Choosing a caravan site is a huge decision, but it is only half of the selection process. The remainder of the process is taken up by selecting a pitch and a caravan. These options were outlined to us on our sales visit.
The majority of the owner pitches at Thorness Bay are located at the top of the site. When selecting a pitch, you choice is limited to the pitches which are free, and obviously the best pitch sites are always in high demand.
Remember that, any pitches you are shown during your visit, may be either occupied or vacant. In our case, the caravan we selected for our trial buy was already sited on the pitch we desired.
We were really impressed by the peaceful setting and atmosphere on the park, and were instantly struck by how well maintained the caravan units and pitches were. We opted for vacant pitch #54 in the Solent Breeze area, near the new Luxury Lodge development.
The sea view, just beyond an attractive looking treeline, made this pitch an instant winner for us, as did the handy road that connects this area of the park to the surrounding area. This would allow us to access the pitch without having to drive through the middle of the park; a major benefit, particularly during peak season.
Small details like this should always be taken into account when selecting a caravan pitch.
One downside was that the pitch was located some distance from the park’s main facilities, but – when weighed up against the benefits of a beautiful view and a quiet pitch location – we decided that this was a price we were willing to pay.
Another bonus was the inclusion of a car parking space directly behind the holiday home. It is always vital to check parking options and the park’s own access rules.
Because of our trial buy budget and our requirements, our only option was to purchase a second hand caravan unit. This is very often the best way for a first time buyer to take their first step on the ownership ladder.
Why Second Hand?
- Cheaper than new
- The effects of depreciation are lessened
- Gives the opportunity to upgrade later on
- Gives the opportunity to check that the ownership lifestyle is for you before investing in a new unit.
- Provides more space for your money
- Already available; no need to wait for the caravan to be installed on the site
- Already full furnished
A second hand caravan will, unfortunately, feature a more limited warranty than the ones available with a new caravan. We decided that this was worth it, when compared to the above benefits.
When buying a car, it is fairly easy to obtain an independent valuation on the used vehicle. This is less easy when purchasing a used holiday caravan. The value of a second hand caravan value is derived from its trade price combined with that of the pitch it is situated on. Be sure to bear this in mind when purchasing a unit.
We decided to opt for the Mirage 35' x 10' 2003 caravan unit, with three bedrooms. The unit was in excellent condition both internally and externally, and featured a modern kitchen and living area. The living room came complete with a main gas fire, and electric heaters were found in other rooms. Unfortunately the unit was not double glazed.
As with any purchase, optional extras add to the overall cost. These included:
- An outside storage box
- An alarm
- A veranda