car/caravan combination

hi we are new to caravaning, and wondered if anyone could give advice on a good 4x4 and caravan match. we have five children so will need a seven seater. we are prepaired to spend around £35,000 for the combination. Any advise would be appreciated thanks Dan.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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With five children you might do better with a people carrier (or mpv). I have towed for years with Chrysler Grand Voyagers, VW Caravelles and a Citroen C8, all turbo diesels and have never had a problem with any of them. They have always been stable and smooth and-of course- very spacious. Two of the vans were large twin axle beasties which we towed all the way to the Scottish highlands and back on two seperate occasions. So unless you have a specific reason for wanting, or needing, a 4x4, test drive a few mpv's first.As for the caravan, you might do well to consider a twin axle with front and rear dinettes/bedrooms. They would give you the space you need and "room to breathe". Good luck and happy camping.
 

BJ

Mar 14, 2005
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I have a 1.9 Diesel (Auto) Ford Galaxy MPV and find that great for towing. It is a 7 seat and can tow up to 2000kg (man figures) thus it is good at towing a van within 85% of curb weight (of about 1700kg)

You may need to consider wherew you are to fit in all the 'clobber' we caravanners take. You should noy exceed the payload of your van, but when using all 7 seats of any vehicle you may have restricted 'boot' space.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Dan, I concure with John B. Theother sdvantage of a an MPV over 4X4 - in most cases the MPG is far better. The driving positions and controls are more car like and less intimidating to some drivers. and ride more comfortable than 4x4. I personnaly use a Renault Espace Grande with a 2.2 diesel, its quiet adn teh kids enjoythe better views from the higher seats. I ve used it for a variet of caravans and a heavy twin axel box trailer. Its good.
 
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Yes I agree with John B,be aware of the layout with a caravan as we made a mistake with ours,we are now going for another twin axle but with a dianette at each end,so we can put the kids to bed and stay up.

We have a Landrover Discovery 7 seater,we tend to only use the 5 seats but 2 more is a bonus.

Good Luck!once youve got your first few trips out of the way youll be an expert caravanner! :)
 
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It's all about matching weight of car to required van.

With 5 children, expect you're after at least a five berth maybe 6 berth, and with plenty of saloon room for day time also.

There are a number of large / long single axle vans that sleep 5 or 6, or you can go to twin axle vans. Once you have a caravan in mind, then use its MPTLM (max. towing weight) to work out how heavy a vehicle you need (try to keep van to 85% of vehicle weight)E.g Bailey Pageant Bretagne 1409kg. You would need a car with kerb weight of circa 1650kg.

We tow with a VW Sharan 7 seat people carrrier which is 1730kg and which has oodles of power to pull big van that we have.

We looked at a 4x4 and decided that it was not worth the expense for rest of year when not towing i.e. fuel / tyres - and 7 seater more versatile.

THere are plenty to choose from in market - VW / Ford / Seat all use same model. You have Kia Sedona; there is a Hyundia, etc.

Just remember to match the weights of car and van and you'll be fine.
 
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dan, in our experience, dont worry about the 35k at the moment. buy yourself a nice big 4x4 first of all. this is for a couple of reasons,first a proper 4x4 will cope with any uk caravan wether on tarmac or greasy grass,secondly when looking for a van you dont want to have to tell the wife that the van she wants is too heavy! the first van you buy will probably not be the one you want in six months time, the second may be closer to what you want. by about your third van you will know exactly what you want. it took us 4 vans and enjoyed every bit of it. best of luck, dave.
 
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Dan - I'd agree heartily with others comments on MPV's v. 4x4's. With regard to the van you buy, with 5 kids get one with a solid sliding door to partition off their "bedroom" at night so you & yours can have some personal space & a modicum of privacy - essential for your own sanity!
 
Can't help you with the van - we're just thinking about getting our first. But if you're considering a 4x4...

I've driven a few over the years, on and off road, and had the pleasure of driving a couple of Discovery's the length of New Zealand. I now drive a 1996 Landcruiser VX auto - the forerunner of the Amazon.

Cons - fuel consumption is poor, the VX series have a 4.2 diesel or a 4.5 petrol.

- BIG, but not really that difficult to handle.

Pros - Surprisingly easy to drive on road. Light controls, good handling, good turning circle

- BIG! Boot space even with 8 seats down.

- Leather clad luxury motorway cruiser

- Good transit van

- Surprisingly good off-road, we kept going when a couple of Freelanders got stuck.

- Reliable, these machines just keep going.

I went for an older vehicle. With their reputation, don't be worried by mileages over 100K. I also went for the petrol version, but had it converted to LPG. At 32.9p per litre, that paid for itself in 6 months flat!
 

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