BEST TWIN AXLE FIRST VAN AROUND 7 K

May 25, 2008
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Please be gentle first post,complete novice we are looking for our first van around 7k,my mate suggested a twin axle as you get room and various sleep options. The van will be sited permanent as I don't tow.PLEASE no laughing yet,I am looking to buy private as budget may stretch a little further.The big questions are what are crucial for me to ask,what extras are key to set up.many thanks Ian
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hi
Welcome to the forum. Buying private there’s no protection from the Consumer Rights Act. So you should take someone along who knows caravans. An experienced friend or even pay a mobile technician to give it a check. It’s essential to have a full damp check carried out. A mobile technician could advise the cost of any repairs. Are tyres safe to tow. Do all sytems work. When was it last serviced. External lights. Etc. Does it have CRIS registration in the sellers name (on line check).

Really it’s not dissimilar to buying a car but with a different set of parameters to check out. Damp is the biggest and most costly to sort out. And don’t think that you can see or smell it before it does serious damage.
Good luck
 
Oct 12, 2013
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And you don't necessarily need a twin axle for space, single axles can give you a lot of space inside depending on the way that you want it and how many are in your group ?

Craig.
 
Aug 24, 2015
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Just popping in here as owner of a twin axle one and as much as i agree you may get much the same equipped out maybe smaller fridge freezer but you will definitely not have the length of space as in the twin axle. My daughter and son both have single axles and while they are still beautiful there is a big difference space wise. But it's whatever your looking for getting as many of your boxes ticked as not many out there can you tick them all with. Just saying by the way.
 
Jun 26, 2017
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As Craig correctly says, you’d be surprised just how little difference there can be between the lengths of the longer models of single axle and double axle offerings from the various manufacturers. As an example, take a look at the tech. Specs of the sprite models by Swift which you can find here .

Although these are of the Sprite models, the models higher up the swift range are the same dimensions as they are the same layouts albeit with different furnishings and different general specification.

You can see that the single axle 6TD layout is only 440mm shorter internally than Swifts twin axle Quattro models, although the Quattro, depending on layout is at least around 100KG heavier which is a significant amount of extra weight. I’m certainly not suggesting that you shouldn’t go for a twin axle, as there are of course obvious benefits associated with these models, not least stability, or that the 6TD is the layout for you, but I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss all single axle vans with the preconceived idea that twin axle models are much longer.

Whilst there are of course advantages of a twin axle, on the flip side, there are also other things to consider, such as the additional weight, the requirement for a twin axle motor mover and possibly double wheel locks.

Ic.

Edit: Then again, myself and Craig probably are somewhat biased as we love our vans, which are both based on the single axle 6TD layout. Loads of space and sleeping options for a young (ish!) family of 4 plus guests ... :p
 
Nov 11, 2009
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But the OP plans to site the Caravan permanently and had a £7k budget so a good used twin axle could be a good choice. It may have movers fitted but if it didn’t provided the person who tows it to the site for the OP can manoeuvre the caravan then movers aren’t essential.
 
Aug 24, 2015
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We bought ours pre used going into 4yrs now Compass Rallye 634 db axle in excellent condition. Just love the spaciousness of it plus my fav thing is the L seating area with a narrow seat at long window. We used to have the 2 sofas opposite each other in our last van but I so prefer this shape better.
Again just saying not promoting.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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Get yourself to a largish second hand sellor, and spend some time getting in and out of vans and look at the various layouts. It may help you decide your priorities; such as lounge area verses washroom space, fixed beds for adults versus bunks for kids etc. Some Adria vans are as long as some twin axle vans, so worth looking at all options. This is helpful even if you end up buying privately. The caravanfinder website is also good for getting an idea for what is out there.
happy hunting
mel
 
Mar 14, 2005
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antater said:
Please be gentle first post,complete novice we are looking for our first van around 7k,my mate suggested a twin axle as you get room and various sleep options. The van will be sited permanent as I don't tow.PLEASE no laughing yet,I am looking to buy private as budget may stretch a little further.The big questions are what are crucial for me to ask,what extras are key to set up.many thanks Ian
Each to their own, and your needs or desires are just as valid as any other caravanners, so don't worry.

I'm really not sure why your mate advised you to just look for a twin axle (TA) as there are plenty of big caravans that sit on a single axle, so don't limit your choices on that basis. As you do not intend to tow it yourself, and its going to be permanently sited, you do not need to concern yourself with the number of axles.

You will need to ensure you can arrange to get it moved to your site, so do make enquiries about who can do it for you before you agree to purchase.

Have you considered looking at a static caravan or mobile home. These are designed to be permanently sited, but they will offer far more room than a touring caravan. You may also find that there are some really good values second hand statics as some sites insist the caravans used must be removed when they reach a certain age.these are usually sold off quite cheaply. (Incidentally these bigger vans are sitting on a single axle)

Sadly the big issue for all caravans is weather they have or are leaking. Damp in older caravans can be very expensive to resolve. So assuming you find a good dry one, don't skimp on the proper maintenance to keep the value in your new investment.

It is really worth taking an experienced friend along when looking at vans, and when you think you may have found one, its worth investing in having the van checked by a professional mobile engineer before you agree to purchase.
 
Aug 24, 2015
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Just a wee note..we went to both when first wanting to buy a caravan dealer first tgen looked ad's for re owned found the dealers prices were a lot more than private sales. We have in past years bought 2 at different times and both were and are (present) one super vans turned out both Compass Rallye just different models.
Hope you find your dream come true soon Godspeed your travelling and all fellow and women of course friends.
 
Apr 3, 2018
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Many thanks to all,I'm confused to be honest but I will do the steps suggested.
I will ask is it easy to source a mobile technician.
Obviously because I'm green it's not as easy as I thought
Once again many thanks sorry to be a pain
 
May 7, 2012
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Just to correct an earlier post, you do get the protection of the Consumer Protection Act with a private sale but if there is a problem trying to use the act may not be worthwhile.
A dealer will charge more but it is often safer and you do normally get a guarantee and a discount on equipment needed so you have to work out what suits you best.
If sited towing weights are not a problem but make sure you can get it to the site and the site will allow maintainence and they will allow you to tow it off when it is time for it to go.
If buying privately make sure the seller is the owner by getting their purchase documents , check with HPI that there is no finance on it and CRIS that it is not recorded as stolen. You should also ask for service records to make sure it has been maintained.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Antaler, Your not a pain . Thats what the forum is for, it hopefully has given you more thoughts of you options. Keep asking. Water supplys etc . Remember how your pitch is that your looking at . A Woosie Friend , went for a seasonal pitch and being a Rain God , the pitch was terrible. Ask lots , it all helps. .
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Welcome Ian.
Hopefully buying used the seller will include all the essential accessories eg Aquaroll. Wastemaster , battery, EHU cable, water pump if not a fixed onboard one, gas bottles to name a few.
Seasonals do have their place but remember some sites are not licenced for all year use. Both the Clubs offer winter seasonal pitches at good prices. Other sites will store your caravan and by agreement move it to a pitch when you want to use it. Factor into your sums the site costs. Good luck with your choice.
 
Aug 24, 2015
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We to were toying with the fact of placing our tourer permanently on a site but I'm very unsure if I'm ready to only have same site to visit all the time and not get browned of with same place everytime. So we talked ourselves out of it. I know one day God willing we will have to resign ourselves to doing just that either putting our cvan on or changing it for a static as my hubby has several illnesses and at present struggles somewhat with setting up and leaving hes got 2 sorts of rheumatism Soratic and Rheumatoid plus he's diabetic and has had a spinal op in past.
So it is on the cards for us i know it just trying to postpone it as long as poss.
I don't know if I'll ever be ready to give up touring but if we could find the right site to stay on it would fair help but we're still looking haven't found it yet.
But one day hopefully.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm sorry to read of your Husbands restrictions. There are many couples who face similar issues and I'm sure some will offer their own suggestions,

But here another thought: Total caravan ownership (purchase, insurance additional fuel, site costs, storage costs, service cost, gas, toilet fluids, etc), is not cheap and and to make it work you do need to use quite often. So it might be worth looking at all the costs carefully and working out how much you would be spending each year. You might find its cost effective to to look at hiring caravans, or using B&Bs, I know it not like having your own, but you are not tied to one location.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
I'm sorry to read of your Husbands restrictions. There are many couples who face similar issues and I'm sure some will offer their own suggestions,

But here another thought: Total caravan ownership (purchase, insurance additional fuel, site costs, storage costs, service cost, gas, toilet fluids, etc), is not cheap and and to make it work you do need to use quite often. So it might be worth looking at all the costs carefully and working out how much you would be spending each year. You might find its cost effective to to look at hiring caravans, or using B&Bs, I know it not like having your own, but you are not tied to one location.
When we sold our last caravan as a result of limited usage, we had some really good breaks in mobiles set in the grounds of country houses or farms. All were if good quality and if booked out of school holidays the prices were reasonable. How the total costs compared to owning a caravan and suitable tow car wasn’t looked at, but there was good flexibility and good choice both in UK and France.
 
Aug 24, 2015
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Thank you Prof for your kind words ref hubby.
He's grinning and bearing it at present really dont know how much longer he can cope with that though. We..always book together our daughter and her hubby so Andrew always helps him set up providing we haven't gone a day or two before they arrive or head of when they can't do.
I help as much as poss but no way can I turn the handle on dolly wheel. Im fairly good at guiding him on tow bar well he said so..ironic daughter bought him a reversing camera at Christmas but it needs drilled on somehow dont ask as thats all i know why he couldnt put it on not drilling holes in his car.
He uses a batt drill to wind legs up and down and we got the electric pump to blow awning up.
But doesn't spoil the good times we have getting away not at all.
I'm contemplating adding my wee ferret Rene to the mix she'd be safe in her big cage in awning with big Brian to mind her ;) joke hes no guard dog just looks the part its the wee one who needs to be avoided.
Don't think hubbys gonna ware it though I'll promise to douse her everyday with gorgeous smellies as they do have that oder but her personality overrides that for me.
 
May 7, 2012
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Momo said:
We to were toying with the fact of placing our tourer permanently on a site but I'm very unsure if I'm ready to only have same site to visit all the time and not get browned of with same place everytime. So we talked ourselves out of it. I know one day God willing we will have to resign ourselves to doing just that either putting our cvan on or changing it for a static as my hubby has several illnesses and at present struggles somewhat with setting up and leaving hes got 2 sorts of rheumatism Soratic and Rheumatoid plus he's diabetic and has had a spinal op in past.
So it is on the cards for us i know it just trying to postpone it as long as poss.
I don't know if I'll ever be ready to give up touring but if we could find the right site to stay on it would fair help but we're still looking haven't found it yet.
But one day hopefully.
I do agree that you do have to look at the costs and balance them against what you want and the alternatives. If I add together the insurance servicing and storage we reach £900 before we do anything with the caravan and that excludes depreciation. Caravanning is not cheap.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Sorry Guys we lose the plot :(
When I was in short trousers I was hard up with kids. I got three weeks annual leave from work. So we camped. Then I had a trailer tent in 1978, a NR Nimrod. We went away for weekends,.The first caravan came quickly. No mains but gas lighting. So we enjoyedweekends away and Bank Holidays and in real holiday time got to places we never would have done in hotels etc.
Today like everything else of course ther are on costs but they must be viewed with an open mind.
Next week I am paying the one way taxi fare for SWMBO and ger friend to Gatwick, my oppo pays their return. A painting holiday in Scicily but cheaper than us driving.
Caravanning is still cheaper for many more nights away than any other holiday I can think of and I choose when where and what I want. Still a bargain imo :cheer:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Dusty

I did make the point it needs to be used quite a lot to make it to make it worth while. Its ultimately down to the individuals, and of course there may be other factors such as health issues, that will influence their decisions.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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ProfJohnL said:
Hello Dusty

I did make the point it needs to be used quite a lot to make it to make it worth while. Its ultimately down to the individuals, and of course there may be other factors such as health issues, that will influence their decisions.
Prof,
My in laws , bless their souls had a static at Bidford on Avon. The annual ground rent and maintenance charge was more than most of us would pay for touring site fees in a year. So sorry but I can’t support that suggestion on here.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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When we sold our last outfit in 2014 everything went including the car. We came to the decision not on any cost grounds, more the frustration of having things sitting around and not being used for our enjoyment. Then in late 2016 we decided that there was light at the end of our particular tunnel and rejoined the community. That entailed selling a very nice non-tow car in order to get ourselves an outfit that we could enjoy. We Have still not exited the tunnel, but I can say that we do enjoy our trips away in the
caravan. Although if I looked hard at the amortised cost per night I would probably have apoplexy. But what's the alternative? Fishing or golf :)
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Golf :woohoo:
Have you seen the membership fees, green fees, equipment fees Bar fees....." as bad as caravanning :evil:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dustydog said:
Golf :woohoo:
Have you seen the membership fees, green fees, equipment fees Bar fees....." as bad as caravanning :evil:
Oops clearly inserted the wrong emoji. To be able to play golf I'd need to be reasonably mobile. In which case id rather take a dog/dogs for a good walk.
 

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