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Thread: New (old) Caravan?

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    Default New (old) Caravan?

    My caravanning neighbour was telling me yesterday he was thinking of selling his 'van and having self catering holidays in future. My radar went up and was pinging with excitement.... Ok, it's an oldie: a Lunar 400 something-or-other but he and his wife have owned it from new (2001). It has a full service history, a motor mover, all the usual mod. cons. and is in immaculate condition for its age, and no damp according to the guy who services it for him. Any bad news? It's only a 2 berth! If I swap I really want a 3, so that I can take my grandchildren away with me. (I don't know when that'll be as they're only 3 and 5.) I'm wondering whether I could squeeze my camp bed in there for the lad as this 'van seems too good an opportunity to miss. The Lunar comes with a massive awning, which I wouldn't want, as I'd never get it up on my own, so I'm hoping that'll not be included.

    I also have the problem of my narrow driveway but I am thinking of knocking down the brick wall on one side of the drive. I need to speak to my other neighbour about that. I'd also have to change the car for something a bit heavier too, but I will have to do that eventually anyway, once I do a 'van upgrade. Mike says he probably won't sell the caravan until next spring, so I've got plenty of time to sort out the ifs and buts.

    Oooh, decisions decisions.
    Cynthia.

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    Exciting times Cynthia.

    Re: the young lad, would it be possible to retro fit bunk holders to the wall and put up a small canvas roll up bunk (out of the way during the day).

    My daughter's in laws had similar for when they took our grandchildren away, admittedly an original to the caravan but I'm sure that the service man could rig something up.

    When he outgrows it he might be old enough for a pup tent, or in an inner tent if you erected one of those lightweight awnings.

    If you do go that road I bet they fight over who's going to sleep in it.

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    Sounds good Cynthia! Especially as he is not selling until next year, that gives you plenty of time to make up your mind and sort out the details.

    I would have a really good think about whether it's going to be practical for you and do some costings as to whether it would be worth upgrading to this caravan and the expense that is going to go with it. As Sandra says, there are some alternatives to the number of beds, and an awning would certainly help.. but you could maybe consider that option with the caravan you already have?

    The grandchildren won't be little for long, so would you then need to upgrade to something even larger again? Would they want to carry on coming with you as they grow up? I know quite a few people who eventually downgraded back to a smaller camper/caravan as the grandkids didn't want to go with them anymore.

    Have a look at the alternatives before you make up your mind. A self catering holiday now and again might be a better option with your grandchildren, just for an example (look on Ebay at the last minute breaks) - unless you particularly want them to experience the camping/outdoor life. And you will be going away with them during school holidays, which is always the most expensive time to holiday, even if you are in a caravan.

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    It is an exciting idea Cynthia but you have good advice. I agree with all that has been said. Take your time and think things through.
    I never do this of course. I am very impulsive and since taking up campervanning in less than 2 years I am on my third van and STILL look!
    Good luck with whatever you decide. It's fun to dream anyway.
    Patricia

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    Have you not thought of a Eriba 310. Three berth, one single and a double, weighs in at 850kg laden and only 6'6" wide. Having beds at either end means you could put the kids to sleep in the double and still have room for yourself to relax.
    Last edited by fenman; 02-06-2017 at 09:30 AM.

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    After my husband died I sold my 5 berth caravan; his company car went with him and my little work car couldn't tow it. Within a few weeks we missed it so I bought a 2 berth that my car could handle. The kids were only 11 & 8 and there was room for all 3 of us on the double bed when made up. We also got a couple of pup tents as they then both wanted to bring friends!

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    Hi Cynthia,

    Whether or not you go aead with it doesn't really matter. It's just very exciting to have something to think about and consider. I am sure you will weigh up the pro's and cons before making the right decision.

    Panda
    These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

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    PHM

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    i Won't say anything hypocritical like bide your time and weigh up the options because i never do that! I change my camping units like other people change their socks!

    If the van is dry and tidy with a known history then those are all plus points in its favour. To be boringly practical for a moment though, how heavy is it? Will your car tow it?
    Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

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    You know guys, I love this site. Always friendly and helpful advice by the bucketful!

    Patricia, and Rob: Ha ha! Folk after my own heart! I always used to be an impulsive purchaser of all sorts of things when I was working. Not so easy now I'm retired to get the money back in the bank after a spending binge, so I tend to put a bit more thought into it before parting with a big lump of my pension!

    jayjay, yeah, all those thoughts have occurred to me and I have been chewing them over ad nauseum already!

    I think I shall be doing a Panda and taking my time over this one. Anyone want to put a bet on whether I change my 'van before he gets his camper?!

    Fenman: No, I hadn't thought of an Eriba 310, I must admit! Aren't they a bit pricey? Yet another advantage of the prospective Lunar purchase is that it's promising to be quite cheap to say it's in such good condition, though Mike hasn't actually said yet how much he wants for his 'van. I like the sound of the Eriba's dimensions; I could possibly still tow that with my little Skoda and wouldn't even have to knock down the wall! I'd definitely have to upgrade the car to pull the Lunar.

    My dear old dad always used to advise that if I couldn't make up my mind about something, to make a list of the pros and cons. So I used to do that and THEN make an impulsive purchase!

    Yay, lovely to dream; takes my mind off all the horrible things going on in the world. Thank you all again for your input peeps.
    Cynthia.

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    Well I think someone must have been giving me a bit of a lecture in my sleep, about looking after my money as I have woken up this morning quite convinced that I should stick to what I've got!

    With the kiddies still so young (and a bit clingy with their mum) I think it'll be a couple of years before they'd be happy to go away without mum and dad so I'll hang on to little Rosie and the Skoda for a bit. The outfit ticks all the boxes for me at the moment, with one exception - the extended time in setting up and packing down the folding caravan but hey, that's no great hardship is it, unless it's tipping it down with rain when I need to be off site. But I also used to get soaked packing up the caranex, when I was camping in that. No change there then.

    Meanwhile, I can dream of all the different options I could go for when I do change the unit, and who knows, Ernie might bless me with a Premium Bond win in the meantime. What was it Del boy used to say? - 'By the end of the year we'll be millionaires!'
    Cynthia

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    This morning I saw John, my next door neighbour whose property is next to the brick wall I'd like to demolish. Mike-across-the-road must have been talking to him about me wanting to buy his Lunar because before I even got chance to ask if he minded if I knocked down the wall he said 'The answer's yes!' Hoorah! Whether I decide to change the caravan or not, the extra couple of feet of width of my driveway will give me some extra space in which to swing a cat, (From where did that horrible expression originate?!) or even a caravan. Pondering on a Freedom at the moment, because although they're only 3 berth max they are GRP all-in-one construction, which should mean less likelihood of damp. Very lightweight too. One advantage of the Lunar is that it's been fitted with a brand new motor mover, as Mike somehow damaged his old one on a kerb(?) last year. A MM would be great as I could park the van face down on the drive, so the door would face the bungalow door.

    I truly lead a blessed life that I only have these trivialities upon which to ponder! Takes my mind off all the worries of the world. Right, off out to clean and polish the 'van and car!
    Cynthia.

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    "To swing a cat", the derivation is pretty horrible itself.

    It's said to refer to the cat o'nine tails used in the navy for flogging unfortunate sailors. The ships were so crowded that floggings had to be carried out on the quarter-deck where there was enough rooom ... etc.
    Geoff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artoo0 View Post
    "To swing a cat", the derivation is pretty horrible itself.

    It's said to refer to the cat o'nine tails used in the navy for flogging unfortunate sailors. The ships were so crowded that floggings had to be carried out on the quarter-deck where there was enough rooom ... etc.
    Thanks for that Geoff. Horrible indeed, but another illustration of how our maritime heritage provides us with so many different phrases, still in use today though we don't always realise their origins!
    Cynthia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCynth View Post
    Pondering on a Freedom at the moment, because although they're only 3 berth max they are GRP all-in-one construction, which should mean less likelihood of damp. Very lightweight too. One advantage of the Lunar is that it's been fitted with a brand new motor mover, as Mike somehow damaged his old one on a kerb(?) last year. A MM would be great as I could park the van face down on the drive, so the door would face the bungalow door.

    I truly lead a blessed life that I only have these trivialities upon which to ponder! Takes my mind off all the worries of the world. Right, off out to clean and polish the 'van and car!
    Cynthia.
    Hi Cynth Coincidently a few years ago we went from an Esterel (French folder almost same as the Gobur to an ancient Freedom Sunseeker - the one without the pop roof. Like the Romahome products the Freedom is a solid GRP body only leak points window seals and skylight seals - cheap to fix if needed. - I can assure you it will tow easily behind your present car - very mid/east European Czeck car Polish van
    Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by kernowjon View Post
    Hi Cynth Coincidently a few years ago we went from an Esterel (French folder almost same as the Gobur to an ancient Freedom Sunseeker - the one without the pop roof. Like the Romahome products the Freedom is a solid GRP body only leak points window seals and skylight seals - cheap to fix if needed. - I can assure you it will tow easily behind your present car -
    Jon
    Thanks Jon, It would help financially to be able to keep my current car so I'm keeping an eye out for a 3 berth Freedom. The Lunar my neighbour is selling has a MTPLM of 1100kg, overweight for my little Skoda. It's quite a big 'van considering it's only a 2 berth.

    very mid/east European Czeck car Polish van

    If the Freedom has less head height I will have to learn to swear in Polish, although my Czech car doesn't object to the odd English expletive!
    Cynthia.

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    Freedom Sunseeker - the one without the pop roof.

    Jon So, what are these Freedoms like in the flesh? I have yet to see one up close and personal. What was it about the Sunseeker that made you want to change the unit for something else? I see the Sunseeker is only about £9.5k to buy new. It's more spacious than a Go-Pod, which starts at around £14k new. (Gulp!)

    You did mention that I would be able to tow one with my Skoda, but although weight-wise that's technically correct, because it's bigger than the Gobur I would incur the problem of wind resistance, which will put more strain on the engine and reduce my fuel economy. I still think, with a bigger caravan of any sort I am going to have to upgrade the car to one with more umph.
    Discuss: as they say in exam conditions.
    Cynthia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCynth View Post
    Freedom Sunseeker - the one without the pop roof.

    Jon So, what are these Freedoms like in the flesh? I have yet to see one up close and personal. What was it about the Sunseeker that made you want to change the unit for something else? I see the Sunseeker is only about £9.5k to buy new. It's more spacious than a Go-Pod, which starts at around £14k new. (Gulp!)

    You did mention that I would be able to tow one with my Skoda, but although weight-wise that's technically correct, because it's bigger than the Gobur I would incur the problem of wind resistance, which will put more strain on the engine and reduce my fuel economy. I still think, with a bigger caravan of any sort I am going to have to upgrade the car to one with more umph.
    Discuss: as they say in exam conditions.
    Cynthia.

    Hi Cynthia,

    Whenever I go to the NEC shows, one of my first ports of calls is always to the Freedom caravan stand. I absolutely adore these ittle vans and, like Eriba, I am always amazed how much space there is in them and what they have managed to squeeze inside. They even did one with a shower!

    Now, they are what they are, granted, with the interior definitely being inferior in quality to say, Bailey and the big boys or indeed Eriba, but they are still of a reaosnable quality, quite well specified and incredibly light to tow. And a quick glance at eBay will demonstrate that they do hold their value quite well. I absolutely love them.

    They are quirky and interesting and there are a few models to choose from. Great value in my opinion.

    Panda
    These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artoo0 View Post
    "To swing a cat", the derivation is pretty horrible itself.

    It's said to refer to the cat o'nine tails used in the navy for flogging unfortunate sailors. The ships were so crowded that floggings had to be carried out on the quarter-deck where there was enough rooom ... etc.
    Ah. And oops. I would now have to apologise to my old moggy, Winston, if he hadn't already passed away recently.

    There have been several occasions during his time with me that I have obviously misunderstood the phrase. Gulp!

    Panda
    These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandabloke View Post
    Hi Cynthia,

    Whenever I go to the NEC shows, one of my first ports of calls is always to the Freedom caravan stand. I absolutely adore these ittle vans and, like Eriba, I am always amazed how much space there is in them and what they have managed to squeeze inside. They even did one with a shower!

    Now, they are what they are, granted, with the interior definitely being inferior in quality to say, Bailey and the big boys or indeed Eriba, but they are still of a reaosnable quality, quite well specified and incredibly light to tow. And a quick glance at eBay will demonstrate that they do hold their value quite well. I absolutely love them.

    They are quirky and interesting and there are a few models to choose from. Great value in my opinion.

    Panda
    Thanks for that Panda, yeah, pity the one with a shower isn't the 3 berth model, which is what I'll need if I start taking my grandchildren out with me. The Freedoms seem very popular; if you see one for sale it doesn't hang around for long. Eriba - have you seen the price of these 'vans? Yikes! Out of my league....

    Well, I'll stick with the folder for the time being, although the packing down procedure is starting to get somewhat tiresome. I'm beginning to wonder whether the rubber seals that prevent water ingress around the roof need replacing. When folding the roof down you have to ensure these are pulled down, to lay flat against the bodywork. The caravan is 27 years old, I suspect the difficulty I have in pulling out these rubber strips may have something to do with the impliability (is that a word? The spell checker doesn't like it!) of the ageing materials.
    Cynthia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCynth View Post
    Freedom Sunseeker - the one without the pop roof.

    Jon So, what are these Freedoms like in the flesh? I have yet to see one up close and personal. What was it about the Sunseeker that made you want to change the unit for something else? I see the Sunseeker is only about £9.5k to buy new. It's more spacious than a Go-Pod, which starts at around £14k new. (Gulp!)

    You did mention that I would be able to tow one with my Skoda, but although weight-wise that's technically correct, because it's bigger than the Gobur I would incur the problem of wind resistance, which will put more strain on the engine and reduce my fuel economy. I still think, with a bigger caravan of any sort I am going to have to upgrade the car to one with more umph.
    Discuss: as they say in exam conditions.
    Cynthia.
    Polish swear words - Do you swear in Czec when the car goes wrong. In the Sunseeker the headroom is not bad - I am 6ft and could walk around with my head only slightly hunched in.
    The smaller Microlite with a pop roof is a different kettle of fish - no comment never had one
    The Sunseeker is great - we were fine with it but one of those mad 10 minutes we upped to a Coachman a year later we decided on a campervan instead. I have seen a Sunseeker with a couple who had been to Spain for the winter twice towed behind a Skoda Fabia 1.4 and that had crossed the Pyranees 4 times at that time. Once the vanis moving there is not an awfull lot of strain on the engine - windage - think about pods on Honda Acty pick-ups 600cc No my outfit is 1300.
    Jon

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