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Before Owning A Caravan Discussion and advice on all aspects involved in deciding if a static caravan is right for you.

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Old 07-02-2019, 20:03
Chris Benton Chris Benton is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4
Default Looking to move to the dark side lol

Hello ; new member - living in Cannock in Staffordshire. I have been camping and caravanning since 1997 . Firstly with Trailer tents then from 2005 with caravans (I got fed up of hammering in pegs lol) . My current 'van has not been a good experience and now its out of warranty its time to change . BUT the good lady wife has instructed me that I cant have a Motorhome and has suggested a static 'would be nice' , after 38 years of marriage you get to speak wifese so I am looking at a Static.
Mom and dad did have one for a while and we used it happily , we also hired a static in Spain last year (cheaper than taking the van on a ferry) and again enjoyed it. MY concern is that I would get bored going to the same site. We have been recommended one by Salop Leisure and it has an indoor pool , restaurant , Bar etc. etc. as well as activities for our 4 yo Grandson to do now and when he is a teenager. We are going to have a look at it.

The plan is to use the van for ourselves , holidays with said Grandson , Holidays with him and my Daughter and Son in law and they will be able to use it alone if they wish.
So I am looking for reassurance that its the thing for us (well me in particular) . Do you ever get bored of the same old or do you just see it as a second home where you meet new friends ? Sorry for the long post
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Old 07-02-2019, 21:40
slattster slattster is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 410

We love it , this will be our 5th year and we are still finding things to do , we are in snowdonia so we know we have to check the weather and can usually find somewhere dry ish to go within an hours drive.
Think about the site you want , will you use the pool , restaurant and bar often , do they allow people to rent out their vans this what you want. We have nothing on our site , it’s only small but the kids play out all day in all weathers .Do you need to be by the coast or will inland do you? Having been camping and vanning for a while you must have some idea of area you’d prefer and site type. Take your time , look for site first , then the pitch then the van.
Read through the forum there’s loads of ideas and advice.
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Old 08-02-2019, 14:15
Chris Benton Chris Benton is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4

Mom and Dads site was very quiet , if you wanted anything you had to walk to the village , pleasant walk. But our daughter and her family found it a bit too quiet. We want them to enjoy using the site too and when possible to have a combined family holiday , all about maximising use. We have been told about site , pitch , van by the sales rep at Salop and that's how we are going to play it. Thanks for the reassurance - had you used to tour ?
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Old 08-02-2019, 14:31
Angela M's Avatar
Angela M Angela M is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Barmouth, Gwynedd - where the mountains meet the sea
Posts: 8,802

Hi Chris, welcome to the forum. May I suggest you click on this link to our Reference Hub post, it's full of info you may also find useful.
Many of us came from the same pathway as you
Good luck!
Angela M
Mod Team

Live life forwards, but learn from it backwards ...
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Old 08-02-2019, 14:38
Mosquito Mosquito is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Fold House Park, Pilling , Lancashire.
Posts: 1,523

to the forum. There is a lot of useful information on the site to take advantage of.
Regarding your questions, we took delivery of our home from home in March 2017. It is literally our home, from mid-September till mid-May when we leave for our real home. We bought our van so that we could be near our son and daughter and their families. We live in Spain but at the momentwe spend time looking after our grandchildren which is a real bonus for us.

What I advise is if you intend using your van throughout the winter, you will need to find a site with a long season. I recommend that you buy the best insulated Van or lodge if your budget will stand the cost. It will save you money on heating and also be nice and cosy. We borrowed a van from the site for six months in the winter of 2016/7. We kept it warm by using plenty of electricity and gas. If you buy a caravan as opposed to a lodge it will be colder but you can get a van with extra insulation. Most newer vans have central heating and double glazing, be sure that you buy a van with both. The comfort level will make it worthwhile.

We love our static and we are situated on a park that has a good owner. Our neighbors are all great to get on with. You generally find that on most parks. We have facilities in the park, bowling green, fishing lodge, heated outside pool, Football pitch, children's play park, library, and laundry.

Check on the pitch fees as some parks with all the whistles and bows are quite expensive. We have reasonable fees but then you will have to pay a portion of the rates that the park has to pay. Don't forget that the fees and rates will increase each year.

Before you commit to a park and a van make sure that you ask other owners what the park owners are like, as there are a few owners and salesmen who are not trustworthy so everything they promise you, ask for it in writing. The larger parks usually charge more for their vans and pitches than smaller parks. So, it's best to shop around and decide what you want from a park and how much you want to spend.

One last point, make sure that you buy a static for investment in lifestyle rather than a financial investment because if you sell after a short period of time, you will lose a shedful of money.

It's not all doom and gloom, it can be very rewarding, especially if your family share it with your family. Good luck.

Last edited by Mosquito; 08-02-2019 at 14:43.
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Old 08-02-2019, 19:32
Clarissa Clarissa is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,393

I love our van. It is on a quiet country site with a childrens play area and a bar converted from a barn open at weekends. The nearest town is 4 miles away. Unfortunately my husband is bored of going to the same place after 3 years. Let battle commence - stay (me) or leave (husband). This is the second time this has happened as we sold a van in a different part of the country previously for the same reason. Then we bought this one because my hubby missed the caravan life so much!!!!!
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:51
Chris Benton Chris Benton is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4

Thanks for the advice , I would never buy a 'van as an investment other than investing in my lifestyle :-). I agree on prices and fees. Having a look at a Haven park amongst others but it needs to be very very good , the van is 20% over priced and pitch fees average around £5k !! (but there is an option to sublet) . It is a minefield in many ways , my dealer has recommended a park - which does look nice - but a rep from one of the manufacturers informs me that the dealer owns the site !
I am realising that for a 15 - 20 year investment (by which time the kids and possibly grandson will be using it more than us) the on costs of insurance , rates , pitch fees etc. are far more important than the van cost - expensive though that is .
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:28
DavidE DavidE is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Windmill Country Park, Burton Fleming
Posts: 228

to the Forum Chris. You’ve had some sound advice already as well as seeming to have a sensible approach yourself.
If I can offer my 2p’s worth it is all about location, location, location.
1/Choose an area that you will be happy going back to time after time after time( you won’t be staying on a site all the time)
2/ Look at the sites in that area for ones that offer what you want at a price you are prepared to pay ( research here carefully to make sure you choose wisely )
3/ Pick a pitch & ‘van that works for you ( the better the ‘van & pitch the more you will enjoy being there.
Get it right and you should have years of pleasure to come for you & your family.
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