Jump to content

Hello


Brighty
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all

New here and new to caravanning.

Just in the initial stages of looking into getting a van. We went to look at a few new and used ones at a dealer near us at the weekend.

We're a family of 4, 3. 5yr old boy and 2yr old girl, so we're looking for a 4 berth.

Layout we prefer, I think, after looking at a few at the weekend is side single dinette for the kids, bathroom at back, as fixed beds seems to make the vans bigger and/or feel cramped. Although we liked the idea of 2 fixed single beds for the kids in a separate area to the rear, they all had bathroom right at the back meaning we'd have to open the curtain/door to their 'bedroom' at night and walk through to go to the loo, hence we are looking at side dinette layouts.

Caravans seem to have got a lot bigger since I was a lad holidaying with my parents & brother in a tiny little thing with rear single dinette with a hammock type thing above and side toilet, no shower.

Luckily had a chat with a salesman at the weekend who filled me in on the whole kerb weight vs MPTLM 85% thing, so that's my next step, find the kerb weight for my car (old shape 98-03 Saab 9-3 convertible), as I think we will be pretty close or poss over the 85% when considering vans with a MTPLM of 1320kg or so, such as the 1999 Bailey Pageant Champagne we were looking at.

For a first timer like us, do you think we would be best buying from a dealer who offer warranties etc.(Bailey mentioned above came with 12 month warranty for £3800) knowing we would be paying over the odds AND have to buy all the extras on top, such as awning, aqua roll, waste hauler, electric cables etc etc. Or should we go the private route, via autotrader, ebay or classifieds here to get a good 'all in one' deal, but with the risk of no warranty?

 

Thanks

 

Brighty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome Brighty.

 

We as a group of enthusiasts, have a wide range of opinions. In my opinion I would buy off a dealer so that you have a warranty on your first van. The warranty is likely to be 3 months.

 

However others have very successfully bought private and saved themselves a bit. It is horses for courses. There also have been nightmare stories of newbies buying privately and ending up with rubbish. However the %age of those is low and forums often show the problems people have had and, not so often, the people who bought and are very happy.

 

I bought 3 vans off 2 different dealers and have been very happy.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Brighty and welcome.

 

What you ask is a difficult question to answer, buy from a dealer or via auto trader. I have done both over 30 years.

 

My first van even came with pots & pans as well as knives & forks and every thing else. Did not have to buy a thing. Only a tow bar.

I was lucky and found a workmate who was selling up as he was finishing with caravanning and coming up to retirement and was looking to hotels & ships for holidays.

If you can find one like that and buy a well kept & serviced caravan with all bits & bobs from a person finishing caravanning then go for it.

 

If not use a dealer you can take it back to if you have problems. A bit the same as buying a used car.

In the cars case you might be buying a 3 year old car because the guy changes his car every 3 years.

 

Good Luck

 

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just bought a van from a dealer and I managed to negotiate a 6 month warranty, service, aqua roll, waste master, step, two free nights at their site and some other bits and bobs included in the deal. I also knocked them down on price. If you a cash buyer like I was go for as much as possible. If you don't ask you don't get.

 

Cheers

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankyou for the replies

 

Guess i'll keep an eye out for an all in one private deal, but also trawl the local dealers.

 

Teesside caravans near me that we visited at the weekend do 12 month warranty on all used vans above £2. 5k or so, even the £3. 8k 1999 Bailey Pageant Champagne the wife fell for had the 12 month warranty, which is reassuring, assuming it's worth the paper it's written on. The saleman did indicate that as a cash buyer, there would be a decent bit of movement on price and/or accessories thrown in.

 

Now I know my kerb weight and that matches with 1325kg vans are ok (see tow car section), next step is to get a towbar sorted.

 

Thanks

 

Brighty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all

 

Just a little update

 

Not long after I posted this, we decided that a 5 berth offered the best layout for us, keeping to a sensible MPTLM, as it gave us a bedroom area to shut the kids away in at the rear with a double bed for them to share for now while they're v young, then the eldest can go up in the bunk once he's a touch older. Only downside to this is a smaller side bathroom, but felt the compromise was worth it over squeezing the 2 kids into a side dinette right next to the living area.

 

Anyway, viewed a 5 berth that was on for private sale, bit out of our price range on gumtree at £5k, but viewed it anyway as we'd yet to have a proper look at a 5 berth of the age we were after. Found out it was also on an ebay auction so kept an eye on it, then chucked in a sneaky last minute bit of £3. 7k and won it, yay.

 

So we are now the proud owners of a 2003 Elddis Advantage Explorer 505 with full awning and all the water/waste carriers, hookup cables etc etc we need to get us started.

 

To top if off it's currently on a seasonal pitch that's all paid up till end of next month, so we get to try it out before we have to tow it home. We've already had 2 weekends there and it's all going well.

 

Had the van serviced and it got a clean bill of health, including the dreaded damp, only issue is it needs new tyres.

 

Happy days

 

Cheers

 

Brighty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome :) Enjoy your new caravan :)

Jeep Grand Cherokee S Limited

2014 Crusader Storm :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...