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    New to this game

    Scary but hopefully a new exciting venture for me, the looking and purchasing of a camper van. I'm single and have always had a man to make these big decisions. Has anyone out there been in this situation but glad they took the plunge. I've had fun with my grown up kids and their children this summer camping and have this urge to go for it. Just worried that if i buy one it may turn out to be a lonely venture?

    #2
    Welcome to the forum. You are not alone here - there are quite a few of us who are solo campervanners. Don't be afraid, get a van and come along to one of our meet ups. There are also many other groups to camp with so that you never need to be completely on your own, unless you want to.

    Comment


      #3
      Hello from another solo female campervanner, there are quite a few on here.

      I usually camp alone and tend to go to places where I will have something to do. I have just come back from Stratford on Avon, and have previously been to York, Bristol, and I read or use my computer in the evenings.
      There are also rallies and meets arranged by various groups, this web forum has several a year (although I haven't managed to get to one yet ).
      There are also groups such as the new companions, that arrange meets throughout the year for people camping alone.

      If you have grandchildren you may want to take with you , then make sure the van you get has enough seat belted travelling seats.

      I bought my van with a view to trying it for a year to see how I got on and still have it 3yrs later, campervans tend to hold their value so you probably wont lose much if you decide you don't like it.

      Julie

      Comment


        #4
        Think TWICE .... act ONCE!

        Coming to a forum such as this where a bunch of True Converts have already voted with their feet and made the investment then asking "do you think this is a good idea?" is a sure-fire way of getting responses such as "don't be daft girl, just DO it!". I'm an independent sort of cuss and wild camp all the time ... I do my socialising here on the forum, others are dead-set on 'club meets' and always use proper campsites .... it's horses for courses depending on your character. I for one feel naked if I don't own a camper, it absolutely suits my character and satisfies my wanderlust, but I'm a very practical type and very little beats me when it comes to coping with the various glitches that occur often, because Sod's Law always applies, during a long trip on the road.

        Some thoughts:
        • Are you a practical type unfazed when things go wrong? Campers can have quite complex electrical and plumbing systems. I don't think it too sexist to say that some girls prefer to hand over such issues to a guy, but if you can turn your hand to simple diagnostics and fixing things yourself, well that's a real advantage and will save you a fortune. (Bracing myself for the Flack!)
        • Being something of an innocent in these matters, be careful you don't get lumbered with a van riddled through and through with mechanical and electrical faults. I can recall at least two members of this forum who have spent good money on a van only to find out too late that it's a complete DOG. You really must take an experienced practical type with you who will make judgments with their head rather than their heart. Check everything inside, outside and underneath, go through MoT records with a fine tooth comb, look at maintenance records ... and if in doubt walk away, you'll find another without too much trouble.
        • Buying from a proper dealer gives you much more come-back in the event of faults developing or emerging. I bought a VW T.25 'Transporter' van from a dealer many years ago and returned it half a dozen times within the 3 month guarantee period to get things fixed, if it had been a private purchase I'd have had a lot of problems to resolve.
        • Only view and decide whether to purchase in broad daylight and in the dry and with no time constraints.
        • Consider getting a HPI check (or similar) to ensure there is no outstanding finance


        This all sounds like I'm trying to put you off ... not so, just be cautious and thoughtful before you leap.
        Last edited by mikeroch; 23-08-2015, 20:05. Reason: transpose 'head' and 'heart' !

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the helpful info, I've seen a convertedMazda Bongo in Bristol which looks all that I need and in very good condition. May need to take my son for a drive to have a look :-). Bit worried about the size as I drive an A3 which is obviously much smaller.#
          Thanks again, enjoy the rest of the summer :-)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Caz View Post
            Welcome to the forum. You are not alone here - there are quite a few of us who are solo campervanners. Don't be afraid, get a van and come along to one of our meet ups. There are also many other groups to camp with so that you never need to be completely on your own, unless you want to.
            Thanks for that, yes, looking at the forum, there are many others who have taken the plunge and seem to have not looked back. Will keep looking and hope to join you

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JazziJ View Post
              Hello from another solo female campervanner, there are quite a few on here.

              I usually camp alone and tend to go to places where I will have something to do. I have just come back from Stratford on Avon, and have previously been to York, Bristol, and I read or use my computer in the evenings.
              There are also rallies and meets arranged by various groups, this web forum has several a year (although I haven't managed to get to one yet ).
              There are also groups such as the new companions, that arrange meets throughout the year for people camping alone.

              If you have grandchildren you may want to take with you , then make sure the van you get has enough seat belted travelling seats.

              I bought my van with a view to trying it for a year to see how I got on and still have it 3yrs later, campervans tend to hold their value so you probably wont lose much if you decide you don't like it.

              Julie
              Thanks Julie
              It's really refreshing to see that everything doesn't need to stop just because you are on your own. Thanks also for the advice re the little people too

              Comment


                #8
                "There are also groups such as the new companions,"
                .
                When I joined the CC in May, I tried to access this 'New Companions' area with no success.
                Five minutes ago I had another go, and still can't find any mention of it. Even a site search
                threw up nothing. Should I be looking in Camping & Caravanning Club perhaps?
                Bernard
                A barrel organs life is one long grind?

                Comment


                  #9
                  This is the new companions web site, I don't think they are connected to the caravan club, but remember the Caravan club did start up a group for solo members.

                  http://www.newcompanions.org.uk/

                  http://www.lonersgroup.org.uk/

                  http://www.thephoenixcampingclub.co.uk/wp/


                  I can't access the club together area of CC site either.

                  Julie

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Arrow- just a quick bit of advice. If you go to a dealer, which you probably should, make sure it is at the very least a proper motorhome dealer where they can show you how everything works. Don't go to a car dealer with a motorhome in the corner, they might not know how to show you things working, and might not be prepared, or able, to fix any faults. Take a look in their workshop - do the mechanics look as if they know what they are doing, and will the workshop take your camper size? Basic stuff this. Make sure you get a warranty.
                    If you see a motorhome, either where you live or in a car park or camp site, go and ask the owners where they bought from, and are they happy with the service they got. I have heard bad reports of some dealers, and good reports of others. My personal current experience is to have bought a fault-ridden new motorhome, but I will say that the dealer has been exceedingly co-operative in attending to the faults, sending two men to collect it and take it back for repairs, on four occasions now. They are 53 miles away, meaning 106 miles and two drivers each time they collect it for a fault. I have just got to the point where I have done more miles in it than the dealer has. I would buy another motorhome from them, but not one with the same fault-prone electrical equipment as mine has. And it will probably be German next time, as I believe they have an excellent work ethic, to build the things properly in the factory.
                    In that day you will cry out because of your king you have chosen. 1 Samuel v18

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Organ Grinder View Post
                      "There are also groups such as the new companions,"
                      .
                      When I joined the CC in May, I tried to access this 'New Companions' area with no success.
                      Five minutes ago I had another go, and still can't find any mention of it. Even a site search
                      threw up nothing. Should I be looking in Camping & Caravanning Club perhaps?
                      Bernard
                      Originally posted by JazziJ View Post
                      This is the new companions web site, I don't think they are connected to the caravan club, but remember the Caravan club did start up a group for solo members.

                      http://www.newcompanions.org.uk/

                      http://www.lonersgroup.org.uk/

                      http://www.thephoenixcampingclub.co.uk/wp/


                      I can't access the club together area of CC site either.

                      Julie
                      These groups are totally independent of the big 2, Bernard. I belong to Phoenix but haven't been away with them at all as I have so many other things on. Their meets do tend to be at C & C C sites - I think because the C & C C sites work out very reasonable for solos. I don't know about New Companions or Loners Group.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Caz View Post
                        .... as I have so many other things on.
                        Their meets do tend to be at C & C C sites - I think because the C & C C sites work out very reasonable for solos.
                        Hi Caz,
                        I guess I'm the same - other things going on.
                        However, I was at a steam rally not long back (on a day visit) and I got talking to a chap who was camped up next to the rally field and he was in a singles group
                        and I thought - what a good way of meeting people with similar interests. A bit like your Geocachers, and my Organ grinders. Some people like rambling, some like
                        Glastonbury Events, Folk Events. I'd be lost (dead) at a Pop concert or a Rave.
                        Now at a Food Festival - I'd be in heaven :eat:
                        Cheers B x
                        Edit.... do you have to join C&CC to join in at a Phoenix Get-together? I mean joining all these groups and clubs could get a bit ..
                        ...expensive. (And money down the drain if you don't use them.)
                        Last edited by Organ Grinder; 23-08-2015, 21:48.
                        A barrel organs life is one long grind?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by gasgas View Post
                          Arrow- just a quick bit of advice. If you go to a dealer, which you probably should, make sure it is at the very least a proper motorhome dealer where they can show you how everything works. Don't go to a car dealer with a motorhome in the corner, they might not know how to show you things working, and might not be prepared, or able, to fix any faults. Take a look in their workshop - do the mechanics look as if they know what they are doing, and will the workshop take your camper size? Basic stuff this. Make sure you get a warranty.
                          If you see a motorhome, either where you live or in a car park or camp site, go and ask the owners where they bought from, and are they happy with the service they got. I have heard bad reports of some dealers, and good reports of others. My personal current experience is to have bought a fault-ridden new motorhome, but I will say that the dealer has been exceedingly co-operative in attending to the faults, sending two men to collect it and take it back for repairs, on four occasions now. They are 53 miles away, meaning 106 miles and two drivers each time they collect it for a fault. I have just got to the point where I have done more miles in it than the dealer has. I would buy another motorhome from them, but not one with the same fault-prone electrical equipment as mine has. And it will probably be German next time, as I believe they have an excellent work ethic, to build the things properly in the factory.
                          Thanks so much for that. will bear in mind. The last thing I need is to be miles away from home and break down

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Graham-
                            How about a Garlic Festival? They are held each year on the Isle of Wight, a very large garlic producing place. I went, and there was a beer tent, and an ice cream tent. Curious, I went in the beer tent. Garlic beer. I thought how horrid it must be, and thought no it can't be that bad? I bought some, and spat it out. Being a meanie, I didn't immediately throw it away, I wondered if the taste would turn nice. After a while I took another sip. It really was as bad as you can imagine. I fed it to some nearby nettles. Next, the ice cream parlour, to take the taste away. Guess what? Garlic ice cream. I ran away.
                            In that day you will cry out because of your king you have chosen. 1 Samuel v18

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mikeroch View Post
                              Coming to a forum such as this where a bunch of True Converts have already voted with their feet and made the investment then asking "do you think this is a good idea?" is a sure-fire way of getting responses such as "don't be daft girl, just DO it!". I'm an independent sort of cuss and wild camp all the time ... I do my socialising here on the forum, others are dead-set on 'club meets' and always use proper campsites .... it's horses for courses depending on your character. I for one feel naked if I don't own a camper, it absolutely suits my character and satisfies my wanderlust, but I'm a very practical type and very little beats me when it comes to coping with the various glitches that occur often, because Sod's Law always applies, during a long trip on the road.

                              Some thoughts:
                              • Are you a practical type unfazed when things go wrong? Campers can have quite complex electrical and plumbing systems. I don't think it too sexist to say that some girls prefer to hand over such issues to a guy, but if you can turn your hand to simple diagnostics and fixing things yourself, well that's a real advantage and will save you a fortune. (Bracing myself for the Flack!)
                              • Being something of an innocent in these matters, be careful you don't get lumbered with a van riddled through and through with mechanical and electrical faults. I can recall at least two members of this forum who have spent good money on a van only to find out too late that it's a complete DOG. You really must take an experienced practical type with you who will make judgments with their head rather than their heart. Check everything inside, outside and underneath, go through MoT records with a fine tooth comb, look at maintenance records ... and if in doubt walk away, you'll find another without too much trouble.
                              • Buying from a proper dealer gives you much more come-back in the event of faults developing or emerging. I bought a VW T.25 'Transporter' van from a dealer many years ago and returned it half a dozen times within the 3 month guarantee period to get things fixed, if it had been a private purchase I'd have had a lot of problems to resolve.
                              • Only view and decide whether to purchase in broad daylight and in the dry and with no time constraints.
                              • Consider getting a HPI check (or similar) to ensure there is no outstanding finance


                              This all sounds like I'm trying to put you off ... not so, just be cautious and thoughtful before you leap.
                              If in doubt, I would definitely recommend buying from a reputable dealer. If you do see a private sale that tempts you, at least get it checked by the AA and get the HPI check that Mike suggests.
                              Carpe diem! :)

                              Comment

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