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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Some newbie questions



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 09:05 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Me
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Posts: 3
Default Some newbie questions

Hi all, I have been offered a cheap 4 berth van by a local dealer, who is
also a customer of mine. It is an older Swift, not sure of the model but it
looks like a Pirouette on the outside, but with a different interior layout.

The van is not perfect, but considering is will be getting a full service
beforehand I am basicly getting it for nothing.

This will be our first experience of caravaning and the idea is to 'try it
out' with this van to see if we like it.

So some questions if I may............

Towbar, I have been quoted 230 inc. VAT to have a towbar supplied & fitted
to my Accord (Witter, twin electrices, relay) this is from a reputable firm
who have been in the business a long time, good price?

Storage, quoted 15/month, locked compound, is this the going rate (country
area)

Towing the thing!, is there a course I can do, or is the best way to just
get out there and do it (I have been driving for 14 years with no
accidents/points), I am especially wondering about reversing!

Lastly is it worth joining the caravan club or similar?


Thanks!







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  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 09:50 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Mary Fisher
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Posts: 127
Default Some newbie questions



Towing the thing!, is there a course I can do, or is the best way to just
get out there and do it (I have been driving for 14 years with no
accidents/points), I am especially wondering about reversing!

Lastly is it worth joining the caravan club or similar?


Yes - if only for the towing courses.

Mary


Thanks!









  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 10:08 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
DaveK
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Posts: 151
Default Some newbie questions

Towbar, I have been quoted 230 inc. VAT to have a towbar supplied &
fitted
to my Accord (Witter, twin electrices, relay) this is from a reputable

firm
who have been in the business a long time, good price?

Probably, but if you can do it yourself, Towsure of Sheffield supply kits at
well under 100.
DaveK.


  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 10:17 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Tony Maris
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Posts: 161
Default Some newbie questions

Hi Me,

To check out the Towbar Fitters, have a look at
http://www.ntta.co.uk/directory/QSA_Members.aspx and see if they are part of
the NTTA's 'Quality Secured' scheme. It is the only scheme in the UK which
actually assesses fitters and requires them to work to laid down standards.

For Storage, check out http://www.cassoa.co.uk We operate a Cassoa gold
award site and are about 10% dearer than the price you quote.

For driver training, you could check with and see what is
available in your area. However, as Mary has suggested, the Caravan Club
run a number of regional courses and it could be worth joining for that
alone!

Regards

--
Tony M
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
Specialists in Towing Equipment
NTTA Council Member
http://www.towitall.co.uk
QSA accredited for Towbars and Trailers



"Me" wrote in message
...
Hi all, I have been offered a cheap 4 berth van by a local dealer, who is
also a customer of mine. It is an older Swift, not sure of the model but

it
looks like a Pirouette on the outside, but with a different interior

layout.

The van is not perfect, but considering is will be getting a full service
beforehand I am basicly getting it for nothing.

This will be our first experience of caravaning and the idea is to 'try it
out' with this van to see if we like it.

So some questions if I may............

Towbar, I have been quoted 230 inc. VAT to have a towbar supplied &

fitted
to my Accord (Witter, twin electrices, relay) this is from a reputable

firm
who have been in the business a long time, good price?

Storage, quoted 15/month, locked compound, is this the going rate

(country
area)

Towing the thing!, is there a course I can do, or is the best way to just
get out there and do it (I have been driving for 14 years with no
accidents/points), I am especially wondering about reversing!

Lastly is it worth joining the caravan club or similar?


Thanks!









  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 10:20 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Stuart Bell
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Posts: 117
Default Some newbie questions

Me wrote:

Towing the thing!, is there a course I can do, or is the best way to just
get out there and do it (I have been driving for 14 years with no
accidents/points), I am especially wondering about reversing!

Lastly is it worth joining the caravan club or similar?


Camping and Caravanning Club is worth joining, and they do manoeuvering
(sp?) courses. Well worth while!

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if you want to email me.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 11:03 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
bill lord
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Posts: 317
Default Some newbie questions

On Thu, 9 Oct 2003 21:05:38 +0000 (UTC), "Me" wrote:

Hi all, I have been offered a cheap 4 berth van by a local dealer, who is
also a customer of mine. It is an older Swift, not sure of the model but it
looks like a Pirouette on the outside, but with a different interior layout.

The van is not perfect, but considering is will be getting a full service
beforehand I am basicly getting it for nothing.

This will be our first experience of caravaning and the idea is to 'try it
out' with this van to see if we like it.


You can't go far wrong with that, it sounds like a good way to start.
Mind you the dealer will be selling you lots of essential goodies to
set off with like water battles, gas and lots of other things so go
with that in mind, It's surprising what the few essentials can cost.

So some questions if I may............


Storage, quoted 15/month, locked compound, is this the going rate (country
area)


I paid this for storage when I started 13 years ago, now my van is
stored at home.


Towing the thing!, is there a course I can do, or is the best way to just
get out there and do it (I have been driving for 14 years with no
accidents/points), I am especially wondering about reversing!


There are courses that the two main clubs run, but just getting stuck
in is the usual way. Keep your van evenly loaded, keep the noseweight
as high as your car will allow up to the maximum allowable by your
caravans chassis, keep your speed down and keep your eyes open but
what's more enjoy yourself.

Lastly is it worth joining the caravan club or similar?


It most certainly is, I joined the CC when I first started and have
never been disappointed, there sites are always well kept and pleasant
places to be. Many people find the CCC the same though having been
spoilt by the CC I was not over impressed when I joined this year. But
whichever club you join you will find a great bunch of people who are
ever willing to help.


(remove the spam to reply)
I've taken a vow of poverty, to annoy me send money
  #7 (permalink)  
Old October 10th 03, 08:29 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Richard
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Posts: 127
Default Some newbie questions


"Me" wrote in message
...
Hi all, I have been offered a cheap 4 berth van by a local dealer, who is
also a customer of mine. It is an older Swift, not sure of the model but

it
looks like a Pirouette on the outside, but with a different interior

layout.

The van is not perfect, but considering is will be getting a full service
beforehand I am basicly getting it for nothing.

This will be our first experience of caravaning and the idea is to 'try it
out' with this van to see if we like it.

So some questions if I may............

Towbar, I have been quoted 230 inc. VAT to have a towbar supplied &

fitted
to my Accord (Witter, twin electrices, relay) this is from a reputable

firm
who have been in the business a long time, good price?


I recently had a Witter tow bar twin electrics etc fitted to a Nissan
Primera and that was I recall about 225 inc VAT.


Storage, quoted 15/month, locked compound, is this the going rate

(country
area)

Pass .... no experience.

Towing the thing!, is there a course I can do, or is the best way to just
get out there and do it (I have been driving for 14 years with no
accidents/points), I am especially wondering about reversing!


I just got out there and did it. A bit scarey at first but still problem
free and now 6 months on I feel relatively comfortable.

Lastly is it worth joining the caravan club or similar?

Yes , been a member for a number of years (motor home before caravan) and
their sites are always a good standard and generally pitches are a good
size too. They do offer towing courses also. We find the CC rallies
enjoyable also.

Richard


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  #8 (permalink)  
Old October 10th 03, 09:59 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
bowtiejim
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Posts: 138
Default Some newbie questions

We started off almost in exactly the same way as you are doing.

Fit a good towbar. If you can't do the job yourself, and it can be tricky
on modern cars, follow Tony Maris' advice. Buy good accessories as they
will last you through many vans.

By all means join one of the clubs. I think the Camping and Caravanning
Club has a better magazine than the Caravan Club, but some will argue that
the CC sites are better. And so on...

Enjoy yourselves and welcome to the hobby.


  #9 (permalink)  
Old October 11th 03, 07:39 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Stuart Bell
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Posts: 117
Default Some newbie questions

bill lord wrote:

Towing the thing!, is there a course I can do, or is the best way to just
get out there and do it (I have been driving for 14 years with no
accidents/points), I am especially wondering about reversing!


There are courses that the two main clubs run, but just getting stuck
in is the usual way.


Nah! When I came back from the C&C course, I could reverse the 'van
into a drive way less than a foot wider than the van. Well recomended.

Trouble is, you can soon get out of practice . . . .

Stuart
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old October 11th 03, 09:45 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Me
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Some newbie questions

Thanks for the repiles,

The van is a Swift Danette, later model with d/glazing. Max weight on the
builders plate is 795kg laden, so only 55% of the weight of my car. The only
thing I will have to check is the noseweight as my car has a big overhang at
the back (Accord Aerodeck)

Regarding equipment we have got most of it already as we are giving up
boating for a few years, hence the van.

I think I will join a club and do a basic course, another good think about
the swift is you can see right through it because of the big windows.


 



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