Caravan Hobby Too Expensive

Mar 14, 2005
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I am of the opinion that this so called hobby is now a large money-spinning industry and what was an alternative to going to hotels, holiday camps, etc and liked and afforded by many in the 1960/70s has now become far too expensive for the average family man. To buy a decent family caravan and tow car requires approx £35-40000 pounds and then there is the insurance on both, camp site fees, etc., on top. How does the average family with 2.4 children manage to afford it these days. My wife and I are lucky in that we have reached our standard over a number of years and the children are now independant of us and the mortgage is paid.
 
Apr 11, 2005
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Crikey

I think there are very FEW people out there with a 35-40k outfit,they MUST be the minority surely ??? I have three kids and bought my van on loan over five years ! There is no way we'd have had the trips we've had over the last 8months if we had to stay in hotels/bb's. For me it is definately the cheaper option !!!!

Tina x
 
Mar 27, 2005
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Hi All

We had purchased a second hand CRV with a tow bar fitted a couple of years before deciding to caravan so the vehicle was already in place and being taxed and insured. We brought a second hand van for
 
May 20, 2005
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I agree with Colin that it is not as cheap as the good old days, I also miss being able to just hook up the van and tour with out booking in advance. The changes that have brought this about IMHO started when touring sites started to site static vans, you cant blame the site owners they get a steady income. Then came electric hook ups now more and more touring vans have become statics staying on a pitch all season once again you can see why steady income for the site owners. It just means fewer touring pitches are available.

The answer lies with the Clubs but they are IMHO slow to bring new sites to their members, and unfortunatly THS sites are getting fewer each year.I do hope things change for the better soon or we will end up with touring caravans with no where to tour.
 
Jun 7, 2005
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I can see Colin's point a bit you can sort of get sucked in. I started off a good few years ago with a cheapish second hand van that my company Audi would tow even though it was about 91%.

Got a bit hooked and now have a 22k van and 40k car (or should I say the bank manager has if I dont keep up the payments)

Still would not change it for the world.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Excellent outfits can be found cheaply if you take the time to look. From a personal viewpoint after reading about all the problems with new 'vans and how bad the makers treat you my wife and I feel we are better off buying a good s/h model where we can check out what problems it has given its previous owners.

As for tow car - I drive a Land Rover which is over 20 years old and owes me nothing but is infinately repairable and cheaply too!

What gets me is the cost of a weeks stay on a site!

We stayed in a Cottage in Cornwall - great place and did not charge for an extra car or visitors. I will still carry on caravanning because I love it. But on CL's not the rip off sites - they seem more interested in those whose idea of a good time is pooring lager down their necks.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Without causing any insult Clive it would appear to me that you have been caravanning for quite a few years and have gradually worked your way up to an acceptable outfit and aren't concerned of what the others have. My wife and I have done this and only recently after 30+ years have managed to buy a new van. We tow with a nine year old Fourtrack and are quite happy in our outfit. However there are outfits out there with 4x4 BMWs and twin wheel vans which I be honest cannot afford to run let alone buy. Also as you say there are rip off sites - one site in Devon charges
 
G

Guest

Like many others we do not have the luxury?? of the 40-50k outfits. The caravan is new, but only because the dealer gave me such a deal to remove a 2005 model from his forecourt that I would have been nuts to not take it. The changeover cost was less than a credit card limit.

The towcar I am afraid is a 14 year old Volvo which behaves perfectly, tho' I keep worrying about its age. I look at new (2nd hand ) cars but the cost is still too high for me.

I do agree however, that caravanning is not a cheap hobby, regardless of how you try to equate it. Fuel is expensive, site fees especially in the summer are very high and what really gets my goat, is the extra expenses we pay out to holiday in Britain. Car parking is one of them. When you end up spending
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree David - French and Spanish camp sites are far better value.

Then look at what they pay for the wine!!

Perhaps the other costs of living are lower as well?

Role on retirement - the thought of using the caravan for 4 to five months every winter in a nice warm part of Spain or Portugal sounds wonderful.
 
Apr 11, 2005
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I can see Colin's point a bit you can sort of get sucked in. I started off a good few years ago with a cheapish second hand van that my company Audi would tow even though it was about 91%.

Got a bit hooked and now have a 22k van and 40k car (or should I say the bank manager has if I dont keep up the payments)

Still would not change it for the world.
Show off !!!!!!! We dont have to take our mothers though !!! ha ha !! x
 
G

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Go for the retirement Clive. I did, ok, I quit my job in the mid 50's and said 'Sod the lot of them'. If we run out of money then the wife goes out to work?? Seriously we will use part time work if we need it, but I got fed up with the 24/7 work routine, and mine really was that. 9pm on a Saturday night and all day Sunday were common. Now at least my costs are controlled by me, not the Company and it can be much cheaper to live without buying office clothes.

However, just a caution. Spain and France can be very cold in the winter, I know they do have a lot of sunny days, but they do have the other type as well. Also many places are literally shut up for the winter so limited activities. A suggestion for the winter is to fly to Malaysia, cheap flights are available, the hotels are usually cheap and the temperature is 30 degrees every day of the year. Food and people are great as well. How do i know? Because I lived and worked there for a sadly all too short time. Snorkelling in the Perhentian Islands has to be one of the wonders of the world.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Colin - caravanning has never been a cheap alternative to package, hotel and other ways of having a holiday.

I can remember when in my halcyon days that many of my colleagues used wrinkle their nose and have wry comments on my choice of activity and holiday enjoyment, and when you outlined the benefits and the drawback to them they frankly do not beleive them.

Many of my acquaintances shuddered when I took my outfit from the NE of England onto the continent every year and made comments such as "you'll be needing a holiday after that lot" etc.etc.etc.

I can tell from experience that some people think caravanng is slumming and when they talk like that I remind them of the holidays from hell that we all here about.

I have camped, caravanned and been static for more years than I like to remember. and after 10 yrs. of not touring and going static I was overjoyed to be back touring and you know what convinced me was that the time I spent touring without the van was much more costly than with the van. I could go on for hours about the good bad and the ugly but at the moment I am planning 20 weeks holiday next year. now the high costs are put into perspective IMHO.
 
May 4, 2005
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The hobby is as expensive as you want it to be when it comes to choice of outfit. I think in general site fees are good value and I would say in 20+years I have only felt ripped off twice.

An example of good value...today I paid for my xmas/new year pitch at Sandy Balls ,Hamshire, eleven nights on a fully serviced pitch,including sat tv hookup,use of heated indoor pool and access to 2 restaurants and entertainment day and night. All of this set in fantastic surroundings. The price for 2 adults and 2 kids, awning etc....
 
Jan 19, 2008
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Not my idea of a holiday Brian, I prefer peace and quiet but you're right on the price mate its excellent value. Rightly or wrongly my wife and I decided to buy a 2 berth so we can get off on our own. We've brought up our kids and see the grandchildren on a regular basis. It's our time now to de-stress :O)
 
Mar 14, 2005
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colin - I go to a Cl that has hookups, toilets for male and female, a shower and a place to keep frozen food and a washer and dryer. the charge is 6 pounds per night the only other cost is for the shower and the laundry.

the owner sheepishly informed me that the nightly charge will up by 50p in Oct 2005
Colin if you calculate the cost for a week that is 42pounds which for a family of 4 is 1.50pounds per day. you can't buy an ice cream for that these days
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Agreed! Our holiday in a cottage in Cornwall was cheaper than a caravan site using our own caravan!!

As for having visitors!!

You would have thought we were asking the site to clothe and feed them!

They had a dog and a car - everything was to be charged!!

How different the Cottage proprieter - "No Problem" was his watchword.
 

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