Motoring Discussion > Caravaning Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Zero Replies: 120

 Caravaning - Zero
i am seriously pondering buying a caravan. Its likely to be a Swift Basecamp or a Freedom Jetstream Twin Sport, both suit my weekend only, need a toilet, sleep, drink cold beer, warm up a charlie brigham curry, requirement.

To that end we are off to the motorhome and caravan show at the NEC in Oct, where final choice will be made.

So opening this thread as a place to throw my queries into the open.

My first is,

There appears to be two mainstream caravan clubs. Who would have known there was a schism. Which one is the best


www.caravanclub.co.uk/

www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/

Which one would meet my requirements best
 Caravaning - smokie
Funny how people change.. .:-)

Going back a few years to when I had one, we joined the Caravan Club. I think they did cheap insurance, though like many affiliation type deals it wasn't so cheap anyway. We never went to any of their sites as at the time our kids were kids and the impression I had of the CC sites was that they were a bit spartan and full of old people. I'm sure that's changed though.

TBH I'm not really sure of the value of joining either if you are just doing what I think you will be. I'm assuming you want it mainly for dog shows which I would imagine often are in rural places and probably have their own camp fields.

Anyway I'm sure someone with more recent/relevant experience wil be along soon!
 Caravaning - zippy
>>i am seriously pondering buying a caravan

Nooooooooooooooo!

Static caravans or do the decent thing and spend the same money on half decent B&Bs.

 Caravaning - R.P.
We joined the Caravan (and Motorhome) Club - they were useful for us to access their main sites once in a while and more generally their Certified Locations (private sites for 5 or fewer vans) - they were recommended to us by a friend (who knows MH stuff) as the best of the two. They were ok as "clubs" go - I hated the bigger sites and tended only to use them for one night stops once in blue moon in between the CLs for a proper shower and laundry facilities. Access to sites is the main requirement of being in a club and the CC had plenty.

Some of the larger sites were very well kept but were also very regimented, but I guess some people like them
Last edited by: R.P. on Wed 7 Aug 19 at 07:59
 Caravaning - Manatee
Really it's whichever has the location(s) you want, assuming you want to use the sites. We were in both for years. Overall we have used more Caravan [& Motorhome] Club ones - they are more likely to have heated 'facilities' and tend to have more, and larger, hard standing pitches. But our favourite site probably remains Rosemarkie, which is run by the other lot.

If you want to rely solely on your own toilet/washing facilities you can make use of many cheaper affiliated 'farm' sites, both have a compendious selection.

The usual thing with club sites in the C&MC is to check in, pay, find your pitch then go back and tell them where you are. The C&CC will often just allocate a pitch but in practice are usually helpful if you request a particular area or want to change.

Some people find the clubs a bit rule bound but, frankly, they tend to be the ones who need telling not to play football around others' cars and caravans, to empty their dogs on grass pitches, or carouse until 3am. You are more likely to have lots of children on C&CC sites during the school holidays but it will happen with both on the popular seaside sites.

I haven't checked the prices recently (haven't caravanned since I was ill in 2018) but you'll probably get your annual membership costs back after 6 or 7 nights with either.
 Caravaning - Bobby
This is interesting Zero - genuinely would appreciate hearing the thought process around this. I know for you its probably not a financial decision taken to save money but intrigued to know the thought process?

When I grew up we had a caravan for years - many a family touring holiday in the days when we pulled a big Astral Ranger that slept 7, on the back of a Cortina estate that had 2 kids in the boot!

Stabiliser was a great invention but I daren't even contemplate looking at those weight ratios now!

Are you thinking of buying new or used - think they are like cars that depreciate quite heavily, but then they maybe level off a bit.

What were the pros/cons of this against a camper van - assume a decent specced camper van is much dearer than caravan and you need to commute between site and dog show?

My wife has often talked about getting a tourer once we were a bit older and had another dog... well definitely getting older and the pup at my ankles is definitely a dog!
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
Pretty much endorse what's said above.

We're in both clubs but tend to mostly use C&MH sites. Can see what RP means about regimentation - there's a correct way to park your 'van reversed against a pitch marker with car to left as you face it and awning on right. That works fine for UK caravans but can be an issue if you've got a Hobby or one of the other mainland Europe brands where door is on other side. We like the main sites and have never felt constrained by the regs.

Both clubs have their share of people who can't follow simple rules and others who want every regulation followed to last dotted i and crossed t. If you look on their forums or Facebook groups there are pages of discussion about 'unfairness' where people arrive early or leave late. Even on the club sites provision of toilets is not universal. A lot of people are OK using the caravan loo for a wee in the night but are squeamish about using it for a poo.

I think if you're using the caravan mostly for dog events or following trains then the best club will be the one which has sites near venues you want to visit. CL's are a good tip but they vary from a field with a tap and a loo to places that are nearly as well equipped as the main sites. Not all CL's have electric hookups and of those that do not all provide the full 16amps.
 Caravaning - Manatee
>>there's a correct way to park your 'van reversed against a
>> pitch marker with car to left as you face it and awning on right. That
>> works fine for UK caravans but can be an issue if you've got a Hobby
>> or one of the other mainland Europe brands where door is on other side.

We have an Eriba 540 which has the door on the offside. We just put it on the pitch nose first - easy because it has a mover.

We preferred to place it across the back of the pitch with the 'dome' awning out to the front - easier to fit the car on the pitch as with the awning we are wider than we are long. But a few years ago the CC (as it was then) tightened its rules following a fire on a site, and regardless of spacing most site wardens will not now allow this.

To Bobby's point about depreciation - we bought our 2004 Eriba privately in 2006 for £10,800. It now needs a bit of a refurb, nothing major, but 540s of that age are still being offered at £10,000+.

Incidentally Zero, Eribas tow very well. They are narrow (2.0-2.1 metres), relatively low (they have a poptop) and a bit more aerodynamic that traditional 'vans. But they are expensive new.

www.automotiveleisure.co.uk/eriba-for-sale/
 Caravaning - Zero
>> This is interesting Zero - genuinely would appreciate hearing the thought process around this. I
>> know for you its probably not a financial decision taken to save money but intrigued
>> to know the thought process?

Thought processes? There has been many, lets look at the "need" first.

I do dog shows, they are mostly in public parks, football grounds, rugby clubs, cricket grounds, and country show grounds. Some of them are one day, some of them are two day, the odd one or two three day. They are all over the country, and they nearly all offer camping on the ground and loos, often only portaloos tho. There may be a club house, there may be a bar, or often only just a burger van.

I currently try and attend those within a two hour drive (anything more and the dog is too frazzed to compete), and generally I'll only compete one day a weekend, two days on the trot is unfair on the hound.. Now I have qualified to higher classes, a show will take all day, arriving at 08:30 and leaving at 16:30. In between is a lot of hanging about, and you need a base to chill and shelter.
This has been provided to date in the form of an event shelter type arrangement (currently a Khyam screendome) pitched on the back of the Kubelwagen (G31 to you - oh BTW I bought it with factory fit electric tow bar))

This year its changing. I am qualified as a judge, but I still want to work the dog, rules say I cant work a dog and judge on the same day. So I'll work one day of a weekend, and judge the other.
This makes longer journeys with overnight stays feasible, so for example this year I am off to Norwich on the Friday, work the dog Saturday, Judge Sunday, travel home (3 hours) Sunday night.
Overnights is a nearby Travellodge.

BIG PROBLEM, What do I do with the dog while I am judging all day. Car too hot, cant be near the working rings, Solution by others? Caravan or Motorhome with a temp garden round it (in the form of plastic mesh fencing or windbreak) (the pro handleers have 40 foot campers with purpose built airconned kennels incorporated)

So Motorhome or Caravan it is. It needs to be based at home, a storage site kills its practicality, I have 6.5 metres in length to stick it on.

Motorhomes are too restricted once you are away in it, and generally too big for my 6.5 metres.

So caravan it is, only need two berth as its for a three day stay with dog and me.

OOpps Mrs Z (who has caravaning friends) is now excited about the prospect, so It will get w/e use for us and dog, and now it needs a loo to please her.

Sooo caravan research has limited it to a few types, and currently the Swift Basecamp ticks every box, Trouble its expensive, and being new few second hand examples. The Freedom Jet stream is another, but I think its tow hitch may be too low for my fixed height swan neck towbar.

 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
Zeddo,

HAve you looked at the Elddis Xplore 304?

www.elddis.co.uk/xplore/xplore-304
 Caravaning - Zero
>> Zeddo,
>>
>> HAve you looked at the Elddis Xplore 304?
>>
>> www.elddis.co.uk/xplore/xplore-304

I'll add it to the look see list at the show.
 Caravaning - Bobby
Cheers Zero for the response - by the sound of it most of the sites you will be staying at will be the doggy venues anyway so not actual camp sites? Sort of doggy traveller sites??? :)

How does the security work for the dogs that are not being shown that day - there is a huge business in stealing dogs just now - sends shudders up my spine thinking of these mutts in their own wee gated areas next to the caravans?

Re your shortlist of caravans, is this based on new models only? There must be hundreds of versions of two berth caravans with a loo? Will you be getting an awning as well?
 Caravaning - Zero
>> Cheers Zero for the response - by the sound of it most of the sites
>> you will be staying at will be the doggy venues anyway so not actual camp
>> sites? Sort of doggy traveller sites??? :)

Yes exactly

>> How does the security work for the dogs that are not being shown that day
>> - there is a huge business in stealing dogs just now - sends shudders up
>> my spine thinking of these mutts in their own wee gated areas next to the
>> caravans?

Everyone knows dog and owners. Its all rather incestuous. Get the wrong dog with the wrong handler and a hue and cry would start. Oh we dont "show" dogs, that's for weird breed people,
we "handle and work" dogs.

>> Re your shortlist of caravans, is this based on new models only? There must be
>> hundreds of versions of two berth caravans with a loo? Will you be getting an
>> awning as well?

No new its not a requirement, second hand starting at less than 2 grand is possible.
Last edited by: Zero on Tue 13 Aug 19 at 20:47
 Caravaning - Bobby
>> No new its not a requirement, second hand starting at less than 2 grand is possible

ok not handy for you, but someone on my local FB pages selling a 2 berth Swift with toilet and shower for 2 grand. Looks very neat actually.
 Caravaning - Zero
Autotrader (caravans) is full of possibilities. And a gazziliion makes and models of which I know nothing. For example is length quoted in auto trader adds, the length from rear to tow hitch or just length of body. Is shipping length the space you need to store it on?
 Caravanning - Duncan
I was a member of the Caravan Club yonks ago. Found them rather rule-bound.
 Caravanning - Manatee
>> I was a member of the Caravan Club yonks ago. Found them rather rule-bound.


Was that when you came back at midnight, carousing from Wetherspoon's?
 Caravanning - Duncan
>> >> I was a member of the Caravan Club yonks ago. Found them rather rule-bound.
>>
>>
>> Was that when you came back at midnight, carousing from Wetherspoon's?
>>

Who told you about that?
 Caravaning - Robbie34
Age and infirmity have caused me to give up caravanning. Until recently I was in both clubs. However, the C&CC insurance was much cheaper and gave excellent service. Their camp sites were much cheaper than C&MC and they give a discount for us wrinklies.

For foreign travel C&MC REd Pennant is hard to beat although a tad expensive now.
 Caravanning - Dulwich Estate II
.... mmmm....

"Age and infirmity have caused me to give up caravanning"

..and I always thought that Age and infirmity have caused people to start up caravanning.
 Caravanning - tyrednemotional
>>
>> ..and I always thought that Age and infirmity have caused people to start up caravanning.
>>

....no, you're mistaking that with carping.....

;-)
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
...you don't need to join a club, and it is only worth doing so if you are going to avail yourself of the various facilities they offer.

The two main clubs (and I am a member of both, for different reasons) vary somewhat in character, but essentially offer much the same to their members, viz:

- Access to a number of geographically spread club-owned sites, usually (but not always) with reasonably maintained facilities, the Caravan (and Motorhome) Club having slightly more sites, and generally slightly better facilities than does the Camping and Caravanning Club. The C&MC also has more sites open in the off-season.

- Access to a wide network of privately-owned, but members-only "5-van" sites, dubbed CLs by the C&MC, and CSs by the C&CC. (The "5-van" is in quotes as this bestows planning law exemptions in conjunction with the clubs, but is sometimes exceeded). Again, the C&MC has a wider network of these locations, and they run from one extreme to the other as regards quality and facilities (all will/should have fresh water and black waste disposal).

- Access to mainly weekend rallies (C&MC) or DA (C&CC) meets across the country in other locations than above. If the location is where you want, then you can join the meet, and not join in if you get my meaning. My experience is that the C&CC DA meets are the easiest to use.

- A range of member "benefits"; some you might use, many are overplayed. We find we can often save a few pounds on ferry crossings if booked through one of the clubs. Insurance, on the other hand, we can find much better elsewhere.

- The C&CC run "Temporary Holiday Sites" UK-wide across an extended season. The nature of these varies muchly, but they can be a cheap pitch in less obvious areas if the location suits.

- The C&CC offers age-discounts off the main season that can drop the nightly cost on their own sites.

The membership cost of either club is not great (compared to the other costs of the pastime) but if you can manage without using their sites or CLs/CSs (other private sites abound) then the value is debatable (particularly if you already have the facility to pitch at most/all locations you use).

Looking at your use, (and unless a perusal of the other club's locations clearly matches your travels better - the respective websites should reveal) I would probably recommend joining the C&MC if it is to be only one. Once you're used to it and have understood your patterns of use, then you can either join the other as well, to widen the network, or switch to give variety. (Perversely, my own preference, balancing all things, and considering history is the C&CC).

 Caravaning - bathtub tom
When I had a caravan, we were invited to weekend camps. Quickly learned these were 'car keys in a pot' job frequented mainly by folk with pampas grass in their gardens. Do they still do that?
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
...only reason Z is going for a caravan......
 Caravaning - Manatee
>> When I had a caravan, we were invited to weekend camps. Quickly learned these were
>> 'car keys in a pot' job frequented mainly by folk with pampas grass in their
>> gardens. Do they still do that?

Nothing wrong with people wanting to drive each other's cars!
 Caravaning - legacylad
But not green cars shirley
 Caravaning - Zero
>> When I had a caravan, we were invited to weekend camps. Quickly learned these were
>> 'car keys in a pot' job frequented mainly by folk with pampas grass in their
>> gardens. Do they still do that?

Wow, I didnt know that was part of the scene, not sure I want to swap my dog for another......
 Caravaning - Kevin
OMG! Not another damn snail dragging it's shell up and down the highways holding everyone up.
 Caravaning - Zero
>> OMG! Not another damn snail dragging it's shell up and down the highways holding everyone
>> up.

Annoyingly its limited to 60 mph by law, apparently the G31 with self levelling adaptive suspension x-drive and stability control will haul anything up to 85% of its weight at well over three figures and be very stable about it. It was described as a "caravan bully"
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
>> Annoyingly its limited to 60 mph by law,

You might want to see how the outfit behaves passing an artic at 60+ before being too cocky about stability control etc...

Berlingo + Explore 304 gives us a gross train weight just shy of 3,500kg which means that in France I can tow at up to 130kph (110 par temps de pluie). I'm not keen to exceed even 110 on dry straight autoroute because of wind/lorry turbulence.

The Nederlanders seem braver but I've seen a few smashed up Dutch 'vans where the tail has ended up wagging the dog.....

Fuel consumption towing also goes mad (<25mpg) towing at 110kph whereas at 90kph it's in mid thirties.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Wed 7 Aug 19 at 21:15
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
...TBH, I'm surprised you've written off the option of a Panel Van Conversion motorhome/campervan.

I get some of the rationale (the fact that you've got a towbar, the potential for a newish caravan to be less of a capital outlay, etc.) but not much of the rest.

I suppose it might be a bit of reverse vicariousness, projecting my choices onto others, but I would have thought that, all factors considered, a 6m or even better a 6.36m Ducato van conversion would be rather more practical for both dog shows and in particular chasing trains.

Much easier to pitch up and break camp than a caravan, and (IMO) more pleasant (and certainly better for access) than towing, even behind a G31. Easier to park than the combination as well.

Certainly some people feel having two separate units makes local travel rather more easy, but if we can't use bikes, walk or use public transport, then it is only a couple minutes (literally) to be ready to drive off. (and our record for pitching up and being out and off down the pub is well under 30 seconds).

BUT, I thought the idea was to use the purchase as a base, on the location you were attending, which seems to negate any/most issues of being able to drive away in the car (since you are already where you want/need to be).

Considerably more payload in a campervan than a (small) caravan, giving quite a bit more scope (for carrying "stuff", and for fettling the van for longer, off-grid stays - solar panels, extra batteries, etc).

AND, in response to the last post, almost every such conversion will be subject to standard car speed limits (whereas the base, white-van man vehicle from which it is converted will be restricted).

In general, insurance for a campervan will be less than a caravan (surprisingly), though paying road tax offsets that.

 Caravaning - Zero
>> .
>> Much easier to pitch up and break camp than a caravan, and (IMO) more pleasant
>> (and certainly better for access) than towing, even behind a G31. Easier to park than
>> the combination as well.

I cant drive to Devon, pitch a home at a dog show, do my dogging, and give the Kubelwagen to Mrs Z to visit her Friends if all we have is a Motorhome.

Its just not flexible enough. Its been considered, it does much of what I need, and is the choice of many at shows, but after weighing it up, the 'van is the better choice.

Oh and a Van and a motorhome is too big and too slow to chase trains. Thats a Travellodge jobbie and always will be
Last edited by: Zero on Wed 7 Aug 19 at 21:27
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
>>
>> I cant drive to Devon, pitch a home at a dog show, do my dogging,
>> and give the Kubelwagen to Mrs Z to visit her Friends if all we have
>> is a Motorhome.
>>
I was rather assuming the G31, and a Ducato conversion (in preference to towing a 'shed')

I have to say that I've never savoured the idea of towing a caravan, but if I had to, it would be one of the small Eribas, already mentioned (or a full-fat, American Airstream, of course).
 Caravaning - No FM2R
I want one of these.

decoratio.co/camping-equipment-and-vehicles-30/
 Caravaning - Zero
>> I want one of these.
>>
>> decoratio.co/camping-equipment-and-vehicles-30/

Do you think that will squeeze onto my 6 metres of frontage?
 Caravaning - No FM2R
Why would I buy one for your frontage? You'd probably charge me rent.
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
...he thinks you'll want to park it there when you're in town, just to annoy him...

;-)
 Caravaning - Runfer D'Hills
I can't read or hear the word "frontage" now without thinking of Mrs Frontage from Terry Wogan's Janet and John stories.

As you were chaps, as you were.
 Caravaning - legacylad
I’ve never had a caravan, never been tempted, but a year ago my bruv bought one to test the water, so to speak. It was an old thing, two berth, no idea of make and model, and he paid £1700. The roof doesn’t leak, apparently it’s immaculate, and both he and his missus often go away for trips between 4 and 7 days duration. I’ve seen photos ( they are in the Peak District at the mo) with awning attached. I assume it doesn’t have a toilet, and they stay at these sites with only a few pitches, which looks like a field to me with few if any facilities.
They weren’t sure if caravanning was for them so spending sub £2k seemed like an astute move. They pay to have it stored somewhere and seem to enjoy the quiet life away from the crowds.
 Caravaning - BiggerBadderDave
I've fancied one for a while. But a small one, just a place to eat and sleep. I like those Tabs. Small and stylish and fit in garages and small spaces.
 Caravaning - BiggerBadderDave
Spelt T@b, it seems.

www.tabme.de/en/
 Caravaning - BiggerBadderDave
Did I say eat and sleep? I meant eat, sleep and crap.

Has to be the 400, it has a bog.

Just in case.
 Caravaning - No FM2R
>>AND, in response to the last post, almost every such conversion will be subject to standard car speed limits (whereas the base, white-van man vehicle from which it is converted will be restricted).

I was party to a conversation recently which I regret I didn't pay particular attention to. But as I understand it there are moves afoot;

It is going to become much more difficult to have a conversion registered as such and I think they were going to come up with some halfway house.

There is concern that the speed limit should apply to the base vehicle not how it is used.

Also they were saying that the description should match it's appearance not it's usage; i.e. if it looks like a van, then it's a van. Never mind how you are using it.

There may well have been more but that's all I recall.

I wish I'd paid more attention now.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Thu 8 Aug 19 at 16:02
 Caravaning - Dave_
Here's my tuppence-worth.

I had two caravans for about 18 months each; they're a lot of hassle and expense to store, maintain, insure and keep secure, prepare, use and tidy up after use. The caravan dealers will sell you a "bare" 'van without a battery, gas bottle, water carrier etc meaning you end up spending another £500 to kit it out before you can use it.

That said Z, for the use to which you want to put it I can't see a problem. We stayed next to a Basecamp in Oban a couple of years back, the ceiling was a bit low for me (I'm 6ft4) compared to other caravans. It had everything you would need though, and I can see the thinking behind buying one.

My Swift caravan was well built but almost all the appliances were replaced under warranty in the first few months; the oven, fridge, cassette toilet and main electric box were all shoddily put together and failed in one way or another after a few days' use.

My Bailey caravan was the opposite; it had very shonky fit and finish but all the bought-in parts were top notch. I understand Bailey are the only UK manufacturer who build the insides first and then pop the body on at the end.

We joined both main clubs; we stayed at both club and non-club sites and had varied experiences all round. At least twice we arrived at seemingly legitimate non-club sites to find them populated by rough-and-ready families with tipper vans and feral children. Other non-club sites though were among the best places we stayed at; I would very much go on personal recommendation as to the sites to use.

The club sites were all similar, very regimented with clean facilities but largely stuck in the 1960s as far as communication and wifi were involved.

After 3 years' caravanning we decided it wasn't for us and have gone back to weekend b&bs, hotels etc as the overall costs aren't that much different and the preparation time for a family break is MUCH shorter.
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
>> Here's my tuppence-worth.

Intersting how we can have different perspectives on what are in fact pretty similar experiences.

I can see what you mean about 'bare' caravans but you can always try and negotiate some of those things into the deal. Gas type, brand and cylinder size etc are user preferences as is leisure battery weight (v) capacity; you'd not want it decided at the factory.

Our Elddis probably costs about £1k/year for storage (£400) insurance, annual service etc. It would fit on the drive at home but the neighbours could object and there's a covenant against even parking one.

Preparation is no big issue for us. The 'van is kept with bed made up and with enough tinned/dried food (paste, rice etc) for a meal and a night's worth of beer/wine. Just bung some clothes in a bag, pick up any perishables into a cool bag and collect 'grab bag' with and odds and sods we've collected and leave from the storage yard. Hitch up and away. It's usually clean enough and tidy enough to go straight back there too.

Needed a deep clean after a fortnight in French heatwave and went back to store today after being at home for a week but if it wasn't for work it'd have been a lot sooner. Wonder why I bothered with an external wash as just five miles to yard and it was splattered with stuff from wet roads.

Our appliances have been mostly OK but the heater thermostat had to be swapped out under warranty as it was turning off prematurely. We also had an issue with shower tray that cracked due to poor design but that was rectified FoC albeit only after I'd quoted consumer law to the supplying dealer.

Interesting you mention Bailey as we're looking at a Unicorn Cadiz as our next van. Interiors are certainly good. I suspect part of the 'flimsiness' feel is the need to keep weight down for matching with cars.

We find the C&MC sites suit us well. While the pitching/parking pullava I referenced above is a strict rule it's based on experience with fires etc. Nothing else seems particularly regimented, no more so than on any site with designated pitches etc. Rules about noise, on site speed, ball games etc are no more prescriptive than on the average French site. What specifically did you find 'regimented' about them?

The wi-fi is, at best, variable according to how near the base masts you are. I suspect a lot of people abuse it to stream films etc and/or have devices connected that are constantly calling home. I'd also be surprised if local infrastructure to the site isn't an issue - doubt there's fibre within 5 miles of say the C&MC Centenary Site in the New Forest. Rural settings also increase the probability that the mobile signal is shonky too.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Mon 12 Aug 19 at 17:55
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
>> It is going to become much more difficult to have a conversion registered as such
>> and I think they were going to come up with some halfway house.

The rules are on the uk gov website:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/registering-a-diy-caravan/converting-a-vehicle-into-a-motorhome

Like you I've heard anecdotal evidence, in my case probably in either caravan forums/Facebook groups or club magazines, that it's becoming more difficult. I believe some insurers can be snotty as well.
 Caravaning - R.P.
Sort of browsing on Autotrader whilst away from home overnight, found an 18 month old converted VW camper for a fraction of the price of a factory made model - you pays your money etc.
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
..it's all gone a bit quiet, so I don't know if you're still looking....

Being prosaically diverted today to a local, large caravan dealer (to buy some toilet fluid before we head off sur le continent), I noted they had a number of new Swift Basecamp 'vans in stock.

Described as "management bulk buy" or some such, they were reputedly being offered at £2K+ off list price. They may not be selling well, and if one is still a target, I'd be inclined to try to drive a hard bargain.

Had a mosey round, and I have to say it wasn't really to my taste. If I was looking at that size, a small Eriba (Troll or similar) as mentioned above would suit me much more (pop-top and all). IMO, rather better thought out, and considerably better finished (ageless design, too).

I was able to side-by-side compare a late model used example at very little more than the Basecamp - no comparison.
 Caravaning - Zero
Its gone quiet pending trip to Caravan and Camper show at NEC in Oct.

As far as your dislike of the basecamp goes, you are showing your chinzy curtains age.....
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
...never liked the chintzy look - which is why I eschew UK built motorhomes.

I also don't need to go chasing my (almost) lost youth sleeping in something that looks like it was designed for the lower-end properties of the YHA.

;-)
 Caravaning - Zero
Look, it cant be too comfy and cozy or I will end up with the wife in it for weeks on end, it will be a working ve-hicle. Think site office.
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
...aye, though if you want "funky", what I've seen of the T@b is an improvement all round.
 Caravaning - Fullchat
Its the Caravan and Mobile Home exhibition here in Cottingham next week. This area is the heart of the caravan industry.
Next years 'must have's' on display. I believe at the top end its become a fashion statement. Matching car and caravan and all that bull.
There are only so many layouts a caravan can have. Caravans have basically been the same for years its only the cosmetic stuff that changes. Next seasons colours and decor.
The best time to tap in is at the end of the season when they are all wanting to get rid and buy into next years models.
If there has been some progress its maybe been in construction. Caravans have always been somewhat fragile and not particularly durable. Construction materials being unable to stand the flexing and ravages of time when eventually the damp gets through causing expensive issues.
More durable composite and weather resistant materials are now being utilised.
Like cars the second hand market can produce some gems and save considerable amounts of money.
There is also maintenance, storage and insurance issues + a suitable vehicle to fulfill towing duties which is then used the rest of the year.
Been there done that when the kids were younger and I was glad to see the back of the thing. So much easier to hand a cottage key back.
Ideas of disappearing on short notice weekends never really materialised. Hard core had forward booked all the decent sites well in advance.
Have a yearning for a motor caravan. But having been stuck on the motorbike behind a lot of them bringing Scotland to a standstill a couple of weekends ago I'm not so sure now :S. However it was peak season.
 Caravaning - Manatee
British touring caravans were typically made with a wooden frame that was rarely stiff enough. The movement as they swayed inevitably resulted in leaks and in due course rotten framing and floors.

That has changed a bit now.

The Eriba is not typical of anything but Eribas. QC can be patchy but the frame is steel and whilst they can deteriorate, typically they last a long time. But they tend to be light on mod cons. Ours has external water inlet, hot water, a battery and a mover - all are extras. The standard Eriba bathroom is tiny and ours is used for handwashing, toothbrushing and a night-time toilet facility. Hence we tend to use club sites with decent facilities. On a rally site, or I imagine at a dog show, you probably need to be self-contained so it would be a bit like camping.
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
>> Have a yearning for a motor caravan. But having been stuck on the motorbike behind
>> a lot of them bringing Scotland to a standstill a couple of weekends ago I'm
>> not so sure now :S. However it was peak season.
>>

....motorcaravanning is of course (or at least should be) a very different pastime to caravanning. (It's also much more classy and upmarket ;-) )

It really lends itself much better to extended touring and exploring, not stopping anywhere for any great length of time (unless, of course, you find somewhere special). The contrast with traditional caravanning does not suit everyone.

I've had campervans and motorcaravans for over 30 years (since before they were so fashionable and ubiquitous, at least in the UK). They've now become an aspirational purchase for a significant proportion of the population (much more so than caravans, as evidenced by the changing mix we've seen on sites over the years). This, combined with the general increase in tourism in general, and to "honeypot" areas in particular*, has made it more of a challenge to get the best from the lifestyle, but it is still possible.

Our 'van gets probably 100+ nights' use in a good year; lives on the drive so we can be away at the drop of a hat, and supports our preferred holiday practice of heading off into Europe with only an outline plan, seeking scenery, food, wine, walking and cycling. We've been to the North of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and as far South as Venice. West to Ireland and East to the Czech Republic and Slovenia. We never fail to find some delightful and entertaining places, largely unexpected and off the beaten track.

In Scotland, the promotion of the NC500 has led to an overpopulation of motorcaravans, as it has with other forms of tourism (frankly, it was already becoming a pain in season without that promotion - it has now lost it's almost unique (UK-wise) attraction of relative solitude). Of course, many of the 'vans are now from the continent, and motorcaravans, unlike the towed variety, have an active hire market, leading to drivers unfamiliar with a unit of that size. Combine that with the propensity to travel in convoy (notably the Italians and French, but sometimes the Germans as well) and you have a recipe for chaos.

In Europe, the only other place I've encountered so far that suffers similarly from motorcaravans is the Lofoten Islands in Norway. It's not so much the traffic, as the feeling that it would all be a lot more attractive without all these other vehicles (mine is fine, of course ;-) )

If it's any consolation, though I don't particularly dawdle, I do always watch out for motorbikes, and "assist" them past if necessary.

*having had two longish sessions in NZ in the last 18 months, in addition to 3+ weeks in Canada, it is obvious that certain locations are rapidly drowning under the weight of tourism. The popular places in NZ are on the cusp if not already there, Canada, particularly around Banff and Lake Louise is definitely already there. Both the NZ tours were by motorhome, and we found it relatively easy to miss the worst but still see the best sights; Canada we did fly-drive, and were glad we hadn't taken an RV as we did 19 years ago, as the roads were awash, and the sites full.
 Caravaning - Falkirk Bairn
There are quite a few caravans & motorhomes in the street.

One or 2 people are avid users - the majority sit at the side of the house and move very infrequently - a week & it's back or it's lent to a family member for a weekend or so.

Waste on money really except for the few.

One neighbour was selling his - he described it as "nearly new condition" - it was as they had never really been anywhere in it.

£25K new van now adorns the side of the house - last year 2/3 weeks use, 1+ week so far in 2019. How do I know? He makes it his point to say where he is off to months in advance......... and often he cancels for some reason or other.
 Caravaning - Kevin
>it will be a working ve-hicle.

Wouldn't it be easier/cheaper/comfier (sic) to strike up a 'relationship' with a motorhome owning poodle fan?
 Caravaning - legacylad
Yeah. An apricot poodle. Should go well with a green estate car.
 Caravaning - legacylad
I now have 4 friends with motorhomes. They certainly gets their money’s worth. Often they’ll finish work, go home, set off just for one night, driving a few miles ( literally) up the Dales for dark skies. One of them is off to Austria soon for 3 weeks, another heading to Switzerland.
I’m just a tiny bit jealous
 Caravaning - Robin O'Reliant
Be a man. Buy a tent.
 Caravaning - PeterS
My local MINI dealer has one of these on a Countryman in the showroom. Don’t see why it wouldn’t fit on 5 series roof-rails... ;)

shop.autohome-official.com/en/maggiolina-range/50-autohome-roof-tent-for-mini-countryman.html
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
...he could put the dog through its agility test, every night....
 Caravaning - Zero
>> My local MINI dealer has one of these on a Countryman in the showroom.

Well they have to try and improve the looks of the mini somehow I guess.
 Caravaning - PeterS
For a laugh I asked them how much....almost £2k. And no, they haven’t sold one yet ????
 Caravaning - No FM2R
If one types "mini countryman roof tent" into Google and looks at images, whilst there are loads they are all press photos. Not one single "real life" photo.
 Caravaning - Haywain
"My local MINI dealer has one of these on a Countryman....."

I saw one of this type about 40 years ago on top of a minivan on a French municipal campsite. We soon realised that the campers' modus operandi was to arrive on site after the gate-guards had cleared off for the day, then vanish in the early morning before the guards returned - nice cheap way of doing it.
 Caravaning - Bobby
What weight limit are on those roofs? Could imagine you are looking at excess of 200kg for two adults and tent?

Also are these cars keyless entry? It’s ok dear, sleep well, I have hidden the keys under the pillow....
 Caravaning - No FM2R
Apparently it weighs 58kg itself, which is all the weight it'd have when it's being driven.

It says it is suitable for two adults who would obviously only be in it when stationery.

So given that, 200 - 250kg I guess.

I'd think it'd be a bit wobbly though.
 Caravaning - No FM2R
Apparently a 75kg weight limit on the move for an non-countryman mini. I can't find anything for what it will take stationery.
 Caravaning - PeterS
Want they should have done is call it a Maxi; I seem to recall that one of its ‘features’ was that the rear and front seats could be folded down to make a double bed, of sorts.. Then at least you’re sleeping inside the car, not on the top of it!
 Caravaning - No FM2R
I loved my Maxi. Not quite as much as I loved my MKIII Cortina, but close.
 Caravaning - PeterS
It seems to me that BL / Austin Rover had a series of great ideas that were either ahead of their time or poorly executed. Or both.

FWD hatches were the mainstay of the ‘80s. But BL’s was launched in the ‘70s, before it was ready. Maybe even the 60s? Before my time, though my grandad had 2 Maxis...

Rover went mass market premium with the Rover 200/400 series in the late eighties early nineties, badly. But the Audi A3 and BMW compact of the late nineties paved the way for the ubiquitous German mass market domination of today.

In the late nineties they launched the Freelander (though to be fair, I think LR was owned by Ford at that point). The rest of the world went small SUV mad in the early/mid noughties... Also in the late nineties they went retro with the 75 and, and if you believe some stories, their design for what became the BMW MINI just before the rest of the world went retro mad with the fiat 500, the VW Beetle etc

Also in the early noughties, just before going bust they launched the streetwise - a kind of chunky slightly jacked up 200 that looked a bit off roader like. Since then VW have done the same with the Polo, Audi with the A4 and A6, MB with the E Class, Volvo with some kind of estate... And super mini based SUVs are everywhere...

What might have been... ;)
 Caravaning - No FM2R
BL et al had two problems;

Industrial relations
Quality Control

There wasn't much wrong with their ideas.

I'm supposed to be good at that stuff, and I'd have loved to have had a go at fixing it. But it was before my time. Probably just as well, I'm not sure that lot was fixable.

Their workforce may have finally sent it down the plug hole but it was started on that path long before by it's management.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Thu 29 Aug 19 at 00:04
 Caravaning - commerdriver
>> I loved my Maxi. Not quite as much as I loved my MKIII Cortina, but
>> close.
>>
We did once sleep on an airbed in the back of a Cprtina Mk4 estate on the journey to Devon/Cornwall
 Caravaning - Haywain
"I loved my Maxi"

I loved my girlfriend's dad's Maxi.
 Caravaning - bathtub tom
I had a Maxi. Probably the most competitive car I ever had. OK, I used to go round corners thinking I'd change down to third, try to change down to third, sod it, drop into to second after the corner, and that had the 'improved' rod gear-change on the 1750.

It won awards at grass auto-tests (complete with kiddiseats bouncing around in the back), it got a best in class at a trial and won an economy run.

It towed a caravan and after I fitted rear spring assisters, the resulting stiffening of the back end improved the 'turn-in' no end. Taught me a lot about suspension!

It was the right car at the time, with a couple of kids. It followed a Vitesse and Cortina GT. It took them, a dog and a microwave oven one Christmas to an ailing MILs. Stopped by the BIBs they wouldn't believe SWMBO was ten months pregnant, despite the obvious evidence!
 Caravaning - hawkeye
...
>> It towed a caravan and after I fitted rear spring assisters, the resulting stiffening of
>> the back end improved the 'turn-in' no end. Taught me a lot about suspension!
>> ...

Blimey! How did you fit spring assisters to a car with Hydrolastic/Hydragas suspension?
 Caravaning - bathtub tom
>>Blimey! How did you fit spring assisters to a car with Hydrolastic/Hydragas suspension?

The rear bumpstops were replaced with longer, sort of figure of eight rubber stops. They were easily available at the time, but now seem to be discontinued. An expensive version were Auto-Ballans, which were a thick walled, inflatable rubber bumpstop. They could be inflated to a pressure to suit the need.
 Caravaning - legacylad
As posted earlier, my bruv bought a cheap caravan a year or so ago to test the waters. He’s just sold it and bought a 2007 two berth motorhome.
Today he’s sent me a message to ask my friends with caravans ( of which I have none) want to buy a ‘ Westfield 250 inflatable with annex’ 18 months old @ £350.
So if anyone has a caravan....I assume it’s a tent you fix to the side of a caravan for use after a domestic with the other half. But could be wrong.
 Caravaning - Runfer D'Hills
An inflatable Westfield?

Marvellous!

;-)
 Caravaning - legacylad
Ewe Numpty
I thought it was a pop up shopping centre
 Caravaning - hawkeye
>> The rear bumpstops were replaced with longer, sort of figure of eight rubber stops.

OK, I've heard of Auto-Ballans which I thought were fitted in pairs inside a coil spring but replacing bump-stops is new to me. Thanks for clarifying.
 Caravaning - Alanovich
I want a Lunar Delta Ti. Transverse/island bed is a must.

Gonna need a bigger car to tow it. It's the only thing that'll get me in to an SUV, needing to tow a caravan.
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
>> I want a Lunar Delta Ti. Transverse/island bed is a must.

We're looking at bigger van than current Xplore 304 but with twin beds. Bailey Unicorn Cadiz fits bill well. There was a suitable Lunar too but I'm just a bit chary of brand at present as they've just been rescued from administration.

Too heavy for Berlingo even without it's added issue where max payload & towing at 1300kg limit bust the Gross Train Weight max. Not really thought about car - possibly a Skoda Karoq or equivalent Seat. Also need to look at Peugeot 5008 and possibly some bigger Fords. Will probably be an SUV/MPV as Mrs B finds herself sitting on top of the steering wheel in conventional estate cars.
 Caravaning - Alanovich
We passed a convoy of French 3.14keys tugging sheds on the autoroutes this summer, must have been 50 of them. They all had really swish looking vans from brands I'd never heard of. One massive twin axle Tabbert thing was being dragged by a Berlingo, which struck me as pretty stupid.
 Caravaning - No FM2R
>>3.14keys

Oh very good. But I still prefer DAYlikeys.
 Caravaning - Alanovich
Why wary of the brand, Brompters? Can independents not do repairs/maintenance/servicing etc?

What would you recommend for a twin axle, island bed shed?
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
>> Why wary of the brand, Brompters? Can independents not do repairs/maintenance/servicing etc?

I was thinking of warranty issues.

>> What would you recommend for a twin axle, island bed shed?

No idea. Kids have flown the nest and I cannot understand retired couples with a twin axle jobbie the size of Wales. Even if there were grandchildren......

We looked at island beds but decided the twin set up was better.

We need to be making makeuseof existing one though before committing to spending £30k+ on new 'van and car.
 Caravaning - Alanovich
Ah, I'm thinking second hand when the time comes, so wasn't considering warranties.

My plan is to be on mainland Europe for the majority of the year with a caravan, moving on every month or two. With that in mind, I'd be wanting a larger one with dedicated bedroom, a bathroom at the end beyond the bedroom, and a permanent living/dining/kitchen area. This is retirement stuff for me, I'd not get a caravan for short holidays whilst still in work.

Can't imagine going back to sleeping in a single bed.
 Caravaning - Zero
Still thinking Basecamp, but just seen this

www.go-barefoot.co.uk/

Now that would look fab clinging onto the rear of the Beemer, but at 27k????
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
One of those kept at same storage site as my Elddis. Nice looking 'van but truly tiny.

There's a cheaper version - the Barefoot Space - at around £17k that would probably do what you want.
 Caravaning - Zero

>> There's a cheaper version - the Barefoot Space - at around £17k that would probably
>> do what you want.

No loo/shower. Thats a noo noo.
 Caravaning - BiggerBadderDave
"Thats a noo noo."

No no no.

That's a noo noo

tinyurl.com/y487zudl
 Caravaning - Duncan
It can't be you. You haven't got that much hair.
 Caravaning - bathtub tom
I'm hearing of a problem with caravan axles failing. It seems the 'van manufacturer is fitting a body to the axle that loads the axle to it's maximum recommended. The 'van owner then puts all their junk inside (think awning etc.) that overloads the axle.
It sounds like some sort of rubber block, indespension type unit's involved.
Anyone else heard anything?
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
I would expect there to be odd problem with 'vans that have been overloaded. Casual observation on sites suggests than people ram stuff into their 'vans and are unaware of, or careless about, max payload.

On some models the payload is very small, around 150kg. Add a leisure battery and motor mover and there's not a lot left for 'stuff'.

We've been very careful about this, everything that goes in the 'van was weighed and we did a spreadsheet including allowance for the battery and mover. Extra stuff creeps in over time but we've enough headroom.

Story here from one user:

worldwidewalkies.blog/2018/02/10/bailey-alko-axle-problem/


That was a Bailey but I doubt they're only brand affected. OTOH I've not seen more than one report of wheel cover damage in Elddis groups I follow.
 Caravaning - Zero
>> I'm hearing of a problem with caravan axles failing. It seems the 'van manufacturer is
>> fitting a body to the axle that loads the axle to it's maximum recommended.

Van are quoted in MRO - Mass in running order - The total weight of the van when it leaves the facotry

MTPLM Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass which is the total weight the axles will support,

The difference is your payload, - stuff you can put in or add to the van,


The basecamp is

MTPLM 1027kg
MRO 916kg
Total User Payload 111kg

Out of that comes the leisure battery . - say 20kg, motor mover if you fit one ( i would) 25kg
leaves you 66kg for "stuff" . As bromp says, to save yourself a trip to the public weigh-bridge every time out, you spreadsheet it all.


Last edited by: Zero on Mon 30 Sep 19 at 14:00
 Caravaning - No FM2R
>>leaves you 66kg for "stuff"

That's really not very much at all.

Little more than the girls and I carry when we fly. And we're not carrying a ton of household goods, food and accessories.

 Caravaning - Zero
>> >>leaves you 66kg for "stuff"
>>
>> That's really not very much at all.
>>
>> Little more than the girls and I carry when we fly. And we're not carrying
>> a ton of household goods, food and accessories.

Very true and its much discussed on the caravan forums, most of whom scoff at such a poor allowance.

However they forget its a lightweight van, built for a couples weekend away type stuff* so not for two weeks for a family. Plus unlike flying, you can load stuff in the car. For me, with a big beemer estate, two peeps and dog at most for a week max, it would work. Certainly for me and dog on a muddy field for a weekend its ample.

*I know of a couple of basecamps on extended tours of europe, to me, thats what a motorhome is for.
Last edited by: Zero on Mon 30 Sep 19 at 14:14
 Caravaning - sooty123
>> Still thinking Basecamp, but just seen this
>>
>> www.go-barefoot.co.uk/
>>
>> Now that would look fab clinging onto the rear of the Beemer, but at 27k????
>>

Looks like it has a camper van type layout inside. But at that price you'd have to seriously want one over a normal caravan.
 Caravaning - Zero
So far, on the shortlist for consideration is the

Swift Base Camp
Bailey Discovery D4-2
Adria Action

 Caravaning - Runfer D'Hills
I have, not very seriously, but in the passing so to speak, thought that a Swift Base Camp might enhance my mountain biking trips.

Can't quite do it though. But a Scooby bus...could just about make it onto my shopping list.

I know a couple of people with them. VW Transporters with lots of boy's toys in.
 Caravaning - Zero
Have a look round on the web at a Toyota Alphard.

Some good conversions around,
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
....I suspect the T@b fails slightly in the practicality stakes, otherwise it is a competitor.

If you're prepared to go a bit bigger, the Knaus Sport and Fun is playing in the same space (well, not really, 'cos it's bigger) and has some really flexible storage options for outdoor stuff. In addition, the extra space means you can leave the bed permanently made up, and still have seating and a table. Believe you me, that is quite an advantage after long active days (or even for a daytime snooze).
 Caravaning - Runfer D'Hills
Don't think I could go for an Alphard. Sounds too much like it could do with a dose of Viagra doesn't it?
;-)
 Caravaning - Zero
LOL

 Caravaning - Zero
Discounted T@B and the Knaus sport and fun, for various reasons. & My limit is 5.5 metres.

As for bed, yes for a week 2 up Bedtime would be a pain. For a weekend with the dog in a field its not an issue, in the basecamp for example, one single side bed stays down with a throw over it, the other side is up for space.
Last edited by: Zero on Mon 30 Sep 19 at 16:33
 Caravaning - Zero
Ok Choice made

bruderx.com/?fbclid=IwAR3Y2EmPRQf1RwDCbdcB4lpBci5li1pv_qJy6w2bpC2QpbHxE_0iGgVimto
 Caravaning - legacylad
In 2015 I took a friends wife and her Queensland Heeler on the TRT ( Tahoe Tim Trail). Her dog loved his first camping trip ! Friends wife and I had our own lightweight tents, but the funniest bit was that hers was a double skin tent, and we found out that by only erecting the mesh inner, her dog stayed awake for hours stargazing.
Dog was about 2yo at the time, so strong enough to carry its own food to last 3 days until we reached our remote supply points. 18 days under silnylon ( canvas is sooo outdated) and we had a ball. Although Rover didn’t.
I’m still tempted by a motorhome in the next few years....Cape Finisterre to the High Tatras is on my to do list before I croak.
 Caravaning - Zero
>> In 2015 I took a friends wife and her Queensland Heeler on the TRT (
>> Tahoe Tim Trail).

Australian Cattle Dogs are becoming quite popular in competitive obedience and working trials, similarly Kelpies.
 Caravaning - Kevin
>I’m still tempted by a motorhome in the next few years....
>Cape Finisterre to the High Tatras is on my to do list before I croak.

A few years ago after a friend's wife lost her battle with cancer he teamed up with another friend and bought an ex-US military 6x6 troop carrier and converted it to a motorhome complete with hand controls because our other friend was disabled. Together they did the full length of the Pan-American highway.

No point putting that on my bucket list I'm afraid.
 Caravaning - bathtub tom
That looks like the back of a bus - I can see why you're attracted to it ;>)
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
Spotted just the thing today.

You'd be very popular at your dogging meets.

ibb.co/MDF4Q6c

;-)
 Caravaning - Zero
Right!

Back from the caravan and camper show. Checked out the Knaus Sport & Fun, the Bailey Discovery D42, The T@B and the Adria Action, took the missus. The winner is the Basecamp, all the others have some form of layout issue.

So, I.ll be booking myself a towing course, and then buying a 2019 model basecamp.


I had pre booked a Caravan Driving experience, C/O Jeep. I chose a bright orange Wrangler Rubicon, with a
4 berth Bailey Pursuit chained on the back, my tutor was an ex female police driver. Actually went out on the M42 with the thing. My god that Jeep is an agricultural thing, List price is nearly 50K? It's rubbish.
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
>> ..... my tutor was an ex female police driver.
>>

.......was that an ex-female police driver, or a female ex-police driver?

Both potentially intimidating, but one more than the other ;-)


>>and then buying a 2019 model basecamp.

...haggle. Currently listed 10% + off list with no negotiation.
Last edited by: tyrednemotional on Tue 15 Oct 19 at 19:22
 Caravaning - Zero
Still female, so the later.

Aware of deals to be done, quite a few will be hitting the second hand market as quite a few will be upgrading to the 2020 SE.

I am booking a two day caravan course for march, so will get a van in April.
 Caravaning - Kevin
>My god that Jeep is an agricultural thing, List price is nearly 50K? It's rubbish.

You don't buy a Jeep Wrangler for towing your shell up and down the M42. You buy it for dragging bogged down BMWs out of muddy fields. Horses for Courses.
 Caravaning - Zero
Well I'd leave it in the field after it did.
 Caravaning - tyrednemotional
>> ......You buy it for dragging bogged down BMWs out of muddy fields.
>>


....bogged down by trying to tow a caravan through said muddy field.....?
 Caravaning - Bromptonaut
>> Right!
>>
>> Back from the caravan and camper show. Checked out the Knaus Sport & Fun, the
>> Bailey Discovery D42, The T@B and the Adria Action, took the missus. The winner is
>> the Basecamp, all the others have some form of layout issue.

Just a thought but did you mention this as having Whale blown air heating from a unit housed under the floor?

Our Xplore has this and other users report it as problematic when 'off grid' because the blower fan is heavy on battery. Can't speak from experience as never been off a mains hook up except during summer in France.
 Caravaning - Zero
Yes it does have whale blown air, but no Basecamp users have reported an issue, because the Basecamp is built for wild caravaning and is uber insulated, plus its small, and you fit a large enough battery, which combined with the hefty 100 watt solar panel charging it during the day its fine
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