Saturday, 30 June 2012

Decision Time!

We have sort of come to a cross roads!


To bring you up to date, and for the benefit of any new readers who have tagged along for our journey through life. We are a mid 40's couple who have no dependents, just "China" dog.


We sold up in August 2010 and bought an all singing and dancing Lunar Lexon 640 twin axle caravan with a fixed island bed.


With a full size awning, two 4x4's and both working full time, we live in our caravan, moving from site to site in the New Forest area of Southern England.


Back at the start of the year I took my bus/coach driving test and started driving buses for a living. We wanted to be nearer "M"s family so moved down to the Lymington and New Milton area.


I then got a transfer (which goes ahead later in July) to Lymington, this then cuts out a 60 mile round trip to work every day for me! Instead I will have a 10 minute journey. Not only that but with moving to this new company it gives me a minimum extra £100.00 a week pay rise, so a good deal all round.


Now the dilemma we have, is that on one of the sites that we have been staying at we have been offered a static caravan  for rent, which actually costs us less than our site fee's!


The static caravan is on it's on, secluded and over looks a field and the camp site. Its a few years old, so not in the best of condition, but it appears solid enough, with electric on a meter and gas via propane bottles with a hot water on demand boiler.


It's a one bedroom caravan, with a kitchen dining area, sitting room and bathroom with shower. The outside has a decked area and some rather overgrown shrubs!


We have worked out the figures and with having to pay for electricity, budgeted well above what we would use and gas usage it all works out about even. But to be honest you never really know the true cost till you start using it! Up till that point it's pure guess work.


So, do we curtail our nomadic existence for the present time and become rooted or do we continue as we are in our caravan?


After all this is the area we want to be in for the next few years. 


Pro's and Con's


For moving into the static caravan


We would have more room!
Running water/flush loo/shower.
Not have to keep moving on.
No maintenance
It has a secluded decking area.
We would not have to worry each time it gets windy that the awning will collapse!
Being able to go away at weekends.
Less wear and tear on our caravan.


For staying as we are


Loss of lifestyle
Feeling as if we have taken an easy option if we do move in.
The kitchen requires a bit of work.


We will not be selling the caravan, that will remain on site. At the moment we have not had a weekend away for months. The problem being once you are all set up with the large awning it is a bit of a bugger to pack it all up for a couple of days away. We even said recently that it might be a good idea to buy a really cheap 2 berth caravan for weekends!


If the caravan is sat there ready to hook up, I'm sure we would get away even for just a night!


We have to remind ourselves why we started this in the first place, it wasn't some romantic idea to drop out of society and go green. It was purely financial.


Now, after working out the figures and taking everything into account, it does suggest that moving into the static caravan seems a good idea.


Personally, I'm warming to the idea, not having to worry about the weather is one of the biggest things for me. If we did not have the awning up I wouldn't worry at all, but with our monster awning then it does become a problem.


As I write, it's the middle of summer, and the wind is battering our awning, and this is the summer! What the heck is winter going to be like, and it is only just around the corner! Living only a couple of miles from the coast, the wind was one thing I did not consider when we moved here.


From a financial point of view, it works out around even, I would even say that it comes in just under what we are currently paying.


All this suggests that it is a good idea. We have both said, "Why not try it" "What have we got to loose"? if we hate it, we just go back to the caravan!


So with that in mind, we are off to speak to the owner later on and see if we can do a deal.


I would be interested to hear what you have to say though, the more opinions the better so don't hold back!


Till later........................

20 comments:

  1. older static caravans are very often single glazed and it will cost a fortune to keep it warm in the winter and then there,s the condensation...

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  2. Hi Geoff even though it's a few years old it has been modernised with a new floor and house double glazing windows fitted along with door etc! So no worries on that score.

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  3. If the costs are equal it sounds like a good idea. I always thought statics cost much more but from you have found a situation where this is not true. Will you be changing the blog title to 'OurLifeInStatic'?

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  4. Interesting conundrum....

    Most sites round here with statics only full-time occupation for 10 months of the year. Residents have to be off site from the beginning of January through till March, which are generally the worst months weatherwise. If that applies to you, of course you'd still have your tourer so could move back into that for the duration, but once again you'd be at the mercy of the winter weather.

    You've nothing to lose by giving it a go though, and see how you like it.

    Good luck!
    Sandra

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    1. Hi Sandra, that wont apply to us here as it is the only static here on not attached directly to the site.

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  5. If you did give it a go I presume you would want to do it up a bit and tidy up the bushes etc. Maybe you could ask for this to be taken into consideration.... 1 months free rent if you do it up? It would be a shame to spend time & money doing all that then deciding it wasnt for you.
    If you stay as you are, could you get away with only using a small awning in the winter & get it down quick in windy weather? We had a small motorhome and used a day tent. Like a sturdy gazebo with 4 sides ziped in that could be rolled up or held up on poles. Ideal for storage & bbqing in and it isnt attached to van so felt safer in the wind. Have you met anyone else on that site that has a static there? Are they all 'let out' or are some privately owned and sited there? Id want to know what my prospective neighbours were like. Hard decision! Good luck!

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  6. Hi Sandra, a deal has been struck as we needed a place to store our caravan and trailer, so we are getting that for free, I empty the bins when required and "M" is giving the loo and shower a once over. Both happy with that.
    We are getting a reduced rate on the static as part of the deal. No neighbours, we are the only ones!
    We do have a small porch awning that we use, but even that would not hold up to the strong winds that we have been having recently. The main problem being when we are both out to work all day.
    We are going to give it a go, we have nothing to loose.
    At least we can then give advice on living like this as well!

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  7. We have had tourers and statics and I much prefer the statics. We now live in a bungalow but still go on holiday in statics as I love them so much.
    Sairy

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  8. I have just found your blog and am finding it very useful and informative.
    I keep thinking of doing this, usually after returning from a holiday which we have having just spent a week in a static in Newquay.
    I would love to take the plunge

    Andy

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  9. Apologies if this has been asked befor but how do you receive your post?

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  10. will you have to pay council tax if you stay on site for the whole year
    bill

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  11. By the look of it, you'll be all legal as you'll be site wardens, and as such all covered by the fact you are working the land.

    I had full-timers look down their noses at me when I retreated to bricks n mortar in the winter, but it worked for me. Full-timing can be hard work when you have a job too. Fun, but sometimes hard work.

    What have you got to loose? I'd give it a go for a few months then re-evaluate.

    But the simplest option (preach preach) is to get rid of even more stuff and do away with the awning. Then you'd alsobe free to hitch up and go just when you want. But you say that your motivation is financial not nomadic... So we're back to trying out the static.

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  12. I say go for it!! I've followed your blog from the beginning and you've had some rough times that's for sure.
    The static would be great with the winter months looming up and you'll still have your caravan so you're keeping all of your options open....what have you got to lose eh!!
    you'll get to go away for the odd weekend if you want to, more space when you're stuck in more in the winter, china dog will love the change too!
    I shall look forward to seeing what you decide and hope if you do go static , that you'll still write on the blog so we can see how you adjust!
    Angela and Peter

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  13. Go for it Jools and M. Like you say nothing to loose. Hope it all works out and looking forward to you telling us all about it in future blogs. Kev (the old man scaley back) sends his regards to you both and always asks me if I've had any contact with you. Take care and good luck with the move!!!

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  14. Well,It's been quite obvious to me for quite some time that you have not been totally happy with your attempt at the nomadic lifestyle.Try,as you may,in your many postings,to convince the reader that you found some kind of Utopia on wheels,in fact,the only one that you were trying to convince was yourself!
    I've spent most of my 62 years "travelling",one way or another.I've seen 'em come,and I've seen 'em go. Its either in your blood,in your bones,or its not,and in all honesty Jules,it is not in your blood.You admit as much by saying that you did it purely for financial reasons! Don't get me wrong,I'm not knocking you for trying.Better to have tried,and failed,than not to have tried at all.
    As far as the static is concerned,I hope it works out for you and yours,but,and its a very big but,if you think that the running costs will be anywhere near as low as a 'van,you are very much mistaken.Sure,you can do the sums on a piece of paper,and the answer will be whatever you want it to be,but the reality will be somewhat different,ie,a lot more than you think. Believe me,I've tried it. A static van,in winter,is colder than a witches tit!
    Best of luck.
    ps, well,you did ask for opinions!

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    1. Thanks for your honest opinion all though I don't feel for one moment think we have failed in any way shape or form. We are not getting rid of the caravan, it is on stand by as I have the same concerns over heating, all though as we are paying very little for the static even in winter we would have to spend a considerable amount of money on heating and I do mean in excess of £100 per month for it not to be still a viable option.

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  15. Gas in the winter will be your main increase in costs. Static vans are less well insulated than tourers, and as you say, you will have more space to heat. My brother lived in his static for a year whilst he was building his own house. They were very cold through the winter, and spend a considerable sum on propane.

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  16. By moving into a static are you not taking a step backwards? The whole reason you moved into the caravan in the first place was to get away from the rent & bills! If the awning is such a problem don't put it up in the first place. We live in our Unicorn Barcelona without an awning and it's not a problem

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  17. its a Gypsey life 4 me !!!!!

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