Best time to buy? +general advice

Jun 19, 2024
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Newbie to caravans here!
We are about to sell our motorhome and buy a caravan.

Is now a good time to buy? We would be cash buyers as the motorhome is going to a dealer probably and there are some good discounts on new caravans - but I've never looked before so I don't know if current discounts are typical or mainly because it's pre-2025 launch so dealers are looking to move stock? Are prices negotiable? We did get a slightly better trade in deal from one dealer we spoke to but we've decided we don't want the van they showed us so hence thinking of selling to a trade buyer and being a cash buyer to help?

We are looking at the big 4 berth 8m x 8ft models although I admit I’m not totally sure we need that big - but we can so we are! We have probably £35k to spend although I'd prefer to spend less if we can. Are there any gotchas we need to know of when buying this big? We have been looking at the 2024 Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora\Porto (layout choice - can't decide which we prefer yet!) and really like the idea of the 5ft bed in those - all other brands with similar layouts\prices that we've looked at are 4'6 or less (coachman, swift, Elddis etc). which seems a shame if you can fit 5ft in them! Are there any others with big (wide) beds? Is it even a problem? We do sleep in a super king at home but the motorhome bed is a french 4'5 and we survive!

Part of me is wondering whether we should be buying one a couple of years old to save some £s.... is buying used a gamble if it's from a proper dealer?

Thanks for any and all advice!
 
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JRT

May 5, 2024
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Newbie to caravans here!
We are about to sell our motorhome and buy a caravan.

Is now a good time to buy? We would be cash buyers as the motorhome is going to a dealer probably and there are some good discounts on new caravans - but I've never looked before so I don't know if current discounts are typical or mainly because it's pre-2025 launch so dealers are looking to move stock? Are prices negotiable? We did get a slightly better trade in deal from one dealer we spoke to but we've decided we don't want the van they showed us so hence thinking of selling to a trade buyer and being a cash buyer to help?

We are looking at the big 4 berth 8m x 8ft models although I admit I’m not totally sure we need that big - but we can so we are! We have probably £35k to spend although I'd prefer to spend less if we can. Are there any gotchas we need to know of when buying this big? We have been looking at the 2024 Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora\Porto (layout choice - can't decide which we prefer yet!) and really like the idea of the 5ft bed in those - all other brands with similar layouts\prices that we've looked at are 4'6 or less (coachman, swift, Elddis etc). which seems a shame if you can fit 5ft in them! Are there any others with big (wide) beds? Is it even a problem? We do sleep in a super king at home but the motorhome bed is a french 4'5 and we survive!

Part of me is wondering whether we should be buying one a couple of years old to save some £s.... is buying used a gamble if it's from a proper dealer?

Thanks for any and all advice!

Our last two caravans were bought new at this time of the year. Both were demo models and we got a good discount too. Still got all the full warranty on both.

Judging by the emails I'm being bombarded with I would say there are some bargains to be had.
 
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Jun 19, 2024
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That's a big caravan for first time tuggers - what are you planning to tow it with?
We like to go big or go home 😂
We have an Audi A7 3.0 diesel bi-turbo
Tbh having just been out to see some vans, I think we’re changing our minds to a coachman and probably not an 8ft wide one as they’re too expensive.
I can’t believe how little storage there is in the kitchen area on the baileys. Our Bailey motorhome has more! That’s a problem for us. The coachman is much more practical - but am sacrificing bed size too
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Newbie to caravans here!
We are about to sell our motorhome and buy a caravan.

Is now a good time to buy? We would be cash buyers as the motorhome is going to a dealer probably and there are some good discounts on new caravans - but I've never looked before so I don't know if current discounts are typical or mainly because it's pre-2025 launch so dealers are looking to move stock? Are prices negotiable? We did get a slightly better trade in deal from one dealer we spoke to but we've decided we don't want the van they showed us so hence thinking of selling to a trade buyer and being a cash buyer to help?

We are looking at the big 4 berth 8m x 8ft models although I admit I’m not totally sure we need that big - but we can so we are! We have probably £35k to spend although I'd prefer to spend less if we can. Are there any gotchas we need to know of when buying this big? We have been looking at the 2024 Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora\Porto (layout choice - can't decide which we prefer yet!) and really like the idea of the 5ft bed in those - all other brands with similar layouts\prices that we've looked at are 4'6 or less (coachman, swift, Elddis etc). which seems a shame if you can fit 5ft in them! Are there any others with big (wide) beds? Is it even a problem? We do sleep in a super king at home but the motorhome bed is a french 4'5 and we survive!

Part of me is wondering whether we should be buying one a couple of years old to save some £s.... is buying used a gamble if it's from a proper dealer?

Thanks for any and all advice!
Don’t pay totally by cash as using a credit card for a deposit gives you protection under the Consumer Credit Act section 75. Also some use finance which means the finance company have liability too, even if you pay it off very early.

The posts from those who have had problems with new caravans often raise the issues of CCA or finance helping when things get difficult with dealships and warranty. Just a thought.
 
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Don’t pay totally by cash as using a credit card for a deposit gives you protection under the Consumer Credit Act section 75. Also some use finance which means the finance company have liability too, even if you pay it off very early.

The posts from those who have had problems with new caravans often raise the issues of CCA or finance helping when things get difficult with dealships and warranty. Just a thought.
Interesting - thank you!
 
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Absolutely 100%.

This is why we wouldn't buy at a show, unless it happened to be from a dealer local to us.
Some dealers who don't go to the shows will give "show discount" which matches those who do - so there's no real advantage in buying at the shows - useful to compare your alternatives though.
 
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Caravans don’t tow like a boat or motorcycle trailer. They are large slab sided boxes with a high CoG, susceptible to cross winds, passing vehicle turbulence, road undulations, Loading can vary considerably cf to other types of trailer and so impact stability. Also driver behaviour can affect its stability. Eh overtaking downhill, speed, poor loading etc

That’s why Buckmans figures seem so low to you. There’s a guide that caravan MTPLM should be 85% or less of car kerbweight for inexperienced towers. It’s only a guide and nowadays cars have better suspensions and stability aids but it’s worth bearing in mind.

There’s a good Towcar caravan matching site at Towcar.infoI’ve always found it quite accurate and it might be worth you looking at this site when you have decided on a caravan(s).

 
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Caravans don’t tow like a boat or motorcycle trailer. They are large slab sided boxes with a high CoG, susceptible to cross winds, passing vehicle turbulence, road undulations, Loading can vary considerably cf to other types of trailer and so impact stability. Also driver behaviour can affect its stability. Eh overtaking downhill, speed, poor loading etc

That’s why Buckmans figures seem so low to you. There’s a guide that caravan MTPLM should be 85% or less of car kerbweight for inexperienced towers. It’s only a guide and nowadays cars have better suspensions and stability aids but it’s worth bearing in mind.

There’s a good Towcar caravan matching site at Towcar.infoI’ve always found it quite accurate and it might be worth you looking at this site when you have decided on a caravan(s).


Thanks - this site shows that generally it’s ok… similar info to what the chap at the dealership said tbh.

“The Audi A7 3.0 TDI BiT Quattro aut. with a xxx caravan with an actual weight of 1885 kg is in general a good match and suitable for all journeys on all kinds of roads.”
 
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Thanks - this site shows that generally it’s ok… similar info to what the chap at the dealership said tbh.

“The Audi A7 3.0 TDI BiT Quattro aut. with a xxx caravan with an actual weight of 1885 kg is in general a good match and suitable for all journeys on all kinds of roads.”
The car's weight is 1895 and although it can tow up to 2100kg, it may not be a safe match if the caravan is over 95% of the car's kerbweight. Also some caravan insurer will not insure a caravan that weighs more than 95% of the vehicle's kerbweight.

I would want a vehicle that is a lot heavier than the trailer I am towing as I would want to remain in control of the outfit at all times.
 
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The car's weight is 1895 and although it can tow up to 2100kg, it may not be a safe match if the caravan is over 95% of the car's kerbweight. Also some caravan insurer will not insure a caravan that weighs more than 95% of the vehicle's kerbweight.

I would want a vehicle that is a lot heavier than the trailer I am towing as I would want to remain in control of the outfit at all times.
Where did 95% come from? I've only ever seen 85 and 100 quoted.
 

JRT

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We towed at 96% with this set up with no issues what so ever. Obviously it was a twin axle but people often debate about whether they are inherintly more stable or not. It also had ATC. This is the closest to 100% we have been.

Screenshot_20240620-111112.png


That was taken on an extensive European trip on the way to the Italian Lakes and back via. France and Switzerland. We covered thousands of miles on other trips too.

I don't think from memory we have ever towed at 85% or less since the 80's.

We are currently at 87%.

(Be accurate with weights though an preferably get the 'van weighed accurately too).
 
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We towed at 96% with this set up with no issues what so ever. Obviously it was a twin axle but people often debate about whether they are inherintly more stable or not. It also had ATC. This is the closest to 100% we have been.

View attachment 7014


That was taken on an extensive European trip on the way to the Italian Lakes and back via. France and Switzerland. We covered thousands of miles on other trips too.

I don't think from memory we have ever towed at 85% or less since the 80's.

We are currently at 87%.

(Be accurate with weights though an preferably get the 'van weighed accurately too).
Nice outfit. How long had you been towing when the photo was taken. I don't think the OP has much towing experience so that needs to be taken into consideration as I am sure that they do not want the caravan to dictate where they are going?

On another group a caravan dealer has told a customer that it is safe for him to use his Velar car to tow a 2000kg caravan even though the Velar kerbweight is 1885kg although the Velar can tow up to 2500kg.
 

JRT

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Nice outfit. How long had you been towing when the photo was taken. I don't think the OP has much towing experience so that needs to be taken into consideration as I am sure that they do not want the caravan to dictate where they are going?

On another group a caravan dealer has told a customer that it is safe for him to use his Velar car to tow a 2000kg caravan even though the Velar kerbweight is 1885kg although the Velar can tow up to 2500kg.

That was taken in 2016 so around 30 years to take account of the years we didn't have a 'van.

But my main point was to show as a general comment that it's perfectly possible to tow at over 85% which lets be honest is a bit arbitrary anyway. Obviously the 85% figure is much vaunted (mainly by the clubs) as a limit for those new to towing but nobody can ever say what it's based on, other than it's lighter than the tow car.

I honestly couldn't discern much if any difference between towing that and what our setup is now and previously. The current 'van is a single axle with no ATC. With it's weight upgrade it comes in at 87%.

All that said I personally wouldn't go much closer to 100% than 96% and deffo. not over even though I know some do. Logic to me says having a trailer heavier than the car is a recipe for trouble, even though it might be legal in some cases eg towing with some JLR products.
 
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That was taken in 2016 so around 30 years to take account of the years we didn't have a 'van.

But my main point was to show as a general comment that it's perfectly possible to tow at over 85% which lets be honest is a bit arbitrary anyway. Obviously the 85% figure is much vaunted (mainly by the clubs) as a limit for those new to towing but nobody can ever say what it's based on, other than it's lighter than the tow car.

I honestly couldn't discern much if any difference between towing that and what our setup is now and previously. The current 'van is a single axle with no ATC. With it's weight upgrade it comes in at 87%.

All that said I personally wouldn't go much closer to 100% than 96% and deffo. not over even though I know some do. Logic to me says having a trailer heavier than the car is a recipe for trouble, even though it might be legal in some cases eg towing with some JLR products.
The 85% is only a guideline and well outdated, but in this case they need to be careful that preferably they do not exceed 95% of the car's kerbweight. Which is why I suggested a caravan with MTPLM of 1700kg would be preferable for safe tow. (y) :)
 
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Well. I think we’ve found our caravan and it is the weight above. It’s a coachman laser xcel 875.
Yes I know it can’t get much bigger - but that’s who we are I’m afraid! We don’t like having to do things by half and then wanting to upgrade later.
Husband has been looking for an excuse to change his car (although he does love the A7) so if it’s a problem, I guess he’ll tackle that later.
It is twin axle with ATC so hopefully that helps.
 
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