Hi - Camper to Caravanner conversion.

Oct 30, 2018
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Hi - great forum with lots of useful info - just what I needed. We've been campers for a long while but retirement has drawn us to caravans. Like a lot of people, I guess.
We went to the NEC and were almost sure we'd go for a Go Pod. Almost signed on the line but went for a final look round and as an afterthought went into the Barefoot van. A Eureka moment, we both loved it! ( Apart from the £££! )
Deposit paid, downside is the long delivery wait, next September. Still, gives us time to sort things out like a towing course and all the bits required.
Another downside is that I recently bought a Suzuki sx4( not the s-cross) thinking we'd be getting a Go Pod. The Barefoot is about another 330kgs. Having scratched my head several times with all the weights and their names, I calculate that I'll be just over the recommended 85% at 89% Don't really want to get another car, I hardly use it.
All a bit daunting but can't wait pick the van up! Hope to lurk on here a lot!
Regards,
Trevor
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Welcome to the hobby. The 85% is a guide and host of other things make for a safe towing combination. How the caravan is loaded with heavy items low down and ideally about the axle. The car being loaded also helps and I tend to favour car heavy/ caravan light as a mantra. Tyre pressures and drivers approach to safe and aware driving all combine to aid a safe outfit. You have plenty of time to consider your approach and ask questions.
I assume that your cars braked towing weight is suitable for the caravan you have bought. If it’s the 1.6 Suzuki vvt engine you will have to get used to having more revs than normal, but having greenlaned alongside Jimnys with their 1.3 version I have the utmost respect for their motors. For the cost of a towbar I would keep the car and just see how you get on.
In fact my wife is gently moving towards a Vitara to replace her 11 year old Nissan.
Happy touring and keep on camping until the caravan arrives.
 

Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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Welcome to Caravanning and to the forum. If your maths are correct, and your van is sensibly loaded and you drive appropriately then 89% is no big deal. As otherclive says the 85% is a helpful starting guideline, not a fixed rule.
Next September is a long wait, but if it is the right van for you, then worthwhile.
Keep posting
Mel
 
Feb 23, 2018
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otherclive said:
Welcome to the hobby. The 85% is a guide and host of other things make for a safe towing combination. How the caravan is loaded with heavy items low down and ideally about the axle. The car being loaded also helps and I tend to favour car heavy/ caravan light as a mantra. Tyre pressures and drivers approach to safe and aware driving all combine to aid a safe outfit. You have plenty of time to consider your approach and ask questions.
I assume that your cars braked towing weight is suitable for the caravan you have bought. If it’s the 1.6 Suzuki vvt engine you will have to get used to having more revs than normal, but having greenlaned alongside Jimnys with their 1.3 version I have the utmost respect for their motors. For the cost of a towbar I would keep the car and just see how you get on.
In fact my wife is gently moving towards a Vitara to replace her 11 year old Nissan.
Happy touring and keep on camping until the caravan arrives.

To add to Clive's post, the size and shape of the Barefoot caravans should also aid stability. They are smaller than a 'traditional' caravan, and do not have vertical sides, which act like sails, catching the wind and displaced air from trucks. They also have a very small overhang after the axle, which should make them really stable and easy to tow (Look up the pendulum effect in trailers).
 
May 7, 2012
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Welcome to the forum. I have always liked the Barefoot idea although because we take our grandchildren with us at times it would not suit us. Frankly I doubt the 89% towing ratio will be a problem and have exceeded this without problem myself. I would try the car out taking it easy at first and see how things go, I am sure you will have no trouble though.
Short trailers do tend to cut in a bit on tight bends so watch out for that.
 

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