette into a toilet or foul sewer man hole may be preferred. Fresh water can be connected to the mains supply via a pressure control system as used by many touring caravanners. Frost is always an issue in such instalations unless adequate lagging is applied. For full time living a touring caravan needs to have adequate space for a permanently made up bed and seperate living space, heating/ventilation. which the little Freedom doesnt really have so not ideal.

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Ern

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Just a thought, if you are basing on which caravan to buy on the car you have now. If you are planning on replacing the car in the future, then why not get a more suitable caravan that is heavier but get the seller to tow it to your house. Then when you are thinking about touring in the future get a replacement car at that time.

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3 hours ago, Wildwood said:

For a small caravan with a decent level of comfort and insulation I would possibly look at a Swift basecamp if it s within your budget, or a Lunar Ariva.

 

Thanks those suggestions look good.

 

We're considering now going for a used static caravan, they are much cheaper and bigger than touring caravans.

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Do get a price on moving the static to your site. It could cost well in excess of £500!

Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Might be worthwhile asking your council planning department if any planning permission is needed to site a static in your garden before spending any money. It would need more than a 13 amp electric extension lead electric supply from your house since statics usually have an electric cooker, possibly some electric heating, a washer, quite a few lights, fridge/freezer, 13 amp sockets. Hence it might need the local electric company to provide a metered supply. Propane gas can come from Calor gas cylinders to power the water/central heating boiler.

 

On some older statics a Beko (or copy) cooker might be installed so something to check. Some of these have been in the news since if the gas grill is on but its door is closed then dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can be given off and there have been possibly 18 deaths linked to them. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-55042565 This report does not mention statics but it was on another report I read on the BBC news website and it does contain links to other reports.

Edited by Paul1957
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3 minutes ago, Paul1957 said:

Might be worthwhile asking your council planning department if any planning permission is needed to site a static in your garden before spending any money.

 

IMO this is very good advice,

It is a fundamental aspect to resolve before spending money and also being left with a static that you can't site, let alone as you wish in your garden.

Here in England you can't just do it and be sure it will not lead to an enforcement order to move it; in Scotland I have no idea of their rules, though in your position I would make very certain I found out, first.

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Siting a static will require planning permission. With a tourer you can move it enough to get round that one.

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I would forget about the the little freedom things for time being and  go for a large tourer, dont worry about PP as even if legally required I think you will be okay given the current circumstances.

 

Older statics look like a cheap option but transport etc is very expensive and more likely to upset the neighbors. Also they are very cold in winter and cost a lot to keep heated.

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Unless you have the licence and the car  to tow a large caravan then I would stick with a smaller one particularly as you say you do want to do some touring with it.

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You don’t need planning permission to sleep in a caravan on a house driveway provided you are only using the caravan as a bedroom & not a separate residence with a separate address.

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If you do his long term then it will possibly be regarded as needing planning permission. The caravan needs to be one you  can tow so that you can move it out from time to time.

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As you're in the Highlands, and going to be living in the van full time for a fortnight, heating will be a major concern.   Braemar regularly drops to -20 in the winter!

 

 

 

 

 

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David.

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