Caravanners in the Back Room - terryb
Any other Backroom caravanners going to the National Rally? If so, fancy meeting up for a pint?

Terry
Caravanners in the Back Room - Nsar
So the rest of us can actually get somewhere while you're parked up.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Chas{P}
Nsar

I am a very infrequent caravanner borrowing my parents caravan every now and then.

The vast majority of the time, like most other caravanners I can maintain the legal speed limit on most roads being able to overtake HGV's etc. However I do get annoyed by drivers that get wound up by perceiving that you are not capable of maintaining a decent average speed.

If you can keep up with the traffic in front then what is the problem??
Caravanners in the Back Room - smokie
Charles

Hear hear, in my experience the problem often IS the traffic in front - on motorways anyway. I hardly use my caravan now, but when I do, I plan destinations which I can get to using mainly motorway.

It is the usual lane 2 hogs which cause me many problems, as I cannot use lane 3. They are travelling, often well below my speed, with an empty lane 1 beside them. And refuse to move ocer for a car + caravan.

And also the guys who, despite me indicating for hundreds of yards, will not let you out into "their" lane to pass a slower vehicle in lane 1.

I am very conscious of people's unwarranted hatred of caravans so am careful to drive considerately but as per usual other people don't bother...
Caravanners in the Back Room - Bob the builder
It's even worse when pulling a low trailer. Middle lane hoggers can't understand why you're behind them and won't pull out into the third lane. Why on earth is there not a campaign to get people on our motorways to pull over to the left when at all possible ? On German autobahns there are hundreds of signs saying "Rechts fahren" ie drive to the right.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Jonathan {p}
It's even worse when pulling a low trailer. Middle lane hoggers
can't understand why you're behind them and won't pull out into
the third lane. Why on earth is there not a campaign
to get people on our motorways to pull over to the
left when at all possible ? On German autobahns there are
hundreds of signs saying "Rechts fahren" ie drive to the right.




Aaaahhhh

So is that why bmw's drivers are head straight for the fast lane?
Caravanners in the Back Room - Ian (Cape Town)
On German autobahns there are
hundreds of signs saying "Rechts fahren" ie drive to the right.

But in my experience, the Germans no how to drive... [Probably because there they have some serious Polizei with a real interest in 'traffic efficiency' and not just money-making!]
Our local 3-laners have plenty of signs saying "KEEP LEFT - PASS RIGHT. HOU LINKS - RY REGS VERBY" - but our local plod seem to be more interested in hiding under bridges with radars, than in stopping the morons doing 70km/h in the centrelane of a 120km/h road.
By the way, while "undertaking" is frowned upon, it isn't illegal. My record is 38 cars in 10kms... at one stage the left hand lane was clear ahead of me for 2kms, while the centre and fast lane were packed!
Caravanners in the Back Room - henry k
I am visiting The Fairest Cape yet again later this year. I enjoy the motoring but not some of the drivers. I still cannot get used to pedestrians wandering across motorways.
As a visitor what is the outcome for speeding or jumping a robot?
I also enjoyed the BM display of bullet resistant cars at the BM pavilion. Any other hints welcome.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Ian (Cape Town)
I
still cannot get used to pedestrians wandering across motorways.

I live here, pal, and I still can't get used to it!!!!!
As a visitor what is the outcome for speeding or jumping
a robot?

A quick payment off your credit card done by Hertz/Avis etc ...

Caravanners in the Back Room - Bob the builder
Having lived and worked in Germany, I'm not so sure that I agree the Germans "know how to drive" as you put it. In my experience, they tend to drive either right foot through the floor, or brake pedal through the floor ! However, whilst driving fast, they do generally obey "advisory" spped limits on autobahns eg when wet or on steep inclines, bends etc.. Also, in my experience traffic plod gets heavy around built up areas with fairly strict enforcement, but you rarely see them on M-ways until there's an accident (of which, there are quite a few) which cause HUGE tailbacks as quite a few M-ways are still 2-lane jobs.
Caravanners in the Back Room - terryb
Fascinating discussion guys, and I agree with you. I was going to treat Nsar's comment with the contempt I considered it deserved, but well done on presenting the other side of the story.

Is anyone going to answer my original question though?
:o)
Terry
Caravanners in the Back Room - Clanger
Admitting you're a caravanner here generally brings out the worst in backroomers. No I won't be going to the National; is that Caravan Club or Camping & Caravanning Club?

Darcy.

Caravanners in the Back Room - terryb
Darcy

Caravan Club - but according to the rules anyone can attend, members or not.

Terry
Caravanners in the Back Room - Cardew
"I am very conscious of people's unwarranted hatred of caravans"

Why is it terms like "hatred" are used when any criticism of caravans are made?

I submit the antics of many those towing caravans cause irritation to many drivers. Whilst I am sure every caravan owner in the Backroom drives blindingly fast everywhere, I rarely come across them. If you drive on the roads of Mid Wales, North Wales and the Scottish Highlands you will frequently come across a crocodile of 3 or 4 caravans driven sedately, and at well below the speed limit, importantly with no room between them. On the A5 particularly this crocodile will sit tight behind an HGV with no realistic chance of overtaking but denying other motorists the opportunity.

A significant proportion of caravaners are inexperienced at towing, drive badly, and justifiably irritate other motorists.

But as I said I appreciate that does not apply to anyone in the Backroom.(of course!!!)
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
As far as I am aware, everybody who tows a caravan will (hopefully!) have paid their road tax. Therefore, they have as much right to be on the road as the next man. I would suggest to those who complain excessively about caravans that perhaps it is they who have the problem and should stop being so self-absorbed. To many, buying an old cheap caravan that they might get five years out of is the only way that they will get a holiday in that time.

I acknowledge that car/caravan combinations travel a lot more slowly than other traffic, but HGVs are limited (in theory!) to 40mph (slower than caravans!)on single carriageway A-roads and I've not seen any adverse comments about them!

Anyway, I'm off to don my pith helmet and duck behind the nearest wall! ;-)

BTW, I don't own a caravan!
Caravanners in the Back Room - Dynamic Dave
As far as I am aware, everybody who tows a caravan
will (hopefully!) have paid their road tax. Therefore, they
have as much right to be on the road as the next man.


Only the car has the road tax, not the cavaran/trailer behind. I feel they should also be road taxed, as not only do they take up extra space on the road, they also add to the wear and tear of the highways. equally ducks behind that wall
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
>>I feel they should also be road taxed.

Fair point Dave, and one which I considered putting in my post. I wasn't that brave though!;-).

Thing is, bikes also take up space on our roads, so would you extend taxation to them?

BTW, nice and cosy behind this wall, isn't it? :-o
Caravanners in the Back Room - Dynamic Dave
Thing is, bikes also take up space on our roads, so
would you extend taxation to them?


I assume you mean bicycles rather than motorbikes? No, I would ban all bicycles purely on the grounds that they add to the polution levels. All those cars having to slow down for them and then having to accelerate past them. Not to mention the extra Carbon Dioxide the unfit cyclists have to use because they\'re having to breathe more.
BTW, nice and cosy behind this wall, isn\'t it? :-o


Certainly is. Would you like that last sandwich, or would you prefer a slice of cherry cake?
Caravanners in the Back Room - PhilW
Interesting point that tax should be related to wear of the road surface - would this be extended to all types of vehicle? (different classes of cars, vans, trucks, caravans, 4 x4s etc?)
Caravanners in the Back Room - Mark (RLBS)
Getting caught behind a caravan is a pain. But that's all it is, surely its not worth getting het up about.

If I'm on a short journey then I won't be behind it for long, and if I'm on a longer journey it isn't going to make much difference - espcially since I normally just pull off for a coffee earlier.

I doubt that the percentage of irritating caravan tow-ers is any different to the percentage of irritating other vehicles. And as someone, Rob I think, said - why shouldn't they ? They pay their road tax and as long as they drive well, good luck to them.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Cardew
Mark,
I tend to meet the crocodile just after I have had a coffee!

However being irritated is not het up and I AM NOT HET UP - I really am not - I am not!

C
Caravanners in the Back Room - smokie
Cardew, people DO seem generally to dislike caravanners.

I wrote in a thread some time ago about my view that if you have ANY "distinguishing" feature (e.g. are female, are driving a 4x4, a bmw, lorry driver whatever) then people generalise based on that feature. However often it is ill founded.

All caravan drivers are also "ordinary" drivers the rest of the year and in my opinion are no more guilty of driving badly and irritating other motorists than any other motorist. It's just that you can put a "handle" on caravanners.

Caravanners in the Back Room - Cardew
Smokie,
I agree with you in that people do seem generally to dislike caravans - but not caravanners.

I suspect many caravanners only get to tow a couple of times a year and do not appreciate(or do not care) they can become a mobile road block - particularly if they don't leave enough space between the vehicle in front.

If you travel to Holyhead on the A5 for the ferry in the summer they can put an hour on your journey. There are plenty of opportunities to pull into a lay-by and let a queue of cars past - but they rarely do so.

However it's not a matter of life and death - merely an irritation.

C

Caravanners in the Back Room - DIRM

As a driver I too can be frustrated with the actions & sometimes poor driving of those who tow. But as a caravanner myself, I can see it from both sides. When driving solo & I see a caravan, I like to think I'm in a better position to anticipate what he might be about to do...for instance approaching a HGV on a motorway, I know he could be driving at up to 60mph, the lorry probably a little slower, so when he indicates to pull out I'm not surprised & I know he isn't going to speed past the lorry.

To me, some of the problem with slower caravans stems from poorly matched car/caravan outfits. I'm sure some people just buy a caravan because it's big, spacious & looks nice, without stopping to think if their car is up to the job. It's OK if your car can pull it safely, but you need to be able to stop safely as well!

We've just acquired a new caravan, but as I was about to change my car too, I made sure I did my homework to make sure the two were well matched. Modern caravans seem to be getting bigger & heavier all the time & whenever I see an Astra/Focus lugging one of the larger specimens (& I have), it makes me wince.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Nsar
Charles writes "The vast majority of the time, like most other caravanners I can maintain the legal speed limit on most roads being able to overtake HGV's etc."

The chief problem with caravans occurs on twisty roads in rural areas most obviously on holiday routes at peak holiday times - precisely because they can't maintain the legal speed limit. If you really do drive with a caravan at the national speed limit on winding roads then I'd venture that you're driving in a reckless manner, at the outer fringes of your ability to control the car and or the caravan, endangering other road users, yourself and your passengers.

I and so many others wouldn't hold these views if caravaners habitually drove with consideration for others in these conditions, ie leave a large gap between you and the vehicle in front to allow quicker cars to overtake and tuck in safely. So often I encounter caravan drivers who reach a long straight and seem to think "I know, I'll help everyone along by speeding up"

You can argue the rights and wrongs of the attitude of drivers behind who allow their frustration to lead them into reckless overtaking - the fact is it happens and the root cause is caravaners who twice a year have to drastically modify their normal driving style in an instant

Caravanners in the Back Room - terryb
Sorry, I've held out for an answer to my original question but I've given up hope now. So I'll enter the general fray. Many people have given a sensible and balanced view of things but Nsar is not really helping his case.

1. Caravanners are not subject to NSLs - they're subject to reduced legal limits. So understanding that (and reading the Highway Code?) might help.

2. I, and most of my caravanning acquaintances, do not only tow twice a year. We tow many dozens of times a year in fact. And we all tow considerately and pull in to let queues pass whenever the opportunity allows - a pity the majority of other drivers are not as considerate to caravanners. For instance the many times when we have to brake sharply to avoid idiots pulling out in front of us because "they don't want to be stuck behind a caravan", or when they overtake recklessly. Don't forget this just causes additional delay to those still following us. I must admit that I've learned to laugh at these pathetic antics.

3. The root cause is NOT caravanners, it's the impatience and lack of both foresight and consideration of the reckless overtakers. If everyone (well, most people) (well, many people)weren't wrapped up in the "importance" of their own little world the roads would be a safer place for everyone. There are many slower vehicles on the roads, particularly HGVs and, on smaller roads, farm vehicles. We get just as thwarted by them but have learned patience.

And don't forget we extra pay to use the roads through increased fuel consumption and (where applicable) tolls. And we put millions into the national manufacturing sector each year - unlike cars the vast majority of caravans are still manufactured in the UK - and tens of millions into the tourist industry, particularly in rural areas so desparate to boost their economies to recover from the 2001 disaster of foot and mouth.

Now then, any room behind that parapet? I can bring some chocolate hobnobs :o)


Terry
Caravanners in the Back Room - Altea Ego
>And don't forget we extra pay to use the roads through increased fuel consumption

You wot? jeez thats stretching that argument a long way, the extra 10mpg must make a hellava contribution...
Anyway, what an earth makes you think that any fuel duty goes on roads?
Caravanners in the Back Room - DIRM
Good point re. the tourist industry. It's reckoned that Caravan Club members alone have spent over £1 billion in the last decade on local purchases, all of which has helped keep many rural communities alive.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
>>Now then, any room behind that parapet? I can bring some >>chocolate hobnobs :o)

Excellent, my favourite. I'll put the kettle on. Fancy a brew, Dave?

I agree with you totally, Terry. But at the same time, I think that a valid point was made earlier in that not all caravanners are saints and some do seem to get a sort of perverse pleasure by not pulling to the side to let a queue dissipate. I believe that is actually a motoring offence and can lead to prosecution.

I think that we acknowledge that there are good and bad drivers, and both groups drive a wide variety of vehicles. For instance, I'd like to think that bus drivers are, without exception, polite, professional and incapable of driving badly. Sadly, some of the bus drivers I have encountered scare me silly.

Possible better education is needed. Both for the caravanner and the 'lay' motorist who has no idea how difficult they can be to tow.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Ian (Cape Town)
whenever I see an Astra/Focus lugging one of the larger
specimens (& I have), it makes me wince.

Is there any ruling/law about how much a car can tow?
Caravanners in the Back Room - terryb
Ian

The guideline for safe towing is MTPLW (ie caravan laden weight) should be no more than 85% of the car's kerbweight. Experienced towers are told they may go to 100% of kerbweight, but I wouldn't recommend that for anyone.

All the above must be within the car maker's published towing limits of course.

Not sure there's a law unless Construction and Use could be brought into play if exceeding maker's limit.

There are other rules about noseweight of the caravan - I could bore for England on the subject!


Terry
Caravanners in the Back Room - DIRM
Agreed. My car for instance has a recommended towing weight of 1300kg, though the van I tow weighs less than this as I've tried to stick to the 85% limit. Even though I've towed for some years, I wouldn't be tempted to go much beyond this.

The thing is, with many new vans these days weighing in at over 1000kg unladen, to me this limits the towcar to either the larger family saloon or increasingly a 4x4. As for the law, well again I'm not sure. Others here will be wiser than I...but there do seem to be more police spot-checks of caravans nowadays so I assume there are laws which can be applied.

...and since you mentioned noseweight I'll briefly say that it's the actual amount weight which can be exerted on the towbar (approx. 70-75kg for the average large family saloon). There!
Caravanners in the Back Room - Nsar
Terry B, You're right about the speed limit, I should have made it clear I was refering to 50mph limit on single track roads, but the argument remains. Hands up, like most people it's years since I read the Code, would the small crowd behind the wall please stand up a second - show of hands on this please? Thought so - you can go back to your Hob-Nobs now.
How many caravaners derive any genuine satisfaction from their additional contribution in duty from the extra fill-ups? How many consider the environmental cost in emissions of lugging all that extra weight about, never mind the visual blight of caravan sites on our coasts and otherwise beautiful countryside? What is the environmental impact at the manufacturing stage of this non-essential item? After I've posted this, I will go the Caravan Club site and see if this nugget of information is there - anyone care to bet on what I'll find?
The economic argument is a fallacy. It is the act of going on holiday that makes the contribution, not the use of a caravan. A pound spent at a caravan site is simply a pound not being spent at the B&B/hotel etc down the road - the demand and supply remains constant whatever the number of nights spent to a given location. You can argue that cheaper accomodation in a caravan means extra nights spent away, but a family which can afford to spend a set amount on a holiday will spend that and no more, no matter which type of accomodation they choose.


Caravanners in the Back Room - Clanger
If it's any help to this debate and I've posted this before, I would be happy to pay some road tax for my caravan, and to have a recognised MoT certificate for credibility's sake. In return, I would like to see HMG abandon the pointless 50mph limit on main roads so we can make some progress and not hold others up as much.

A very good-natured debate so far, not like some of the vitriol that's been spilt in the past. Are we older and wiser now or have the troublemakers been simply moderated away?
Darcy.

Caravanners in the Back Room - KB.
Sensible comments Darcy.

A mate has been hankering after some sort of caravan or motorhome and just bought £25k's worth of motorhome. His first weekend away was to the South coast. He had no trouble on the road and was well able to keep up and was no different from a large van. HOWEVER when he got to the town centres/sea fronts he was visiting he found that a 20 foot campervan won't fit in to the vast majority of roadside parking spaces - it overhung the boxes and as a result had to tour round until he could either find a car park that he *could* get in (height limit) or find an unrestricted road. Obviously a campsite is ideal, but if you want to drive to places away from the site, you need to park somewhere. He now wonders whether he should have got a caravan (leave the van on the site then drive to your intended destinations in the moderately sized towcar). He's well aware of the debate being had here and doesn't know what to do. The other option is, of course, to get a campervan that *will* fit in to parking spaces, but he likes the space and facilities he has at present. The other optionI suggested was bed and Breakfast. Decisions decisions.
KB.
Caravanners in the Back Room - PhilW
Some good natured debate here, and some very good points made by both sides. I\'m joining the vanners with the Hobnobs behind the parapet! Nsar, you are on very thin ice with the environment aspect of your argument. The environmental cost \"of lugging all that extra weight around\" is very little compared to the environmental cost of all the other motorists who drive around in cars that are bigger/heavier than is really necessary let alone all those planes that take off for holiday destinations using masses of duty free fuel. Similarly I think you will find that most of those ugly sites that do blight our coastlines are full of statics that are never towed anywhere by anyone and are probably disliked by tourers as much as by you. Anyway, are they any worse than all the other \"developments\" associated with the tourist industry? The vans are not non-essential to those who use them. Our van was probably the only way we could have afforded good holidays for our young kids years ago so seemed pretty essential to us and I\'m damn sure we could not have afforded B&B/hotels instead and may well not have gone away so we did contribute to the local economy (OK some of this was in Greece, France, Germany, Austria etc!).
Finally, as with all things there are good towers and bad towers - the good ones have properly adjusted mirrors and use them to the benefit of themselves and others. And I hate to think of the number of times when towing that I have been held up by that bloke in the hat in the Toyota or was it a Honda - inconsiderate so-and -so!!
Caravanners in the Back Room - Cardew
Phil,
A question on the economics of caravanning if I may.

A pal of mine had a caravan for 3 or 4 years and then sold it - mainly because his wife hated caravan holidays and they hardly used it.

However he did a financial appreciation of owning a caravan and was appalled at the real cost.

Taking into account the initial cost of a caravan and depreciation of something that isn't exactly carved out of stone. Add annual insurance, tow bar, bigger car, storage costs and site fees. What would you, or anyone else, estimate is the annual running cost for say 4 weeks use a year?

C
Caravanners in the Back Room - smokie
I might add that caravan holidays are not only taken out of necessity.

Caravanning and camping is a great social event and I know three people who have spent well over £15k on their mobile holiday facility, and they could well afford most other kinds of holiday.

Regarding costs, personally, I pay £3 a week to keep the caravan in storage, about £40 a year insurance and a small amount on annual servicing (it's an old van). I run a larger car anyway, but the towbar was new last year at £120. Last year I used it once, to go to Le Mans for 4 days with mates. This year I am going for a weekend away with friends and SWMBO and a week in Le Mans with mates. So yes, it may work out pricey, but you can only spend it once...
Caravanners in the Back Room - PhilW
Cardew,
I've never worked it out exactly because we enjoy caravanning holidays, and more importantly so did our kids! Our first van was bought in 1983 for £2400 (new) and we kept it for 10 years, using it for about 6 weeks per year. We got £1200 for it in 1994 when we bought our present one for £7500 (probably worth about £3000 now?). Insurance has just been renewed at £242 fully comp, including contents (awning etc). Don't pay for storage - it's in the back garden! Some maintenance required obviously but certainly no more than a couple of hundred quid a year. Of course, there's also the cost of sites when away - anything from £5 to £10 per night and the cost of fuel etc but we don't have a "special" car and never have (we towed with a Renault 5 to start with!!! - no comments about holding up traffic please but it did get us to Greece and back twice) Current car is a Xantia HDi and we'd probably have that anyway since it is not towing for most of it's mileage.
I guess the great thing about it is the fact that you can go virtually anywhere, for instance we had bad weather once in Italy and went on to Greece, last year again weather bad in France so went to Spain. Stopped once in Yugoslavia and got involved in a wedding which lasted 3 days and the beer was free!
Don't get me wrong though- I can quite appreciate why some (most?) people would hate caravanning but then I don't like flying and don't like package tours to hotels occupied by other Brits, eating at set times from set menus. Others would prefer this and hate the driving and using campsite showers etc.
I can also see that if you always want the latest van you can spend a fortune and spend another fortune on a 4x4 to tow it. Each to their own but I don't like it when people look down on caravanning as a "poor mans holiday" only done by those who can't afford better - try saying that to the Germans in their big MBs and luxury vans that are like mini- palaces!!
Caravanners in the Back Room - DavidHM
Working on Phil's figures, an average annual towing mileage of 2400, 28 nights per year at £7.50 per night and no interest charges, the cost works out at about £1250 per year assuming normal mpg of 40 and towing 2/3 of that. As I am not a caravanner that doesn't really appal or delight me and I have no idea if these figures are typical or comprehensive.
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
Where else could you get a 28 day holiday for four people for £1250? I'd suggest that that figure would barely cover a 14 day holiday.

I would say, David, that those figures are quite reasonable. Better still, if you buy a caravan out of Loot for, say £750 and run it for five years, then the savings are even greater.
Caravanners in the Back Room - DIRM
Quite. Our first van was bought about 6 yrs ago from a family friend. We weren't sure if we'd take to it so went for this as it was a bargain at the time & we knew it had been looked after. I forget exactly how much but for about £1200 or so, we got the van, awning & loads of other bits & pieces our friend no longer needed…it was basically ready to go on the road straight away. We had many happy holidays in it all over the UK, France & even Switzerland. A double bonus for us is that my parents also used it regularly so we were able to split the costs (purchase, servicing & storage) at a time when money was tight for us. OK we've sold it on now & bought something much better but at the time, it made perfect sense.
Caravanners in the Back Room - terryb
Sorry to have missed the later discussion - I've been away in the caravan!

Met up with friends who bought their van for £25 - this is their 5th outing so £5 a time isn't bad! Female side of the couple not too keen on self-catering in any form (including at home!) so unlikely to be a firm convert.

Personally, we spend 5 weeks a year away in the van and countless weekends all year round so it's no more expensive an investment than any other social hobby would be.

Anyway, although I never got an answer to my original question I'm glad to have stimulated a reasonable discussion. Perhaps I should now change my tag-line to:

Toad - of towed hall.

Terry
Caravanners in the Back Room - AK
Hi,
Now we have a new member of the family I am considering a caravan/camper Just wondered what was good/bad from others experience-probably need to spend 5K I guess but need advice
I'm not sure how welcoming small B & B/hotel are with young(1.5 yr olds)eating is such an,well experince!Can a touring van be left on a cheaper site during summer or would that be expensive?
Towing not an issue as I tow trailers but will probably stick to UK for a few years.
Thanks
Caravanners in the Back Room - DavidHM
Saw a B reg Renault Trafic camper with a 'running in, please pass' sticker on it. I don't even think it was sarcastic...
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
AK, if you mean camper as in campervan as in motorcaravan, then you'll get very little for your £5k. Possibly a nigh-on 20 year old converted Fiat Duccato. Don't forget, as well, that every time you want to go anywhere, you'll have to pack everything up. Not to mention that most touristy car parks have those height barriers at the entrance.

IMHO, the way to go is definitely to buy a caravan. For £5k, you will get a lovely used example. But, it will pay dividends to borrow a damp meter when you go looking. Check down all the seams, in all the wall and base cupboards, in the under-seat storage areas, in the shower-room and under the front window. Basically, check everywhere! Also, (and this is going to sound strange) do a hard shuffle all over the floor to check whether it has delaminated. Make sure that all the ancillaries work, and if it comes with an awning, ask the seller to demonstrate how it is put up. Oh, and check the awning for damp and mildew as well!

With regards to storage, it would not make financial sense to keep the caravan on a site during the summer, as storage should be cheaper.

It goes without saying that you should join one of the Clubs (I'd recommend the Caravan Club) - the benefits will pay for your membership if you use your caravan enough.

I hope that this has helped, and good luck with your hunt!

Cheers

Rob
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
do a hard shuffle all over the floor to check whether it has >>delaminated.


D'oh! Meant to say if it has delaminated, then it will feel spongy.

I cannot underestimate the importance of checking for damp. I used to work for a major caravan dealers in the NW, and it was heartbreaking to have to tell people that their pride and joy that they wanted to part-ex was practically worthless due to damp.

Once again, good luck!
Caravanners in the Back Room - terryb
Excellent and comprehensive advice, Rob. Can't think of anything vital you've missed. I'd also look for a spare wheel and tyre thrown into the deal and tyron bands are IMHO indespensible.

If buying from a dealer, usual ploys of getting (or trying to get)at least 1k off the window price apply of course, and see if you can get a guarantee on water ingress and delamination at the very least.

And when you collect the pride and joy, don't forget the extra documentation you'll need now to get a number plate made up!

And enjoy!!

Terry
Caravanners in the Back Room - Clanger
Rob & Terry, agreed.

I would just add that fridge wiring has changed in the last couple of years; make sure that your car wiring is in sync with the van wiring or you will find you are faced with a disaster of major proportions when you pitch up - WARM BEER. And I'm a Camping and Caravanning Club member. Got red-faced and annoyed with the Caravan Club, but that may have been my problem rather than the club's.
Darcy.

Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
By God, when I get round to choosing a caravan, I'll certainly bear that in mind, Darcy. Warm beer is a fate too hideous to contemplate. Ever. Mind you, it also follows that SWMBO's gin and tonic will also be warm, and the consequences of such a catastrophe would be far-reaching indeed ;-)

I, too, have heard of problems relating to the Caravan Club. I have to confess that I have never been a member of either, but my father-in-law has been a member of the CC for years without a problem. The sites always seem very well maintained as well. I don't know where you are based, AK, but I can thoroughly recommend that you try a site called Park Coppice just outside Coniston in Cumbria. It is beautiful. Just a short walk through the site gets you onto the shores of Coniston Water, and a slightly longer walk gets you into the middle of Coniston with four pubs within staggering distance of each other. Also, at the butcher's/grocers's opposite the church, you can but Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding. Mmmmm.......
Caravanners in the Back Room - AK
Thanks RTB,
Based in midlands but do know someone who has bought new static van at ulleswater(some spelling similar)- I just feel I need a holiday! I like the Idea of a good base that you can travel to at any time of day to get away avoiding traffic or are the roads busy at 22.00hours- do campsites have restricted hours?
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
AK, most campsites do have restricted hours, but the one I mentioned before does have pitches at the entrance specifically for people who arrive late ie you can stop at that pitch overnight, and then move to your booked pitch in the morning.

Providing you don\'t travel at typically busy times, then I would say that the journey to the Lakes would take about 4 hours. It takes 2 hours from where I am in Lancashire.

Feel free to mail me - mailto:wobblybob1@hotmail.com if you have any questions.

Cheers

Rob
Caravanners in the Back Room - Rob the Bus
And if your mate is willing to lend you his static, then go for it!!! There is no finer place than the English Lakes for r&r (except the Highlands!)
 

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