is this worth it . . . seriously?

Sep 1, 2020
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hi all

Just spent a few hours looking at reviews for caravans and the conclusion is that there are lots of problems out there.Iive saved up quite a lot of money with the intention of buying a van to live in it full time and all ive discovered is shoddy workmanship dealers who rip you off and problems that will induce heart attacks.

Im 62 and i really dont need all this

someone talked me into looking at living in a caravan over a van conversion but im just not sure any longer due to all the worrying reviews im reading about the state of vans (yes new vans at that) out there
can someone prove me wrong?

are there vans out there from decent dealers that are worth buying?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Mike,

Let's start with the most obvious problem I can see for you . Touring caravans are not designed for permanent living. Because they are designed for touring, they are built with light weight materials and products which does render them to be more fragile than what you might expect for a full time dwelling.

A few people do manage it with care.

As with any unregulated industry , there are the good, the bad, and the ugly dealers. But it isn't always their fault, quite often its the product (the caravan) that lets them down.

And caravan manufacturers still have not worked out how to consistently make good caravans, It applies to all makes, and consecutive caravans of the assembly line can be Jeckle and Hyde in terms of quality.

I'm not painting a very good picture, but you need to be a realist about what you are considering.

You might be lucky and get a good caravan with no faults, but there is the chance you might get the caravan from hell.

There are other considerations you should be aware of:

Modern caravans heat insulation is better than older ones, but they're still considerably worse than a proper full time dwelling. Heating in the depths of winter may be ok, but excess heat in summer can be a problem.

Load margins are tight enough for holidaying, but trying to carry everything for full timing is very likely to reach or exceed the caravans loading margin.

Sound insulation is poor, and you will hear the rain and hail, and any noise you make will leak out.

You will need to have a permanent address for mail, and other civil matters.

I'm sure there will be others with more details.
 
Sep 1, 2020
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hey thanks so much i do agree with you i know its not a great picture but I do thank you for being candid the address thing is easy to sort but the problems with build quality are far more serious

once again thanks
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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Hi Mike. You may wish to consider the observation that folks who travel full time are often in Hobby or Hymer vans. Hence you may wish to have a look at German built vans as offering a potentially more durable build quality. There will be folks who disagree with this observation though. Good luck in your consideration.
Mel
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Adria May be a good half way house as they often come out best in used Caravan surveys. Even their later ones look more like German vans and haven’t fell foul of form over function. They are made in Slovenia.

Be aware that most makes of Caravan use common heating,fridges, water heaters etc and until recently there were only two major chassis suppliers. Now there’s one.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Geist Caravans another germany name but part of the Erwin Hymer Group they are german quality and built to last and if you can get one at the right price . so i think they are worth it
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Geist Caravans another germany name but part of the Erwin Hymer Group they are german quality and built to last and if you can get one at the right price . so i think they are worth it
They were LMCs rebadged as Geists for UK and Australia and only sold for a short period before the importer went bust. Some Australian-spec Geists were sold in the UK.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Very much agree with the prof in #2. There is a lot of luck involved. I see amy purchase as similar to buying a car. The pros and cons of dealer v private are similar. But car manufacturers have upped their game over time, whereas I don’t feel that caravan manufactures have improved on quality and reliability.

Still they are not all bad. My 5 year old van remains damp free and, though there have been numerous issues, they have been minor for the most part. This makes me reluctant to upgrade as it may be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

John
 
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Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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Hi Mike
I wouldn't recommend full time living in a touring caravan, as stated earlier they are not designed for full time living.
Have you considered a static caravan or what's known as a park home, which is a slightly upmarket static usually on a retirement or holiday park?
Anyone guided by caravan forum posts would never dream of buying a touring caravan because forums are where complaints and faults are discussed.
We rarely see comments from buyers who are completely satisfied with their buying experience and the build quality of their touring caravan.
It's true that caravan manufacturers have room for improvement which will only happen if buyers put pressure on caravan dealerships to supply products that are 100% right every time through the Consumer Rights Act.
For what it's worth our caravan is 12 years old, bought from new and it's been trouble free which is why we've still got it, in fact we're away in it now.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Mike ,
I suspect the advice you have been given relates to purpose built static type caravan homes , not tourers. The “mobile homes” of today are large, fully mains plumbing and drainage grey and brown waste.
A touring caravan will not fulfil your desires. Sorry😥
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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Sorry to disagree folks but there are people full timing in touring vans. Have a look at vlogs on you tube and such like. I agree that there are many compromises but people have made it work. It wouldn’t be for me but it seems that it can be done. I guess it is all about getting your expectations right.
Mel
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sorry to disagree folks but there are people full timing in touring vans. Have a look at vlogs on you tube and such like. I agree that there are many compromises but people have made it work. It wouldn’t be for me but it seems that it can be done. I guess it is all about getting your expectations right.
Mel
Hence my second line:-

...A few people do manage it with care....
Despite this being a caravanning forum which you might anticipate would be extolling the virtues of caravanning, I think we need to be realistic, and not make false promises about trying to use a touring caravan for full time living.

We obviously do not know why you are considering this move, and I am not asking you to reveal any personal details. I f you think you want to, I suggest you read teh forum etiquette for guidelines on is and isn't advisable.

There have been a couple of people who have told us of their exploits of tour-er living including the inconvenience of having to move the caravan at twice a year for planning and site touring licence restrictions and problems with freezing water supplies......

As Parksy has said there will be some people who have been entirely happy with their caravans, and I don't dispute it, but I would point out the caravan satisfaction surveys do suggest that on average 20% of new caravans do have faults. That level of failure is abysmal by any standard and manufacturers should be working their socks off to improve that figure.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Many years ago we lived in our twin axle tourer for 2 1/2 years. Although we were able to get it serviced on site we had a major issue when the sides started bulging out and it had to go back to the factory. We had to stay in a B&B for a short while with 3 dogs and a cat. The dealer was then able to loan us a caravan.
Our biggest issue was insurance for the caravan as it was permanently sited at the time. We were able to have an address for driving licence, car registration etc however due to illness we had to abandon living in the caravan and move back to mortar and brick. We did enjoy the time we spent in the caravan as there was a lot of camaraderie on site.
Whether a Park home, touring caravan, motorhome or newly built brick & tile home you will always have issues at first!
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Many years ago we lived in our twin axle tourer for 2 1/2 years. Although we were able to get it serviced on site we had a major issue when the sides started bulging out and it had to go back to the factory. We had to stay in a B&B for a short while with 3 dogs and a cat. The dealer was then able to loan us a caravan.
Our biggest issue was insurance for the caravan as it was permanently sited at the time. We were able to have an address for driving licence, car registration etc however due to illness we had to abandon living in the caravan and move back to mortar and brick. We did enjoy the time we spent in the caravan as there was a lot of camaraderie on site.
Whether a Park home, touring caravan, motorhome or newly built brick & tile home you will always have issues at first!
What was it that made the sides bulge out?
 
Jul 18, 2017
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What was it that made the sides bulge out?
I was slim in those days and it was not me. The sides moved away from the internal furniture and one could see a gap. They never told us what caused it considering the caravan was stationery.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I was slim in those days and it was not me. The sides moved away from the internal furniture and one could see a gap. They never told us what caused it considering the caravan was stationery.
Upgraded tyres too stiff even when static 🤭
 
Mar 10, 2006
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hi all

Just spent a few hours looking at reviews for caravans and the conclusion is that there are lots of problems out there.Iive saved up quite a lot of money with the intention of buying a van to live in it full time and all ive discovered is shoddy workmanship dealers who rip you off and problems that will induce heart attacks.

Im 62 and i really dont need all this

someone talked me into looking at living in a caravan over a van conversion but im just not sure any longer due to all the worrying reviews im reading about the state of vans (yes new vans at that) out there
can someone prove me wrong?

are there vans out there from decent dealers that are worth buying?
Most problems are Sorted after two years IME.
 
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Mar 10, 2006
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Sorry to disagree folks but there are people full timing in touring vans. Have a look at vlogs on you tube and such like. I agree that there are many compromises but people have made it work. It wouldn’t be for me but it seems that it can be done. I guess it is all about getting your expectations right.
Mel
I know someone who lives full time in tourers but change them every two years after that they say things start to fail.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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The other thing to consider is the restrictions placed on touring parks and even park homes - some touring sites will be a max of 21 0r 28 consecutive days of occupation, and not all park homes sites are open all year. Perhaps you already have sussed out where you want to live?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Park homes or statics on commercial sites can have some very restrictive conditions attached to them. At a certain age they may have to be removed and the new one purchased from the site owners. Even if a new or replacement one isn’t purchased the owner may have to arrange and fund removal at their expense. Site fee increases are largely unregulated other than by market forces. So anyone considering such accommodation has to consider the pros and cons carefully. I would rather opt for a boat.
 
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Mar 10, 2006
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Sorry Xtrailman. But that leaves me a tad confused. Are you suggesting that people renew their vans every two years just at the time when all the vans problems have been sorted!

:)

John
They obviously don't want the hassle of returning to the dealer for rectivation work, a lot of faults are minor.
Either way after a couple of years use equipment fails, cushions sag etc
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Cup half full here and we feel the opposite. Caravans are minimarvels, in that they pack so much in to a box that you can drag round on our horrid bumpy roads shaken to bits by potholes etc. All the internal appliances operate on gas or electricity they mange to heat ,s ome cool and provide water provide For showers'showers etc all built to a price and to be as light as possible. I dont believe the German hype any more that their cars are better. But in caravanning world Adria and the German makes sell so few the complaints are rare.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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They obviously don't want the hassle of returning to the dealer for rectivation work, a lot of faults are minor.
Either way after a couple of years use equipment fails, cushions sag etc
Just don't understand how that fits with your statement that after 2 years most problems are sorted. Nevermind. :unsure:

Mines 5 years old and does not suffer in the ways you suggest.

John
 
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