Newbie.... considering 1st touring caravan

Dec 30, 2018
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Hi All
I am considering buying my first caravan.
We are a family of five. Two adults plus a 13 year old and twins that are 9 years old.
We already have a Navara and a discovery sport and some experience of towing a small trailer so that is covered.

Initially i was looking at around a 10 year old 5 berth tourer for under 7k budget (such as bailey ranger, bailey Pegasus) as we are new to it all etc. I am a little put off by potential damage, poor repairs, damp issues and generally the dated interior looks. I have also noticed there seems to be more 6 berth available (which is prob a better option).

So looking for some advice from experienced members.....
Option 1. Around 7k budget. option 2. up to 12k budget
Also come across Adria Altea which seem a lot more contemporary. Any thoughts on these? New these come in around 15k but some still under warranty around 2 or 3 years old for under 12k.
Obviously depreciation is also a consideration.

Thanks in advance
Daniel
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Hi Daniel, welcome to the forum.
The answers to your questions regarding which purchase price level to go for depend on several factors and some further research on your part.
The first thing to consider is what your driving licence will allow you to tow with the tow vehicles that you are using.
If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997 then skip the next bit, otherwise your choice of caravan will be restricted to: 'vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM with up to 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).
You can also tow heavier trailers if the total MAM of the vehicle and trailer isn’t more than 3,500kg.'

The next thing to consider as a family is how you will use your prospective caravan?
Will you be using mainly fully equipped sites with full shower and toilet amenities or perhaps local club rallies in places such as farms or places of interest which may have little more than a drinking water tap and a place to empty the toilet cassette?
If you plan to use fully equipped sites most of the time then perhaps you may not really need a fully equipped end washroom with flushing loo.
Consider the sleeping arrangements, will you prefer a separate sleeping compartment for the children to allow you to sit up and watch tv after they've gone to bed?
What sort of kitchen will you need, check to see how much worktop space, storage space and dining space you will need.
How big does the fridge or freezer need to be, how many 230v plug sockets, interior lights and tv aerial points do you think you'll need?
It might help to make a list of 'Must Have' , 'Desireable but not Essential' and 'Don't Really Need' items to look for when choosing your first caravan, print copies of your list to tick the boxes as you look inside various models on dealers forecourts.
The overall condition of any prospective caravan is much more important than it's age, look for a clean, damage free well looked after model, preferably with a motor mover fitted and an awning and groundsheet included in the purchase price.
Be prepared to haggle!
Use your list to take a cold objective look at what you are thinking of buying, don't fall for smooth sales patter and for goodness sake don't do the sales staff job for them by enthusing about the good points, most caravans look nice at first glance so make the sales staff work for their sale, try hard for price reductions because if you don't ask you definitely won't get!
The caravan show season is nearly upon us, go along to have a look at what's on offer without committing to buy, just to compare makes and models.
The dealerships will be taking in part exchange models over the next few months, have a word with some of them to tell them what you're looking for and to leave your contact details with them.
Did I mention haggling? :lol:
Have a good look at the Caravan Buyers Guide to avoid the more obvious pitfalls, keep in touch to let us know how you're getting on and good luck with your quest to find a really good family caravan
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Daniel , hi ,

We are a family of 4 with a 6 berth caravan caravan but use it as a 4 birth ; wouldn't have a clue how to put the other 2 bunk bits up over the rear dinette but when you come to choose / look at your caravan I would go for the pull-out bed at the front with possible bunks at the rear for the kids so then when they go to bed you can shut their bit off and use front end for time at the front watching TV before going to bed yourself & giving them a bit of room at the back like ours .

Trust me , its greeeeaaaat !!

We are onto our second caravan and started out with the smallest 1 with 3 bunks and are now on to our larger one with two bunks equipped for another 2 .
We lost next to nothing on our first caravan as they don't depreciate as much as what cars do so look carefully choose wisely and enjoy.

A good idea is to take all the family with you when you go to look at different and various options and layouts , get the kids to lay down on bunks like we did !!! You's sit down for time to chill and see what you think of the space that you's have .

Obviously with the veichles you have weight is not a problem when choosing your caravan providing you are pre 97 licence holders .

Good luck . Craig .
 
May 7, 2012
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Welcome to the forum. I agree with Craig that if you go for a six berth then bunks at the back should work best which is how we accommodated three children when they were young.
If you are looking at older caravans then you get an interior appropriate for the time it was made so yes they will probably look dated to some but that is something you have to accept.
Adria caravans always do well in the magazines annual reader survey against other makes, so should make a good buy. Do beware though they tend to be more basic, as TV aerials and cookers can be extras and plug sockets can be in short supply. Whatever you buy, do make a note of what equipment you feel you need and make sure you get it.
Personally I would not get too hung up on the make, we have always bought what suited us at the time, and have had six different makes out of seven caravans. Basically I would search for a good well looked after model that fits your needs and go for that.
Putting up bunks is usually straightforward but get the seller to show you how.
 

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