Best caravan to live in for 6 months

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Feb 25, 2024
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Here’s the Practical Caravan review. They finished production around 2012/13 Forget when they first came onto the market.

Have you looked at Caravan and Motorhome Club classifieds. You get members selling because of age or health. Often with all of their kit too. Being a private sale an independent AWS inspection would be advised. A genuine seller should not object. Also check out the caravans previous service records they will show the details of damp surveys.

Good info there on the review..thanks for that OC.
I've not checked the C&MC classifieds because I thought you had to be a member but I'll definitely check it out, see what's available. It would be great to get something with just about everything I need rather than having to buy lots of extras. I've noticed that the majority of dealer caravans have very few extras besides maybe awnings and the motor mover thingamabobs. :D
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Looking at the Sprite Musketeer they are probably too recent for your budget.

The AWS mobile technicians are probably the best for you. This link goes to the home pages and you can search in your area, or if a van comes up away from you there should be some in other areas. The AWS site explains what areas of work are covered.

 
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Jun 20, 2005
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We had a Swift with twin dinette and the front lounge seats could be left as a double bed whilst the end dinette could be used for meals, paperwork etc. it was a very useful arrangement.
Good call. My 1986 Elddis Avante 505 was the same . The rear lounge became a semi permanent fixed bed. You don’t see many of that layout these days
 
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Good info there on the review..thanks for that OC.
I've not checked the C&MC classifieds because I thought you had to be a member but I'll definitely check it out, see what's available. It would be great to get something with just about everything I need rather than having to buy lots of extras. I've noticed that the majority of dealer caravans have very few extras besides maybe awnings and the motor mover thingamabobs. :D
Here is the link to Member Classifieds

 
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Jan 19, 2002
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Google search AWS technicians and look for your area.
Most popular water containers are Aquaroll and Wastemaster - both wheeled to save any carrying. If buying from a dealer see if they do a starter kit for all such essentials - or you do see them for sale second hand.
 
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Oct 19, 2023
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Heating and cooking. Gas is an expensive way to heat a caravan so you will need a means of connecting to the house electrics.
This was discussed in the thread below. Gas is more expensive if you're using small bottles. If you can switch to 47kg bottles or better still a refillable bottle it works out cheaper.

 
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This was discussed in the thread below. Gas is more expensive if you're using small bottles. If you can switch to 47kg bottles or better still a refillable bottle it works out cheaper.

Hoping that the temperatures should be rising a little by the time I've settled in and I'll just use the inbuilt heating system if it's a bit too cold to manage without. I'll definitely plump for the larger bottles if I need to though - no point in it being more expensive than it needs to be. :giggle:
 
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Having read through the other thread on electricity consumption, I noted the mention of some vans coping better with cold weather so had a tootle round the net and found out that vans with grade 3 insulation are pretty well suited to wintery conditions. Interesting to know the differences between different manufacturers and when they decided to increase insulation standards.

Bailey caravans have had grade three insulation since 2012
Hobby caravans have had grade three insulation since 2016
Swift caravans had made all their caravans with grade three insulation since 2010.
Elddis caravans have had grade three insulation since 2016

Not an exhaustive list, but gives me a bit of insight into which caravans would be easier to heat if need be.
 
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Having read through the other thread on electricity consumption, I noted the mention of some vans coping better with cold weather so had a tootle round the net and found out that vans with grade 3 insulation are pretty well suited to wintery conditions. Interesting to know the differences between different manufacturers and when they decided to increase insulation standards.

Bailey caravans have had grade three insulation since 2012
Hobby caravans have had grade three insulation since 2016
Swift caravans had made all their caravans with grade three insulation since 2010.
Elddis caravans have had grade three insulation since 2016

Not an exhaustive list, but gives me a bit of insight into which caravans would be easier to heat if need be.
Many caravans were the equivalent of grade three long before the grading system was introduced or were simply only tested at grade two - the tell-tale is whether the manufacturer made any changes from previous models to qualify for grade three when it was introduced.
 
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Having read through the other thread on electricity consumption, I noted the mention of some vans coping better with cold weather so had a tootle round the net and found out that vans with grade 3 insulation are pretty well suited to wintery conditions. Interesting to know the differences between different manufacturers and when they decided to increase insulation standards.

Bailey caravans have had grade three insulation since 2012
Hobby caravans have had grade three insulation since 2016
Swift caravans had made all their caravans with grade three insulation since 2010.
Elddis caravans have had grade three insulation since 2016

Not an exhaustive list, but gives me a bit of insight into which caravans would be easier to heat if need be.
:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: slight error in my thinking there. They might be warmer but they're also twice the price of earlier models!
Ya never know though, so still a consideration to keep in mind I guess.
 
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Many caravans were the equivalent of grade three long before the grading system was introduced or were simply only tested at grade two - the tell-tale is whether the manufacturer made any changes from previous models to qualify for grade three when it was introduced.
Ahh..I didn't realise that. Wonder if there's a way to find out which of the older vans are better insulated?
 
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Baileys were ok going back to 2000 at least - our 2001 Bailey Pageant was as well insulated as our 2013 Lunar, which is grade three.
Ahh that's good to know... thank you RogerL - I'll keep those in mind too now.

I had no idea there was SO much to know about caravans! :LOL:

Feeling a bit like a huge can of worms has been opened. For example, just been reading about Swift caravans moved to a Smart HT construction (completely wood free) which sounded great at first until I read that that too has had it's own structural problems.

So much to try and understand.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Many years ago we had a 2004 caravan bought brand new and we lived permanently in it for 2 /1/2 years. At the time refillable Safefill bottles were unheard of so we used a 45kg Calor gas bottle. No issue with loads of snow and we were cosy and warm so don't worry about insulation grade. Only thing you need worry about is council tax as your mom may have been getting a single person discount. Too much unnecessary doom and gloom. LOL! :ROFLMAO:
Redstone Park Feb 2007uk.jpg
 
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Ahh that's good to know... thank you RogerL - I'll keep those in mind too now.

I had no idea there was SO much to know about caravans! :LOL:

Feeling a bit like a huge can of worms has been opened. For example, just been reading about Swift caravans moved to a Smart HT construction (completely wood free) which sounded great at first until I read that that too has had it's own structural problems.

So much to try and understand.
One thing to bear in mind with the age of caravan you're considering - many will have Truma blown air heating, often with an underfloor run of ducting - most manufacturers didn't insulate this underfloor run resulting in cool outlets at some part of the caravan in cold weather - it's not difficult to insulate the pipe if you're ok with DIY but it does mean working under the caravan.
 
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Jul 12, 2023
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For your budget old Hymers are very liveable in, depending on your shower arrangements that is. Extremely well made, feel more modern inside than most of their same-age counterparts, with u shaped tables make a nicer living space IMHO. Well insulated too, and doesn't have external ducting for the blown air heating! (Seriously? Is that a thing?). Also don't really tend to leak from what I have experienced/seen/ heard from other owners.

The downside to Hymers is they are heavy, but yours isn't moving anyway so not a problem. That and also you become an insufferable Hymer owner who spends their whole time telling other caravan owners how their 20 year old caravan is warm, comfy, doesn't leak and none of the cupboards have fallen off the walls etc.

Only real issue is often a lack of separate shower cubicles in most models, so depends on what your plans are for the house as to whether that would be workable long term. The showers work fine, but the whole washroom gets a bit wet as the curtain arrangement only does so much.
 
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For your budget old Hymers are very liveable in, depending on your shower arrangements that is. Extremely well made, feel more modern inside than most of their same-age counterparts, with u shaped tables make a nicer living space IMHO. Well insulated too, and doesn't have external ducting for the blown air heating! (Seriously? Is that a thing?). Also don't really tend to leak from what I have seen / heard from other owners.

Only issue is often a lack of separate shower cubicles in most models, so depends on what your plans are for the house as to whether that would be workable long term. The showers work fine, but the whole washroom gets a bit wet as the curtain arrangement only does so much.
Definitely want heating duct in wetroom if using shower. Our little 2 berth has and it does great job of drying it out after shower, also doubles as drying room.
 
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Jul 12, 2023
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Also I wouldn't bother with the dedicated socket for the caravan, the parts to make your own 3 pin to ip67 16a caravan plug adapter will cost maybe £10-15 from cpc or the like then you have a properly sealed socket for your caravan to hook into plus a useful long term wall socket.


Remove the box off the second one, its hard to find orange/outdoor flex in small quantities so this is a good option since it has the plug too, and just wire it onto the socket. Will take all of 5 mins.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Good call..I'll measure the length from the outside tap to where the caravan will be sited. Am I thinking right with one aquaroll for fresh water and another for discharged water from sinks and shower? I am pretty much clueless as you can tell. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I'd definitely use a seating area for reading and watching the odd film or two so a bedroom area and seating would be great.
Do you think the Sterling Windward caravans are good quality over all and does this one seem reasonable for the price asked?

I wish I understood better a bit more of the ins and outs, does seem like it could be a bit of a minefield.
Looking at this pictures of this Sterling Windward caravan at York it looks nice inside and out but i would see if service book has been stamp up also check see a damp report . and probably go and view it but take a damp meter to check it yourself . he might put some extras in like a motor mover .the price looks very reasonable .
 
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I reckon this could be had for £5xxx. However there is no table in the picture. No table = no purchase in my opinion as they're integral to how the seats convert to make the 2nd double. However it gives you an idea of what you can get.

In mine which is not that different to this one we have a TV in the lounge area and one wall mounted on the end of the bed. Otherwise all mod cons are present and accounted for including Truma gas+electric heating and water, oven, 3 ring hob, fridge that works fine, we put a regular microwave in the cupboard above the hob. I changed out the wired in a few extras like USB A+C sockets, 4G aerial and solar, but thats all easy to do to get it up to modern standards.

If you buy one then be aware you need all the stuff like curtains, tables etc. (anything colour co-ordinated and model specific) to work right and be present as they're a pain to replace. However heating, taps etc. even roof lights are all still available to buy and so can be swapped easily 20 years on. I just bought a new kitchen tap for mine as it finally gave up the ghost with a decent crack appearing in the housing I couldn't repair. £70 for the whole assembly identical to the one that was in there.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Also I wouldn't bother with the dedicated socket for the caravan, the parts to make your own 3 pin to ip67 16a caravan plug adapter will cost maybe £10-15 from cpc or the like then you have a properly sealed socket for your caravan to hook into plus a useful long term wall socket.


Remove the box off the second one, its hard to find orange/outdoor flex in small quantities so this is a good option since it has the plug too, and just wire it onto the socket. Will take all of 5 mins.
You can buy the connection for under £8 so why spend £10-£15 making one? :unsure:
 
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You can buy the connection for under £8 so why spend £10-£15 making one? :unsure:
Id not seen anyone linking to an IP67 cable, instead using bags and gaffer tape etc. to get better waterproofing. I prefer just to spend a few £ more and make something suitable for the job from the get go.

If there was, my bad.
 

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