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Subject Topic: Changing From A Motorhome To Caravan?
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Message posted by David Klyne20/5/2020 at 8:14pm
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Quote: Originally posted by JTQU on 20/5/2020




I feel David you are missing the point that for the OP, it is not just towing a car, as can be achieved with an "A" frame, their needs, EU visits, preclude that option on legal grounds, it has to also involve a trailer.




I was really responding, in the first part of my post to someone who couldn't understand a motorhome towing a car. I appreciate the OP mention travelling to Europe where a-frames are not accepted. Adding a trailer to the mix would be like going from the frying pan into the fire.

I just worry from what the OP has said towing a car and then translating it to a caravan I don't see how a caravan would be easier for them except they would have the freedom to stay longer in one place and explore using their car. That would be a sound reason for change but they need to satisfy themselves that they will be able to handle a caravan especially if their intention is to buy a heavier German model. Hence my suggestion of a smaller motorhome which might achieve their ability to be able to visit more places in the motorhome. Having recently change to a slightly smaller motorhome ourselves we appreciate the extra convenience despite giving up a fair amount of space internally. As always its horses for courses.
David

Message posted by Colin2120/5/2020 at 10:40pm
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Quote: Originally posted by dk168 on 20/5/2020
An expert instructor of caravan maneuvering stated in a video that even he could not reverse a small leisure trailer like my Brenderup 1150s hooked up to a car!

And yes, I have tried and failed, and can confirm it is not doable.

DK



Yes I'll second that! I have towed all sorts of things over many years, but my little box trailer is a swine to reverse! I can't even see it when it's behind my car and it jack-knifes in an instant. Reversing my caravan is a doddle by comparison.


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Message posted by Sukywuky via mobile 21/5/2020 at 8:19am
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We have considered a smaller motorhome David but we’d still have to tow a trailer to carry my mobility scooter and other essentials in. On top of that, we’d have the restrictions of a smaller more cramped living space and for me personally that is something I’d hate as I’m used to the spaciousness of our 9m motorhome. It just wouldn’t really work for us to change to a smaller motorhome and so all things considered we much prefer the large car / largish caravan option.

My husband is an extremely competent and careful driver and has driven all over Europe in the motorhome but he and I both intend to do a caravan manoeuvring course as soon as lockdown allows as we both feel that would be a very sensible approach to take. Safety is paramount and we want to make sure we follow sensible advice regarding towing a large and heavy touring caravan.

We appreciate all the advice everyone is giving us and it is certainly helpIng us to decide what appeals to us and what to look out for etc. As with a motorhome, what suits one doesn’t always suit another and we all have our own preferences but thankfully there is a wide choice to choose from out there, so we’re going to enjoy every minute of searching for our next holiday home on wheels.

Happy Sunny Thursday Everyone! x

Message posted by romany21/5/2020 at 1:30pm
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As others have said it is really a personal choice over the years I have done nearly all types of camping and still tent as well as campervanning I left caravaning due to health issues and would not go back yes there are draw backs but non that can't be overcome what you can cope with is the most important thing

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Message posted by David Klyne21/5/2020 at 8:52pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Sukywuky on 21/5/2020
We have considered a smaller motorhome David but we’d still have to tow a trailer to carry my mobility scooter and other essentials in. On top of that, we’d have the restrictions of a smaller more cramped living space and for me personally that is something I’d hate as I’m used to the spaciousness of our 9m motorhome. It just wouldn’t really work for us to change to a smaller motorhome and so all things considered we much prefer the large car / largish caravan option.

My husband is an extremely competent and careful driver and has driven all over Europe in the motorhome but he and I both intend to do a caravan manoeuvring course as soon as lockdown allows as we both feel that would be a very sensible approach to take. Safety is paramount and we want to make sure we follow sensible advice regarding towing a large and heavy touring caravan.

We appreciate all the advice everyone is giving us and it is certainly helpIng us to decide what appeals to us and what to look out for etc. As with a motorhome, what suits one doesn’t always suit another and we all have our own preferences but thankfully there is a wide choice to choose from out there, so we’re going to enjoy every minute of searching for our next holiday home on wheels.

Happy Sunny Thursday Everyone! x



I can appreciate all the difficulties you mention and I hope when you actually decide it works well for you. It sounds as though you will need a larger car if you want to get a mobility scooter in, perhaps an estate or an SUV. Don't forget you won't have as much payload in a caravan as you would in the motorhome although some of that can be compensated by using space a loading in the car. Normally I would suggest going to the NEC to compare models but I am not sure when they are happening next.

David

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Message posted by SamandRose22/5/2020 at 1:35pm
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Quote: Originally posted by dk168 on 20/5/2020
An expert instructor of caravan maneuvering stated in a video that even he could not reverse a small leisure trailer like my Brenderup 1150s hooked up to a car!

And yes, I have tried and failed, and can confirm it is not doable.

DK




Is that a challenge? If so I bet I can reverse your trailer. Whoever loses gets the beers in

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Message posted by SamandRose22/5/2020 at 1:49pm
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Back to Sue's OP. These are the reasons a caravan works for us:

- The sort of holidays we like are those where we can find somewhere nice to stay and then explore as much of our surroundings as we reasonably can. Therefore it suits us much better to park a caravan on a nice site, leave it there for up to a week and go off in the car whenever it suits us. With a motorhome you're more restricted on the places you can visit outside your site, unless you can use public transport or tow a car behind it (but you already know the problems associated with that).

   - Costs. Our old caravan cost us £3k 4 years ago, after which we spent £600 or so on new tyres, battery and other accessories. The only costs since then have been £150/year on servicing and £50/year on insurance. (Oh, and £100 for a new valve in the water system - ouch.) But we've towed it to France, Switzerland, Ireland, Edinburgh, North Wales, Dorset and Cornwall to name but a few. Somehow I don't think we'd have got a motorhome capable of all those journeys for that sort of money.

(And yes, I know a tent is even cheaper but that doesn't have heating, hot water, comfy seats or a shower, all of which help when the British summer is doing its thing and it's cold and rainy outside. The caravan does.)

What might be the biggest downsides are that, compared to a motorhome, pitching up a caravan will take longer and involve more physical effort. You may also need to change your car to something capable of towing it.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Message posted by Colin2122/5/2020 at 2:45pm
Outfit:  1992 Elddis Wisp 450CT + X Trail     Location:  East Herts
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I still say that caravans reached a peak in their development in the mid-80s. Before that there was often no hot water or shower, no mains electric, and often gas lighting, except maybe in some top-of-the-range models. Since the mid-80s the most significant changes have been to styling. Apart from possibly air-con and a microwave, I can't think of anything the very latest caravans have that our 1992 one doesn't. It even has motor movers, but of course they could have been retro-fitted.

The thing that takes the longest with our caravan is the awning, but we only bother with that if we are going to be on a site at least a week. Without the awning, setting it up and levelling it takes minutes, and I have seen people with a motorhome take longer, especially if the ground is a bit uneven. With a motorhome having at least 4 wheels, levelling it both side to side and front to back can be tricky unless you have the luxury of hydraulic jacks. A caravan is much easier on uneven surfaces. A ramp under one wheel, then adjust fore and aft with the jockey wheel. Drop the jacks (I use an electric drill) and you're done.




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Colin

Message posted by Sukywuky via mobile 22/5/2020 at 5:39pm
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I think with every set up albeit motorhome or caravan there are pros and cons just as there is with all things in life. It’s just a question of what appeals or suits each individuals requirements, budgets and preferences. To be honest we’re not overly concerned about how long setting up takes as generally we’re a pretty chilled out couple in no rush - well unless it’s throwing it down and then we’d probably sit indoors with a cup of tea or a glass of wine until it cleared! lol

So if setting up a caravan is slightly more time consuming than setting up our motorhome is - then we will just take it all in our stride and use whatever gadget or gizmo we need to, in order to make it as simple and as straightforward as it can be. We certainly won’t be in any race to set up quicker than our observant neighbours that’s for sure and if they get set up before us and we have a smug audience watching our struggles - I‘llcheekily ask them if they’d like to give us a hand! Ha ha ha!

We loved motorhoming and we have some amazing and happy memories of our travels and adventures around Morocco, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Germany and we feel blessed to have met some wonderful characters and made many new friends during our jaunts. However, our health issues mean we have to ease up slightly on any long distance travels now but we still remain positive and are very excited about all our new plans which will mostly involve travel around the uk plus our big love which is attending music festivals and other similar outdoor events.

Always look on the bright and positive side of life I say and it’s not what you CAN’T do - it’s what you CAN still do that matters!

Post last edited on 22/05/2020 18:02:32

Message posted by Sukywuky via mobile 22/5/2020 at 5:48pm
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Post last edited on 22/05/2020 17:57:13

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Message posted by Colin2122/5/2020 at 8:08pm
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I think you have it just about right Sukywuky!


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Message posted by lidds0 via mobile 23/5/2020 at 9:21pm
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As has already been suggested, look at Hymer Nova caravans. They're heavy beasts but beautifully engineered and (IMHO) knock spots off their British counterparts.

I'd suggest you avoid the 570 though, or any similar layout current model. It's very long for a single axle and - if you check out reviews - some had a problem with creasing over the door. I went to buy a used one once, a lovely van but there was the telltale door crease, so I refused it. The private seller subsequently took it in to a dealer to trade it in and rang me to say "You were right"; the van had effectively broken its back and it was rendered virtually valueless.

Don't let this tale put you off though. We've had 4 Hymer Nova vans over the years (as well as Elddis, Bailey and Tec - none of them any competition) and they've been great. In fact, we bought our first Hymer back in 2004, after viewing one on the pitch next to us when we were camping on the west coast of France. We were in our Bailey Senator Montana (jaffa orange upholstery, narrow bunk beds, fitted carpets) so the Hymer was a bit of a revelation. We sold the Bailey when we got back and bought our first Hymer.

The models have gone through some drastic changes since then but the build quality remains good (except for that over-long 570!😉).

We've dabbled with all sorts of camping units over the years. If we were ever to buy another caravan, it would be another Hymer. But you do need a hefty tow car as the MTPLM of most is around 1800kg.

Best of luck with whatever you decide. Variety is the spice of life and a change is as good as a rest, to quote two handy proverbs!

Post last edited on 23/05/2020 21:26:38


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