Gransnet forums


Buying a seaside static caravan

(39 Posts)
Witzend Sun 26-Jan-20 17:14:55

Would be interested to hear from anyone who has one, or who’s had one. Or who’s often stayed at one of the holiday parks, whether in an owned or rented one.

I know they’re not a good investment as investments go, ditto about site fees etc., but I’m primarily thinking of it for holidays for dds/partners/small Gdcs.

I’ve been looking online at Haven at Weymouth Bay, since it’d need to be somewhere not a horrendously long drive away, with indoor and outdoor pools, a nearby sandy beach, and somewhere south, for better weather.

Any thoughts/advice appreciated. I do understand that there are costs and the money would be better in ISAs but we’re thinking in terms of the family’s enjoyment rather than financial returns.

craftyone Sun 26-Jan-20 17:18:04

The modern ones are very spacious and comfortable. I think site fees are around £4000. Tbh I would go to a better site than haven. I am thinking of rowdies

tanith Sun 26-Jan-20 17:51:00

Been to Weymouth Bay camp several times with all my family over many years we all love it there. Some of the vans are just like being at home with heating, dishwashers etc. There is lots to do there and it’s a clean orderly site. I’ve never seen any ‘rowdies’ if I’m honest.

tanith Sun 26-Jan-20 17:57:59

Oh I forgot the average running costs are an eye watering 7K per annum at that site.

J52 Sun 26-Jan-20 18:00:33

As you’ve said they are not an investment and there are conditions and site fees.
It would depend on how often you are using it whether it was worthwhile. For example if the overall cost was £30,000 plus annual ground rent, how would that compare to renting one 5 times a year for the next 10 years?
All numbers are just hypothetical.

MacCavity2 Sun 26-Jan-20 18:01:23

On the borders of Hampshire/Dorset are Hoburne caravans and lodges with everything you need. Several sites. Site fees expensive but beautiful area.

Nonogran Sun 26-Jan-20 18:15:23

Statics look great but are an expensive money pit! Read the small print thoroughly. We bought a large towing cvan and leave it all year on what's called a "seasonal pitch" in Cornwall. Much less expensive & enough comfort for all our family needs. We'll never tow so we're happy to leave it there. Can't wait for April 1st! Out little bit of paradise without too many strings or worries about contracts, depreciation, or fees.

Witzend Sun 26-Jan-20 18:41:35

Thanks for replies.
Unfortunately we couldn’t have a towing one since where we live there would be nowhere to park it - at least not without profoundly annoying our neighbours, since parking is always tight.

I’d prefer to own rather than rent, so it’d be available for half terms and school holidays, and weekends when we know the weather looks promising. It’s usually too late to book anything you like by then!

Callistemon Sun 26-Jan-20 18:51:23

Nonogran said that she leaves it on the site all year though. Interesting, I didn't know you could do that.

We had a towing van but sold it a while ago. I had often thought a static van could be an option but we don't always want to go to the same place and you would need to do that to be able get any value from it.

The site fees can be very high, so I think working out the cost per annum, adding in the cost of the van over the years you would be allowed to keep it on the site could be worthwhile.

annsixty Sun 26-Jan-20 19:19:56

We had one in North Wales for several years, we loved every minute.
It does cost and you must expect that, we "used up " a considerable sum over the years but never regretted a penny.
It was our home from home, everything was there, we knew the neighbours, we knew the area and loved the walking by the sea.
If you build all this into your calculations I think you will love it.
The fact that family can use it is a real bonus and they will thank you for it.

Callistemon Sun 26-Jan-20 19:22:34

Yes, I should have factored in enjoyment!

annsixty Sun 26-Jan-20 19:36:48

To us the enjoyment factor could not be ignored or underestimated.
Very happy days.

Septimia Sun 26-Jan-20 19:45:35

Some sites have seasonal pitches for towed caravans and storage facilities for them.

Worth investigating?

Doodle Sun 26-Jan-20 20:13:41

We owned a static caravan for many years (2 actually). We loved it BUT the site costs were horrendous. Children wanted to go somewhere else for a holiday. We never had time to go and stay there because one of us was always working. It is a lovely idea and may work for you but add up all the costs for the year including possible winterising and summarising, cleaning, rental site fees etc. Then sit down and honestly think how many times you and the family would actually go (don’t assume your kids want this) and then divide the total cost by the number of weeks in a year that you would realistically stay there and see if it is at all economical or whether it would be cheaper to rent.

Doodle Sun 26-Jan-20 20:14:14

Sorry that should read 2 caravans not 2 years that we owned them.

annsixty Sun 26-Jan-20 20:24:48

We were perhaps fortunate that we bought ours after my H took very early retirement.
We were able to go when we wanted until our GD started school.
Until then we took her with us, then we were restricted as we still minded her for 3 days.
However weekends were our own and we went most Friday evening's until Monday.
I would also say the site we were on didn't allow subletting or rentals. Since we left it does, I don't know if that has changed the atmosphere.

Caramac Sun 26-Jan-20 21:27:25

We’ve had a static for 2 years. The site is open for 11 months and has indoor and outdoor pools plus a showbar. It’s a 5 minute walk to the beach. It’s a two hour drive and we go almost every weekend. We takeDGC quite often, school holidays DD(s) and DGC spend two or three weeks a year usually with me. Our dogs love going there.
Site fees are £4700 pa plus there is gas and electricity to pay for and about £100 for alarm system.
We love it and haven’t regretted it for one moment.

cornergran Sun 26-Jan-20 21:34:45

We used a fully serviced (water plumbed in and grey waste out) seasonal pitch for a few years. We paid for a pitch from Easter. People chose a range of arrangements for the winter. Some left their vans on the pitch all year round, some towed or the site owners towed their vans into a secure yard for the Winter, we chose to tow our van back home

It worked well for us, a seasonal pitch is cheaper than static pitch fees and you really don’t need to tow the van yourself if you don’t want to.

JenniferEccles Mon 27-Jan-20 11:34:12

You also need to factor in the fact that these sites will ask you to remove the caravan once it gets older.

They all want new, smart looking ones so if you bought a secondhand one initially , even one in good condition, you could well have to get rid of it after a few years, and you may find it difficult to sell .

Is there any way you could pay a bit more and buy a seaside flat instead which, over the years would be very likely to increase in value?

I know you said you weren’t worried about the depreciation, but a nice flat at a coastal resort down here in the south could prove to be a very good investment for the family in the future.

fivegee Mon 27-Jan-20 11:58:10

We've done the touring caravan on a seasonal pitch and now own a static on an adults-only site. We've no regrets whatsover at the changeover. With a tourer you have all the hassle of filling water tanks, organising the toilet container, etc, and crossing to the site toilets in bad weather when that's necessary. We're in our early 70s and had had enough of all that. The only downside we've experienced is that the static has to be winterised against freezing weather. We used a professional company this year which cost £50 but you can do it yourself. Also, not all sites demand the static be replaced after a set time. Where we are (and the owners are very particular), as long as it's kept in a good condition it can be reviewed after the "sell by" date.

Nonogran Mon 27-Jan-20 12:21:33

Folks have made some very valuable contributions to this thread. Just to be clear a seasonal pitch means you leave yr towing van on site ALL year round. We rang/visited several Cornish sites before settling for ours. We also spoke to current site residents for opinions/advice. Yes, we do have to refill out water barrels but they roll along quite easily from van to tap and back. We do use our van toilet and shower too. It's no trouble to empty loo canister and grey water canister. (No No 2's though. Loo block for that). Modern towing vans are comfy and cosy and on our site at present, some static owners with fabulous statics have been told their 15years are up so buy new, move elsewhere or pay exorbitant fees to remain. Not a happy bunch. For us, with business hat on, a static was a none starter. If I was starting over I'd still advise research, research, research & read the small print! Think of the future too as many on here have advised. One site owner told me that divorce and demise was how he had 2nd hand statics to get rid of at knock down prices! Caveat emptor. Good luck.

kathsue Mon 27-Jan-20 12:31:43

I had a caravan at a quiet site in Cornwall, about an hour's drive away, for several years. I used to go down frquently with my GS, his friends and my dog. The site was just across the road from the beach. I upgraded the caravan to one with double glazing and central heating which was very comfortable.

We had some great times down there but when GS got to be a teenager there wasn't much on the site for them to do.
They would be on their x-box in the caravan while I was out walking the dog.

The site fees went up every year and in the end I decided it was time to sell up. I had to sell it back to the site owners at a fraction of what I'd paid for it.

I would suggest you take a holiday at the site you are interested to get a better idea of what there is to do on the site and around the area.

If you think you and your family will get enough use out of it, I would say go for it. It's great to be able to just get away for the weekend whenever you fancy.

Witzend Mon 27-Jan-20 12:36:43

@JenniferEccles, yes, having looked into it thoroughly before, I know that proper bricks and mortar would be a much better investment from a financial POV, but buying anything we’d want in an area we’d want, would cost probably at least 5 times more than the sort of new, 3 bed static I’ve been looking at online. Plus I’m thinking of all the on-site activities for Gdcs, currently 4, 3 and 3 weeks! - so a lot of future school holidays to think of. The elder 2 are already good little swimmers, so indoor/outdoor pools would be brilliant.

However, if you know of any southern England seaside resort where good size flats are going very cheap, I’d love to hear about it!

As dh said yesterday re depreciation, ‘Well, at least it’d ultimately be less for the taxman.’ Which is something, since I’d thought he’d be reluctant to consider it at all.

Roweenaa Mon 27-Jan-20 12:41:30

Why not experiment with booking a week at a few different places first. Invite grandchildren for a weekend visit and get the whole family view. As they get higger they want different facilities.

GillT57 Mon 27-Jan-20 13:10:38

i read this thread with interest until the bit about £7k annual fees!! Crikey, that would pay for a lot of holidays........