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    ABI Adventurer and other lightweights

    Googling 'lightweight caravans' the ABI Adventurer cropped up this morning. It seems to have only been made for a couple of years (2000 - 2001) and is rather similar to Swift's 'Base Camp' caravan, another lightweight, with a rear door and fairly basic furnishings and fittings to befit sporty people who might want to carry their bikes/surfboards etc in the 'van. (Or a muddy dog!)

    The Adventurer seems about as rare on the market as hens teeth, presumably because of their short duration of production but I'd like to be able to see one 'in the flesh'.

    Because my Bailey Ranger 380/2 is so close to the car's towing limit I keep pondering the idea of either getting a chunkier towcar or swapping my 'van for something of a lighter weight. I've had my Skoda for 7 years now. That's the longest period I have ever been in ownership of the same car - Well, it's a very good one! So I'm inclined to go down the 'lighter unit' route.

    My only alternative for a small lightweight 'van seems to be the Freedom range but I'm wondering why they don't appear on the forecourts of dealerships very often?

    I could go for a folding camper I suppose, but the idea of reverting to anything involving canvas fills me with foreboding! If only Mr. Bond (That's...Premium Bond) would come up trumps I could go and find myself a nice camper van! Nice to dream....
    Cynthia
    Last edited by CyberCynth; 04-05-2018, 14:24. Reason: Added a sentence

    #2
    Surely with the advent of numerous versions of Pods there could be one to suit you and your car?
    Of course, as the Romini section of this forum suggests, Rominis are a very much loved lightweight small caravan which can be towed by just about any four wheeled tug. So popular in fact that depreciation of them seems to be going UPWARDS!
    But do not expect to find mine on the market until I am deceased!
    Jim.
    Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks, I'd forgotten about the Rominis Jim Twolitre but they don't come up for sale very often do they? And as you pointed out, when they do, it's often at quite a price. The pod type 'vans are a mite on the small size for my liking; Go-pods look reasonable but because they haven't been about for long there aren't many affordable ones coming onto the market yet.

      I'm beginning to wish I hadn't sold my folding caravan now, it had a lot going for it apart from the extended time taken for setting up/packing away.

      I must be getting really thick in my dotage... it has taken me a long time to work out that the things I wanted most - speed of set up, and more space, - was not achievable with a small tow car! (And a small budget) Oh well, we live and learn. (eventually)
      Cynthia.

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        #4
        Its a hard choice, Cynthia. New tow car or new lighter caravan? I can sympathise! I don;t think there can be hardly anyone who gets it right first time, so you're not on your own!

        I think if you are happy with your caravan, then perhaps a new tow car might be the way to go. But that would be a devil you don't know rather than the one you do know!!
        If I had my time over again, I think I might have waited until the Skoda Yetis got a bit cheaper second-hand. Or one of the larger Nissans, or Honda HRV's. Then you have the expense of installing a tow bar as well. As my Skoda Roomster tows well, I'm sticking with it for another year or more, even though it has its faults!

        A lighter weight caravan is a good idea, but don't buy now - it's the most expensive time of the year for buying and they bring higher prices at the start of summer than they do at the end! Pop-top caravans are usually a lot lighter. If I was in the market for another caravan, I would go for this one....
        https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KIP-KOMPA...fc8e%7Ciid%3A1

        The little Freedoms are 'ok, but having seen plenty at the local Stafford dealers, they are a bit too claustrophobic for me. As are the Eriba Pucks - again, claustrophobic and not that cheap either! Have a look at the Adria caravans - they are both lightweight and well made.

        Comment


          #5
          That little Kip has a very cleverly built toilet raiser

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SandraM View Post
            That little Kip has a very cleverly built toilet raiser
            Those particular models are very well built and organised... I'm very tempted, Sandra!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jayjay View Post

              Those particular models are very well built and organised... I'm very tempted, Sandra!
              Isn't that the same make as the caravan you have at the moment jayjay ? A bit younger? I seem to remember you saying yours is a mid-80s model. Also, yours has the back door i think. Lots of advantages for me with this type of 'van: to have a door on the offside as it would make access from my bungalow so much easier, especially considering I have quite a narrow driveway. Lightweight, assuming the Kip 750kg quoted is MTPLM. Same as the Gobur; the Bailey is 750kg, but that is MIRO: It is 962kg MTPLM. The Kip is 4" narrower than the Bailey too, which doesn't sound much but when you're short on space it makes a difference!

              Biggest questions regarding this type of 'van, A) How often do you bump your head on the lower roof parts! and B) Where's the cable to connect to your car, to operate the road lights on the 'van!?

              I'm really just tossing ideas up in the air at the moment. I'm tempted to sell the Bailey now, while a good price should be achievable and then wait 'til the end of the season before buying another unit! What I've been meaning to do but haven't got a round to it yet, is to load up the Bailey ready for an outing and take it onto a public weighbridge and see just how close I am to my Skoda's towing limit.

              Re: the towcar: I have been umming and ahh-ing about an upgrade ever since I got rid of the Gobur Carousel and decided on a conventional caravan. It always seems to me that whenever you trade in your car for another, you always lose money on the deal, unless you sell and buy privately but that has logistical implications when you're on your own. And even assuming I manage NOT to lose too much money changing cars I will still have the expense of having a towbar fitted, so I've decided it's the unit that has to change!
              Cynthia

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, it's the same make, Cynthia... but a lot younger than my old thing. I don't think you bump your head anywhere on that model, the poptop is situated exactly where you walk around, and is massive. The place where you might just bump your head is at the sloping end, where the front window is. However, that is where the seats are, so you actually sit in that area. I've seen one of this model 'in the flesh', and was very impressed. The main Kip dealer is just down the road from me... I can't afford his prices though!
                Last edited by jayjay; 05-05-2018, 13:48.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'm not usually a fan of caravans with doors on the offside though. When you pull over into a layby for a break, for example, you are right next to the passing traffic. It's sometimes a problem for UK campsites, as any awning is on 'the wrong side' as well. That's also the case with a lot of the Freedoms, although some have been turned around on their chassis!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I've just had a look at Kip's website, I didn't realise these caravans were still being made! (Or at least I assume they are. Their website hasn't been updated since 2016). I didn't realise they had any dealers in this country either. I'm not too bothered about the door being on the offside; I doubt whether I'd ever bother with an awning, and I imagine if I did, I could turn the caravan back to front on the pitch to fit it!

                    There were two Go-Pods on Ebay when I looked earlier on but looking at those made me realise how much I value my space. I don't think I could cope with a unit that small!

                    Anyway, i think before I do anything I need to get the Bailey onto a weighbridge. As I travel light I can't imagine i'll be too close to the MTPLM.
                    Cynthia.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The price list is up to date on the Kip site - and expensive! He doesn't seem to have many Kips in for sale at the moment though! He seems to deal more in second-hand rather than new models.
                      http://www.leisurevehicles.co.uk/kip...pstocklist.htm

                      Have you tried the towcar matching site, Cynthia?
                      Go here, and fill in the details of your car and caravan... it will tell you whether it's right or not (a good match, a fair match or a poor match, etc.,) without going to a weighbridge. And how it's likely to perform in different road conditions.

                      https://towcar.info/GB/

                      As you are unlikely to be overloaded with just you and the doggy, it's not a matter of what you put in there, but the weight of the Bailey itself, and the power (torque) and weight of the tow car that needs to match. I think the rough guide is that the weight of the car has to be at 80%? of the weight of the caravan... but the website above will tell you exactly what you can expect with the outfit you have, and the performance you are likely to get with the match.

                      You said in your first post that you were aware that your caravan is very close to the car's towing limit.. That won't change whether you load it lightly, and a weighbridge will just confirm what you already know.




                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks jayjay but i went to the matching site before I bought the Bailey. It actually came up with a green light - 'Good Combination'. This rather surprised me as there was a note advising that the nose weight for the caravan would exceed the towball weight limit of the car.

                        Au contraire - it is of course vital that you're careful how much you load to ensure you don't exceed the MTPLM - and just as important - where you load it. The weighbridge will tell me how close I am to the caravan's MTPLM with all my and Echo's stuff loaded. As CVJ pointed out in post No 12 on the Daily thread, it's surprising how much clobber you take along for the dog!

                        The rough guide you're thinking of is that the caravan should not weigh (MTPLM) more than 85% of the car's kerb weight. However that's largely a guideline for motorists new to towing. An experienced caravanner could exceed that figure, with awareness that to do so you may experience some instability or overwork the car's engine. Or be up and down the gearbox like a fiddler's elbow. Not that that would bother me, in an automatic.

                        Call me an ol' worrypot (I've been called worse names than that in the past!) but i would rather have the reassurance of going to the weighbridge to make sure I'm not putting undue strain on the Skoda.
                        Cynthia.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F142782360449

                          I love these little Adria's. They make most other caravans look really dull but are still super practical and very lightweight. They are made with a plastic outer shell, still not completely free from damp issues but they do tend to fair much better than other makes. My parents have one of the slightly larger Altea models and have been really happy with it.
                          Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Cute n' quirky! Wow, what a lot of storage space underneath! It's the same MIRO as my Bailey so would be of no advantage to me in terms of getting a lighter weight 'van, but thanks for posting, Rob B , I love to see manufacturers turning out something a bit different.
                            Cynthia.

                            Comment


                              #15

                              I'm with you now, Cynthia. I was just trying to save you the added expense and effort of going to a weighbridge, but if it sets your mind at rest, then that's a good thing.

                              I have the same problem with noseweight. When the chap came to fit the towbar, he had to take out a metal bar - a strengthener of some sort - from the back of the car in order to fit the towbar. I still have it in the shed! I assume that, now that's no longer where it should be, the rear of my car is no longer as protected as it could/should be from a rear-end shunt, but it had to be taken out in order to fit the towbar. And that's why the weight is reduced to 50kg. Hmmmmm.

                              It wasn't until the towbar was fitted, that I was told that the noseweight shouldn't exceed 50kg, which was disappointing, to say the least! I think it's the same on all the smaller Skodas, not sure about the larger ones, like the Yeti's. If I had known that beforehand, I wouldn't have bought the car, as even my little Kip is stamped with a noseweight of 75kg. Which I had to reduce by taking stuff out of the front of the caravan until it was lighter, and putting a lot of stuff towards the rear of van to counterbalance the noseweight. So it might be the case that you actually need a new tow car rather than a smaller caravan, or a smaller caravan with a noseweight of 50kg - which might be hard to find! It's all swings and roundabouts, isn't it?

                              It's a poor show from the Skoda car designers, I think, when they have to take a metal bar out in order to fit a towbar. A 50k towbar limit is more for a small trailer than a proper towbar for a caravan. When I need to change my tow car, it won't be for another Skoda!

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