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    Scared to take the plunge!

    Hi All
    I'm thinking of buying my first camper (I had an earlier post about Suzuki Daneste) and now that I've found quite a few possible starter vans (Kangoo, Berlingo etc) I have to be honest and say that living alone I am just scared to make a decision. Sounds wimpish I know but having had, in the past, a husband who would know what to look for etc and to join me in my madness, doing this on my own is so frightening that I end up just doing the investigating bit but never taking the plunge.

    I know you're not supposed to be therapists out there(!) but has anybody else been in this situation of wanting to do something but wondering if it's just a whim and one I'll regret?

    Any words of wisdom anybody??

    Thanks

    #2
    There's no reason to suppose that it will be a choice which you may regret!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Empyrean View Post
      Hi All
      I'm thinking of buying my first camper .............

      Any words of wisdom anybody??

      Thanks
      Well, you are not alone. You belong to a fantastic forum where there are plenty of people who will be more than willing to offer help and support. Plus, we have lots of single women members who have taken the plunge and will probably to able to relate to your dilemma. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you want!

      General advice is to look and look until you are totally exhausted and can't bear to look anymore Hopefully, eventually you will find the right vehicle and find the confidence to go ahead.

      I have a lovely partner, but we still worried and worried and spent at least three years searching and building up knowledge before we found the confidence to squander all our savings on our dream van.
      Mary

      Comment


        #4
        My outlook is always that you are more likely to regret NOT doing something, rather than doing it. If you do it and love it, great. If you don't like it, then you put it down as 'an experience'. But if you never try, you'll never know

        Come on in, the water's lovely
        Why not have a look at my latest wildlife photos, habitat projects and general natural world related shenanigans? https://facebook.com/Watsonswildlife

        Comment


          #5
          After I lost my wife a few years ago I tried using our caravan alone. A big mistake! rattling around in too much space on my own, with memories depressed me and prompted the decision that caravanning was not for me. So I sold the outfit.
          Some time later I spotted a Romini on a car sales pitch. ON impulse(or was it curiosity?) I stopped to look.
          Being much smaller, though still plenty big enough for one, I asked the price. Would buying it be a mistake? Could I cope on my own? Was it too dear (I had no idea of its market value) and therefor a waste of money?
          All these things windmilled in my mind. But then I thought "the worst I can do is lose some money and I will still be able to manage even if this IS a mistake". So I bought it. After all, thought I, there is no one else to answer to.
          My leisure life changed! I would not part with it for twice what I paid (which, as it turned out would be just about its true market value!). It has widened my horizons, introduced me to this Forum and new friends.
          The moral must be "try it". The only person who can lose is yourself and that is just experience. Which after all is what life is all about. Is it not?
          Jim.
          Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi There,
            As Mary (Vanderella) said you are not alone! it's probably hard to realise that but you aren't. It's clear that you want to add a bit of 'something' to your life in the form of camping and maybe getting about, or you wouldn't have gotten this far! So come on next steps....... I would think about the following:
            1) Your budget, what do you feel comfortable in spending?
            2) What might you do with the van (weekends away, big tours, days out, solo, regular passenger(s) might you take friends or relis with you reg or occasionally?)
            3) If it's your sole vehicle any restrictions apply re parking at home or regular use? (ie height or length of it at your fave supermarket or drive)
            4) Having a good look at a variety of small vans is the best idea, dealers, shows, meet ups (you'd be absolutely welcome at any SMHFF 'do') even going to see advertised vans doesn't commit you to anything. Have a good old nose around too, is the seating and bed comfortable? can you reach things? push up the roof? pretend to make a cuppa etc etc, would it suit you....
            5) Once you've got an idea about the sort of van you're interested in look it up on-line www.carsurvey.org is a good site for user experience....

            All of the above is daunting I realise, is there someone who can help you with decisions, ideally car/van savvy you can call upon? family member, friend, neighbour, work colleague etc, doesn't need to take lots of their time. someone you might use as a good 'sounding board' ..... People often like to help.... Theres support here, nobody minds how often you come back with whatever question, worry or concern you have ......... Try and treat this as your project as well, we never stop learning!
            There isn't a lot to lose in going forward with this, it's easy to think that your next decision is the last decision...... but not so, ultimately a van can always be sold!! But I doubt that, I think what you'll find is a sense of achievement, a sense of freedom, some new sights, enjoyment, new memories and new friends.....
            Look forward to your questions, meeting you (& the van)
            Go on, you know you want too
            Andy

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by andyvan View Post
              Hi There,
              As Mary (Vanderella) said you are not alone! it's probably hard to realise that but you aren't. It's clear that you want to add a bit of 'something' to your life in the form of camping and maybe getting about, or you wouldn't have gotten this far! So come on next steps....... I would think about the following:
              1) Your budget, what do you feel comfortable in spending?
              2) What might you do with the van (weekends away, big tours, days out, solo, regular passenger(s) might you take friends or relis with you reg or occasionally?)
              3) If it's your sole vehicle any restrictions apply re parking at home or regular use? (ie height or length of it at your fave supermarket or drive)
              4) Having a good look at a variety of small vans is the best idea, dealers, shows, meet ups (you'd be absolutely welcome at any SMHFF 'do') even going to see advertised vans doesn't commit you to anything. Have a good old nose around too, is the seating and bed comfortable? can you reach things? push up the roof? pretend to make a cuppa etc etc, would it suit you....
              5) Once you've got an idea about the sort of van you're interested in look it up on-line www.carsurvey.org is a good site for user experience....

              All of the above is daunting I realise, is there someone who can help you with decisions, ideally car/van savvy you can call upon? family member, friend, neighbour, work colleague etc, doesn't need to take lots of their time. someone you might use as a good 'sounding board' ..... People often like to help.... Theres support here, nobody minds how often you come back with whatever question, worry or concern you have ......... Try and treat this as your project as well, we never stop learning!
              There isn't a lot to lose in going forward with this, it's easy to think that your next decision is the last decision...... but not so, ultimately a van can always be sold!! But I doubt that, I think what you'll find is a sense of achievement, a sense of freedom, some new sights, enjoyment, new memories and new friends.....
              Look forward to your questions, meeting you (& the van)
              Go on, you know you want too
              Andy
              Wow! Thanks Andy. You're right I do want too, I want more adventures before I shuffle off etc. And yes, I do tend to think that once the money is spent it's all gone, silly really.

              I do have a few questions but I'd better not clog up the Solo Campers thread with them.

              Thanks again

              Chris

              Comment


                #8
                Like everyone else says - you're not alone!

                Take Andy's advice and take someone with you who knows about engines and body work - those are the really important bits. You want something that will take you where you want to go, get there, and come back again without stress.

                Next thing is damp - make sure there isn't any in the living part of the camper. Make sure the window seals are sound, and the windows aren't cracked if poss. Most don't leak, I hasten to add, as they are a car body really - unlike a caravan (unless it's a Romini or Freedom) which has been made from a number of pieces and put together.

                I'm sure someone from this forum would come with you to view if they live near enough to you.

                I'm also a girly on my own, and from my own past experience I would say stop procrastinating and go for it - as Glen said you are more likely to regret it if you don't that if you do. There's only one way to find out!

                I started with a tiny demountable romahome which turned out to be the wrong thing for me regarding gears and crouching most of the time as I have back probs. However, during the time that I had her, I found this forum, came to some meets and rallys, and found lots of people who have become very good friends! I also went to the Outer Hebrides and back, with a friend and co-driver meeting me near Aviemore.

                I've been away on my own, and with my friends for years now. These days I have an auto car and small caravan but the whole experience has been the making of me! I'm glad I went for it.
                Last edited by jayjay; 01-07-2013, 13:47.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Go for it! As everyone has said, you've nothing to lose and everything to gain. I'm a female solo campervanner, fairly new to it, and loving it. I learnt lots on my recent trip to various Scottish islands and came back unscathed and raring to get off again.
                  You can get a flavour of my journeys on my blog http://www.whippetywanderings.co.uk
                  Hope to hear about your travels once you take the plunge,
                  Best wishes,

                  Whippety

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Empyrean View Post
                    Wow! Thanks Andy. You're right I do want too, I want more adventures before I shuffle off etc. And yes, I do tend to think that once the money is spent it's all gone, silly really.

                    I do have a few questions but I'd better not clog up the Solo Campers thread with them.

                    Thanks again

                    Chris
                    There are lots of solo campers on here and in particular lots of solo females.

                    Last year I was undecided, couldn't decide between keeping my reliable, economical Jazz and buying a small lightweight caravan, or going the campervan route.

                    I had never been a caravaner and didn't like the idea of towing and man handling even a light one. Looked at small vans and couldn't decide kept going round in circles.

                    Eventually went to look at a few, it really is the only way, you can't decide on paper.

                    Most where way down south and too far to travel, but did find a few possibles up north, they did at the time seem to be selling very fast as well.

                    First one I saw was very nice and had just been reduced was a bargain, BUT having campervaned before in a larger van, I couldn't see it working for me, so decided a simpler less cramped conversion with pop top would be better.

                    My other (not necessarily rational) criteria was not older than my car, and not higher milage.

                    I found one but had discounted it (on paper) as it didn't mention mains hookup and showed no sockets in the photos, anyway it seemed the best bet within travelling distance and once I'd phoned them it did indede have mains, so arranged to view.

                    Well it made me smile, but there were a few concerns.

                    No leisure battery, lights and tap run off the engine battery. This has not been a problem so far.

                    Its a petrol Automatic. Not as cheap to run as my car and road tax is a lot higher.

                    Its got a few scuffs and is not as pristine as my car and there have been a few repairs needed since buying.

                    I thought initially if I tried it for a year and decided it wasn't for me, it would not be too difficult to sell and would not loose much value over a year.

                    So 1 year on and would I sell it, not a chance I love it to bits, despite one or two quirks.

                    It suits me and while I've not done as many trips as I'd have liked, those I have done (alone) I have thoroughly enjoyed.

                    Hope this helps

                    Jules

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thing is campervans tend to hold their value pretty well so re-sale should not be too much of a problem if you dont like it.

                      I always think that then when you are saving for something but then dither when it comes to actually buying it, you then end up frittering the money away on silly little things and end up regretting not jumping in when you had the chance.

                      Buy the best you can afford but budget in some contingency money as well in case things go wrong.
                      Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi Empyrean,

                        I know it can be scary to go outside your comfort zone and try something new or in this case actually hand over the hard earned cash to purchase a van, but my advice is go for it,do you due dillagence on the van, take someone with you or if you do not know someone who can help in this regard, then when you see a van you like get it checked out by the AA or a trusted garage ( it might cost you a little bit but it will give you piece of mind )

                        If you see a model of van you like, ask questions on the forum, everyone here is very helpful or google the make and model for reviews but don't over think it, once you make up your mind you like it and get it checked then just go for it.

                        Camping is fantastic fun, you can make it as comfortable or adventuress as you like, you will meet new friends and from experience I can tell you that the rally's this forum have are awesome

                        I firmly believe that like most of the others here have already said, the biggest regret you will have is when in a few years you wake up one morning and think " you know, I wish I had done that when I had the chance " you will never know if you will like something till you give it a go and the worse case would be having to sell the van again.

                        Hope to read about your new van sometime on the forum.

                        Cheers
                        Dave
                        As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do.

                        Zachary Scott

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks and I'm off...

                          Brilliant advice from e eryone and thanks for all the encouragement.

                          I'm off to see/drive a Renault Kangoo so I'll let you know when I've made a decision.

                          Here goes...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Scared to take the plunge

                            Originally posted by Empyrean View Post
                            Hi All
                            I'm thinking of buying my first camper (I had an earlier post about Suzuki Daneste) and now that I've found quite a few possible starter vans (Kangoo, Berlingo etc) I have to be honest and say that living alone I am just scared to make a decision. Sounds wimpish I know but having had, in the past, a husband who would know what to look for etc and to join me in my madness, doing this on my own is so frightening that I end up just doing the investigating bit but never taking the plunge.

                            I know you're not supposed to be therapists out there(!) but has anybody else been in this situation of wanting to do something but wondering if it's just a whim and one I'll regret?

                            Any words of wisdom anybody??

                            Thanks
                            My late husbnd and myself would caravn the length and breadh of Britain, with sometimes doing a little towing just to give him a break. This towing, usually consisted of nothing too taxing like driving in a straight line with hardly any traffic.
                            We sold the caravan when his illness was diagnosed. I never thought I would ever tow a caravan again. But 3 years ago I took the plunge and bought my little Romini. I only had vague memories of caravan procedures, because I usually just left it up to my husband and gave him a hand when he asked for it. But a bit of reading and surfing the net to refresh my memory and Off I went. Somewhere close at first. Just an hour away and not on busy roads.
                            I've been to east Yorkshire, the lakes, scottish borders, Northumberland coast. I know my limitations and what I am comfortable with. But my confidence has grown each time and I'm really grateful for the invention of the sat nav.

                            Good luck in your travels. Just take it one step at a time.

                            Pam

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Empyrean View Post
                              Brilliant advice from e eryone and thanks for all the encouragement.

                              I'm off to see/drive a Renault Kangoo so I'll let you know when I've made a decision.

                              Here goes...
                              Good luck - there's been loads of good advice already given. Hope you get the van you want and really enjoy yourself with it. I - like you - dithered a lot - mainly because of the financial commitment - even an old van seemed a lot of money to me.

                              I've had my romahome c15 hylo almost 2 yrs now - it wasn't expensive but I did have to spend a bit on it both in money and time but now I am very happy with it and as someone else said - wouldn't sell it for twice what I paid for it - but could maybe get that much if I really wanted to.

                              I mostly use my van alone (female 65+!!) and as you'll see from the forum - you won't be alone in solo camping

                              Comment

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