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Are Static caravans worth it?

(45 Posts)
Mcbj86 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:49:33

DH wants to get a static caravan. We have had many haven holidays which we enjoyed. We have done some research and have gathered the picture that they are not an investment but a lifestyle choice. Financially we could afford it (just), have found a site we like 1.5 hours from home - DH suggests using weekends and school holidays. AIBU to think that the novelty wears off, its such a big commitment. Would love to hear thoughts or experiences of people who have are static caravan owners or people who decided not to got through with it - did you regret it. DC are 6, 4, 2. Sote has lots of child friendly facilities

Arnoldthecat Wed 10-Apr-19 18:54:39

Well its an individual choice but the real agenda here is not flogging caravans. Its about charging you year on year for site fees,water,electric,gas etc.. And when you want to sell, well the site owner will likely want to rip you off there as well. Typical site fees are £2k to 3K pa and more sometimes.

It might be right for you but do your own research and if you do decide to buy,,get a copy of the legal site agreement and read it very very thoroughly before you sign any contract.

Have a look on rightmove. There are lots of people trying to sell caravans and indeed, holiday homes constructed on various sites. Many of them have been on the market for a long time and/or have been reduced.. Some are even misdescribed as detached houses, bungalows or "lodges" when in fact they are caravans.

Lifeover Wed 10-Apr-19 18:57:31

We looked into this and worked out it would cost us about 10k a year! What about a touring caravan on a seasonal pitch. Easier to sell on and can move it

Dowser Wed 10-Apr-19 18:57:38

Well we love ours. I’ve always had a holiday home apart from one year in between husbands.
They definitely aren’t an investment. They can be a money pit
I would never buy if I can’t afford to buy it outright and had to put renters in to pay for ground rent

Think, think and think again and look at fb groups fro unhappy owners

flesh Wed 10-Apr-19 18:59:38

No. The site fees add up after the first year and it's not worth it.

We sold ours and made a big loss as you had to sell it back to the company. The bastard.

dronesdroppingzopiclone Wed 10-Apr-19 19:01:14

I'd opt for a campervan instead. Apparently those vans are money pits and hard to flog on except back to the park at huge cost.

Dowser Wed 10-Apr-19 19:05:02

Another tip is no more than an hour and half drive away. Ours is 50 mins
Every week we are at home in the Caravan season we have 3-5 nights there
From Feb till November
Don’t try and cut corners... go for one with ch and dg
And unless you are minted buy second hand.... they depreciate very quickly

Ours is 13 years old and is on a field with 25 other vans.... nothing else but it’s location location location
We are 20 mins from york. About 10 mins from Howardian Hills
20 mins from thirsk
It’s just glorious. Our rent is £2000 a year
Not cheap
But if we were charged £50-£60 for a hotel room ( and it would probably be more) we easily had £6/7k worth last year

Finally beware of companies with park in the name

thebabessavedme Wed 10-Apr-19 19:05:11

we are in our first year of owning one, we are on a very small, rural, privately owned site with very small fees, paid under £4000 for a secondhand van in very good condition, so far we have used it since the site reopened for the season every weekend and expect to use it on average every third weekend over the summer into autumn.

when we were considering buying I looked at the 'chain' sites, blimey! seemed very expensive to me, included a great many rules and regs etc and just seemed very restrictive.

ours is for the use of wider family and our dgs is in love with it! grin, all that freedom in the countryside from the very urban area we live in.

womanhuman Wed 10-Apr-19 19:05:48

We decided not to because there’s just always so much that needs doing at home at the weekend. Parties/sports for the DC, chores, laundry etc for us. We figured at best we’d get there once in three weeks.

Plus the expense.

longearedbat Wed 10-Apr-19 19:06:50

For the not inconsiderable cost of having a static on one site (and believe me, you will eventually get fed up with going to the same place all the time), you could rent a static anywhere in the country for your hols, and it would work out cheaper annually. Why be tied to one site when you can chose from anywhere? You would do better to buy a tourer or a camper van, then at least you could go abroad with it when your children are older.

Dowser Wed 10-Apr-19 19:08:18

We had a lovely touring caravan prior to the static
Was about 20 feet long deluxe model
Got that second hand swift conqueror
But it’s lovely having the space in the static
This one is 38 by 12 feet

Singlenotsingle Wed 10-Apr-19 19:09:15

Really not worth it. Not only are you lumbered with sits fees each year (which will increase) but you're tied. It's much better to retain the option to go to different sites, where and when you fancy. Honestly, it's a con.

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownowt Wed 10-Apr-19 19:10:44

I'm pals with someone who buys caravans when the owners want to sell, don't be the person who buys dear and has to sell very cheap indeed. If you get one and where I live there are thousands, buy very carefully.

alittlesnow Wed 10-Apr-19 19:13:06


My friend bought a little plot of land near Dolgellau in mid Wales about 10 years ago, (like a fifth of an acre,) for around £7K, and then bought a £6K caravan, and has never had to pay anything else, as the caravan (and the land) is hers.

Not sure of the ins and outs of it or how she acquired the land etc (just out of the paper I think/estate agent ad,) but it has really paid off. She has saved loads... She has no plumbed in leccie or gas mains, but has calor gas, and battery lamps/solar lights, and a little windmill.

Could this be an option?

alittlesnow Wed 10-Apr-19 19:14:22

Having a caravan on a site, is like a shitty timeshare really. Quite a bad idea, unless you have £15K plus to spare every year. As has been said, far better to just rent one a few weeks a year.

willstarttomorrow Wed 10-Apr-19 19:18:35

We looked into it OP for a private 5* site about 90 mins from home. We go a lot and we had an owner who would rent to us for £25 a night (he has now moved off site and we now pay £40 a night). The cost of buying a caravan which depreciates more than a car then ground rent etc. really made no sense. It is a nice thing to do but we like 'proper abroad' holidays a few times a year and lots of weekends we have other things to do. £4000 upwards a year on top of buying the caravan really is a lifestyle choice and you would need to use it a lot to get your money's worth or really want your own place. The site we use is open 11 months of the year and lots of owners basically live there. We have family all over the UK and have rented on sites nearby as a base. It is obvious owners have to do this to make money back to try and afford their investment. A friend who had one was a teacher so could spend the whole summer at hers but I could never justify the cost unless I had lots of spare cash or family who would also benefit.

mineofuselessinformation Wed 10-Apr-19 19:19:41

It's great while you have them, ours was a real bolt-hole that we could go to on a Friday evening and then return Sunday afternoon.
The massive downside is that you will definitely make a massive loss if you decide to sell (usually), the site fees inflate hugely each year and you can possibly be charged for things like the calculation of your electricity bill - which can be more than the bill itself.
You also need to factor shutting down the caravan for winter / one month, whichever is applicable. Again, there will be a fee for this - or you can do it yourself, but you could end up buying a new boiler if you don't know what you're doing.

GreenTeacup Wed 10-Apr-19 19:20:58

We owned for 8 years.

Good points: it is a way of life and we have fantastic memories there. Both teachers and so used the 6 weeks. Swimming on tap for kids, they made loads of friends.

Bad points; we paid £45,000 and 8 years later sold for £3000.

In that time the site fees had gone from £1,200 to £4,200. We originally paid mid rate fees as our plot had a nice grass verge outside and we had young children. )We could have had a better deal if we had taken a more compacted area). We went down there one weekend to find 2 caravans sited on the verge but we still had to pay the mid rate site fees.

Trying to get anything done was a nightmare. The summer the caravans arrived, a pipe had burst and it took 8 weeks to sort out. It smelt and we had no idea if it was sewage so ended up not staying. Our caravan sunk in the mess and needed to be re positioned. There was no compensation and the site were a nightmare. Head office didn’t return my calls.

In general the smaller sites seem to have happier owners than the big well known sites.

But despite everything you can’t replace memories and we have some great ones.

AuntieCJ Wed 10-Apr-19 19:21:11

We had one for 20 years and have no regrets at all. Only got rid of it as DCs were grown and we fancied exploring further afield.

lessthanBeau Wed 10-Apr-19 19:24:00

Get a great big tourer, and put it on a seasonal pitch, then you can always tow it away when your sick of the same site, or even if you just want a year or two off paying site fees. My friend bought a 2nd hand static for 12k then 3-4k per year in site fees, after 3-4 years their situation changed and they no longer went every weekend, they had to sell it for about 2k. If they'd spent the money on a big tourer they could have brought it home for occasional use. Instead it was a few years holiday for around 25k. (But we are caravanners so I may be biased, love my tourergrin)

Dowser Wed 10-Apr-19 19:33:53

Like I said beware of Park in the name
A small family run site like ours is a better option and we wanted no amenities. Don’t like swimming in pools so we would have paid for lots of stuff we never would’ve used
It’s our bolt hole

We still have holidays abroad.... in the winter months
Our fees went up by £50 this year

If after all the words of warning you still decide to go ahead
Check out pembertons... they were said to be the rolls Royce of caravans
And do get a damp meter from amazon ( about £20) to check out dampness in walls

Our pemberton is so well made , they stopped making the model as they just don’t wear out

At home we live on the coast and our van is in the country
We are very fortunate that we have the best of both worlds

Most times we are on the site practically on our own... as we start coming in Feb
We do our own drain down
Only takes 10 mins
But I. Winter a bottle of gas lasts a week

ACoverIsNotTheBook Wed 10-Apr-19 19:34:30

Aww they’re not for everyone but we love ours! We are on the north coast of NI and it sounds like we have it pretty lucky expenses wide compared to the rest of the uk? Our van is on a beautiful secured site with park, shop and loads of green, 5 minutes walk from a blue flag beach and loads of lovely restaurants and nightlife
It was an expensive buy and are in no way an investment but we had the initial outlay then around 2.5k a year site fees and expenses which we pay off by S/O monthly in advance so we don’t really even miss the money.
We’re only an hours drive away from ours and we’re lucky that we can head down on a Friday afternoon to Sunday evening/Monday morning, every school holiday and all summer as I’m a sahm and dh can work remotely or travel from where we are. Our kids range from 17-3 and there’s something here for each of them, eldest has friends on site and heads out with them, middle child loves the water sports, cycling and the beach and middle child has to be forcibly removed from the park smile
As I said it really isn’t going to make you money but it’s been priceless for us as a family. Just choose your site wisely and definitely look for a good second hand deal, some vans now are nicer than my house!

ACoverIsNotTheBook Wed 10-Apr-19 19:36:18

Sorry there where definitely paragraphs there when I wrote the above 🙈

Eliza9919 Wed 10-Apr-19 19:36:37

We looked into it. They're a knock. Just stick to weekends away through living social etc, usually £79.

BlueSkiesLies Wed 10-Apr-19 19:38:26

Best suits retired couples with dogs or fishing hobbies

Does not suit families with children who play sport, have friends, parties etc

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