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TOPIC: Which is the best make of caravan?

Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 3 days ago #309099


I know that it is a difficult question but what is the best make of UK caravan. Obviously there are lots of different manufaturers and all produce a range of caravans to capture the cheaper and more expensive areas of the market. But which company is known for making the best quality caravans?
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 3 days ago #309100

  • Soozeeg
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I would say that's quite subjective, you may get different answers depending upon the personal preferences or experiences of owners. Why do you want to know, may I ask?
SUE
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 3 days ago #309101


I am new to caravanning and I have no idea which makes of caravans are the best. I am looking to buy one over the next few weeks and I thought I'd start doing some research!
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 3 days ago #309102

  • Lutz
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It all depends on the criteria one uses to determine which is best. Is it the most reliable, the one with the least warranty issues, the most luxurious, the most sophisticated, the most solid construction, the one that has is least susceptible to damp even after many years? Some makes may feature strongly in one or two areas, but you'd be lucky to find an overall winner that comes top in all criteria.
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 3 days ago #309103

  • Dustydog
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Lutz
If I was a gambling man I'd have bet £20 you would have said Burstner, Hymer, Dethleffs
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Properly trained, man can be dog's best friend.
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 3 days ago #309104


I guess the best build quality overall. When looking at cars, everyone knows that Mercedes make excellent cars and that they go on for years, they don't scrimp on the detail/finish etc and tellingly, they hold their value. This probably cannot be said for a Renault. What is the equivalent caravan to the Mercedes?
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 3 days ago #309105


I want a caravan that is long lasting and well made. I don't want one where the handle of the cupboard comes off on the 2nd week of using it. I want a caravan that is simple but sturdy. There must be a brand where if you see it in a field that you know it will be very well made, even as the years go by. I borrowed a campervan this summer and I thought the build quality was awful.
 
If one brand cannot be selected then what would you ssay are the best 5 caravans in the market for the following criteria:
4 berth, fixed double bed, lots of storage, good fridge and cooker with decent work surfaces for food preparation. Not too heavy a caravan either
 
Adam
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 2 days ago #309106

  • xtrailman
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Lutz has already outlined the problems.
Generally good solid build means heavy expensive caravan, do you really need a caravan built that well?
Many of the good quality caravans i have seen have very compact shower rooms, do you require a good size shower room?
 
Everything comes down to a compromise.
 
I have a bailey senator because the weight is not excessive, the build is acceptable, and the price is reasonable, you get the idea?
175ps Mazda CX-5 with AWD & 420NM at 2K revs.
Towing a 2011 Unicorn Valencia.
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 2 days ago #309107

  • MikeA
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Hi Adam,
 
As Ray says "everything comes down to a compromise". 
 
You have already said that you want it to be "Not too heavy..." which straight away steers you away from one sector of the marketplace.  We went to a show a few years ago with a plan of buying a continental van such as Knaus or Hymer and couldn't find a single one we could tow safely at the time.
 
In days gone by you could have looked across the field to a new Carlite or Van Royce and known that you were looking at quality, but it would have had a very big price tag and and it would have weighed in the heavyweight division.  But those makes are gone anyway for new purchasers. 
 
You said you were interested in the "best make of UK caravan".  Well after the recent downturn there are not so many mainstream UK manufacturers left.  Off the top of my head I can think of only Bailey, Swift (inc. the Sterling and Sprite brands), Elddis and Lunar as the big production line players; with smaller manufacturers such as Coachman, Bessacar, Vanmaster and Freedom offering their more hand-built offerings.  (Have I missed somebody important anybody?)  You will find that all of the major manufacturers have lots of very satisfied customers and all of them will have a small group of customers who will say "never again".  The smaller manufacturers probably have a higher percentage of satisfied customers for their vans, but you will pay for that and they are by no means immune from critics.
 
My strong suggestion is that you take a day to have a look around the stands at the NEC Show in October and it will give you a very good opportunity to compare the feel of almost everything on the UK market.  We went there last year to buy a Bailey.... spent most of the afternoon agonising over a Lunar... and bought a dealer special version of a Swift.
 
The other thing I would suggest to you is that much more than buying a car, say, the dealer you purchase from can make a huge difference to your eventual satisfaction.  A good dealer will make the whole process of buying an enjoyable and rewarding experience; they will pick up on some faults from the factory that you will never know about; they will respond to your aftercare problems in a positive and helpful way.  Bad dealers regularly fall down on these things.  If you browse around these pages you will pick up on some of these dealers that have good reputations.
 
Happy buying, I envy you the excitement that we will not have again for another few years.
Cheers
 
Mike A
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Which is the best make of caravan? 4 years 2 days ago #309108


Thankyou all for your excellent advice. I shall visit the NEC show and see what I like
 
Many thanks again
 
Adam
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