is this worth it . . . seriously?

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Jul 18, 2017
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But size for size what is it that makes a twin axle better for long term static living than a single axle? I’m puzzled on this one too.
As per Parksy size of caravan is another debate and another thread so if you would like reasons, start another thread. :D
 
Mar 14, 2005
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This thread is beginning to drift off topic.
The OP asked if touring caravans were worth considering with a view to full time occupancy, not about the relative merits of single vs twin axle design which would be a separate thread.
I'm sorry Parksy but I disagree. This is relevant to the OP. The OP has asked about using a "caravan" and without further clarification from the OP I have assumed he is referring to a touring caravan rather than a static. One of the considerations when buying a caravan is whether to go for a SA or TA design.

Buckman has specifically stated " There is no way we would have been able to live in our caravan if it was a single axle. ", That is putting the vast majority of possible caravan choices out of the field, so his reasons for that statement should be made clear.

The OP needs this information to guide his future purchase. Its particularly relevant if there is some real reason why SA's are not suitable for full timing.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I'm sorry Parksy but I disagree. This is relevant to the OP. The OP has asked about using a "caravan" and without further clarification from the OP I have assumed he is referring to a touring caravan rather than a static. One of the considerations when buying a caravan is whether to go for a SA or TA design.

Buckman has specifically stated " There is no way we would have been able to live in our caravan if it was a single axle. ", That is putting the vast majority of possible caravan choices out of the field, so his reasons for that statement should be made clear.

The OP needs this information to guide his future purchase. Its particularly relevant if there is some real reason why SA's are not suitable for full timing.
That was our choice and my opinion based on personal experience. No one is forcing the OP to buy a twin axle.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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I'm sorry Parksy but I disagree. This is relevant to the OP. The OP has asked about using a "caravan" and without further clarification from the OP I have assumed he is referring to a touring caravan rather than a static. One of the considerations when buying a caravan is whether to go for a SA or TA design.

Buckman has specifically stated " There is no way we would have been able to live in our caravan if it was a single axle. ", That is putting the vast majority of possible caravan choices out of the field, so his reasons for that statement should be made clear.

The OP needs this information to guide his future purchase. Its particularly relevant if there is some real reason why SA's are not suitable for full timing.
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?
If you read the OP which I've quoted above you'll see that the query was about shoddy workmanship and the potential for dealers who cheat their customers.
Nowhere was the number of axles mentioned and the OP hasn't returned to the forum to ask about the relative desirability of twin axles or single axles for full time living.
This discussion is once more descending into a tit for that points scoring exercise between two members which will ultimately end with hurt feelings, a locked topic and moderators blamed.
If you want to discuss the optimum number of axles on a touring caravan please start a topic of your own instead of hijacking an existing one
 
May 7, 2012
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I think the answer is size. With the exception of Adria all other makers use twin axles for their largest caravans and for long term living the larger the better. People do manage though in smaller caravans so it is all a matter of choice and possibly budget.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If you read the OP which I've quoted above you'll see that the query was about shoddy workmanship and the potential for dealers who cheat their customers.
Nowhere was the number of axles mentioned and the OP hasn't returned to the forum to ask about the relative desirability of twin axles or single axles for full time living.
This discussion is once more descending into a tit for that points scoring exercise between two members which will ultimately end with hurt feelings, a locked topic and moderators blamed.
If you want to discuss the optimum number of axles on a touring caravan please start a topic of your own instead of hijacking an existing one
Thanks Parksy I think that the topic has drifted away but like a lot of choices the SA v TA decision can be subjective.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Ray beat me to it.
The largest U.K. tourers are all built on TAs. European and Slovenian do same size on SA.
I took the view anyone wanting long term living in a tourer , UK model, will need TA just for size. However I expect someone somewhere is coping in an Eriba.😀😀Or as the actress said to the bishop, size matters🤪🤪🤪
 
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Jun 23, 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?
Getting back to the gents question rather than the off topic posts.
Yes UK caravans have a very poor quality of build issues,not all the time but a higher than expected a lot of the time. couple that with terrible warrenty service and or dealer back up and yes there is a massive risk to a person buying a right old heap of a brand new caravan. I am fairly sure for every horror story theres hundreds of unheard happy stories.

As for full time living in a touring caravan its easily do able and very cheap and effective way to live. I work away from home and use my caravan on a site for 12 months of the year, average for me is 230 + days a year in the tin box.
As well as work i also use it for breaks and holidays.

So how do I get round the risk and horror stories, its easy i allow a cost to repair and upkeep.
A bricks and mortor house costs a fotune to upkeep. painting decorating, repairs windows, guttering, gardening and a hundred other jobs. and yet we expect to do drive a caravan on some of the worst roads in europe, across fields and through campsites and all that good stuff. you cant twist a house foundation and tow a bungalow at 60 mph up a motorway and yet we complain our caravan leaks or windows dont seal.

I maintain my caravan, i dont wait for things to break first i prevent them when ever possible. i change stuff, repair stuff, improve stuff. I put my hand in my pocket and pay out, probably a lot more than most do. but i do a lot more than most do.

A couple of holidays and ten weekends away a year is rough average for a caravan owner, 14+ 14+(10x2) 48 nights out a year? say 3000miles a year towing, mine is nearer 250 nights and 30,000 miles, five times the use, should i be paying five times the average maintenance costs?

Unless its a blow out or a puncture its extremely rare for caravan tyres to want to be changed. we have all seen tyres decades old, 10 years or 20 years is not uncommon. still full of tread plenty of grip left, old and brittle but still "looking good". i change my tyres every other year because they are worn out, how many caravaner's wear tyres out with miles traveled.

Do your research as best you can,
Just like a boat a cheap caravan is expensive to run and repair, a newer caravan has had less time to break or wear.
If your uncertain, PAY AN EXPERT to survey it first, asking a mate is not the same as asking a mate, in facts mates are just about the worst people ever to ask for advice, a cold hearted expert with insurance to cover you is far safer.
Buy the van you want but expet its not free living and you will need to pay at least some money out every year in maintenance.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Nicely put Galgo, I often think the same, and of course while being dragged around behind the car shaken to wotsit, there is probably a lot of weight in there too. Probably in some cases more than there should be?!!!
 
Jun 23, 2020
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Nicely put Galgo, I often think the same, and of course while being dragged around behind the car shaken to wotsit, there is probably a lot of weight in there too. Probably in some cases more than there should be?!!!
Thats one of my biggest bug bears, with UK caravan makers is their lack of weight capacity, 150kg to 200kg is nothing, my toys weigh more than that and if i eat any more mcdonalds my left leg probably.

My last caravan we had a firm redo the chassis so it could be properly loaded. If you have the tow tug then why not. This one we have not bothered with yet. Looking to change this winter and when we do i will change the chassis set up with a far better version.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thats one of my biggest bug bears, with UK caravan makers is their lack of weight capacity, 150kg to 200kg is nothing, my toys weigh more than that and if i eat any more mcdonalds my left leg probably.

My last caravan we had a firm redo the chassis so it could be properly loaded. If you have the tow tug then why not. This one we have not bothered with yet. Looking to change this winter and when we do i will change the chassis set up with a far better version.
Some are now offering more worthwhile upgrades rather than a measly 30 kg but not sure if it can be done retrospectively as the higher load version might be on a different axle.
 
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Jun 23, 2020
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Some are now offering more worthwhile upgrades rather than a measly 30 kg but not sure if it can be done retrospectively as the higher load version might be on a different axle.

With a bit of effort and research there's several firms that do caravan chassis up grades plus the legal plates to go with it. I believe that caravan manufacturers warranties are utterly worthless and that at best they are a nightmare to deal and claim with. I think its done on purpose too at times. Surely no one is that ignorant!!

So on the last time i had one done the cut the chassis up and left bits in place and installed a new and better version. Went from 1800kg to 2500kg MTPLM with plates
 
Jun 20, 2005
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With a bit of effort and research there's several firms that do caravan chassis up grades plus the legal plates to go with it. I believe that caravan manufacturers warranties are utterly worthless and that at best they are a nightmare to deal and claim with. I think its done on purpose too at times. Surely no one is that ignorant!!

So on the last time i had one done the cut the chassis up and left bits in place and installed a new and better version. Went from 1800kg to 2500kg MTPLM with plates
That’s a massive upgrade . Was that on an Al-ko chassis with upgrades axles. Must have cost a fortune?
 
Feb 23, 2018
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I believe that caravan manufacturers warranties are utterly worthless and that at best they are a nightmare to deal and claim with. I think its done on purpose too at times.
You somewhat roll the dice on the Make/Model of caravan you choose, but if you can choose a good dealer your warranty claim issues are mitigated to some extent.

For example, I purchased my caravan at an NEC show so had the choice of virtually any dealer - I would have been a fool to choose one 200 miles away - but the one I chose is a 20-30 minute drive, and has always been amazing. They fixed all the niggles and faulty kit with no issue.
 
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Jan 31, 2018
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Us too we bought ours from the lawns, got prices from all the dealers then asked our preferred local dealer to match the best . He was a few pounds off but we paid that bit extra for peace of mind knowing we'd got a pretty Good deal.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Never had a problem getting warranty work done on my Bailey or Sprite. The Bailey was purchased new from local dealership. The Sprite from a remote multi make dealership but then taken to local Swift dealership for servicing. Between the two vans they have had three cracked end panels replaced. All without quibble. Although it would be nice if the panels did not crack.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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We didn"t but ours was one owner from new it came from Couplands Caravans Ltd at Louth with full service history and we put a motor mover on to make it easier for me. and we just wanted to see if i could do it again and so far yes ,
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Galgo Slaves approach to the caravan he needs for his life style rather supports the view that standard models from manufacturers are less than ideal for full timing. Yes, it can be done, but he obviously found the standard models were less than ideal.

What he hasn't yet told us is how much these major revisions to his caravan costs.

It 's also be the case that the vehicle needed to tow caravans with such large MTPLM's are large 4x4s if not commercial vehicles.

I very much get the feeling this is somewhat beyond what the OP was after.
 

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