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  • FIRST POST
    • redgrave_3
    • By redgrave_3 25th Apr 16, 4:54 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    redgrave_3
    0 WOW
    to motorhome or not to motorhome (or caravan)
    • #1
    • 25th Apr 16, 4:54 PM
    0 WOW
    to motorhome or not to motorhome (or caravan) 25th Apr 16 at 4:54 PM
    Hi, keen to canvass as many opinions as possible about motor-home/caravaning, the good and the bad please.
    I used to think it was a more frugal option (which is a tune I hope we can all dance to) but once you've paid for site fee's and fuel + ferries if you're going abroad, not to mention the initial outlay it quickly adds up.
    Still keen to hear as many different opinions as possible, what people like about it and what people don't like, for example I've got a young child so the ability to cart a lot of her toot around is pretty appealing.
Page 1
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 25th Apr 16, 9:30 PM
    • 3,730 Posts
    • 9,242 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    • #2
    • 25th Apr 16, 9:30 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Apr 16, 9:30 PM
    We have a caravan and yes, site fees for a decent site can be expensive but if you don't mind a basic site then it shouldn't be too expensive.

    The only think I would say in the motorhome v caravan debate is that we see a lot of people either towing cars or motorbikes as you have to drive the motorhome to where ever you want to go otherwise.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


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    • busiscoming2
    • By busiscoming2 26th Apr 16, 8:54 PM
    • 4,335 Posts
    • 11,520 Thanks
    busiscoming2
    • #3
    • 26th Apr 16, 8:54 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Apr 16, 8:54 PM
    DH had a motorhome when we first got together and my kids were 8 &6. It was fabulous when we went out for the day - tea making and toilet etc but the downside was when on holiday it had to be packed down a bit in order to go out anywhere and height restrictions on car parks proved to be a pain.

    We have had a caravan for the past 19 years and obviously love it more! Our youngest was 4 months old when we first used it and have managed fine with three kids and their tosh! Storage can be expensive. We now store it on a farm camping site and just tow it onto a pitch when we want.
    • ididntgetwhereiamtoday
    • By ididntgetwhereiamtoday 26th May 16, 9:48 PM
    • 1,130 Posts
    • 886 Thanks
    ididntgetwhereiamtoday
    • #4
    • 26th May 16, 9:48 PM
    • #4
    • 26th May 16, 9:48 PM
    Come on OP....have an update???
    I didn't get where i am today by not reading moneysavingexpert.com
    • fred246
    • By fred246 27th May 16, 8:35 PM
    • 990 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    fred246
    • #5
    • 27th May 16, 8:35 PM
    • #5
    • 27th May 16, 8:35 PM
    I saved a fortune on holidays buying a caravan but when you walk round the sites and price up some of the 'outfits' you see that people are spending massive amounts.
    Caravans - the key is to make sure your family car is capable of towing. Obviously 4x4 land rovers etc are best but also prestige cars like BMW diesels 6 cylinder 3 litre etc. Big MPVs.
    All you pay for then is your caravan and site fees. Caravan insurance is optional and maintenance should be cheap.
    Most people buying a motorhome have also bought a family car. They then pay a FORTUNE for a motorhome. It then HAS to be insured, MOTed, Emission taxed and serviced. Our relatives with a motorhome say that it costs them £3k a year to keep it on the road.
    With a caravan you are always glad to get to the site to get it off the car. You then set up your caravan as your house. Awning etc. You just jump in the car and go shopping, out for the day etc. It's as you are normally used to living.
    Our relatives have a large motor home and don't like to leave the site because it can't be parked anywhere. If you are going out you have to put everything away. You then have to mark your pitch when you leave. You have to phone tourist attractions and see if you can park a motor home there. You soon get fed up of this and so start looking at towing a car behind your motor home. You then have to finance your family car, motor home and Smart car.
    I have a feeling that people think it is trendy to have a motor home. It probably is in Australia or USA where there is plenty of space. But we are not there. We are in little old England.
    Maybe a small motor home that fits in a normal parking space is good for two but for families caravans are superior-that's my opinion.
    • knightstyle
    • By knightstyle 28th May 16, 8:48 PM
    • 4,735 Posts
    • 1,759 Thanks
    knightstyle
    • #6
    • 28th May 16, 8:48 PM
    • #6
    • 28th May 16, 8:48 PM
    Hi, you talk about going abroad and should know that most towns in France have free places for motorhomes to overnight with free water and waste facilities, some also have electricity for a small fee.
    However personally I like having a caravan after many many years of camping, then folding camper. Motorhomes are just too expensive for me,
    We have a 2008 caravan bought for £6k over a year ago in immaculate condition, the sinks still had stickers on and the oven had never been used.
    going to France for two months this summer, about half will be in the caravan.
    • Fortyfoot
    • By Fortyfoot 29th May 16, 12:38 PM
    • 1,789 Posts
    • 907 Thanks
    Fortyfoot
    • #7
    • 29th May 16, 12:38 PM
    • #7
    • 29th May 16, 12:38 PM
    Watch Caravanner of the Year
    11:25pm - 12:25am Monday 30th, May, Episode 2 on BBC2,
    Episode one was so funny, watch it on iPlayer.

    Fortyfoot
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 29th May 16, 12:58 PM
    • 1,518 Posts
    • 905 Thanks
    firefox1956
    • #8
    • 29th May 16, 12:58 PM
    • #8
    • 29th May 16, 12:58 PM
    We considered buying a motorhome but the ongoing costs put us off.
    We hire a motorhome in Spain & travel about in Europe.
    Would not consider doing the same thing in the UK though the country is too small, crowded & expensive.
    • markandkate
    • By markandkate 31st May 16, 5:45 PM
    • 827 Posts
    • 429 Thanks
    markandkate
    • #9
    • 31st May 16, 5:45 PM
    • #9
    • 31st May 16, 5:45 PM
    We bought a cheap and cheerful campervan as we did not want to spend a fortune on something that was going to sit on the drive for months on end. It is true that it has to be taxed and Mot'd, where a caravan does not but you still need a car capable of towing which may be bigger, more powerful and more costly than the one you were going to buy.

    The rationale for the camper van was that it would cost about £500 per week to hire one so 28 days use would be break even

    Our campervan was 30 years old and cost us £2,000 and we ended up keeping it for four years and loved it. We went to France and Germany and ended up trading it in last year. We probably spent another £2,000 on it but traded it in for £2,000 and could have got more if we had sold it privately.
    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 2nd Jun 16, 11:06 PM
    • 4,572 Posts
    • 38,155 Thanks
    YORKSHIRELASS
    Hi, we have a folding camper which we absolutely love, easy to tow and store and low maintenance. Its not ideal for winter use but at the moment we cant go away in winter anyway. It can be towed with a standard family car too.

    It cost us £2000 and we are on our 3rd season. We typically pay £20 to £25 per night pitch fees for 4 of us, with electric. You have the option to self cater so can have some very cheap holidays. Perfect for kids, easy to take their stuff, you can have a whole range of different types of holiday from big sites with swimming pools and restaurants to tiny sites with just a loo and a shower.

    However - its not everyone's cup of tea. Have you every camped before? Even in a luxury caravan there are certain compromises. I wouldnt want to splash out on a caravan or motorhome without trying it first.
    • ididntgetwhereiamtoday
    • By ididntgetwhereiamtoday 3rd Jun 16, 6:49 AM
    • 1,130 Posts
    • 886 Thanks
    ididntgetwhereiamtoday
    Hi, we have a folding camper which we absolutely love, easy to tow and store and low maintenance. Its not ideal for winter use but at the moment we cant go away in winter anyway. It can be towed with a standard family car too.

    It cost us £2000 and we are on our 3rd season. We typically pay £20 to £25 per night pitch fees for 4 of us, with electric. You have the option to self cater so can have some very cheap holidays. Perfect for kids, easy to take their stuff, you can have a whole range of different types of holiday from big sites with swimming pools and restaurants to tiny sites with just a loo and a shower.

    However - its not everyone's cup of tea. Have you every camped before? Even in a luxury caravan there are certain compromises. I wouldnt want to splash out on a caravan or motorhome without trying it first.
    Originally posted by YORKSHIRELASS
    We were looking at folding campers yesterday and kind of ruled them out as we could not see many advantages over a normal tent and they seemed quite expensive.
    Have you had any issues with security? The bottom of the door is solid with a lock but the upper half is canvas with a zip?
    I didn't get where i am today by not reading moneysavingexpert.com
    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 4th Jun 16, 9:28 PM
    • 4,572 Posts
    • 38,155 Thanks
    YORKSHIRELASS
    We were looking at folding campers yesterday and kind of ruled them out as we could not see many advantages over a normal tent and they seemed quite expensive.
    Have you had any issues with security? The bottom of the door is solid with a lock but the upper half is canvas with a zip?
    Originally posted by ididntgetwhereiamtoday
    Hi, there are a lot of advantages over a tent. The beds are so much more comfortable and warmer as you are off the ground. In fact the camper is much warmer generally than a tent. You get a proper fridge, sink and cooking area and with the additional of an awning you have plenty of space.

    The other big advantage is that you can pack all your camping stuff into the cupboards in the camper and leave it there. We even keep some basic cooking ingredients, toiletries and toothbrushes in the camper through the summer. The main unit can be set up in less than half an hour and we have done overnight stops when we have been going a long way.

    As for security, well it is no different than I tent I suppose. We have camped for 10 years as a family and never give security much thought. If we are going out we put all valuables in the boot of the car but that's it.

    Google blue sky holdings for more info on folding campers. Its definitely an option to think about.
    • Heather25
    • By Heather25 28th Feb 18, 3:15 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Heather25
    I owned a VW camper 40 years ago and loved the freedom of it. Now I'm living back in Central Scotland, my husband and I bought another one last year. Most of the summer we were enjoying the beautiful west coast and lochs as wild campers. But retirement has offered us the chance to camp for longer periods and we are upsizing to a Motorhome. A caravan would mean that we would have to stay in sites and that's not for us.
    • Mummyel
    • By Mummyel 2nd Mar 18, 10:26 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Mummyel
    ooh following with interest, we were planning on hiring a motorhome for a week or so during the half term. Not sure whether it's going to be hard work with a 3 and 7 year old heading from East Sussex to Scotland...Are we mad?!
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 2nd Mar 18, 11:41 AM
    • 1,110 Posts
    • 1,222 Thanks
    bertiewhite

    The only think I would say in the motorhome v caravan debate is that we see a lot of people either towing cars or motorbikes as you have to drive the motorhome to where ever you want to go otherwise.
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    I have had this conversation with my wife and I think we came to the conclusion that we'd be better off with a caravan rather than a motorhome for the same reason. We could park up, un-hitch and then use the car to go off doing stuff.

    Another disadvantage of a motorhome is having to tax something you aren't using that often - not an issue with a caravan.

    Or is my thinking flawed?
    • RickyBlue
    • By RickyBlue 5th Mar 18, 11:56 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    RickyBlue
    We bought a camper van a couple of years ago and have not regretted it.
    We like to go walking and visit interesting places, so the ability park easily was important to us.
    Our van is only 5.4 meters long so we can park in most normal car parks and supermarkets etc.
    Ultimately, it is how you want to use your camper / caravan that will help you decide which is best for you.

    For us the advantages are:
    1. Easy to drive and park and we can set off with little notice or preparation.
    2. We can arrive on site and set up in a few minutes
    3. We often use our van just for the day, which means we have somewhere comfortable to rest /eat / change clothes etc after a walk or day out. Same applies when on holiday but away from site.
    4. It is easy to stay at non-official locations (wild camping) especially in scotland
    5. Although only 5.4m long, our van has a double or 2 single beds, a full kitchen, hot water and a small washroom with toilet and shower.
    6. We often use our van as a second car.

    Disadvantages are:
    1. We have to tax/insure/mot the vehicle
    2. The cost of the camper van was much more than a similarly aged caravan, although we don't need to run a large tow car for day to day driving

    Our camper van suits us because of the flexibility it gives. For us a larger motor-home would be worse than either, because of the difficulty in parking, restricting you to longer periods on a camp site. But this may be exactly what you want, so it is how you want to use it that is most important.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 6th Mar 18, 2:00 PM
    • 3,075 Posts
    • 2,224 Thanks
    Tarambor
    We had a Motorhome for a couple of years, more as a trial for our son who is autistic. Changed to a caravan, never looked back. Much more room, far cheaper to buy, cheaper travelling around as well as you're only lugging the weight to the site. My Mondeo towing a 26ft 1.5 tonne twin axle camper van at 33MPG got the same MPG as the Motorhome did but once free of it its getting an extra 20MPG. I'd hardly consider a Mondeo a large tow car.
    • fred246
    • By fred246 9th Mar 18, 1:19 AM
    • 990 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    fred246
    We had a nice family car that could tow. In 2006 we paid £6K for a second hand caravan. Worth about £2K now on ebay. Maintenance - 4 new tyres. Few bits & bobs. Say £1K. £416 a year.
    Our relatives - new motorhome 5 years ago £42K. Worth £32K now. They tell us it costs £3K a year to keep it on the road. Tax, insurance, main dealer servicing. Cost £5K a year.
    We go away together. They have to fill it with food before leaving as they can't go to shops. It takes 4 parking spaces together and is too high for height barriers. Once we get to a site they won't leave it as they have to pack it all away and you can't park it at most tourist attractions.
    Our relatives have got levelling blocks but the motorhome is never level. It's a problem with young children as their food and drinks can end up on the floor. We have a mover on the caravan so it's levelled to perfection every time.
    People with motorhomes say they are good for wild camping. The OP has a young child. Would you rather stay on a site with toilets, showers, swimming pools, entertainment etc or on a lay-by at the side of the road with cars and lorries passing? I've slept in lay-bys in my caravan and never really liked it. Can't imagine I'd enjoy it much in a motorhome.
    Even if you have to take an extra driving test to tow a caravan it should be worth it financially. Courses are available. People with horses have to take it to tow a trailer. I have seen £600 quoted for lessons & test. Would be a good investment.
    Last edited by fred246; 09-03-2018 at 6:14 PM.
    • 13Kent
    • By 13Kent 9th Mar 18, 2:55 PM
    • 1,036 Posts
    • 4,033 Thanks
    13Kent
    Just booked a Haven site in Cornwall for the first week of Easter hols in our touring caravan for 2 adults 2 kids and a dog, £89. The cheapest accommodation on the site was a safari tent for £329 or a chalet £599

    • fred246
    • By fred246 9th Mar 18, 6:10 PM
    • 990 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    fred246
    Our children used to get 2 weeks off at whit. Most schools only had one. A few years ago on the second week Haven were charging £4 a night for Perran Sands. The popular week before was £40 per night. We stayed 5 nights for £20. I think Haven like to have people on site. They hope you will spend a lot.
    Last edited by fred246; 09-03-2018 at 6:21 PM.
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