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New To Caravanning, Looking For Advice Please


GillH
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Hi, we are researching caravans and hoping to look at some this weekend. Any advice on choosing a starter 2 berth caravan would be appreciated. We are going to look at an Abbey Expression 470 2 berth 2003, Swift Challenger 480 SE 2002 and Bailey Pageant Monarch Series 6 2008. We would be using it for touring, so would like it to be light. I was wondering if the upholstery on the older models would still be comfortable for sleeping. Also, would people recommend buying from a dealer rather than private? Thanks in advance.

GH

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My advice would be to go for a 4 berth instead of a 2 berth as you will really appreciate the extra room & your towcar can handle most models quite easily. There should be plenty of fixed beds out there which you can make very comfortable indeed by adding a memory foam mattress topper to. If you do stick with a 2 berth, as a general rule the later the year, the better the upholstery as foam filling was replaced by sprung seating in later models.

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Thanks Les for your advice - can't go longer than about 21 feet though.

GH


Hi everyone and thanks for having me by the way. This forum is excellent for information.

GH

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Hi Gill and welcome :) our Senator Vermont is a 2 berth and is 21' including A frame, has a huge end bathroom and is perfect for the two of us. Ours is a 2006 and still very comfortable upholstery for sleeping. When the weathers good we tend to leave the beds made up and live in the awning for meals etc. Also nice and light to tow :)

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This is the advice I gave someone asking a similar question the other day,

 

One of the reasons there are so many layouts is that rarely do two people have the same idea of the important things in a van apart from the obvious lack of damp etc. so it is difficult to give advice. You need to go and sit in a few and then mentally go through a day, getting up do you want a fixed bed so no bed making or more space so make up the bed? Do you want an end washroom or do you feel that space is better for living space? How big a fridge do you need and how much space for preparing meals or will you mainly be eating out? How important is where the TV is and do you want to take away a Sky box or similar? Do you want big settees to entertain in the van or extra beds for guests to come along?

 

I do know that most people starting caravanning change their first van within a couple of years because they realise what they thought was the perfect layout for them isn't!

 

If you are interested in a Lunar Quasar 2005 two berth model I know where there is a nigh on perfect one up for sale at the moment with a genuine reason for the sale. Private message me if you would like details.

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My advice would be to go for a 4 berth instead of a 2 berth as you will really appreciate the extra room & your towcar can handle most models quite easily. There should be plenty of fixed beds out there which you can make very comfortable indeed by adding a memory foam mattress topper to. If you do stick with a 2 berth, as a general rule the later the year, the better the upholstery as foam filling was replaced by sprung seating in later models.

NO NO NO!!! a 2 berth has much more storage and a bigger shower room than it's equivalent 2 berth - I know I've switched to 2 :)

 

On the upholstery - agree my 2005 has sprung but some (cheaper/earlier/lower spec?) vans of that ilk use foam. but as it's normal for caravan seating/beds to be turned over to the "non-seating side" when making the bed up this reduces the wear on the sleeping side somewhat.

 

Fixed beds are OK if you can accommodate a long van, otherwise you loose living space and end up with a "bijou" shower room :)

 

The standard 2 berth layout of - end shower room, front dinette/sleeping area, centre kitchen - is available in most makes and certainly suits us, plus there are some pretty lightweight options - you could do worse than include mid 2000's Avondales in your look for list as well.

 

One fault that was prevalent on some manufacturer's 'vans in the mid 2000's were hairline cracks to the front ABS panels along the joint with the side panels. I know this occurs on Avondale models and also some of the others are prone to this fault but it's easy to spot if you're aware of it - and avoid :)

 

Jim

Edited by JamesF
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