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Buying A Static Caravan Advice for those about to purchase a static caravan.

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Old 17-02-2015, 10:42
nando2011 nando2011 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 4
Default Should I buy this caravan?

I am in a dilema as I have found a lovely 2002 caravan which a friend is selling but it is 4-5 hour drive away. It is on a Haven has all the facilities (swimming pools with slide, entertainment, beach etc) I did ask Haven if i could move it to my nearest park but they want 4,500 in site fees and a not so nice pitch, having the sales guy lie to me to make me go and see him then he tried to sell me a 21k van that I cannot afford so not very impressed with Haven and made me think they will do anything to sell something to someone who clearly cannot afford it - not a good experience.

This private sale it has the following costs:

Cost of caravan: 2500
Ground Rent 2914 (includes the extra 500 haven put on)
Other costs: 500
Insurance: 320
One off Haven fee: 225

This means our first year is about 6k and then 3.6k going forward, I can afford this without taking credit so happy with the costs, however, I dont think we will get this type of "deal" elsewhere. Problem is that it is a 4 to 5 hour drive with bad traffic. I feel time is running out as the most benefit I will get of the caravan is this year when I am not working and have two children to entertain as next year my son goes to school. Do you think this is viable with two young children? This year I can use it loads as my son is not at school till Sept then it will only be used in school holidays and some weekends, but the petrol each visit will cost me 50 compared to 25 if I was 100 miles closer.

Do you think I should buy it nor not. If not, do you have any recommendations on the possible parks in South Wales / Devon / Dorset / Somerset way, do you think I can pick up such a deal as the above elsewhere? I only have about 300 a month to spend on a caravan so don't have much in this expensive business. xx thanks so much.

Last edited by nando2011; 17-02-2015 at 10:52.
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Old 17-02-2015, 11:48
RRRob RRRob is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 710

Answer from me NO! If you take a look at Haven's own website and some caravans on Haven sites which are privately owned and advertised for rent, you can find some great deals at far cheaper than the full advertised price. If you take into account the cost of the van plus ground rent & other charges, you could afford t rent a van for as often as you would be likely to use it this year and then walk away with no ongoing costs and bother.
If you buy this van & then decide you are not using it enough to justify the cost, you will lose a great deal. Seems to me you are only interested in this deal as its from a friend. Forget the friend & ask yourself if you would buy this van direct from haven if it were just one of a number of vans in a number of locations you had the choice of. If you are asking yourself if the site is too far away & too awkward to get to & is it worth the cost of having it moved, then I think you know in your own mind that the answer would be NO! The biggest choice to make in any caravan purchase is to choose the right site as far as how easy it is to get to, the facilities it has to offer & ongoing costs. basically, buy in haste, repent at leisure. Your friend is offering you the van at a very good price & you may be able to sell it again next year to recoup your costs if you decide its too much bother for the time it will be used so you may well be OK cost wise but even taking into account the ground rent alone for one year, 3000 will buy you quite a few weeks holiday at any Haven site so you could have your years extended breaks with no commitments. Then also, you could view your yearly site fee as a holiday fund and book a heck of a lot of holidays every year for your 3 grand & these holidays could be anywhere in the country on any Haven site or any of the other sites which other companies run so you can pick and choose your location at will for a change. Not only that, if you find you can't make full use of the van in any year, you only pay for the time you want and the rest is money in the bank. Looking forward to hear what others think. I may well be wrong.

Last edited by RRRob; 17-02-2015 at 12:25.
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Old 17-02-2015, 12:22
treetopper treetopper is offline
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Location: Treetops
Posts: 5,835

I must admit I usually let peeps make their own minds up , and I suspect you are 99.99% on the way to a no deal...
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Old 17-02-2015, 12:25
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rainbow rainbow is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ullswater
Posts: 875

Hi Nando & welcome.
I just spent ages drafting a reply to you, then I lost it as my computer came up with "Can't find the server".
As I have since read the reply from RRRob, I needn't start at the beginning, because that reply is pretty much exactly what I would advise, almost to the letter.
My main points were based on the long journey and the cost of travel to the site. I reckon you would quickly tire of it.
Also, I had written that I thought the deal was good, but what if you want to sell it after a year ? The van would be almost worthless off site and I don't think Haven would exactly step in to help you. You have already experienced how they operate.
Best advice, don't do it. A nice idea today can become a nightmare tomorrow. You mentioned you have realised statics are an expensive business. That isn't going to change.
I agree with RRRob, you can rent closer to home and get a lot of holidays for 6k with no ongoing commitment.

Take your time, read a number of forum member replies as they come in and think it out carefully.
If it's any help, my friend inherited a nice caravan on a Park Resorts site. They know the site well and saw lots of potential for the family. However, they are a 5 hour drive from the site and they now get to it maybe once a year if they are lucky. It costs them 3k a year for something they don't benefit from, all down to the 10 hour round trip !
Good luck and I'm sure you will reach the right decision for you.
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Old 17-02-2015, 12:27
mummyme mummyme is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 12

I would also say no, the drive for weekends would be awful and after a long day Friday afternoons you wont want to make the drive, you certainly wont want to make it on the sunday afternoon either. In reality a site approx 1-1.5 hours away would be ideal. I certainly would never consider it, the travelling in the end will be the killjoy of the van x
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Old 17-02-2015, 12:38
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Angela B Angela B is offline
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Location: Barmouth, Gwynedd - where the mountains meet the sea
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Hi, here's a thread from 2010 discussing travelling distances to your caravan. There are a lot of valid points raised

Here's another really important thread if you haven't already seen it, there are lots of things you may not have considered yet. This is a big long term commitment, please think carefully.
Angela B
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Live life forwards, but learn from it backwards ...

My 'New Old Girl'
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Old 17-02-2015, 13:06
arronbrook arronbrook is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southcliff Bridlington
Posts: 1,374

The previous posts all give sound advice and for what its worth here's my twopenarth
I'd go ahead and buy a caravan as with 2 young children you will gets lots of lovely family times there. I would NOT however go for the deal you were considering on the Haven Site, lots of sites don't open until March anyway and you still have time to shop around before you jump in. Even when your son goes to school you will benefit from not paying exhorbitant costs in the school holiday period and if you find something closer to home you can go every bank holiday and weekends. There is a thread somewhere on here for "bring ons" so you could check out who would be prepared to take on your friends caravan. Don't rush and stick to your budget - and good luck if you don't find anything then as the others have said you can get a lot of holidays for your 6K.

Last edited by arronbrook; 17-02-2015 at 13:13.
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Old 17-02-2015, 13:37
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Ischia Ischia is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dyffryn Seaside Estate, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Meirionnydd
Posts: 96

I can comment on the 4 hour journey as our caravan is 4 hours away

For us it's not too bad because we go diagonally across Wales to the North West coast via our parents so we have a stopping point however this can push the journey up to 5 hours if they are feeling chatty.

The scenery along the way is beautiful and this also helps. But I would expect that if we were stuck on the A303/M3/any kind of motorway and looking at miles and miles of cars ahead it would get to be a bit tedious.

The only other pain is that unless you don't mind getting back late then being up early for work and school the next day without having sorted out washing/the car/de-sanded the dogs or children then it's ok but otherwise you'll lose half of your last day there to allow time to get back in time to do these things. Probably not such an issue for you this year but definitely something to bear in mind for future years.
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Old 17-02-2015, 14:39
Clarissa Clarissa is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,387

Take your time and look around at what's on offer elsewhere. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and spend years regretting it. That's a lot of money to spend on fuel. Children don't always need a lot of facilities to have fun. Just some of my thoughts. Good luck.
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Old 17-02-2015, 18:37
nando2011 nando2011 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 4

Thank you for all your replies. I think I am going to take a miss on this deal. Even though I wish I could move the site 2 hours closer. I am going to have to try to negotiate a deal at my local haven which means my step dad will split it with us which makes it viable, and I have seen a caravan I like (2009) atlas but he will not budge down from 21k as I only want to pay 18k with a veranda and site fees thrown in, he has sent me photos of another van 2010 for 19k but its not as nice as the 2009. It is hard but I think I will walk away if I do not get the van I want. I know that is the site I want to be on, and we have chosen the pitch its just negotiating the caravan.
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