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Looking For A New Van At The Mo!


Gazhyde

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This is just a thought I had earlier today. I am looking at replacing my van in the next 6 months, and obviously there is loads of feedback (good and bad) on here about particular makes and models.

 

For example, there have been loads of negative issues/points raised against Bailey in the time I have been here (for fairness, also about Avondale, and a couple of others). What I cant tell, is how popular each manufacturer is, to make an unbiased decision on each make.

 

Is it possible for a 'poll' to be set up to capture what make of van people have, so I can balance it against the amount of good and bad points raised recently. It only needs to be number of people buying a particular manufacturer at this point in time.

 

I feel this would then allow me (and others) to see if there are a large amount of 'Bailey' owners, making the number of issues a small percentage.

 

I only say this, because I am tempted by a Bailey (because of the spec and low prices), but concerned about the feedback I have read.

 

Does this make sense? It does in my head, but not so much now I have typed it up.

 

Thanks, Gaz

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Gaz

 

Difficult for me to comment on other makes as our last two vans have been from Sterling (part of the Swift Group) The first one was a Europa 460 new in 1998 and we kept this for 6 years. In 2004 we took delivery of a Sterling Eccles Topaz which is one step up from the Europa. Have to say we have been very please with both vans and if we were buying a new van we would first start with this brand. Obviously look at other makes but have not seen anything that really persuades us to change.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

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

 

Caravan Travels

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We have just traded in our old Coachman, which at nearly eight years old was in spectacular condition - and I wouldn't say we were particularly careful owners. We had it for five of those years, and spent nothing on it but routine servicing and one set of tyres. I would have kept it for many more years, but it was just too small for my family. I pick my new Avondale up in a few weeks, and I will post on my initial impressions. If it is half as good as my Coachman, I will be a happy chappy.

One thing to bear in mind: if you have growing kids (I seem to remember you do), within a few years they will probably have outgrown the bunks. My eldest was 10 when I bought the van, and he fit very nicely on the bottom bunk. By the time he was 13, however, he had to either sleep in the tent or on the floor. Granted, he was 5' 10'', but it has made our life difficult.

Good luck in your search!

Cheers

James

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Was it you that was looking at the Ace Award Nightstar, I looked at that layout and I think its great, with a separate shower too, stick to that if I was you.

 

We are pleased with our Ace.

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Guest Hobbybod
This is just a thought I had earlier today.   I am looking at replacing my van in the next 6 months, and obviously there is loads of feedback (good and bad) on here about particular makes and models.

 

For example, there have been loads of negative issues/points raised against Bailey in the time I have been here (for fairness, also about Avondale, and a couple of others). What I cant tell, is how popular each manufacturer is, to make an unbiased decision on each make.

.   . . .

Thanks, Gaz

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Gaz, if it's feedback you want then have a look at the CC Quality and Reliability Surveys (around June, July, August, IIRC); far more comprehensive than any poll here.

 

Suitability of layouts etc. is a very personal thing, so a poll on that might not be much help.

 

I did precisely what you're contemplating about 4 years ago, looking at price, warranties, service costs & availability, chassis, and weights etc. as well as layout.

 

And the result of my prolonged internet searches and deliberations is plain to see!!!

 

If you ask individual folks about their 'vans you'll find some who swear by them, (like David with Swift), and some who swear at them, (like me, and some friends, with Swift)!!

 

A consideration may be how often you are prepared to change the 'van.

 

If for 2-3yrs then you're likely covered for that time, although it may be 'off the road' for a while any warrantied repairs are carried out, and they don't cover you for loss of use!!

 

If you are going to keep it a while, then a major consideration would be quality & reliability, as well as a decent warranty period. Hence the decision I came to. (No Brit 'van offered a warranty >1 year at the time!!)

 

But 'chacun son goût' as the Frenchies say!

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Short and sweet - Bailey because with caravan build issues generally, you want a maker who's going to sort any problems WELL. Bailey seem to build good value for money caravans with 6 year water ingress warranties which must say something.

 

We had a 550/6 and swapped to a 510/4L - no probs with either to speak of.

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I can only say I am more than happy with my Pageant Provence after the first 12 months. I bought from a dealer nearly 200 miles away and in the first 12 months did not have to visit the dealer once. There were a couple of minor issues which I was able to deal with myself or wait for the first service. The 'van is used at least every other weekend through the year.

I have to admit to thinking about changing in the next 12 months - the reason, I am still gaining experience with a caravan and having only started 18 months ago with an Abbey 2 berth got fed up making the bed every night. Thought the twin dinette, seperate shower, Provence would be ideal but now realise a fixed bed is really the solution. The next 'van will definately be a Bailey and the model, the series 5 Senator Wyoming. Fixed bed, end bathroom.

It also all depends on the dealer and my dealer has been superb. Incidentally, I am not too sure what build issues there have been but I can only go by experience and the issues I have had have been resolved without any problems at all.

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Well I have an Elddis Avanté (Explorer group) I am very glad I got it, its perfect for us, and we did a lot of homework before buying it, and laid on a lot of caravan beds, we looked at a lot of second hand vans at 2 to 3 years old, just to see what they wore like, inside and out.

My gripes are more with the dealer, not with the manufacturer, (they have been brilliant with us)

 

I have found lots of things that could make it better,

but have found out now, that they are already on this years higher ranges :o , many that I hadn't thought about :rolleyes:

 

I will buy another Elddis, but from a recommended dealer :)

 

I was looking at Baileys this weekend while at the bonfire rally, and as you say they look good. What are they like for parts :mellow: I was under the impression that they were pretty good :)

 

I hope you can get a van that you are happy with

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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If you ask individual folks about their 'vans you'll find some who swear by them, (like David with Swift), and some who swear at them, (like me, and some friends, with Swift)!!

 

Steady on Doc, was not banging the drum for Swift generally but Sterling in particular. I appreciate that it is easy for people to think that all Swift brand caravans are the same but I beg to differ on that point. I know you might accuse me of a 'Mandy Rich-Davis moment' well he would say that!!! Interestingly I have heard others comment positively on Sterlings but not so favourable on Swifts. Appreciate that it defies logic!

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

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

 

Caravan Travels

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Was it you that was looking at the Ace Award Nightstar, I looked at that layout and I think its great, with a separate shower too, stick to that if I was you.

 

We are pleased with our Ace.

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Yes it was, and likewise very happy with my Ace! Very pleased with the build quality, and not (touch wood!) had a problem with it. Its definitely on my list. ..

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Gaz, if it's feedback you want then have a look at the CC Quality and Reliability Surveys (around June, July, August, IIRC); far more comprehensive than any poll here.

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Hobbybod,

 

I get your point about the survey, and have read it before. The information you get on this board tends to be more specific and detailed. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, you also get to see how good/bad the problems are dealt with (and this includes the dealers, not just the manufacturer).

 

Thanks for the feedback! Gaz

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Gaz we are now on our second new Abbey and have had no problems, gripes etc.

You need to sort out what layout you want - fixed bed? end kitchen? end washroom? L shaped lounge? Bunks? etc. etc.

You will then decide which Manufacturers Caravans best suit your needs. If you are lucky you will get it right first time and have a perfect Van with no faults etc. However if you are unlucky and get a 'Friday' Van . ...............

In my opinion ALL Manufacturers will sell an occassional 'lemon'. No matter how much 'research' you do some luck does come into the issue as we all know from buying Cars.

Don't torment yourself too much - gut instinct, good judgment and a good Dealer will all help to alleviate your worries [which I can well understand].

Good hunting and good luck.

Mike :)

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I recently (July) bought an Adria. ..which I am absolutely delighted with. :D

 

There are several members of CT2 who also have Adrias and you'll be hard pushed to find anyone with a bad word to say about them. :):)

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As someone else has commented - you'll get good and bad reactions about the same van from different folk.

 

However, as someone who lives in his for about 7-9 months of the year on site working, for the last 3 years we have had a Compass Rallye 534 (fixed bed). Couldn't fault it and hope that its replacement (Elddis Sunseeker 534 - same layout) is the same.

 

It was changed, as at 3 years old so that we got a decent value on change.

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Gaz we are now on our second new Abbey and have had no problems, gripes etc.

You need to sort out what layout you want - fixed bed? end kitchen? end washroom? L shaped lounge? Bunks? etc. etc.

 

Don't torment yourself too much - gut instinct, good judgment and a good Dealer will all help to alleviate your worries [which I can well understand].

Good hunting and good luck.

Mike :)

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I know the layout I want, and have found about 4 vans which seem perfect. Ranging from 11k up to just under 15k. One of the favourites being from the same model range I have already. My current van is rock solid so far, and wouldnt change it if we liked the current layout.

 

I think your comment about getting a 'good' dealer is the answer. Had plenty of good feedback in another thread about dealers. Will at some stage do some visiting (when I am allowed to drive again).

 

The only concerns I have had about reliability, is that some makes/models seem to be posted about on this forum more than others. I am just curious if this is because there are far more owners of that type, than others.

 

Will have to make a decision at some stage - still at the stage of raking through the glossy magazines (caravan!) at the momemnt!

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We also have an Adria, fantastic value for money and seems to be resisting to the punishment my two boys give it.

 

Bought it because it came with things as standard you have to pay extra for normally i. e. spare wheel and fly screens (by this I mean on the cheaper van ranges, not your mid to high end specs).

 

Can't fault it!

Nissan X-trail 2. 2 DCi - 2005 Adria Altea 502 DK,2 well-behaved boys who I am immensely proud of!!

(Also a 1990 VW Golf Convertible, which definately does not tow anything!!!)

 

This post is not meant to intentionally offend anybody

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I opted for an Adria after much deliberation with the main reasons being:

 

Good Specification per £

 

Good Choice of Layout

 

Good weights (Light)

 

I am collecting mine soon so I can't comment on reliability but everything I have read (both in the caravan press and on forums like this one) leads me to believe that I have made a good choice.

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Had a 2004 Adria adora, great value for money, but a bit lacking in quality, like plastic hinges that kept coming apart, no carpets, work surfaces that seemed to expand. ..

 

Traded it against a 2004 Bailey Ranger 500/5, no comparison quality wise. The Bailey wins hands down easily IMHO. You get what you pay for.

 

Just my 2 cents worth. .. B)

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Had a 2004 Adria adora, great value for money, but a bit lacking in quality, like plastic hinges that kept coming apart, no carpets, work surfaces that seemed to expand. ..

 

Traded it against a 2004 Bailey Ranger 500/5, no comparison quality wise.   The Bailey wins hands down easily IMHO. You get what you pay for.

 

Just my 2 cents worth. .. B)

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Interesting. ..

 

One of the things we like about our Adria is that it doesn't have carpet. It's just so much easier to keep clean!! Horses for courses and all that.

 

I haven't really noticed any quality issues with ours, everything seems pretty solid.

 

Then again, the main things for us (apart from price) were layout and bed size, the Adria fitted the bill. We did see others we like too though and would probably have got an equal amount of enjoyment out of one of those, had we gone down that route. I'm not sure the name on the outside is actually that important. ...

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We did see others we like too though and would probably have got an equal amount of enjoyment out of one of those, had we gone down that route.   I'm not sure the name on the outside is actually that important. ...

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Jim, you are quite right. We enjoyed our time in the Adria, but a change of towcar forced us to rethink the caravan. We went for a lighter Bailey Ranger, but that was all that was available at the right price at the time. It was only then that we realised that we preferred the Bailey and noticed the slight 'faults' with the Adria. However we are now changing yet again, as we have decided that we prefer the fixed bed option along with fixed bunks if possible, which means we will be looking at continental caravans, ie. Hobby.

 

I suppose the really important thing is that we are all happy with our caravans, as we pay good money for them and spend our precious spare time in them, and as you said, not sure the name on the outside is actually that important. .. Very true.

 

Enjoy.

 

B)

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