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Bailey, Elddis, Swift?

Mar 14, 2005
2,926
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Difficult to say since we don't know your requirements.
I've owned two of the three makes you mention but would not do so again unless tone of them had something very special that happened to appeal.
If you can find the Ownership satisfaction surveys from previous years these may help a bit.
I've owned caravans with one small break since 1967 - many of the reported problems relate to the fittings rather than the basic caravan, and these tend to come from a limited range of suppliers regardless of the make of caravan. Heating systems (space and water) are a good example of the limited choice available.

Another consideration is your proximity to the dealer. Some people are temepted by special offers made by dealers a long way from their home location and then may find themselves having to make long and expensive trips to have warranty issues
fixed.
Remember your legal contract for quality and fitness for purpose is with the supplying dealer, not with the manufacturer.
 
Aug 27, 2019
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Thanks Ray.
I'm hoping to purchase an easy towing one, 2 berth.
The Elldis explorer 402, I believe, caught my eye, it was quite roomy and I liked the fact it had a separate shower, I believe it was a 2010 model a motor mover of course would be necessary, due to me travelling solo.
I also saw a Baileys that was similar.
I would purchase close to home
 
Jan 19, 2002
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If you are buying a 2010 van then the care and attention of the previous owner(s) is likely to be more important than the badge on the front. Look for a good service record and recent damp report. YOur eyes and nose can often tell you a lot both inside and outside the van. You will find pristine vans out there, after all some owners will only have used them for a few nights a year! TYres should be no older than 5 ish years so check the date markings on the side walls. If you need to add a mover you will have a choice of several manufacturers manual engage cross actuated for under £700 fitted at your home, but obviously if you find a van with one already fitted it's potentially a good saving.
Happy hunting!
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
6,456
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Whatever make of van you go for, if you know very little about caravans and their weak points I strongly suggest that prior to purchase you get an independent mobile engineers pre purchase inspection, use any of the NCC Approved Workshops mobile engineers.
Yes it will cost some money but could save you a lot more should you find problems after purchase.

If a seller is reluctant to allow an inspection, walk away,,,,,they are hiding something !!

Ask a very direct question, " Are there any faults or problems with the van "

Also, get whoever is selling the van to physically show you everything working, NEVER take a sellers word that everything is working ,,,,,quite often it is not.
If buying privately you want to see service records and damp reports , if buying from a dealer again service reports and damp reports are a must as well as what kind of warranty he will provide.

A caravan purchase is a business deal, not a love affair, be ruled by your head, not your heart !!!!!
 
Jun 17, 2011
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All manufacturers have good and bad days. Choose the caravan you feel comfortable in. Check bed length, head room and whether you fit in the shower. Think about when you will use it, if in winter what will it feel like on a wet November evening? Essential to get it surveyed, or buy from a franchised dealer.
 
May 7, 2012
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I think that you do need to look at what you need in the way of layout and equipment first and then look round dealers to see what they look like in the flesh and what suits you.
There is not a lot between the makes but in the surveys held by the magazine and the C&CC, Eldiss have been consistently bottom for customer satisfaction and in the years where this has been asked for faults. Having said that they have produced many perfectly good examples and the other two have turned out some dogs so it is a bit pot luck. You can search the C&CC website to find the last survey.
If you know any caravanners I would get help from them and probably a good dealer is a better bet than a private sale for a newcomer. With second hand caravanners a recent damp check by a competent engineer is essential.
Do make sure the car is up to the job. The Caravan and motorhome club website has lots of useful information on buying, tow cars and licence requirements although if you need help on any of these there will be help here if you just ask.
 

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