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Unread 13th June 2015   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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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!
2008 Saab 9-3 1.9 Tid 150 Sportwagon pulling
2005 Eccles Sterling Topaz
1983 Honda LA250 Custom
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