Old caravans and refurbishment

Would people buy a restored van

  • Yes - with a guarantee of it being dry

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • Yes - without a guarantee

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • No - if it's not modern I wouldn't touch it

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • No as old vans are far worse than new ones

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .
Feb 23, 2024
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Hi all we have a 1993 Sprite Super 450c that we have lovingly done up over the last 18 months, we only bought it cheap (£550) and it's now water tight and looking great, feeling warm, dry and cosy.

Having recently spoken to a second-hand caravan dealer and looked at the newer vans circa £10k - £20k we realised that although more modern you don't get much more in facilities and comfort than we already have for a lot more money.

For the record we have
  • Motormover
  • Solar panel
  • Gas heating
  • 4 berth
  • Shower, sink and toilet
  • Full-size awning
  • 3-way power fridge
  • Hob and grill
  • Kitchen sink
  • Digital aerial
  • USB power points
  • 13amp power
Now I know we are novice caravaners, but love it all the same but I wondered what others thought of the following question

If there were a supply of good quality restored and fit-for-purpose vans circa £1k - £3k would people buy them?
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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....

If there were a supply of good quality restored and fit-for-purpose vans circa £1k - £3k would people buy them?

I can only really point you to one of our contributors "beachball" whose tag line is

"To Each His Own...."

I may have something of an advantage here, because of my background, and I have seen many older caravans and other trailers , and apart from the dated styles and the odd ding here and there, the caravans owners have kept them looking immaculate,

But what they didn't understood is how some of the fixings have corroded or worn out over time and by the time I saw them the caravan body and chassis have had as Space X say "an unscheduled disassembly"

For that reason alone I would be very suspicious of a touring caravan of that apparent age that looked shabby on the outside but immaculate inside.
 
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Feb 23, 2024
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ProfJohnL ... it's a super fair point indeed. I know from working on this the fixing can be bad unless the skin is totally removed and you rebuild it bit by bit.. .then of course it becomes a new van.

So now I have on my mind the potential "unscheduled disassembly" as I go out on my next trip. :-(

All the same great point well made.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It doesn't matter how old your caravan is, or the condition, the weather will be the same for everyone on whchever site you choose, years ago we went away with friends and we both had new caravans, on the second day a family arrived with an old caravan,on talking to the owner, he had bought the caravan 2 weeks before , checked it over and gone on holiday in it for2 weeks and when he got it home he intended to sell it for what he had paid for it,we never found out if he did but my bet is that he probably did, also he wasn't too worried about the kids kicking balls against it etc
 
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Feb 23, 2024
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I need to take some inside pictures but I keep taking it to bits inside to make adjustments then we go away. It's been painted antique cream inside with white walls, nothing garish a gentle nod to older caravans really
 
Aug 12, 2023
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Hi all we have a 1993 Sprite Super 450c that we have lovingly done up over the last 18 months, we only bought it cheap (£550) and it's now water tight and looking great, feeling warm, dry and cosy.

Having recently spoken to a second-hand caravan dealer and looked at the newer vans circa £10k - £20k we realised that although more modern you don't get much more in facilities and comfort than we already have for a lot more money.
The modern vans have central systems which can be nice use but when (not if) it dies you loss heating, HW and maybe lighting along with waterpump. Also that control system needs 12V continously which could be issue if trying to manage battery offgrid.

Older vans systems are all separate and in case of heaters don't need 12V to operate.
 
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Sep 23, 2023
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Prof but what if they do understand that there may be instances when the structural integrity may be compromised and take relevant remedial action.I for one don't know factually how many post 1990s caravans have had catastrophic failure that have been well maintained, perhaps you know differently..it is good practice to keep all vehicles in a safe condition irrespective of age or use...Gary
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Prof but what if they do understand that there may be instances when the structural integrity may be compromised and take relevant remedial action.I for one don't know factually how many post 1990s caravans have had catastrophic failure that have been well maintained, perhaps you know differently..it is good practice to keep all vehicles in a safe condition irrespective of age or use...Gary
If a upcycler does take appropriate action and does what necessary to secure the on going integrity of a caravan All well and good.

BUT .......

The problem is that not ALL upcyclers might understand or be prepared to do what's necessary which pollutes the pool of up cycled items and the consumer has no obvious way of knowing whether the work was necessary or if its been done whether it's been done correctly, or whether the seller is conning them.
 
Feb 23, 2024
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Hmm fair point again Prof ... much the same as buying a second-hand car I suppose. I suspect you buy most things brand new from your comments otherwise you'd be risking buying from the 'polluted pool of upcycled items'
All that said even new purchases come with risks given what I read in this tread - https://forums.practicalcaravan.com/threads/2023-bailey-damp-already.67293/
It seems like the new caravan market has it's fair share of 'polluted product' too.

To each their own I suppose.
 
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Prof ..If's buts and whether's don't count much in reality,facts count.How many is ,"not all"0.001 percent or 99 percent .At what age then would a caravan be exempt from the owner needing to understand if ,"they" should be concerned about if it's below par
 
Sep 23, 2023
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Thank you for your comments much appreciated ...Gary .. I'm on with it now..removing top two front marker lights and replacing with dual led marker/indicator lights .. I've put my yellow and green cables I got for wiring them up somewhere safe a while ago..it must be safe I can't find them..🙂
 
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