Caravan V Motorhome

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Caravan V Motorhome

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:56 pm

I made a list today of the stuff you don't have to bother about with a motorhome that are an integral part of caravanning.

  • 4x Corner steadies and their winding handle or electric drill
  • Motor mover and controls/winding on handle
  • Aquaroll
  • Wastemaster
  • Towbar, towball and associated electrics 
  • Hitchlock
  • Hitch cover
  • Wheel lock
  • Towing mirrors
  • Noseweight and noseweight gauge.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by daisy mae on Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:19 pm

How true what a lot of faffing about, for what?, when you can be sat there with a glass and watching others faff about. then I do feel for them, my Husband is one of them, I can`t fathom out why, I have had decades of caravans and I have said enough is enough.

While others are faffing about to leave,  you are already on your way, or when you arrive you are sitting with a glass. or a meal and others are still scratching about. Oh well takes all sorts.

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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Bobskate on Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:22 pm

Daisy Mae ...spot on in two paragraphs.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Maasai Warrior on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:13 am

Yes I agree with you Daisy mae. We too had caravans before. We love the ease of the motorhome. However there are times when we are sitting in the van looking out at the rain pouring down thinking I wish we could get in a car and go sightseeing etc. We can use the van for this as its not too long, but sometimes it is a struggle to find a suitable carpark. Our interests are walking and cycling so we find sites that are close to coastal, mountain paths etc and also close to public transport. We are more than happy to hop on and off buses and trains. We do use the van to visit places occasionally, but I would not risk parking it near a footpath and go for a days walk. Sometimes you have to compromise. We are considering a small scooter on an easy to reverse trailer with all the mucking about that goes with it!

As you say, it's great being able to turn up on a site and to be relaxing within ten minutes, while others are still scratching around. Also, as I know, it is a sod turn a caravan around when you have gone wrong, especially in a big city! Done that with two anxious kids in the back of the car!

Happy motor-homing smile!

Pete
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:49 am

One way of looking at it is that white van man seems to get everywhere, so why shouldn't smaller motorhomes/campers?  There again the bigger motorhomes are more akin to town vans or even right up to the size of coaches and they will have access issues
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Gromit on Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:28 am

I think a lot depends on the type of holiday you habitually take.

If you always stay for a week or more in one place, usually pre-planned and mostly in this country, then you need a caravan.

If you enjoy mooching, staying for one to three nights and moving one, then it's a motorhome for you. This is particularly apposite in (say) France of course, where touring is so much easier - and to some degree essential since the country is quite big! shrugg

Too simplistic of course, but fundamentally true I think.

Dave smile!
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:03 am

In summer 2014 we had to organise a holiday around a wedding the the New Forest.  The first day away was the Thursday before August Bank Holiday and we were struggling to find a site in the Cotswolds where we wanted to make our first stop. Eventually we got three nights at the CC Malvern site and were able to move on to CC Bourton on the Water on the Sunday. 

We stayed there for 4 nights and moved on to CC Salisbury which was our 'base' over the 'Wedding Weekend'. We stayed on at Salisbury for a day after the wedding and then grabbed the Lymington ferry to the IoW. 

By that time we'd been on the road 11 days and been at 4 sites. Time constraints meant we  were limited to 5 days on the island and then back across country to meet a friend at Old Oaks, Glastonbury for a few days.

By the time we got home we'd been away nearly 3 weeks and stayed at 5 sites and I 'd erected/torn down the awning plus packed away and hitched/unhitched 12 times.

Hardly a relaxing holiday, I was cream crackered.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Gromit on Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:45 am

Q.E.D. Andy! up!

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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:21 pm

As ever in this life, the problem is in selling the concept to Mrs SDA. We've been through 2 years with the Innovation which was the ideal van at the time. In fact I only just managed to sell the built to fit dog crate a few weeks ago, after it had been stored folded in our garage for 8 years. 

We had issues, I guess with up to 3 bearded collies on board there were always going to be probs in an under 5m van, but 4 belted travel seats and loads of storage above and on either side of the crate we managed. Of course no shower and no oven meant usually staying at facility sites and relying on the good old Remoska.

As to other issues, well, after a year or so we discovered that someone had drilled a hole in the top of the fuel tank during construction and covered it with sealant which eventually unsealed and fuel kept dripping out. After much argey bargey a new tank was fitted. There was the diesel supply pipe to the warm air heater that fell off and the rear window curtains that kept getting trapped in the rear door surround and acting like a wick when it rained. Cured by securing the outer edge of each curtain so they couldn't flap into the opening. 
Then there was the infamous incident of Mrs SDA hanging off the back door hatch when it wouldn't hinge shut, resulting in a deformed rear door and top hanging hinges.

So we moved an Adria Coral Compact, a coachbuilt but small and again it worked well for us but was a bit big as a daily driver and the call of Eriba Touring's was being heard.

Two Troll 540's, a Lunar Quasar 464 and now a Bailey Rimini have seen us get bigger and BIGGER but my comfort zone has always been small.

So a PVC what's needed to keep the width down and avoid coachbuilt exterior build issues. Nobody does a van like the Innovation with space for a dog crate, so we'll have to find one with room for our canvas dog crates in the gangways somewhere. Sadly the massive storage over the dog crate will be missing too. However having got used to a shower on board and an oven those are now requirements, along with a microwave. Getting those three facilities into a shortish PVC for everyday use along with dog room is a challenge which I'm not certain the Symbol can meet?
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Heanorboy on Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:57 pm

As far as we are concerned they are not the same nor should even be compared.
We are caravannners of over 30 years having bought our Bailey Senator in 2009. This is used for when we are looking at going to one area and whilst I agree it does take quite a time to set up (and take down)but against that we do not have to get it level every time we re park or connect the electric and we can even leave the slow cooker on so dinner is ready when we get home and we do find that the ability to use the car is a great bonus. With an internal length of 5.6m we have a separate full width shower room, Fixed Double bed fully fitted kitchen and a decent size lounge. With the awning attached you have a massive amount of room.
So why not get a motorhome with similar facilities there are plenty about well the answer for me is it would have to be so big for me I would not be comfortable driving it to places.
So we have our PVC for when we are looking to tour. It doesn't have the luxury of the caravan nor the room  but this doesn't matter it has what we want when we do tour either in the UK or over the water, or indeed decide we are off somewhere the next day its always ready on the yard
we did discuss long and hard before changing our PVC at the beginning of the year did we want/need both but decided that both had loads going for them,
the caravan is paid for so costs us very little, the Dorset can also double up as a second car or for Trips to the DIY shop so we will remain a caravanner and a motorhomer as we can still enjoy both and why not we have the best of both worlds.

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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Quilter on Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:35 pm

The ideal for us would be a caravan and car and a motorhome. 

In winter we want to get to the sun and spend 3 months in it. We visit a maximum of 4 or 5 sites, excluding en route stops. A caravan would be ideal for this.

In summer we tour and like the flexibility to use aires and not have the faff of setting up and dismantling camp so a motorhome scores.

We try to have the best of both worlds by hiring a car at each site we visit in winter so we can go further afield than our bikes or local buses would allow.  We've never been tempted by a toad however.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:52 pm

I've always struggled with the concept of pulling a caravan with a motorhome, mainly on the basis that so many of the facilities are duplicated and why would you need two washrooms and two kitchens? Handy maybe if you're a big family but for the average pair of occupants not really sensible. Having said that some Canadian relatives of ours toured all of North and Central America dragging an enormous Airstream caravan with a US type PVC. They'd settle on a site for months at a time and go away, for weeks sometimes, in the PVC.

Having a caravan pulled by a car AND a motorhome I can see the sense of, providing you can afford it and can get sensible use out of both and maybe don't mind crowding your drive with leisure vehicles.

I've never really considered hiring a car when at a site, though I know it's often done. Though hiring a car big enough for our two beardies in their canvas crates might be expensive. Mind you Mrs SDA's new Twingo Automatic is being built on 6th April and with the rear seats folded our two canvas crates will fit fine AND leave luggage space. Amazing what you can get in some small cars.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Paulmold on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:22 pm

I can see advantages of both caravans and motorhomes. I too caravanned for 25 years before switching to a motorhome. When we had the caravan we stayed in one place, went out every day in the car and back again to the caravan, and the same again the next day and the next etc and thought nothing of doing of two thousand miles over two weeks including the journey from home and back. Now with the motorhome, every holiday is a tour, doing a circular route, staying nowhere more than 3 nights, trying to stay on sites on bus routes or close enough to a town to walk,  sight-seeing on the way to the next site. Mileage is now not much more than the journey to and from home, cutting out all the touring mileage to and from the caravan.
My sister and brother-in-law on the other hand have been caravanners for a similar time and last year spent five weeks touring Scotland, staying at 8 sites, with all the putting up and taking down that involves and also think nothing of towing all the way to Italy and back.
What this thread proves is that it takes all sorts and each to his own.

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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Quilter on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:31 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:Amazing what you can get in some small cars.

At Roche last year we managed to get us, our 2 neighbours and a small wheeled folding bike into a Fiat 500 hire car. Coming back we' d left the bike at the repair shop but replaced it with the weekly shop each. Lovely little car and, if we were to go the toad route ( and we are not) then that would be my first choice.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:41 pm

I'd have gone for a 500 for Mrs SDA, especially as my second car ever was a 1953 Fiat 500C Topolino, but she won't drive a manual and the Fiat autobox is dire. The Twingo autobox, on the other hand, is superb and we had to wait for an auto demonstrator as they're only starting to arrive in the UK in the last month or so.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by rgermain on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:49 pm

I quite agree with all the above comments.

What I do is when we want to stay on one site in the UK is to tow a Bailey 460/2 with our Motorhome. When in France we just use the Motorhome as we hope to have sunny dry weather and not sit in a van watching the rain. Also the caravan option does allow you to have room to store wet gear in the awning, while with the motorhome we do take a quick erect stand alone awning.

It suits us, so I guess it's down to what you want at the end of the day.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Quilter on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:53 pm



It suits us, so I guess it's down to what you want at the end of the day.

Exactly !

Those wise words should be written in foot high letters at the top of every online forum.
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by daisy mae on Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:09 pm

We do have a 7 plus metre caravan, with large wash room and house size shower, then twin beds in bedroom, etc.a very nice caravan, but I am very uncomfortable travelling in a car. What did me last year, went to the Appleby Horse Fair, a good day out, stayed on site not far from there, next day hubby said shall we go to see the lakes, so left caravan on the site , hours later after travelling all day, tried to find a loo . finally it was in a car park had to pay for that and then pay for loo, trouble was it was locked, so carried on to find another one , pay in car park again and had to put money in a box on the door, then had to drive back to caravan. I felt shatted and in pain by the time we got back.

If in motorhome could have toured the lakes, camped up there and with own  loo. so afraid caravan is a no go for me. don`t go abroad now, been there for decades towing caravan, and got the t shirt, will not leave dogs in kennels and definitely wouldn`t take them abroad.

Every bodies situation is different so you have what works for you.

Seeing my husband struggle with putting a large awning up, all the pegging out etc. but he will never admit,  it is getting too much for him. if he took ill , I  would have to tow the caravan which I have done for many miles before, , but don`t want to do it anymore. So do you see my dilemma?
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by rgermain on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:29 pm

What's the problem with taking dogs abroad?

It is a piece of cake, we do though use Eurotunnel to make things easier for both us and the dog. French vets are very easy to use, just make sure all your documents are up to date or else!
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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by daisy mae on Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:01 pm

I wouldn`t risk it, French dogs are immune to their ticks ours are not, and they can be toxic and dogs have been known to die, from liver failure, so why would I risk it?, another reason, we travelled hundreds of miles , sometimes in one day, and saw some beautiful places and met lovely people, enjoyed it at the time,  it is too hot especially for Bearded Collies. They are not happy here when it is hot. so no would not even consider it. no problem to me I am happy in this country, lots of places I haven`t been to, and I want to track where Jess Smith lived and travelled with her family, Scotland, I find things like this fascinating, also I am doing family research, as long as my dog is happy I am. Also our rescue dog is a problem, barks when travelling which upsets the other one who isn`t a barker, that is another reason I  go on my own,  I am considering going back to Ireland, vet says just need the rabies jab, but then again if we all go the rescue will bark non stop on the ferry, it is three and a half hours journey, don`t think that will go down well, and no will not drug him, tried that going to Scotland once, still barked, then when he got out it was as though he was drunk, so cannot do that to him. So  a happy UK  traveller here.

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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by Jaytee on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:34 am

Gromit wrote:I think a lot depends on the type of holiday you habitually take.

If you always stay for a week or more in one place, usually pre-planned and mostly in this country, then you need a caravan.

If you enjoy mooching, staying for one to three nights and moving one, then it's a motorhome for you. This is particularly apposite in (say) France of course, where touring is so much easier - and to some degree essential since the country is quite big! shrugg

Too simplistic of course, but fundamentally true I think.

Dave smile!

Spot on Dave allthumbz. We are very lucky as we kept the 'oldish' caravan when we bought the MH so have the best of both worlds.  When we are off to weekend rallies we base the decision of what to take on the weather. Easter weekend down near Reading in a very boggy half flooded field (c/w very flooded boggy dogs rolleyes  ) we were glad to have the caravan and my old Landrover Defender which effortlessly drove off the field. Was handy pulling out a MH and a couple of stuck caravanners as well.
We do use the caravan for two week rallies as we often run them and need the space for all the junk plus it's good to have the Landy for getting around. Off to Germany on a weeks rally so will take the caravan so we can go out and about more easily but off to Scotland touring some time and will take the MH. If I am on a solo trip I always take the MH as so much quicker driving wise and as others say 'set up as soon as I stop' hugegrins .
We are very lucky smile!

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Re: Caravan V Motorhome

Post by dbroada on Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:27 am

while taking down the tent after the Italian GP one year I watched all the motor homes leave the campsite followed about 30 minutes latter by the caravans leaving just us tent people who cleared the place a further 30 minutes latter. By this time my back had convinced me tenting was not for me any more.

So I had to decide what to do. Caravan or camper van or trailer tent?

In the end the lack of storage facilities meant a van to be used as a daily driver was the only practical solution. The biggest problem for me is taking the van out to visit somewhere and finding you can't get back to your previous pitch or finding all the available hook up outlets gone. I did once use old number plates on poles to mark my pitch but have come back to find them moved. "That's where they were when we got here."  think_smiley_46

A few years have passed and I don't use the van as a daily driver but we still don't have a car suitable for towing nor storage space so for now, its still a motorhome for us.

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