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Starting The Process Of Buying A Caravan


BryanH
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Really after any general advice from the experts.

 

After a couple of years of borrowing my sisters caravan, we have decided to buy our own.

 

We are decided on the layout, 6 berth, fixed end bunks, and have managed to look at a few last year, mainly bailey 550/6 and Avondale dart 556.

 

I'm finding it difficult to understand the order of "quality" amongst all the caravan makes/models, such as is the bailey ranger considered "better" than the Avondale dart. Also, are there other makes anyone would particularly recommend?

 

We have a limited budget of around £6500, so I'm not sure if I should go and visit a couple of dealers and ask for them to keep an eye out for a caravan which meets our requirements, or to risk buying private.

 

Any initial thoughts would be much appreciated.

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I would recommend that you stay away from the Avondale, make sure you check ALL areas of the caravan for water ingress wether your buying privately or from a dealer.

Edited by Caravanmedicswindon

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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I would recommend that you stay away from the Avondale, make sure you check ALL areas of the caravan for water ingress wether your buying privately or from a dealer.

I assume they don't have a good reputation then? I must admit, we have looked at about 3 of them, and although I like the layout I was not too impressed with the quality.

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I assume they don't have a good reputation then? I must admit, we have looked at about 3 of them, and although I like the layout I was not too impressed with the quality.

No longer in business!

Sadly no van anymore but 35 years was a good run

John

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It's not about reputation, they tend to be just as badly built as many other caravans. The reason that I would keep away from them is spare part availability. ....the appliances are ok for parts as they are the same as fitted to many other makes of caravan but if you need things like trim, shaped rails, windows, doors etc they won't be available so if you need to maintain or repair the caravan it will be a problem.

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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Wow! Thanks for the info. I have lots to learn :)

Stick to Swift, Bailey, Elddis, Coachman . They all have different brands within their ranges.

For what you want to pay I would look for a Swift.

Sadly no van anymore but 35 years was a good run

John

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Be careful when buying any model secondhand caravan!!!! Especially Avondale

Driving Nissan Navara 2013.

 

Bailey Pegasus Verona 2014.

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Have you tried the Caravan Finder website, can search by berth, layout etc. Lots of dealers put their 2nd hand stock on here.

 

http://www. caravanfinder. co. uk/caravans. html

I've started looking on there and the autotrader website which seem to have a good selection and search engines.

 

I live on the south coast and there doesn't seem much available near that area

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Nothing wrong with Avondales Parts are available and to be honest we have had ours 7 years no problems As good a build as any of the others

 

If you go to the Avondale Section you will see there are parts available if they will ever be needed

 

http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/forum/16-avondale-caravans/

Edited by Rita
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Looks like a good one here

I think you are going to have to travel to find one at your price level.

You haven't said what you are towing with?

Edited by Jslocks

Sadly no van anymore but 35 years was a good run

John

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Looks like a good one here

I think you are going to have to travel to find one at your price level.

You haven't said what you are towing with?

I think you are right about having to travel.

 

I've got a 2. 2ltr diesel ford smax

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Bryan

Excellent towcar. ..and I've sent you a PM. re a possible van.

Where are you approx. ?

Gobur Carousel 12/2 TD

Coachman Amara 380/2

Swift Challenger Hi Style 425 pushing a Ford Kuga AWD

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Bryan,

As your experience of caravanning is limited and this will be your first caravan purchase I 'd suggest that you might be best to avoid buying privately since it would be all too easy to get yourself landed with a lemon. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of dealers out there who would not be above palming you off with something dodgy but at least you would have some legal comeback if you did find yourself having been stung. In a private sale it's very much a case of "Let the buyer beware"

 

The 2. 2 S-Max is quite a competent towcar but you still to be careful about achieving a good balance between car and caravan, especially since you are looking for a 6 berth. Before you commit yourself to buying any particular caravan I'd recommend that you check the outfit match via the Caravan Club website. If you are not experienced in towing I'd suggest that you choose a caravan whose loaded weight is no more than 85% of the kerbweight of your towcar.

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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Stick to Swift, Bailey, Elddis, Coachman . They all have different brands within their ranges.

For what you want to pay I would look for a Swift.

Don't forget Lunar, they have been around a long time and produce as good a quality vans as others and their Quasar range has a good choice of family layouts and tend to be more lightweight. As others have said make sure you have a thorough damp survey carried out before you make the deal, even better if you can get a mobile engineer to carry one out for you independently.

2015 Swift Challenger 530SE & 2017 VW Tiguan R-line 4Motion 2.0TDI 150BHP

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It's as Caravan Medic says, They are ALL subject to damp issues and some have problems with spares. Have you not got a friend who would go with you to look at any intended purchase? Is there a mobile engineer who would inspect it for you after you have seen the model you THINK is the one for you?.. Use your nose, stick it in cupboards, under bunks, around the wheel arches.

It is a minefield out there, make no mistake, a professional is worth their weight in gold. £50 spent on a survey could save you hundreds later on. All the best. ...Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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highlandman post 16 :goodpost:

 

My choice for £6500 would be a dealer buy.

 

Choose a largish dealer that has been around for 30 plus years.

 

There are plenty of them.

 

Buy locally that way you can avoid a nightmare trek if things go wrong.

 

Read of those nightmare trips on this forum!!!

 

You will/should get a 6 month guarantee-you will pay for it of course-the dealer just gets insurance-which you will pay for!!

 

Ownership of used caravans is a nightmare-read the threads.

 

Dealer buys will eradicate buying a dodgy provenance van.

 

ALWAYS ask for a dampness test before buying-or D-I-Y it like I do- a dampness meter is only £15.

 

There is no way I would be parting with £6500 to a private individual for a caravan!

 

PS I am not a caravan dealer or a relative of anyone in the trade :D.

 

Good luck if you are buying privately you will need it :D.

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If you go for an early (2000 to 2005) model Avondale you shouldn't really go wrong.

 

Remember caravans are just like houses, the older the better built. Just because you live in a 1890 terrace house doesn't mean you bath in cold water in front of the coal fire. So just if you buy a 1990's or early 2000's caravan it doesn't have to be dated. I've got a 2001 Avondale 556/6 and we all love it. I've upgraded to the digital aerial, fitted a motor mover, fitted LED lights and had new tailored curtains made. It's got years in her yet as its perfect low weight 6 berth. With proper built 'tinted' windows that are bolted by the window brackets and CANNOT split and suffer delamination like new vans.

 

The Avondales from this era were built well, as the company hasn't entered financial difficulty at this stage so hasn't started to perhaps cut corners as they did in say 2006/7 models onwards.

 

Remember there's many many fantastic cars in the road today built by British companies that sadly are no longer with us. It certainly doesn't detract from the cars quality.

 

Just a thought.

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Nothing wrong with Avondales Parts are available and to be honest we have had ours 7 years no problems As good a build as any of the others

 

If you go to the Avondale Section you will see there are parts available if they will ever be needed

 

http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/forum/16-avondale-caravans/

The best make we owned, a 1987 vintage Avondale Mayfly,,, non of the mod cons, but was as dry as a bone, and so easy to tow,, wish we had never got rid of it, parts were not a problem either, however maybe we were lucky as we never needed any parts

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Don't forget to look at Adria's. They are really well built and good value for money.

regards

Lester Rope

VW Passat 2. 0 SE TDi followed by Adria Adora 612DP Lunar Champ H621 - we have moved to the dark side

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When looking at second hand caravans I would always buy from a dealer and ensure that a warranty was included. I would also try and get the top of the range of any make. For instance the Bailey Senator, the Swift Conqueror but this may not be possible with your required layout. They do command a premium but their resale value a few years down the line tends to stays high. As this is you first caravan try and get the battery, ehu lead, gas bottle, pigtail and waste and water containers thrown in. People who are part exchanging would have all these already. ......this might not be possible though. And even an awning :)

 

Have fun.

2007 Bailey Series 5 Senator Arizona (4 berth, rear bathroom, side dinette) towed by a 57 Kia Sorento XS Auto with Kumho KL17 tyres, Reich Mover, Kampa Rally 390, Caravan Tyres : GT Radial Maxmiler CX 185/80 R14 102R.

 

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