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May 25, 2008
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Hi guys,please be kind not sure if I'm in the right posting area,I joined a few weeks ago,we have narrowed our search to twin axle,fixed single beds,we have seen Bailey unicorn Córdoba last weekend in Sandbach dealers,we started off in the 7000 budget,but we don't know if we should look in dearer market.
We have been looking at review after review so we don't know whether it would be best at dealer but we don't have part ex.,or do I buy private get extra for our money would I ask for damp report and service history.
I know this is a sixty four dollar question but can anybody help with a caravan with twin axle and single bed option.
We have a site picked and plot ,we just need to find suitable caravan,
Many thanks Ian
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Under a private sale you get less protection under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 but you should get a lower price. However until you test it at a dealer you don't know what that buying price difference could be.
You are right to expect a damp report and service records. Make sure the damp report is recent and I would recommend paying for your own if necessary. Also check tyre age. Anything over 5 years will require changing. Whether dealer or private spend time going over everything to check that it works.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'd go a bit further than otherclive,and suggest you use a mobile caravan service guy to check the caravan over for you before you buy it. Ask them to pay special attention for damp.

The main advantage of using a dealer is the experience you should be able to rely on and some protection if anything does go wrong.

I suggest you read up about the Consumer Rights Act 2015, so you know what you can expect. Its actually good advice for all purchases.

What does surprise me is your preference for a twin axle. There really is no reason to limit your choices to a twin axle especially for a two berth. They have more running gear to wear out, the add more weight to the caravan, which might actually reduce the available pay load. They don't tow any better than single axle units, and getting the nose load right is even more sensitive. But ultimately it is you choice
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'd go a bit further than otherclive,and suggest you use a mobile caravan service guy to check the caravan over for you before you buy it. Ask them to pay special attention for damp.

The main advantage of using a dealer is the experience you should be able to rely on and some protection if anything does go wrong.

I suggest you read up about the Consumer Rights Act 2015, so you know what you can expect. Its actually good advice for all purchases.

What does surprise me is your preference for a twin axle. They're not wrong, but there really is no reason to limit your choices to a twin axle especially for a two berth. They have more running gear to wear out, the add more weight to the caravan, which might actually reduce the available pay load. They don't tow any better than single axle units, and getting the nose load right is even more sensitive. But ultimately it is your choice
 
Jun 20, 2005
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“They have more running gear to wear out, the add more weight to the caravan, which might actually reduce the available pay load. They don't tow any better than single axle units, and getting the nose load right is even more sensitive. But ultimately it is you choice”

Prof,
I thought we had buried that argument which imo is not a fair representation of a twin axle.
Having towed for 40 years now I can say with experience that all things being equal a ta is a far more stable and forgiving tow than a sa.
Getting the nose load correct is in reality no more difficult than a sa.
You know I and others use a Reich ta measuring gauge which used correctly with heights etc is a very accurate piece of kit.
Is there something inherently unsafe with a ta? I’d love to know B)
 
Aug 23, 2009
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I'm sorry but our last four vans have been twin axle and in my opinion they tow with a feeling of much more stability than a single axle. I found this immediately on change over when both vans were empty bar battery and gas, single axle to dealership was much more twitchy than the twin was coming home.

Payloads on twin axles, I have never found to be more restrictive than single axle caravans, if anything the available upgrades for twin axle vans has been better and allowing more payload if anything. The change from single axle Coachman Amara 560/6 with weight upgrade to twin axle Coachman Amara with weight upgrade gave us a lot more scope for bring extra clutter with us.

As far as the nose weight goes, and I would never advocate my behaviour to any person towing anything, I have not tried my nose weight this millennium which takes us over 7 vans. I have put what I want and need in the front of each, exactly the same between single and twin axle bar one extra Milenco aluminium leveller which travels in the van and I have never had an issue with single or twin axle nose weight effecting the towing characteristics. I was taught from when I was old enough to understand how to load our caravan as a child and I have not wavered from that basic principle all my life. It's the same as recommended by both clubs and pretty much every caravan publication going over the years. It has served me well. I have never in my entire life, all of which has involved caravans, felt that any caravan that we had on behind has been remotely unstable from the tiniest eurocamper when I was born (okay I don't remember how that towed) to the six berth twin axle we have now. Before seatbelts I used to spend hours watching the caravan from the back seat and I'm sure I would have noticed anything amiss.

While we're talking single v twin axle, the twin axle is the easiest to reverse manoeuvre every time.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Dustydog said:
Is there something inherently unsafe with a ta? I’d love to know B)

I never even hinted or suggested TA are unsafe. Just that a blinkered view of using a TA can lead to additional unnecessary costs when there are perfectly good alternatives, and I did state its up to the user to decide.

And regards nose load not everyone uses the gear you have and it is still the case that a poorly loaded TA will compromise its noseload, and that can lead to under or overloading when measured in accordance with the regulations.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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ProfJohnL said:
Dustydog said:
Is there something inherently unsafe with a ta? I’d love to know B)

I never even hinted or suggested TA are unsafe. Just that a blinkered view of using a TA can lead to additional unnecessary costs when there are perfectly good alternatives, and I did state its up to the user to decide.

And regards nose load not everyone uses the gear you have and it is still the case that a poorly loaded TA will compromise its noseload, and that can lead to under or overloading when measured in accordance with the regulations.
Come on Prof.
You said they (ta) don’t tow any better than a sa. It is also true an incorrectly loaded sa will also compromise its nose load . Not a specific problem for a ta.
I can only speak from experience and cannot accept all you say is good reading for a newbie. Amen.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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antater said:
Hi guys,please be kind not sure if I'm in the right posting area,I joined a few weeks ago,we have narrowed our search to twin axle,fixed single beds,we have seen Bailey unicorn Córdoba last weekend in Sandbach dealers,we started off in the 7000 budget,but we don't know if we should look in dearer market.
We have been looking at review after review so we don't know whether it would be best at dealer but we don't have part ex.,or do I buy private get extra for our money would I ask for damp report and service history.
I know this is a sixty four dollar question but can anybody help with a caravan with twin axle and single bed option.
We have a site picked and plot ,we just need to find suitable caravan,
Many thanks Ian

First of all, I've owned single axle and twin axle caravans and much prefer the twin axle model that I currently tow because correctly loaded it's safe and stable at motorway speeds, and the extra length provides for full length seating at the front which is great to stretch out on if watching tv on a rainy day.
The single axle models usually have shortened front seats.
We're not going to get into an off topic debate about nose loads, the information on how to measure it is well documented so there's no need for repetition here.
The most important thing to look for when buying a caravan is it's overall condition.
Have a browse through the Caravan Buyers Guide to avoid the more common pitfalls when looking for a prospective purchase, and never agree to buy without seeing the caravan first, it's surprising how many do via online auction websites.
The Caravan Price Guide has no guarantee of accuracy but will provide a general ball park figure for used caravan prices.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Dusty

Are you trying to start a nose load debate again, You'll have to try harder,

Of course poorly loaded SA will also affect nose loads, but to a lesser degree than TA's

In terms of better towing, there is a perception that TA's tow better, but most people will not have had the benefit of doing comparative towing of SA and TA with the same draw bar length. if a caravanner starts with a SA caravan, if they consider moving to a TA design it is generally a longer caravan with a longer draw bar length. And the perceived difference in towing characteristics is more likely to do with the draw bar length rather than the number of axles. Longer draw bars are less fidgety. They are also easier to reverse with a car.

The definition of draw bar is the the distance from the coupling hitch to the effective centre of the road axle(s).

There will be some other minor differences to the feel but they do not necessarily make it better or worse - just different
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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The OP states that they have 'narrowed their search down to twin axle fixed single bed" models.
Any discussion regarding the relative merits of single axle against twin axle caravans is therefore irrelevant because the OP has made their own decision.
All that the OP is asking for are recommended brands or models and the advisability of using a private vendor or a dealership, we are looking for replies which are within the remit of the decision that has already been made.
Technical discussions need to be in a completely separate topic.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Hi Antater, with reference to the damp issue, you can buy a damp meter fairly cheaply, around £20 to £30 for an average one which you can do a fairly basic damp check on vans your looking at, I take it your going to have a seasonal pitch by your posting, is that correct. Good luck .
 
May 7, 2012
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Frankly unless you know a fair bit about caravans or can take someone with you that does I would avoid private sales as the pitfalls are simply too great. You do need a reputable dealer who will guide you through the purchase, provide a damp test report and give a guarantee. You will pay a bit more but the peace of mind is worth it I think. Cheap damp meters are probably not going to give the accuracy you need and more expensive ones need to be interpreted.
As for twin axle do make sure you have the car to tow it. Forget the manufacturers towing limit and look at the kerb weight which should be less than the MTPLM of the caravan, preferably for a beginner around 95% or less of the kerb weight, although with a twin axle I would not criticise a figure of 90%.
Twin axles should tow better and are easier to reverse in most cases but they weigh more, increase fuel consumption and cost more to maintain. It is a matter of what you consider most important and there is no write or wrong answer to what to buy.
 

Parksy

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Raywood said:
Frankly unless you know a fair bit about caravans or can take someone with you that does I would avoid private sales as the pitfalls are simply too great. You do need a reputable dealer who will guide you through the purchase, provide a damp test report and give a guarantee. You will pay a bit more but the peace of mind is worth it I think. Cheap damp meters are probably not going to give the accuracy you need and more expensive ones need to be interpreted.
As for twin axle do make sure you have the car to tow it. Forget the manufacturers towing limit and look at the kerb weight which should be less than the MTPLM of the caravan, preferably for a beginner around 95% or less of the kerb weight, although with a twin axle I would not criticise a figure of 90%.
Twin axles should tow better and are easier to reverse in most cases but they weigh more, increase fuel consumption and cost more to maintain. It is a matter of what you consider most important and there is no write or wrong answer to what to buy.

I think that you meant that the MPTLM of the caravan should be less than the kerbweight of the towing vehicle
 
Jan 19, 2002
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I would anticipate that the dealer would offer a warranty. Main dealers may well have sold the van initially and taken it back in p/ex and maybe even conducted services in between. They have a vested interest in the quality of vans on their forecourt in both purchase and sales. You may get a starter kit with the purchase which saves a lot of initial cost too. Unfortunately it pays to be a sceptic - one elderly gent advertised 'only used twice' which turned out to be 'since I bought it used last year'! And another ' we have a dog but it never goes in the van but as soon as the door was open the large beast was in first and quickly settled on the lounge settee! However there are bargains to be had and you do meet the previous owners and may get a lot of kit thrown in. Still for me buying from a reasonably local dealer with a good warranty at a fair price saved a lot of angst and remains handy for servicing or if I have any problems in between.
 

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