quality 4-berth with less beige

Sep 23, 2018
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Hi All!

I'm just starting to look at caravaning as a cost efficient way to work away from home, visit children and occasional holiday. Most of the time the caravan will be located near to my place of work and I will be using it 4 nights a week with my wife and dogs. I will be moving it roughly once a month for a visit or a vacation.

We are looking at 4 berth below 1600Kg. We have visited a number of new and used sales locations to get an idea of what is available. We have settled on fixed longitudinal double bed with the bathroom at the back. As we will be using the caravan a lot then we would like to include such things as extractor fans in kitchen/bathroom, air conditioning, hot water heating and so on.

There are a number of options such as the Elddis Crusader Super Sirocco, Bailey Unicorn Barcelona S3 and Lunar Lexon 540. These are all nice, but the insides just leave us cold. They all seem to be designed with a beige palette and an overdose of (often fake) wood. I did see a Sterling Continental 570 which is pretty amazing, but the weight is just too much for my car.

We would prefer to buy used as the depreciation in the first few years, from what I can see, is around 30%. Thus we are looking at 2015 range. We would be quite happy to spend a little to have the interior refinished if that can get us a more chic colourway.

What I'm looking for is advice on models we should consider, if there are people who can refinish the interior of caravans and any other pearls of wisdom that you good people can toss my way. How easy and cost efficient is it to buy a lower spec caravan and upgrade it, for example? If I was to do this who should I use? I live in Cheshire BTW.

Thanks in advance! Richard
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Can’t really advise on the pros and cons of your caravan choices. But going for low spec and upgrading could be more costly than buying a nice high spec from the start. Apart from this summer I don’t really think air conditioning is much of an asset in UK and you will be carting extra weight around with the added maintenance/repair costs if it goes wrong. Solar panels would be more use as you could then reduce your pitch fees at times by living off grid.
If you web search caravan upholstery there are many firms who provide a debeiging service. Also most caravan mags carry their adverts too.
 
May 7, 2012
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rickit 2004, It is very difficult to advise on which caravan you should go for as we all have very different tastes on interior design. Essentially there are only five UK manufacturers and you have named three as possibles. The other two are Swift who make the Sterling, but you say that is too heavy and Coachman, whose models are heavier still.
At that point you would be looking at foreign models, the main two available are Adria and Hobby. I am afraid you will find the Adria possibly too heavy and not that different but the Hobby is German and rather different so you might look at that although you may not find the layout you want.
If you cannot stand the interiors than possibly your only option is as you say to alter it.
Before you tow though it is necessary to have a B+E licence if the MAM of the car plus the MTPLM of the caravan together exceed 3,500kg which given the caravans you are quoting I think they will. Drivers who passed their test before 1997 should have this but after that you need to pass an additional test.
You should also be aware that the permitted towing capacity of the car might nit be safe for towing a caravan. The car has to be able to control the caravan and the basic idea is that it should be heavy enough to do this. If you need more information look up
https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/advice-for-beginners/driving-licences/
https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/guide-to-buying-hiring-vehicles/Buying-a-car-caravan-or-motorhome/buying-a-caravan/
 
Sep 23, 2018
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Thanks - and great call out about the car. I have a 3L diesel Jaguar XF shooting brake, thus the 1600Kg limit. I'm unlikely to change it anytime soon. I'm a GenX, so I lucked out with the licences :)

I haven't looked at Hobby. I must admit, the weight of the caravans has really surprised me. I figured I hard a really good tow car, but so many are out of my bracket. Makes me wonder at vehicles I pass on the motorway.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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rickit2004 said:
Thanks - and great call out about the car. I have a 3L diesel Jaguar XF shooting brake, thus the 1600Kg limit. I'm unlikely to change it anytime soon. I'm a GenX, so I lucked out with the licences :)

I haven't looked at Hobby. I must admit, the weight of the caravans has really surprised me. I figured I hard a really good tow car, but so many are out of my bracket. Makes me wonder at vehicles I pass on the motorway.
You and me both wonder at outfits seen travelling around. Then when you sit and people watch you will be amazed at what is in the front locker and comes out of the caravan too. They seem to have obtained high payload caravans from a source that I’ve not yet found. Good luck.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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Swift's Eccles range are styled in greys and shiny white. Not my taste but certainly not beige. You might like them.
Happy hunting.
Mel
 
Sep 23, 2018
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Solid suggestion, cheers. The Eccles' design did appeal to me, but unfortunately they don't have the right configuration. I understand why the transverse bed is popular, but you will need to be constantly flipping the end up and down to open the path to the toilet. The other configuration is toilet in the middle, but that doesn't appeal to us as it feels 'unsafe' if you have another couple in the caravan, and going through the toilet to our bed isnt nice in my mind.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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The other less beige manufacturer is Adria. Caravanfinder is a good website to browse ranges.
Mel
 
Sep 22, 2018
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As you intend to spend a lot of time in the van it seems to me that getting the right layout, comfortable seats and comfortable bed are way more important than the colour scheme. Make sure you try out the comfort of the furnishings, you can alter the covers on the cushions etc at your leisure. There are many companies that offer a re-upholstery service. Good luck!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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rickit2004 said:
Thanks - and great call out about the car. I have a 3L diesel Jaguar XF shooting brake, thus the 1600Kg limit. I'm unlikely to change it anytime soon. I'm a GenX, so I lucked out with the licences :)

I haven't looked at Hobby. I must admit, the weight of the caravans has really surprised me. I figured I hard a really good tow car, but so many are out of my bracket. Makes me wonder at vehicles I pass on the motorway.
Sorry but perhaps i'm old fashioned but I have no idea what you mean by "Gen X. and " Lucked out"
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
rickit2004 said:
Thanks - and great call out about the car. I have a 3L diesel Jaguar XF shooting brake, thus the 1600Kg limit. I'm unlikely to change it anytime soon. I'm a GenX, so I lucked out with the licences :)

I haven't looked at Hobby. I must admit, the weight of the caravans has really surprised me. I figured I hard a really good tow car, but so many are out of my bracket. Makes me wonder at vehicles I pass on the motorway.
Sorry but perhaps i'm old fashioned but I have no idea what you mean by "Gen X. and " Lucked out"
Generation x are 25-34 year olds as opposed to Snowflakes, Millenials, Generation Y, Baby boomers or as my wife and I were told a couple of weeks ago “ I am not going to be bullied by a couple of oldies” The protagonist lost that one and cut the Leylandii hedge, and put her house on the market.
 
Sep 23, 2018
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No disagreement from me.

We have spent a bunch of time in and out of caravans to make sure we can get a layout that works for us. Colour i very important for me in my home life, thus why is is part of the considerations. While I can get soft furnishing reupholstered it is an extra cost that I would not like to have if it can be avoided.
 
Sep 23, 2018
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otherclive said:
ProfJohnL said:
rickit2004 said:
Thanks - and great call out about the car. I have a 3L diesel Jaguar XF shooting brake, thus the 1600Kg limit. I'm unlikely to change it anytime soon. I'm a GenX, so I lucked out with the licences :)

I haven't looked at Hobby. I must admit, the weight of the caravans has really surprised me. I figured I hard a really good tow car, but so many are out of my bracket. Makes me wonder at vehicles I pass on the motorway.
Sorry but perhaps i'm old fashioned but I have no idea what you mean by "Gen X. and " Lucked out"
Generation x are 25-34 year olds as opposed to Snowflakes, Millenials, Generation Y, Baby boomers or as my wife and I were told a couple of weeks ago “ I am not going to be bullied by a couple of oldies” The protagonist lost that one and cut the Leylandii hedge, and put her house on the market.
Not quite. GenX are the children of the forgotten generation, the latter being born between the wars. GenX are those born between 1965 and 1984. The oldest GenX is now in their 50s. We are a very small generation. GenX is a misfit generation, in that society has bias towards the older boomers ('45 to '64) and now is bias towards the younger millenials (85-99). Post 2000 are the GenZ.

I was being sardonic with 'lucked out' a in most cases GenX has suffered due to being out of step with social policy.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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rickit2004 said:
I was being sardonic with 'lucked out' a in most cases GenX has suffered due to being out of step with social policy.
I'm sorry but this still makes no sense to me, We have two definitions of Gen X, why not avoid ambiguity by using the age group or period you are referring to?

And you still have not clarified whet "Lucked out" means , you suggest out of step with social policy, but I am not aware of any defined social policy so your point is still a mystery.

please clarify?
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
rickit2004 said:
I was being sardonic with 'lucked out' a in most cases GenX has suffered due to being out of step with social policy.
I'm sorry but this still makes no sense to me, We have two definitions of Gen X, why not avoid ambiguity by using the age group or period you are referring to?

And you still have not clarified whet "Lucked out" means , you suggest out of step with social policy, but I am not aware of any defined social policy so your point is still a mystery.
please clarify?
We're not the grammar police, both phrases are colloquial terms and if you really have no idea what they mean then use Google to find out if you're curious. If your enter what does 'lucked out' mean? in the Google search box you can navigate to urban dictionaries which will supply good definitions.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Most of us will use terms relevant to new popular usage from time to time, 'lucked out' meaning 'unfortunately in this circumstance' (or something similar).

OK, as we evolve so does language, I'm not against it but sometimes some of the new terms are annoying and often short lived.

My pet hate at the moment is "so", people who start every or most sentences or replies with bloody 'SO' get on my threepenny's no end, sheep people (or people who are sheep :p ).
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Anseo said:
Most of us will use terms relevant to new popular usage from time to time, 'lucked out' meaning 'unfortunately in this circumstance' (or something similar).

OK, as we evolve so does language, I'm not against it but sometimes some of the new terms are annoying and often short lived.

My pet hate at the moment is "so", people who start every or most sentences or replies with bloody 'SO' get on my threepenny's no end, sheep people (or people who are sheep :p ).
Or tv commentators who answer “absolutely “ when a simple “yes” will suffice.
 

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