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Subject Topic: Thinking of changing Caravan Motorhome
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Message posted by corni on 12/12/2017 at 10:55am
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Hi
We have been toying with idea of swapping caravan for motorhome.
Would love hear what people who have already done this think about the change over.
Would also like to know about insurance, mpg etc.

Cheers

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Message posted by pepe63 on 12/12/2017 at 12:27pm
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Hi
This gets asked quite a lot on here, so it may be worth doing a "search"?
Personally, having had campervans & MHs but not a caravan, I'd (not so) briefly say-

For(MHs)- Tend to be easier to just get up and go and with less setting up time when you get there. Also with everything pretty much self contained, mid-journey stops("comfort breaks") are easier etc..

Against(MHs)
Still costs you money whilst it sitting doing nowt parked on the driveway!
Driving out for the day from a site isn't as easy as with a car & caravan(although by no means impossible).
Parking(*considerately)for anything other than a small van conversion, can be problematic at times, especially in unfamiliar areas/towns...

Running cost- We never really found them(insurance, servicing etc) to be any more expensive than our car(s).
(our last van, being 3850kg(Private Heavy Goods)was actually cheaper VED at £165(then)...and a 2-3hour mixed roads blat down to the SW would return us 30ish MPG, a bit more if I took it steadier(but A LOT less, if I was being heavy footed, I averaged only 17mpg on one trip! )

Keep an eye on the number proper 3 point rear seat belts and importantly enough payload(and axle capacity)to cope with what,and who, you intend to lug about.

A good many MHs, especially larger bodied and/or "family vans" can/WILL be overloaded(either over all or the rear axle)when kitted out with going away clobber.


Post last edited on 12/12/2017 12:40:27

Message posted by bigart on 12/12/2017 at 12:47pm
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Having had a caravan for about 30 years we changed about 7yrs ago,money wise all in all there is not a great deal of difference in running costs once you have got your van.what we found, and it took us a short while to work out it has to be a different kind of holiday, what we tend to do both here and abroad is to look for sites near town centre or bus routes, and another thing that we do is tour as we travel, meaning some days we might only move ten to twenty miles between sites if there is something we want to see.meaning We may use when abroad between 15/20sites in a month.ps We always use sites and not Aires or wild camp our choice Arthur

Message posted by Capt Lightning on 12/12/2017 at 12:50pm
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I would say that it's more a matter of lifestyle. If you park yourself on a site for a couple of weeks and travel round by car, then stick with a caravan. If you're always on the move and only stop for a day or two, then a MH / Campervan might be a better choice.

I expect that you will insure your caravan and have it serviced annually, so that will partly offset the cost af maintaining a van. I have found that the insurance isn't too bad - less than my wife's VW Polo! Mpg is between 35 and 40.

Having a fairly compact van, I also use it regularly for day trips, picnics, shopping trips etc.. so it doesn't just 'sit in the drive'.



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Two drifters off to see the world.

Northumberland in May (V.good).
Not sure where next.

Message posted by Buzzy-Beans on 12/12/2017 at 7:53pm
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Having been a 'tugger' for almost 30 years, I had more than a few concerns about going from the relative freedom of being able to drive round the area wherever I happened to pitch my caravan and from then on in the freedom of my own car............. to being tied to driving this enormous lump of flimsy motorhome whatever that wouldn't fit down most narrow roads, let alone go into small towns or villages!

So after spent an enormous amount of time looking at all of the coachbuilt vans and coming to the conclusion that I/we hated every single one of them, we then started to look at professionally converted panel vans and came to the conclusion that although they were all a great deal smaller internally than the caravans we had previously owned, and furthermore,although they were quite nice internally, we honestly didn't like the interiors of even the most expensive of these conversions!

In the end we decided that a panel van conversion was the only way for us to go as they are every bit as easy to drive and park as a normal car, so as we couldn't find a professionally converted van that we remotely liked, we ended up buying a basic van and then set to and converted it ourselves and all at a fraction of the price.

If you are interested in finding out more, then please drop me a pm

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There is a great World to be found out there, but by the very day, to find where it is becomes more of a challenge!

Message posted by fin676 on 12/12/2017 at 10:13pm
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We had a caravan for many years and had many happy trips with it however once the kids no longer went with parents on holiday we left the car and caravan at home used motorcycles for transport with a mix of camping and hotels
Now we have a van conversion camper that suits us and we tend to be in a different location each evening as we dont spread out too much when on a site to get moving unplug the ehu when connected start engine drive away camper has a fixed bed across the rear
We have done a wee bit of wild camping but do prefer to use proper sites

Brian

Message posted by Greg M on 13/12/2017 at 6:34am
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Hi,
Lots of good points above.
Perhaps if you were to hire one for a few days you might get a feel for it.
After all it can be a large outlay to find it deosn't suit you.
I have had both and would not go back to a caravan, but that is very much a personal opinion, as others have pointed out there are pro's and con's for both.
Regards,
Greg

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Message posted by barry915 on 13/12/2017 at 8:16am
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We tend to use sites that have a local buse service that can get us about which means we donít need a car and donít have to disconnect ehu etc, as said previously it is a personal preference

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Basa

Message posted by pepe63 on 13/12/2017 at 9:01am
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As has been said re; MH or stick with a caravan?- depends on how someone predicts/envisages how they are going to be using it...
(also, "toying with the idea" of getting a motorhome, is like "toying with the idea of getting a car"? There are so many different types, which lend themselves to different "usages"? )

If it's only really going to be used in an identical way to an existing caravan(and the caravan hasn't become a chore to tow & set-up?), then it could be argued that someone may as well stay with what they have?...

Having said that, due to MHs/Campervans lending themselves better for being able to just pop away for unplanned weekends or even just day trips, they could well end up getting used far more frequently, than their caravan ever would?

As I've posted before, we went straight to MHs from tents but if we had gone the caravan route (and I hadn't hated the thing!. ), I may've found it difficult to justify the 30-50K upwards outlay to switch to using a MH....?
(even though, as in the paragraph above, we used our vans far more frequently than we would have ever used a caravan).

MHs(especially the larger coach-built types) really come into their own for the retired types and/or those who have the time to go off touring for weeks/months at a time.

But a good many can end up us expensive garden ornaments if their owners aren't careful.
(there're a couple of vans by us- an A class Rapido and a Dethleffs cver-cab- and apart from maybe a few weeks in the summer ( and presumably a trip to the MOT station?) they seem to hardly turn a wheel?)


Post last edited on 13/12/2017 09:29:47

Message posted by AL53HX on 13/12/2017 at 9:09am
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Just changed albeit reluctantly to a M/home after years caravanning due to back and hip troubles,so this thread is informative to me as we've not tried it yet(was supposed to be this weekend gone)main concern is having to find alternative transport when on site,one plus is my other half cant take as many clothes with her (YET)but I'm sure she'll find a way (LOL)

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Message posted by pepe63 on 13/12/2017 at 9:17am
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Hi AL53HX
Similar to what others have said, we just chose sites that were either easy/quickly walkable into the village/town we were visiting ..or on the occasions that wasn't possible,we just made sure there was public transport nearby(and importantly, that it would be running on the days we were there and at times that suited us!)

But not having known it any different, we never really found it an issue...but I can see how it could be for someone used to having their car on hand..and/or with mobility concerns?

Post last edited on 13/12/2017 09:31:51

Message posted by dillydom on 13/12/2017 at 9:38am
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In agreement with other posts but would also mention do you mainly tour UK or abroad because if you aim to spend a lot of time say in France a motorhome is wonderful being able to use the Aires. Its also easier to wildcamp in a motorhome.


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Message posted by Prospector on 13/12/2017 at 10:04am
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We made the move in 2015, after toying with the idea for over 10 years.
As has already been stated, depends where you intend to go. France, for example is so MH friendly, and we use the Aires extensively whilst there which is normally a 6 week tour. We also tour in the UK for another 6 weeks or so as well as long weekends etc. Probably about 20 - 22 weeks in total.

We overcome transport problems by using electric bikes.

It really is a different style of camping.

One further point is that ferry/tunnel cost is less.

-------------
Paul

Message posted by Lorfal on 13/12/2017 at 1:07pm
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We have just downsized [only a ,little really) from coach to PVC. Itís a new autosleeper fairford and has everything we need. We have lost a wee bit storage but space in general in the fairford is good with 2 living areas, sleeps 4. Something this size can be used as an everyday vehicle too. Easy to park in supermarket car parks, and when on a site, easy to drive, explore and return. Changing to a motorh9me might be expensive , and yes itís too expensive to site in a drive looking fabulous lol. This was our way ensuring itís used all the time. We even might find ourselves out shopping and decide....the hell with it! Letís not go home for a few days lol. Not sure if this is something worth considering corni. Oh not to mention when we got rid of the car, we only have one set of running and maintenance costs too.

Good luck with your deliberations

Message posted by corni on 13/12/2017 at 2:05pm
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Thanks for all your comments, they have all been very helpful. There are a lot of things to consider before diving in.
I think the main thing that drawing me to the MH is the getting and just driving off. Coupling up and setting up our caravan can be a pain at times.
If we did buy a MH we would also be thinking about a town at and a little car for getting about.
I also like the idea of touring France in a MH be cause I would never tackle France in the caravan.
Cheers   

Message posted by sdrew56 on 13/12/2017 at 4:47pm
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We went to a caravan the a new motorhome 2 years ago, advantages the whole thing is warm when you get there in winter and cool in summer, very quick getting set up and packing away, insurance was about 2/3 of what just the caravan cost,less depreciation though there is the VAT content to take into account on a new one, much higher payload.
Disadvantages,
No vehicle to get around in so we tend to pick sites within a walk or cycle ride of towns or attractions.


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