Advice understanding caravan manufacturers & model

Stevomac1976 replied on 15/01/2022 08:06

Posted on 15/01/2022 08:06

Hi Fairly newby and novice to caravanning. Got our 1st van back in 2019 (2010 coachman Amara 520). It's a side dinet which was fine at time to see if we took to it - we have but kids are slowly getting bigger (3 & 7) so thinking of upgrading to newer van with fixed bunks.

We are completely unfamiliar with caravan makes and ranges. Anyone know where I can find a good source of information that lists/explains manufacturers their ranges and general good/not so good advice.

Probably be looking at a 3-5 year old van.

Rummaging round the internet but struggling to find a single source (website) of information.

Many thanks

obbernockle replied on 15/01/2022 10:27

Posted on 15/01/2022 10:27

It's not that complicated! Assuming you want to buy a UK brand, there aren't many. Browse the main manufacturers websites, and you will see they each make a similar range of layouts, and each have a range of price levels. Find a layout you like and a price level you like.

At the moment it's not a buyer's market and availability is more likely to be your criteria.

eribaMotters replied on 15/01/2022 10:52

Posted on 15/01/2022 10:52

I seem to recall one of the mags for sale had a layouts section of vans, so you could narrow down your search fairly quickly.

 

Colin

Stevomac1976 replied on 15/01/2022 12:16

Posted on 15/01/2022 10:52 by eribaMotters

I seem to recall one of the mags for sale had a layouts section of vans, so you could narrow down your search fairly quickly.

 

Colin

Posted on 15/01/2022 12:16

Trouble is it isn't the layout I'm bothered about. I know roughly what I want there (double fixed bunk at back & seated double at front).

Sorry maybe I didn't make myself clear. I'm trying to get a view on which manufacturers to avoid , which are good and from around 2017-19 what were their ranges from entry to top level.

My coachman for example is entry level but from what I gather it's more refined (eg external electric and gas point) than say an elddis explore which is their entry model.

Manufacturers seem to change model range name over the years was just wondering if anyone had stumbled over a good piece mapping the evolution so I can narrow down which make and model to look out for.

 

Thanks steven

 

Tinwheeler replied on 15/01/2022 12:38

Posted on 15/01/2022 12:38

There’s nothing to choose between manufacturers. There’s good and bad in all of them depending who put it together and the mood he was in at the time.

Looking through the threads here in the caravan section will give you a view as to what’s currently going on and cast your net wider on the internet and look at other forums as well. Bear in mind it tends to be only the bad things that get reported on forums while the hundreds of satisfied customers don’t bother to post.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to buy close to home so you won’t have a 300 mile round trip every time you need your return to the dealer.

 

brue replied on 15/01/2022 12:43

Posted on 15/01/2022 12:43

To see a variety of vans visit a caravan show where it's possible to compare  manufacturers and the different ranges they produce. You'll get some idea of the ones you like and can then look at dealership forecourts in search of secondhand vans which will suit you.

Amesford replied on 15/01/2022 12:53

Posted on 15/01/2022 12:53

I would not worry about gas or electric external sockets as these could be easily fitted later but get someone qualified to do it, I'm afraid most manufactures have come in for some criticism for build quality. I have just done a search for 2016 Swift & Bailey models and found layout diagrams etc. so presume you could search other makes 

eribaMotters replied on 15/01/2022 16:39

Posted on 15/01/2022 16:39

"Sorry maybe I didn't make myself clear. I'm trying to get a view on which manufacturers to avoid , which are good and from around 2017-19 what were their ranges from entry to top level."

I'm narrow minded, probably because of the frequency with which I read horror stories about damp, build quality etc. So to minimise problems, buy German.

 

Colin

Stevomac1976 replied on 15/01/2022 17:24

Posted on 15/01/2022 16:39 by eribaMotters

"Sorry maybe I didn't make myself clear. I'm trying to get a view on which manufacturers to avoid , which are good and from around 2017-19 what were their ranges from entry to top level."

I'm narrow minded, probably because of the frequency with which I read horror stories about damp, build quality etc. So to minimise problems, buy German.

 

Colin

Posted on 15/01/2022 17:24

I know what you mean .. my coachman had water ingress remedial work around 2013/4 when it was about 4 years old. Rail along top of front window. Not sure it fixed it completely as there was slightly high damp readings on the NSF. Cured by silicon being run down the rail. Nothing major but it just shows what a minefield it is... Not like we don't live in a set country. It's been a great van for me though. Re continental vans - I do read they are well built I'm not a fan of how they look tho.

allanandjean replied on 16/01/2022 23:19

Posted on 16/01/2022 23:19

Hi, Will you find this single source detailing the things you mention-maybe with the Unicorns!

Look at https://www.caravanfinder.co.uk to get ideas for what’s available in your budget then see if any you fancy are covered in archived brochures on the makers website.

Having said that buying used will come down to each van and how it looks/feels when you see it in the flesh.

Re servicing, we use an independent, manufacturer and club approved, workshop so worth seeing if this can be part of any deal

N1805 replied on 17/01/2022 08:35

Posted on 17/01/2022 08:35

Stevomac1976

Once you find a few makes that fit your requirement/budget/vehicle tow capability etc maybe a way forward could be to ask questions on the brand ‘Owner’s Club’ sites regarding build quality/problems etc.  Good Luck with your research.