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Caravan Living


siyron

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Hi, we are planning to save money and enjoy our need to not feel "fixed". So any advice about caravan living would be helpful.

 

We live in Cornwall where I have a good job that I want to continue but the caravan will allow us to live in different parts of the area and at the same time save money by living simpler. The long term plan is to spend part of the year touring abroad and look for a plot of land to buy allowing us to create a small creative, healing retreat.

 

We want to avoid anything that may lable us as "travellers", I think everyone has the right to live as they wish as long as doing so is carried out with due regard for others and the environment.

 

So fellow members any comments would be welcome

 

Thanks in anticipation, Ron : )

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Ron,

 

I think that your post refers to the possibility of full-timing in your caravan. If I'm right, then this blog may be of interest to you?

 

Brian

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Living simpler is a good plan but the costs will come from pitch fees won't it?

 

Travellers don't pay they just stop where they like.

 

I can stay on a CL but with electrics and all £10 per night is a bit steep fulltime. (cheaper than a mortgage I suppose)

 

Having no fixed address may cause a few problems with mail at times. What address do you use for your many official documents etc?

 

Best of luck. Wish I could had the freedom to give it a go.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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I have come across many who live full time in their caravans or motorhomes, but always abroad. We spent a year touring Europe 2008-9 and are planning to do this again next year. We sold our house to buy the caravan and towcar, investing the balance to buy our retirement home when we got back. Friends and family thought we were brave and adventurous as long as we were abroad, but when we spent three months in the UK looking for, and then waiting purchase of, a house, our daughter was embarrassed because we were "travellers"!

 

Lefthanddown says £10 a night at a CL works out expensive, but you are not only saving on a mortgage but also electric, water, sewage, council tax, house insurance etc. etc. , so £10 a night is cheap!. And living in a caravan full time is perfectly feasible as long as you accept the limitations in wardrobe size.

 

I've had a look at Brian's link, looks an excellent website.

 

Where you will run into difficulties is state bureaucracy. To get car insurance you need a permanent address. Likewise to be registered with a doctor, to preserve your NI contributions, your tax situation. What you need is a family member or close friend who is prepared to allow you to use their home as your accommodation address. They can look after your mail and forward whatever is necessary to where you are at the time.

 

Good luck with your enterprise.

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Hi thanks to Benwickrambler for recommending our site! I can honestly say its the best thing that we have ever done.

 

We have been full timing since August 26th 2010, survived the cold winter and enjoyed the summer, all is well in our world.

 

We both work full time, we are not travellers or gypsies we just got fed up with the high price of renting, our outgoings were almost £1300 per month to rent. So with a budget of £12 per night including electric and we get through on average 1 x 6kg bottle of propane at £25 per month, You dont have to be a rocket scientist to do the maths!

 

Its a great way to live and far better than bricks and mortar, we have a lunar lexon 640 with an island bed (a must for us) a full size awning, and a small porch awning for when we are staying only a few nights and we tow with a Mitsubishi Pajero 2. 8 LWB.

 

If you want any advice on any aspects of living full time in your caravan, then please feel free to get in touch with us, either on here, or directly from out blog, the link is posted in the above post.

 

Happy full time campers are us!!

 

Jools & "M"

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Quote. .......We both work full time, we are not travellers or gypsies.

 

Are you allowed to stay on a single site for long periods without breaking any rules?

I understand CL's and CS's have a set limit.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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28 days is the maximum time you can stay on a site, but we tend to keep it to 3 weeks at a time, during the summer as we do alot of vintage rallies as exhibitors we were moving almost weekly! During the winter we max out on the time. , The sites like it as they have confirmed income over the quiet months!

We have had no problems with this at all from any of the sites that we have stayed at.

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I'd love to live in a caravan full time too rather than have the mortgage, council tax and all the other sky high bills. I've always said I will when the kids are older and have flown the nest, or leave them the house and me and OH ***** off in the caravan then gatecrash them when visiting :D

Compass Shadow 1988

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Hi,I very rarely post on forums,of any kind,in fact,this is my first post on here. We(me and the Missus)live full time in our 'van,have done for 6 years, Before fulltiming,we lived on a canalboat(a Widebeam,not a narrowboat)and before that I virtually lived in a 'van fulltime,as it was my "home on the road"whilst working away(we had a house back then). It's a great way to live if you are "cut out" for this way of living. Being half Romany by birth(Father was a Romany, Mother wasn't)I guess I was made for a life on the road,my Missus,on the other hand,took a while to get used to it,but she too,would not go back to a "settled" way of living.

 

Yes,there are naysayers and doomongers(they walk among us!)that will try to put you off,but unless they've tried it for themselves,(most haven't)then they are not in a position to advise.

 

There are many myths put about by the ill-informed,One such myth is that you need a "permanent" address for DVLA,implying that you need to live at that address. Not true! The address on your license needs to be the address at which DVLA can contact you at,you do not have to live at that address! I use my business address for all documents.

 

Although I don't know "Jools & M",(They're not too far away from us) I do read their blog from time to time,and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to go fulltiming. There's a lot of useful information/tips on there for the novice fulltimer.

 

My tip is,if you're going to do it,do it with a German ';van!

 

PS. We both work(I'm self-employed since 1971),we both pay tax,all our vehicles,cars,truck and motorcycles are fully legal and wherever we pitch,we only leave footprints. Proper travelling folk,and proud of it.

 

Coop

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Hi thanks to Benwickrambler for recommending out site! I can honestly say its the best thing that we have ever done.

 

We have been full timing since August 26th 2010, survived the cold winter and enjoyed the summer, all is well in our world.

 

We both work full time, we are not travellers or gypsies we just got fed up with the high price of renting, our outgoings were almost £1300 per month to rent. So with a budget of £12 per night including electric and we get through on average 1 x 6kg bottle of propane at £25 per month, You dont have to be a rocket scientist to do the maths!

 

Its a great way to live and far better than bricks and mortar, we have a lunar lexon 640 with an island bed (a must for us) a full size awning, and a small porch awning for when we are staying only a few nights and we tow with a Mitsubishi Pajero 2. 8 LWB.

 

If you want any advice on any aspects of living full time in your caravan, then please feel free to get in touch with us, either on here, or directly from out blog, the link is posted in the above post.

 

Happy full time campers are us!!

 

Jools & "M"

 

I had a read of that last night but will be having a look in more depth. Our caravans are only ever on seasonal pitches due to me not driving with health problems so would need to be an all year site for me but I doubt that would be a problem.

 

I think it would be a great way to live and also, you could still work. I too am self employed although from home so would need to sort out a contact address unless I kept the house on or passed it to the kids but really sounds great :D

Compass Shadow 1988

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Hi Coop, yes I would say look at German vans as well, another popular myth put about is that they are not excepted on sites! So tell me when was the last time when booking a site were you asked the make and model of your van? We have never been asked!

Our next van will be a Hobby, Penny for Penny you cant go wrong.

But in saying that we have had no problems with our Lunar Lexon 640 it stands up well to full time living, and if that isnt a test then nothing is!

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Also, regarding your address, a little known service from the Royal Mail, is that if you are staying local to where you previously live you can have your post held at the sorting office and you collect it. The cost - free! No wonder it is not advertised. But, please check this out as I havent done for a while so things may of changed!

You can overcome any challenge if you put your mind to it, its not about cheating or dodging the system, its about using it to your best advantage.

Oh and Coop thanks for the comment on the blog - much appreciated!

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We have met a few full timers, and they all have a residential address somewhere, usually a relative or close friend. This address is used for all business matters like Banking, National Insurance, Licence, Car Tax, Pensions (or whatever benefits they are getting). We have never yet met any people living legitimately without a permanent address. I think it would be very difficult to "opt out"

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Hey,

 

I'm 28 and was convinced by my parents who live in a large Coachman Mirage motorhome - to move in to my van. ...

 

I've been living in my ABI Ace Globetrotter (1994) for about a month - maybe 6 weeks now. .. I can honestly say I love it. . I'm on a very basic site, and I moved from renting a 3 bedroomed house, to the van. ..

 

The cost difference is amazing. .. My house with all the bills etc cost me £1400 avg a month. .. My current lifestyle, is £420 - Since getting rid of sky and changing to freesat I now also get HD TV for free. .. I have Broadband too. ..

 

The difference is space, although obviously the full sized awning helps with that :) - I dont have a cooker in my van, but I do have a microwave/grill/oven thingy which is great. I've just used my first can of gas, so now £18 for that to fill up :)

 

That being said, I've never had such a big garden, I walk around the lake twice a day with my small little dog - who loves it :)

 

The hardest thing for me is water / waste. .... Emptying the toilet (see my other thread about C2 Toilets) is frustrating if you are on a site which doesnt have a toilet block, or if you have a weak bladder etc. .. and I have just bought a second AquaRoll to stop running out of water so quickly. ...

 

Other than that, if you do have a fixed bed and you are converting a sofa area etc to a bed then make sure its up to the job, I'm a fairly large guy and so I have been up to Wickes and bought 2 x 2ft by 6ft thick sheets of wood and placed them over the bed area to strengthen it up - now I get no movement or creaking etc. .. I do leave my bed up all the time. ..

 

As for addresses I use my aunt - who lives down the road from me, so all my insurance, aa, dvla, banking, etc is all covered there :) - The alternative is a PO Box if you are staying in that area, but DVLA and insurance wont use them, nor will couriers etc. .. and the cost is about £100 per 6 months. .. not really worth it imo if you know and trust someone to handle the mail :)

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PS. We both work(I'm self-employed since 1971),we both pay tax,all our vehicles,cars,truck and motorcycles are fully legal and wherever we pitch,we only leave footprints. Proper travelling folk,and proud of it.

 

Coop

As is the case with many "travellers". It is a pity that the rest of them give the travelling community such a bad name.

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We do not have to pay council tax as this is based on the rateable value of the property and not the individual, as we dont have a property we dont pay, but, this is factored into the site fee's as the site owners pay higher rates etc, so its an indirect payment. This is not us getting out of it, for once, this is the system working in our favour!

As we do not have a permanent place of residence then we are not eligible for it. hence the 28 day rule, any longer than 28 days in one place and we are classed as permanent and would be liable for council tax.

The better the site with more facilities the higher the fee's as you would expect as the owners are taxed more.

Hope that clears that up?

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@Norfolkguyuk that sounds ideal, we have an Abi Ace Ambassador, very similar to you I assume and i'd love to live in it! It's on a seasonal pitch where the owners are really flexible and although it's "seasonal" they let you use it over winter although no EHU / Toilet blocks until the new heated toilet block goes in.

 

Like I say the kids are still young and wouldn't want to uproot them from school but me and OH both would live in the caravan, maybe one day when the kids are older.

 

Reading this thread's making me jealous :D

Compass Shadow 1988

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