Any positive caravan owner stories?
Ilikewinter · 14/05/2022 18:39
Over the past couple of years DH and I have really got into static caravan breaks, driven by the fact we have a dog!!
Does anyone have any positive stories about caravan ownership, if we purchased one I dont really want to hire it out...but the only reviews I can seem to find are mostly negative comments about Haven.
In particular we are looking Parkdene in Morecombe.
WombatNo12 · 14/05/2022 18:51
Erm, I'm pals with a guy who buys caravans. Lots of them get repossessed or sold back very cheaply as people no longer want to or are able to pay the site fees. The contents are often skipped.
There are literally 10k caravans near me, so lots of people must love them but buy with care.
Roselilly36 · 14/05/2022 18:52
I have know a few people over the years, that have bought a static. The big draw back are the exorbitant site fees, often £4K+ a year, depending on facilities. You don’t own the pitch, and the statics are only allowed to stay on the site for a certain number of years. The other thing that the couples
I know got fed up with was going to the same place, multiple times a year. You could have a lot of holidays in different locations, for the price of the annual fees let alone the initial purchase of the static. Only you know if it’s worth it to you. Also when you want to sell, the site will offer you next to nothing for the static. I know a couple that bought one for £35k, and were offered £14k just a couple of years later, so definitely not a sound financial investment.
Giveitall · 14/05/2022 18:55
With my business hat on:
Static caravans are a money pit.
Site fees go up every year.
Most sites will make you remove a static at possibly the end of 13 or 15 years? Make sure you read the small print. They like to keep sites modern & smart so older vans are often a drag to the site image.
Think about it, let’s say site fees are £3k per annum this year, over ten years that’s £30K!!
If your life goes pear shaped, death, divorce or illness, the depreciation can be horrendous & you will have to sell for peanuts. Think about those site fees & divide that by the number of days or weeks you’ll spend there. That’s the cost of your holiday so when you’re not there it’s costing you money.
We had a touring caravan on wheels that we chose not to tow on a lovely quiet site. It was on what’s called a “seasonal pitch” & was left on site ALL year round, never moved. We paid £1800 per annum plus insurance. It slept 4 and was wonderful but after 5 years in the same place we decided we wanted new adventures and sold it.
Anyway, maybe money and fees won’t be an issue for you but in your shies ….. nah! It’s a nice idea but think hard before you commit.
Ilikewinter · 14/05/2022 18:56
Yeah these are the things I keep reading, but then so many people own them that I'm wondering if I'm missing something 🤣. I just like the thought of having a nice weekend bolt hole, booking 3 nights away is getting expensive and often not possible with work, and having the dog theres not much availability for the nicer caravans.
Crikeyalmighty · 14/05/2022 19:00
If you can get a good one cheap and are down there for months at a time in the summer then maybe it works or are happy to rent out and have all the fuss that goes with that - but that isn't the case with a lot of owners
user75 · 14/05/2022 19:04
I had a 1970s tourer for years - until about 5 years ago. We got it stored at a site that charged £10 a month storage and £10 tow out then we could leave it there - full of our stuff - and any weekend we wanted call up and they set it up for us. It was wonderful and very very cheap.
Funf · 14/05/2022 19:32
Lots of people buy them and loose a lot of money the statics are a rip off as you you have to look at the small print carefully as often they have to be sold back to the site changed every 10 years etc. The concept is great but expensive, we looked 20 years ago and over a 10 year period it was cheaper to buy a house opposite the camp site! A Tourer with a seasonal pitch isa better option.
WhatTheWhoTheWhatThe · 14/05/2022 19:36
Well I think site fees and devaluation are the two biggies to consider. Also many sites have rules about the maximum age of a static caravans so depending on how long you plan on having it you may be forced to buy new or move you caravan elsewhere.
stayingaliveisawayoflife · 14/05/2022 20:05
We had one at Trecco Bay Porthcawl.
. Amazing family holidays especially with all the grandchildren we had a great time
. Dog friendly
. Owners perks including early swimming
. Some money for my parents who owned it when they rented it out privately
. Site fees of £4,000 a year
.Owners rights being taken away
. Having to go back and forth if renting out. We all got used to the 'quick thorough clean'
. Being told we would have to move position on the site or leave after 15 years because our caravan was not new enough or buy a new one
. Them buying back the caravan for a tenth of its value and then selling it on for £15,000!!!
The early years were great but we would definitely think twice before doing it again and we're thankful to get out before Covid hit as apparently owners were treated badly at many parks then.
chillinwithmygnomies · 14/05/2022 20:15
It all depends if you can afford the fees and will get the use out of it, we looked into it but site fees of 5k plus for the year plus the price of the caravan just doesn't seem worth it in the end.
exLtEveDallas · 14/05/2022 20:16
Well I only have a positive story!
We bought a 2000 static for £9.5K in 2010. We are on a site that does not have an age limit on caravans as long as they continue to look good. Our fees were £2700 per year when we bought and are now £3500. So a rise of £800 over 10 years.
Gas bottles are (were!) £35 and we probably get through 3 a year. Electric is about £100 a year.
It’s a small, family run site of about 40 caravans. We know all our neighbours! (Sub letting is not allowed). We go down every school holiday and one weekend a month. Site is open Feb-Nov.
Ours is a small 2 bedroom, plenty big enough for our family of 3 plus dog. It’s in good nick, DH cleans and checks the outside, I do the inside. We do need a new cooker,
and I’d quite like to change the ugly fire. I also think the shower needs re-sealing this year. Other than that the only issues we’ve had is with a door that needed a new hinge and a broken (by a seagull) roof light.
I wouldn’t buy on a large site, or one run by a big company. Where we bought (SW) the majority of sites are family run. It’s 2 hours from home, has a lovely beach (bloody horrible sea though!) and lots of pubs/clubs/amenities. DD grew up going there - and she still joins us in the holidays (we do the weekends without her though).
BookwormButNoTime · 15/05/2022 10:07
Buying a caravan is a lifestyle choice, not an investment. Just like when you buy a car. You know it’s going to lose money and depreciate over time, but you get the enjoyment of it over the time you have it.
The pluses are you can buy a caravan in places where you generally couldn’t afford to buy a house - think in the dunes in Cornwall etc. It’s your bolthole in your happy place.
Site fees generally reflect the facilities available on park. So the bigger ones with swimming pools, activities and entertainment will invariably be more expensive than a smaller quiet site with no facilities. Do you actually need all the facilities or is it just the location that’s important.
For people moaning about site fees, £4,000 a year for a six berth caravan, equates to £55 per person per month. Cheaper than a lot of gym memberships. Plus it includes things like security, grass mowing, landscaping, upgrades to facilities, not to mention basically what is a “storage fee” for having your caravan on their land etc. Park owners don’t come asking you for more money to build a new restaurant or swimming pool etc.
Many parks have a requirement to upgrade your caravan after a number of years. Can be a pain, but it ensures the park remains looking up to date and well maintained.
I would also ensure it was no longer than an about an hour drive to get there. You want to finish work on a Friday and just pop there, not have to face a gruelling journey.
The let really is to find a park location and facilities that fit your needs. You will begrudge paying high site fees on a park with flashy facilities if you’re not going to use them.
nearlyspringyay · 15/05/2022 10:14
We had one in France. It's was perfect while the kids were young and we also had dogs. It was expensive though and they depreciate incredibly quickly. Didn't rent it out because we need to use it in the school holidays which is when it would have been financially worthwhile.
We gave it up when the site wanted us to upgrade and we wanted to take the kids to some different places.
Basically, loved it, perfect for the time we had it but money pit. Think about how many three night breaks you could pay for with the site fees!
user1474315215 · 15/05/2022 10:18
We love ours! It's just under two hours from home and we've been been on the site for nearly 20 years. When we were working we spent most weekends there and it was great to have somewhere to get away and relax. Now we're retired we spend most of the summer there. The grandchildren absolutely love being able to stay. We don't rent it out, so we're able to keep all our own stuff there and it's a real home from home. It's not cheap - fees are around £5k a year - but to us it's worth every penny.
ohfook · 15/05/2022 11:41
Anybody I know who's got one at haven etc have quickly found themselves out of pocket.
The one success story I know is a friend who has already paid off her mortgage- so the site fees aren't as big a deal for her financially as it would be for me. They are on a small site, not a major company, that doesn't have an age limit on caravans, no on site bar or kids club or anything. She's retired and I'd say she spends most of the summer there - it's in a gorgeous part of the world.
I'd second what a previous poster said if you want it to work, don't see it as an investment. It's a second home in a part of the world where you maybe couldn't otherwise afford to live.
Limer · 15/05/2022 11:56
If you can afford it, and are happy to keep going to the same place, then go for it.
It's a big investment though, with unavoidable costs each year - site fees, insurance, gas, electricity (don't forget you are tied to the site's electricity deal, you can't change supplier).
If you want to sell your van, you will probably have to sell it back to the site for a fraction of its value.
If you want to give your van away, e.g. to a family member, the site will demand a commission fee for the change of ownership.
Livercool · 15/05/2022 23:59
We love ours. Absolutely love it. I'd say only get one if it is somewhere you love and want to spend lots of time at and if you actually have the time to use it. No point getting one if you can't get away to it at the weekends and need to use most of your annual leave going to visit family in Spain.
You won't make money. People generally don't make money when they go on holiday so I'm cool with that.
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