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Unread 13th June 2015   #1
Petemate
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Which replacement 'van?

Possible future dilemma. (A long way off but I like to look at all my options these days)
Situation is our daughter for various reasons is likely to become a single parent maybe in a few months, maybe much later than that. Our grandson is currently aged four, and has indicated a future interest in "going away in Nan's caravan". Well, Nan's caravan is only a two-berth, so some forward thinking needed. We keep the unit locked to a post set in a 2-foot cube of Portland's finest in front of the house. The size of caravan we can own and keep here depends upon the shipping length which, at an absolute maximum, cannot exceed 6.47 metres, or a shade under 21 feet 3 inches. Recent conversation with OH touched on a fixed bed 4-berth, several of which will fit. However, I soon pointed out that a fixed bed layout is not suitable a junior will need a separate bunk to avoid us turning in too early etc etc.
There are no units that I can find with at least 4 berths with bunks that will fit in the drive except one, of which more anon later. Even the Orion 460-5, which otherwise would do, is a smidgeon too long and would encroach on to the footpath which besides probably breaking byelaws, would render the rear of the 'van liable to damage from wayward children on bikes (we are 3 doors away from the local junior school lol) Shame cos it has a separate shower which my OH loves in the Topaz.
Now to the 'anon' bit. The one which WILL fit is the Sprite Musketeer TD. I did read somewhere that it has more or less the same body as the Alpine 4 FB. Certainly the layout plan of both shows it as identical forward of the door and in the kitchen area.
Shame they have stopped making them - anyone from Swift group reading this care to comment? (in fairness, not a complaint, just an observation, and probably lack of demand) Not that we can go to that new a unit at the moment lol.
While the Musketeer is a 5 berth, this would be OK as to save a bit of weight and space I would probably remove all the centre bunk gubbins and refit it on future sale. The only downside I can see is that it has a 'wet-room' and not a separate shower; this would require extreme diplomacy (also known as creeping) from me with my OH. Considering that SWMBO only has one or two showers when we go away, I think I could possibly persuade her that we could manage with that sort of layout.
I favour a TD, as our very first caravan, years ago, was an old Musketeer with exposed gas bottles on the A frame (tells you how old it was) which we got for the princely sum of £600. I pulled it with a 1470cc Renault R16GL. Happy days.
Open to suggestions!
Pete
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Unread 13th June 2015   #2
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Cannot edit that last post yet - typo on line 7, 'a' should be 'as'.
Also, maybe anyone with a caravan with the 'wet-room' type of washroom care to put my OH's mind at rest as to how easy they are to use/keep wiped down/keep tidy/blah blah blah?
TIA
Pete

PS with regard to my comment on the removal of one of the bunks - doh, I have since re-read the specs and I see it is a double with a bunk over. No matter - would suit fine as daughter could put up the double and junior can be in the bunk overhead.

PPS I think I was looking recently at the 5 berth EB which has the three bunks across the rear - so that would work, with the centre one removed so daughter could sleep on the bottom.
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Unread 13th June 2015   #3
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Hi Pete well I said to my better half when she feel in love with the Swift 2 berth. What about our wee friends. To which I got a prompt reply awning. But then I asked what about a rough night silence? Anyway we have had our twins away and they slept in the double bed beside us. It worked but not ideal for a week or so.

We have a small awning which is quick to erect and they love sleeping in that. The parents have bunks so leaves plenty of space.

Pete the biggest issue they little ones grow up so quickly and they will love to be in their own small tent or awning.

Hope you work out a good plan as it is just great having the little ones holiday with you. All the best for your daughter and family.
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Unread 13th June 2015   #4
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Originally Posted by Rikijohn View Post
Hi Pete well I said to my better half when she feel in love with the Swift 2 berth. What about our wee friends. To which I got a prompt reply awning. But then I asked what about a rough night silence? Anyway we have had our twins away and they slept in the double bed beside us. It worked but not ideal for a week or so.

We have a small awning which is quick to erect and they love sleeping in that. The parents have bunks so leaves plenty of space.

Pete the biggest issue they little ones grow up so quickly and they will love to be in their own small tent or awning.

Hope you work out a good plan as it is just great having the little ones holiday with you. All the best for your daughter and family.
Thanks John & Carole! Awning not an option as junior not responsible enough at the young age he is and we only have a porch awning (sold the big one a few months ago)
So if I can squeeze an Orion 460-5 in by moving the post up to the wall (it's adjustable) that would do and it has a separate shower.
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Unread 14th June 2015   #5
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Hi Pete; you should be able to remove and relocate the post; even if you have a concrete pad that the caravan sits on.
I did it when i bought our Abbey, our previous caravan was 17ft long and the new one 2.5" short of 23ft, plus i had to allow a couple of feet to be able to walk around it.

I dug mine up, and managed to lever the socket for the post out, enough to get rid of the concrete. I get the socket out by putting a big board in front of a window, and just whacking it with a BIG 'ammer! The concrete broke up and i got the socket out and relocated it at least 6ft forwards. I broke up the concrete a bit more, leaving it where it was, and used it to help fill the hole, i also used some rubble from the new hole to top it up before renewing the surface of the drive. Because my drive is mono block, i made a bigger concrete plug, that couldn't be moved easily.

It can be done; its just hard work!
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Unread 14th June 2015   #6
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Our friend traded in their motor home for a bigger one so son and friend could come along. Son and friend don't want to go out with friends now so they are stuck with a bigger motor home than they really want.
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Unread 14th June 2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbeyman View Post
Hi Pete; you should be able to remove and relocate the post; even if you have a concrete pad that the caravan sits on.
I did it when i bought our Abbey, our previous caravan was 17ft long and the new one 2.5" short of 23ft, plus i had to allow a couple of feet to be able to walk around it.

I dug mine up, and managed to lever the socket for the post out, enough to get rid of the concrete. I get the socket out by putting a big board in front of a window, and just whacking it with a BIG 'ammer! The concrete broke up and i got the socket out and relocated it at least 6ft forwards. I broke up the concrete a bit more, leaving it where it was, and used it to help fill the hole, i also used some rubble from the new hole to top it up before renewing the surface of the drive. Because my drive is mono block, i made a bigger concrete plug, that couldn't be moved easily.

It can be done; its just hard work!
Abbeyman - no problem with the location. The post is fully adjustable in that previous resetting involved cutting the post just above the level of the concrete when I obtained our previous caravan and we needed to move the post nearer the wall. I made up some brackets and a platform which has multiple mounting holes for the post upper part. The whole thing, each time when reset, is below the earth level behind our drive kerb at the front wall. Upon each adjustment, I have welded up the nuts & bolts and there would have to be a lot of noise for anyone to grind it all away. We are on an open area and anyone wanting to remove the post would not get far.
I think that if I were to remount it to put the hitch right up to the wall the 460-5 may JUST fit in. Pic shows the post against the wall when we first got the Topaz, and for this position I had to wind down the front legs on to a pair of castor wheel-equipped trolleys, then remove the jockey wheel to clear the drive kerb when the motor mover propelled the unit up to the wall. This became a pita and was not necessary as with the post further back the rear of the 'van cleared the public footpath. So if an Orion 460-5 goes in, it will be back to the trolleys but I can live with that.I will be measuring soon, but there is no real hurry as the domestic situation with our daughter may be stretching out over weeks or even months.
Thanks for the input!
Pete
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Unread 14th June 2015   #8
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I see what you mean now! good; towing hitch out of site and locked down.
I have mine on a Bulldog removable post, 1.5m of 3"hardened steel tube, and a big lug wot locates in a slot in the socket in the ground; and a tow ball on top. The tow ball sits on a plate welded to the top of the tube, and i had to cut two sides away so that my Al-ko 3004 hitch could fit; the two big round pivots for the stabiliser arm protrude down at each side, and all the way round, but the metal plate was stopping it from hitching to the tow ball.

Once the hitch is on and locked, the post cant be moved or even rotated. I also have an SAS (safe and secure products, Bristol) wheel clamp locked to the rim of the caravan wheel, and a corner steady, leg lock at the rear of the caravan. We have lights and proximity sensors as well as a camera or two looking out onto the area! Ours sits pointing outwards, its too much carry on to have it the other way.
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Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
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