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Why Are We Making Caravans Heavier ?


cb1701

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Hi

i think i mentioned this on the previous old forum once, but why do we keep

or should i say manufacturers keep pounding more weight into the modern day

caravans, i nearly always use my own van as a reference point, but i consider it to be a fair sized van and weighs about 1170mtlpm, and i have noticed some newer vans (smaller in size ) weigh more than my van doe's and vans equal in length to my own seem very heavy, (new vans again) i know more extra's are crammed in now days but how far do we go ? because one day when i exchange caravan i don't want to have to purchase a large tow car as well that wouldn't be practical for us in every day life, i wonder if a weight limit should be set up to certain van size's ? :mellow:

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Its the very fact that most people want all mod cons in their vans that contributes to the extra weight. Vans are also getting bigger. Our current Eccles is 3 inches wider than the Europa it replaced. There are three things in a van that contribute most of the extra weight. Gas Bottles, Batteries and the spare wheel. If these could be got rid of there is room for a big saving. Mind you no idea how you go about it!

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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Its the very fact that most people want all mod cons in their vans that contributes to the extra weight. Vans are also getting bigger. Our current Eccles is 3 inches wider than the Europa it replaced. There are three things in a van that contribute most of the extra weight. Gas Bottles, Batteries and the spare wheel. If these could be got rid of there is room for a big saving. Mind you no idea how you go about it!

 

David

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Well as far as i,m aware haven,t these things (gas bottles,battery, spare wheel )

always been standard items but vans still seem alot heavier i just believe vans of today seem a hell of alot heavier than say ten years ago, and cars do seem to get lighter ? (probably something to do with fuel efficiency).

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and cars do seem to get lighter

 

I am not sure this is correct as a generality. Ten years ago I was towing with a Peugeot 405 GLDT, this was about 1100kgs, my next car was a Xantia which was about 1300kgs if I had gone for the C5 that would have been heavier again. If you take your car and compare it with its predecessors you will find the modern version is the heaviest of the line. I suppose another consideration is that a lot more people tow with 4X4's so the weight element is not so important.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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How many caravans of 10 or 15 years ago had domestic size cookers anf fridges in them? or air con units for that matter, or blown air heating or on board hot and cold water tanks, or full size sinks and drainers?

 

The list could go on.

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Guest Hobbybod

cb, I think this is a bit of a 'chicken & egg' situation.

 

Years gone by, as David indicates, towcars were lighter so 'vans needed to be similarly lighter. Also their customers were less inclined to want so many gizmos on the 'van.

 

As towcar weights increased makers could produce heavier 'vans to 'attract' customers with more stuff. So the 'vans get heavier making folks go for heavier towcars, which allows the makers to . . . . . . . and so on.

 

Some extra weight has gone into quality of construction in continental brands (eg. Hymers are amongst the heaviest of 'vans) but here, in UK, it seems to have gone into heavy full-size type cookers etc.; practically unheard of years ago and not included in continental 'vans.

 

You the customer decide; don't be duped by much of the silly hyped-up marketing to sell even heavier 'vans.

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This is my major bug bear this topic.

 

I have a 1994 Rover 620i and the 85% kerb weight is 1045kg and I would like to up grade to a 4 berth caravan I am trying to have vans that are no more than 10 years old so I dont end up in the trap of spending loads on a van and then loosing money and having to spend loads again.

 

Ican not afford a new car as my Rover is a great car for towing and I have near enough replaced all the major bits in it including the engine from when I blew it up in a flood!

 

Trying to find a 1997 4 berth caravan with an end bathroom at 1045kg is impossible but if I look at ealry 90's caravans there are loads around. 200? style caravans are just a no go area for me.

 

So if anyone knows of a 1997 or younger 4 berh end bathroom caravan that weighs close to 1045kg please pm me. So far I have found a bailey 470/4.

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Having been vanning since the 60's in a variety of vans I agree that vans are getting heavier. But whilst I enjoyed the trips throughout that time I wouldn't change our current van for one of the light weights of the past. We use the van 12 months a year and consider most of the fittings as standard items not luxury. Some items which we carry do contribute. Years ago we would carry 2 x 3. 5kg gas bottles now we carry 2 x 6kg bottles. Tyres have increased from 12x135 to 13x175 (defiantly safer). We now have cassette loos, how many would want to return to the old bucket and chuck it regime of years ago. Many vans of years ago had only 2 rings and a grill. Fridges were tiny or non existent. There was no electrical systems other than road lighting and heating was often from the cooker. Whilst vans of yester year were modern in their day by todays standards they were basic.

I know there are some people out there who could live without the all the mod cons, but the vast majority buys a van for its facilities and fittings . There are still some basic vans still available.

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I'm sorry to all of you for going on about this, and i thank you all for your replie's

but i consider my van to have adequate luxuries (cd player inbuilt, end bathroom,

240 and 12volt choice of lighting, status ariel, decent fridge) but it seems lighter than vans of today ok our cooker isn't a full cooker but is termed as full caravan cooker( four gas rings a belling 3000 oven and grill ) the shower isn,t a separate

cubicle the tray is in front of the cassette toilet but if i want the same van size in the future as i do like the space this van gives the tow car has to be changed as well, i know we need more home from home luxeries but eventually are we not just going a little to far because we are turning the vans into house's on wheels, anyway thanks for all your thoughts cb1701.

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i know we need more home from home luxeries but eventually are we not just going a little to far because we are turning the vans into house's on wheels,  cb1701.

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Is that not the idea, if you wanted to rough it you could buy a tent, but not a trailer tent (Sinks, cookers, grills, toilets, lighting etc plus TV and Video). These days our expectations are a lot higher e. g why do we need a mobile phone when there is a phone box at the end of the street. Why send e-mail when you can walk down to the post office to buy a stamp. Back to the subject in question, just think how heavy a van would be without todays modern materials, Steel and wood instead of alloy and injected foam and plastics. I think it's time Vans had built in satalite systems instead of the unreliably tv systems.

 

Have wheels will travel, Travel expands the mind, Knowledge is power. So just think where your heavy van could lead. :o TIC

 

Wildkat

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  • 1 month later...

Not only wider and longer, have you noticed how much higher/taller the new vans are, with much taller higher lockers. You can't get any more in the bigger lockers, and who needs a full size cooker and a full size fridge, or even a full size freezer.

I think its the fashion to sell the expensive, not needed, oversized "must haves" these days. :P:P:rolleyes:

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Hi

      i think i mentioned this on the previous old forum once, but why do we keep

or should i say manufacturers keep pounding more weight into the modern day

caravans, i nearly always use my own van as a reference point, but i consider it to be a fair sized van and weighs about 1170mtlpm, and i have noticed some newer vans (smaller in size ) weigh more than my van doe's and vans equal in length to my own seem very heavy, (new vans again) i know more extra's are crammed in now days but how far do we go ? because one day when i exchange caravan i don't want to have to purchase a large tow car as well that wouldn't be practical for us in every day life, i wonder if a weight limit should be set up to certain van size's ?  :mellow:

9909[/snapback]

 

One of the biggest contributors to weight in a caravan is the change in furniture construction. Your '94 'van probably uses 3mm ply with a softwood framing(only double skinned in selected areas) whereas most new 'vans use solid 15mm ply. I agree that there are heavier appliances in some 'vans but I do not think that this is the main issue.

 

I belive that the Hymers have steel framing and polyurethane foam in their sidewalls to support the furniture which could account for their heavyweight reputation.

 

Mike

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This is my major bug bear this topic.

 

I have a 1994 Rover 620i and the 85% kerb weight is 1045kg and I would like to up grade to a 4 berth caravan I am trying to have vans that are no more than 10 years old so I dont end up in the trap of spending loads on a van and then loosing money and having to spend loads again.

 

Ican not afford a new car as my Rover is a great car for towing and I have near enough replaced all the major bits in it including the engine from when I blew it up in a flood!

 

Trying to find a 1997 4 berth caravan with an end bathroom at 1045kg is impossible but if I look at ealry 90's caravans there are loads around. 200? style caravans are just a no go area for me.

 

So if anyone knows of a 1997 or younger 4 berh end bathroom caravan that weighs close to 1045kg please pm me. So far I have found a bailey 470/4.

10289[/snapback]

 

Jimmy. ....I have a 1996 420si (identical engine to yours), but to be honest am finding it pretty useless for towing. I used to have a 1990 216 Rover with the Honda engine and that really was a brilliant car to tow with. The general 'mechanics' of these Rovers, particularly the engines, are absolutely superb. Regret selling mine to the point i'm seriously considering going back to one. Another 'plus point' is the ludicrously low price they sell for.

 

Paul

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Jimmy. ....I have a 1996 420si (identical engine to yours), but to be honest am finding it pretty useless for towing. I used to have a 1990 216 Rover with the Honda engine and that really was a brilliant car to tow with. The general 'mechanics' of these Rovers, particularly the engines, are absolutely superb. Regret selling mine to the point i'm seriously considering going back to one. Another 'plus point' is the ludicrously low price they sell for.

 

Paul

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Hi Paul

i read somewhere (i think in the towcar section) a good priced towing car was the vauxhall carlton or omega, good weights and good towing at reasonable second value or i maybe wrong ? :mellow:

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Hi Paul

          i read somewhere (i think in the towcar section) a good priced towing car was the vauxhall carlton or omega, good weights and good towing at reasonable second value or i maybe wrong ?  :mellow:

17759[/snapback]

 

Yea you are probably right. My point was that i was a bit surprised when i compared my current 420si Rover against my old one, a 216GSi. You would think that 2 litre against a 1. 6 should pull better. ..but it doesn't, though the van i have now might be a little heavier (though not that much). The old Honda engined Rovers are an absolutely brilliant buy and go for peanuts simply because its the 'old shape'! The engine in my 1. 6 had amazing torque and would pull in 5th from as little as 15mph on the flat. ..not that you'd make a habit of it but something i just did to see how it would perform.

 

Paul

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