Dilema

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Dilema

Post by wanderlust on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:28 pm

Having caravanned for many years we had decided a year of so ago we have outgrown it.  We had been looking into campervans and I had narrowed down to a VW Topaz or Trophy. We wanted something small enough to park on our drive and get off the beaten track easily and this seemed to tick the boxes.
However I only have a budget of around £8K so would be buying something pretty old.
In the meantime my husband was diagnosed in March with terminal illness.  We have both had to give up work are only in our forties and I want to make the most of the time we have.
I am not sure what to do.
I want to take him to the Outer Hebrides last two weeks in August. I need flexibility as my 16 yrs old son may or maynot decide to come.
I have a caravan gathering dust in storage and a car which I don't trust to tow it. The car was a mistake and is not up to that type of trip towing the weight of caravan.
I have looked into hotels which is around £1400 for the two weeks B&B....but if my son then decides to come this would bump the price up and may not be possible at the last minute.
I have looked into camper hire which is extortionate...around £700 to £800 per week and would have to add the campsites on to that.
My other alternative is to buy the camper now.   I would be looking at a K, L, M reg and I'm a bit concerned in case the camper has problems or breaks down.  I am contemplating selling the caravan on ebay (probably only get £1000) for it and swaping now for a camper.
How reliable are these old vehicles?
I don't know which way to jump.   Hire the camper even though costly, buy one and hope for the best or just book hotels for now .
I was thinking a camper on our drive just now would give us tons of flexibility for days out, the odd night out or weeks away depending how he feels but the age of what I can afford worries me.

Any advice appreciated
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Re: Dilema

Post by roli on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:58 pm

You do indeed have a difficult decision to make and I can partly understand your situation.

All Hire Vans seem expensive, some are dearer than others.  We looked a few years ago for friends and the cheapest we found, not too far from you was GM Motorhome Hire at Little Budworth (just off the A49) but when we saw them they were new or almost new vans so could understand the need to cover costs. They included CC & C&CC membership, gas the lot.

As far as older vans are concerned its pot luck and searching I am afraid.  Dealers dont always advertise the elderley vans but there are bargins to be had examples often seen are the AS Talbot based Harmony Campervans which were well built and last van wise and if the bodywork and engine are ok would be a good buy these are the size range you mention - you see loads of these still travelling in main land Europe so their owners have the confidence, another good buy, same chassis would be the old Talisman Coachbuilt vans (about 18/19ft) which can be picked up from around £6k plus.  I would always avoid the likes of eBay.

There is the possibility to recoup some of the expenditure by selling the van if you wish after the hols where as hotel charges are lost.  

I am sorry not being able to say do this or that but I would have a look round some dealers. See you are in Cheshire you could go and have a look at Spinney (nr Holmes Chapel on the A50) Marquis at Preston or Campbells Motorhomes not too far from Marquis

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Re: Dilema

Post by hillwalker on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:18 pm

All good advice from Roli and I would just say all vehicles can break down whether new or old but if you find one in a reputable dealers you will have the confidence of a  warranty. And as Roli says hotel money is lost and at least you will, if you have to sell, have some value in the van

Unfortunately it will be hard to find one in a dealers at your budget but I would get on the mailing list of all the dealers you can, tell them your requirements and if they have a part ex coming in they can notify you.

Hope all works out for you and best wishes to you and your husband.

Haydn


Last edited by hillwalker on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dilema

Post by Paulmold on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:21 pm

A VW Autosleeper that is often forgotten is the Talent. Doesn't have separate washroom like the Topaz or Trophy but does have a toilet, but that does make it a bit cheaper (about 2/3 thousand cheaper) than the Trophy/Topaz of similar age.
2 examples on Ebay, one fairly close in Wrexham, both N reg and both around the £8000 mark..


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the second one is from a dealer so should have some form of warranty (but it's further away in Leicester).

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Re: Dilema

Post by ian on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:36 pm

We have only recently returned to owning a motorhome and we bought it second-hand. I'm very happy with our purchase and the man we purchased it from had owned it from new in 1997. I negotiated a price based on work I thought needed doing to bring it up to scratch. I did however under estimate how much things can cost with motorhomes and caravans. For example today, I have purchased two new tyres and they have cost over £200.

I say this to warn you that whatever the motorhome costs there will inevitably be other costs involved that you haven't factored for.

On a more cheerful note. Last year to celebrate our wedding anniversary we did  a car/bread and breakfast tour around the south of England. We used an internet site that is very flexible and extremely reasonable in terms of accommodation. If you need to book often you can do this on the day and again if you need to cancel often you can do this on the day.

We stopped at various people's homes and they were without exception, 'loverly' people.

It costs nothing to join.

You can look at this link and this will give you some idea of what's available in the 'Hebrides'.

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Good Luck and best wishes
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Re: Dilema

Post by Dutto on Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi there,

So sorry to hear of your problems!

My advice is in two parts:

1.  "You can't take it with you." so money is superfluous when the chips are down, and,

2.  "I have done many stupid things in my life but the regrets I have are mainly centred on the things I didn't do when I had the opportunity!"

We paid £14,999 for "Petal" and have enjoyed every minute of the time we have spent in her; and after more than 24,000 miles we still smile when we set off on yet another adventure.


Go for a small motorhome; but go for it!!allthumbzallthumbz 

Best regards from Beesd in Holland (as opposed to Skegness where we normally spend some time!),
drinksallround:drinksallround
Ian

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Re: Dilema

Post by bertb on Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:45 pm

Hello there wanderlust. I totally agree with dutto, easier said than done I guess but memories last for ever.
My suggestion would be to have a word with Steve at Peak Leisure Vehicles [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  He would look out for a van in your price range if that's what you decide. He often has older vehicles that would suit. I hope everything works out for you, whatever you do Scotland won't disappoint.
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Re: Dilema

Post by rose49f on Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:58 pm

And you could look on Preloved. i got my first van from there and kept it four years. You can find one locally and usually the sellers are pretty genuine. But you have to decided whether you think they are.allthumbz
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Re: Dilema

Post by Andy R on Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:55 am

Just a thought - would you not consider selling the "mistake" car and putting your money into something that could easily tow your caravan, or is the caravan definitely out of the question?
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Re: Dilema

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