Anything related to motorhoming not covered in any other forums.
 #164765  by raro
 Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:25 pm
Building our new home on our farm has been pushed out a whole year so we have resolved to sell up in town this summer and move out there anyway. A pole shed is nearly complete, which will be hooked up to grid-connected solar, collecting rainwater and offering storage (and extra living space in summer), and our plan is to park a caravan outside (and sell it once the house is built).

Given this, we're looking at bigger caravans but still single axle. I've found a 2008 Ace Award Tristar that seems to fit our current requirements list: insulated, double glazing, insect screens, fixed island bed, fridge and hot water will run on electricity.

I've learned a lot in a few days of trawling for sale ads and I've read every post here about buying a first caravan. Thank you to everyone who has offered such great advice, what a resource this site is ... I'd be grateful for any specific advice about what to consider: about this particular model, about other features to consider. We don't need things like motor movers or solar mounted on the caravan but I am mindful of resale value and ease.

Also I'm wondering about awnings! Are they an option for permanent erection through winter, and in spring when the westerlies are raging?!?

Lastly, any advice about living with a dog in a caravan!?! Ours is a tall 30kg member of the family used to sleeping on the couch. I think accommodating him is going to be the hardest part. This is why I'm keen on an awning, so we have somewhere to clean him up before letting him back in (and a mudroom for our wet coats, boots etc). The other option is backing the caravan into one of the open bays of the shed but I worry about that being dark and cold and depressing. It doesn't seem like we can extend the roof out the front of the shed without a lot of hassle and expense.

(There are no caravan dealers anywhere near us (we're in the Manawatu-Whanganui) but we have spent a couple of nights in a friend's caravan that was a similiar size and set up. I've read about leaky UK caravans but also that it was an issue solved by the early 90s. I can't actually find any NZ or Aus made brands in our price range (no more than $30K). I learned that Ace was bought by Swift and is no longer manufactured, which explains why I can't find specs on a manufacturer's website.)
 #165309  by David McIntyre
 Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:18 pm
I agree. We have a batch up in Kerikeri, alongside a 3 bay pole shed. If we take up the van, we park inside. Great sheltered entrance. You could also knock up some temp ply walls to shelter the door, or a kennel in the shed, beside the caravan.
 #165316  by Derb
 Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:02 am
Caravans are cold in winter unless very late model with good insulation. Make sure you have the heating issue covered or you will have mould issues and be darn miserable. 24/7 heating can be very expensive so consider diesel if the van you end up with doesn’t have this covered. Again, a cheap pole-shed or carport covering the van would be money well spent. Regarding the dog, we camp with two little Cav’s and they do take up room and can track dirt inside. We find our full length annex is great for longer stays with pooches outside in a cage/soft crate. Cheers.
 #165985  by aroma
 Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:15 pm
Hi Raro
as above put your van in the pole shed if you can, could you swap one or two of the wall iron sheet with clearlite while you build for extra light?

We have a 6mtr van we have been living in for nearly 3 years in a camp, my work is to far to travel each day
we have had a old style heavy canvas awning up the entire time and the only issue has been slight mold on the roof, caused by the fridge, as some of our neighbors, have had recently solved that issue by putting 2 x 2" holes in the ply skirt behind the fridge, and have cleaned the roof with white vinegar when we notice any mold
our van was built in 1978 so no double glazing and only poly in the walls for heating we have a 1980's panel heater and a movable fan heater for extra heat when required, I have glued poly under the floor and laid builders plastic on the ground and filled in 3/4s of the gap between the van and the ground, can't rush these projects :shock: that has help at the end I have finished
hope that helps
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