Sunday, 13 July 2014

Planning for a frugal future

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hello Dear Reader,

Take a look at yesterday's post and you will see my giveaway of fabric so you can make your own quilt. I'm digging out lots of other goodies too that will be added to the giveaway over the week. Make sure you read the T&Cs and why not have a go and enter.





I thought I would share my frugal plans for the future.

We live in a cute cottage in Cornwall and in six years it will be all paid for. We plan to go away in the summer holiday and rent it out whilst we are away. Where will you live Froogs? Well, my plan is to have a caravan or motorhome and live in that and travel every summer with my rented house paying for my time away.

We took ourselves to a trade show today to do some research. We know little or nothing about caravans and even less about motorhomes. We have got lots of plans for our future and that's what we're working for. I know I would have to have a very small sewing machine! It's just like ordinary life but in minature.



Here's what we found out. You get a lot of caravan for your money and not a lot of motorhome for your money. Caravans depreciate really quickly but motorhomes keep their value for a lot longer than you'd think. 



We looked at and got in older motorhomes; some as much as twelve years old but with very low miles. Even as low as 8000 miles and ten years old. However, the living quarters were worse for wear. For a fraction of the price you can buy a caravan and you can buy a used one for around £5000 that would last a few years. 

We found out a lot about mobile home and caravan owners. They are a chatty friendly bunch who are happy to tell you about their travels. Also, they are a thrifty lot. They want a lot of holiday for their money and know the good value sites. They like to travel far and wide and see as much as possible on a tight budget.

That all sounds like us!

We now have another long term financial plan to save up for either a caravan or motor home. A caravan would require the car to have a tow hook and a driving course. We would also have to source storage and having it serviced every year. 

Living in a caravan whilst your home is rented is more popular than you would think in Cornwall. It's so popular that caravan sites rent out pitches for the entire summer so the family or couple can carry on normal life such as going to school or work and they can service their home on 'change over day'. 

Now, over to your Dear Reader. Is anyone out there a caravanner? Do you own a motor home? Do you go away with pets? Does anyone's pets have a passport? What sort of caravan or motorhome do you have? Is it a thrifty and affordable way to travel and have holidays?

I'd love to hear your thought on this.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs 

41 comments:

  1. we would love a motorhome but as you say they are very expensive, we have done some research and have found that you can buy a low mileage and not too old second hand hightop van such as a peugeot boxer or fiat ducato and have it converted, or convert it yourself if you are handy (or have a handy husband), then you get it designed to your spec too. Lots of companies do conversions now and you can get a much more up to date motorhome that way. Good luck, I think you will get there before I do!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How strange Froogs, my husband and I were discussing the very same thing today. We live in Dorset and will be downsizing in a few years when the children have finished uni. We didn't think of the possibility of letting the house while we travel! Real food for thought. Thank you! Penny L xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where will you store it for the rest of the year when you are not using it? How much will it cost to store? Do you have a vehicle that will pull a caravan? If you buy a motor home, will you take bicycles to get around the areas you are visiting? Have you considered the cost of petrol to move a motor home or pull a caravan? Have you looked into renting a caravan or motor home? Just things to consider.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. rent a space in storage near by £250 per year. I have the tow car of the year according to Practical Caravan magazine. Yes we have bikes and will bike everywhere.

      Delete
  4. sounds like a great plan!! You live in such a beautiful area and the romantic notion of living in a small cottage in your part of England is a dream for many people, I know!

    Before we sold our farm and moved to the cottage on the lake full time we rented it, ( our cottage on the lake) it was not a good experience for us, we had in total over three years twelve different people rent it, the one family trashed it, disappeared and we were left with a mess and a lot of work, I don't mean to be a naysayer, just telling our experience, there is always one bad apple and that was all it took for us, once burned , twice shy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. wow that sounds soo cool I want to do that in future!
    our cat has a chip and passport 'cause we used to live on the borderline between two countries; the next cat we'll get, we'll take camping from the start, so we don't have to leave it behind. We know people who do that! Good luck on your decisions!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My husband and I live in NZ but are originally from the UK. We bought a 1990 Chasson motorhome in 2005 for about 4,000 UKP. It had a very low mileage. Between our daughter and us we had 4 long holidays, touring around Europe and sold it 4 years later for nearly the same price. We then bought a 2 year old Caricoa motorhome and imported it back to NZ with the express intention of swapping it with people from other countries. There are websites where you can arrange the swaps. It is all done on trust so can be a bit scary at times but we have met some wonderful people. We have done 5 swaps now. Last year we even rented our house which paid for our airfares. As you probably know in France every town has an aires site where you can camp for a couple of euros (some are better than others but don't ever use the aires on the side of the motorways as everyone says they can be unsafe), also Germany have stellplatz. Also we have had two holidays on a canal boat in Cheshire. The owners are a lovely couple who are coming here next January to use our van. You would have no problem swapping your cottage for a motorhome we are sure. Just a note with regard to buying a secondhand caravan, you have to check for damp which is something that older vans can suffer from. We love our motorhome holidays and would never be able to afford to take a 6 month holiday any other way.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We have a an older truck with a camper that sits in the box. I know you don't have these in most European countries, because we have had tourists that tell us so. It has a queen size bed, stove with an oven , small refrigerator and a kitchen area. We are fortunate that ours has a toilet as well. My husband fit it with a solar panel and extra batteries and I can bring a small sewing machine to do quilt blocks while he goes fishing. I guess you need to think about your transportation when you get to where ever you are going. With a motorhome ,you would need to drive it everywhere, with a caravan you can unhitch and use the car. As well the motorhome would not get the fuel mileage that a car would get. Good used caravans are a great price, even here in Canada. Good luck with the research.
    Barb

    ReplyDelete
  8. We have a caravan we bought it with the bank charges that we were able to get back from the bank (yes it can be done) so it was a way for us to afford cheap holidays in the summer with our children. Ours is an old one but you are right you can pick up perfectly good ones for very little. Just check on the pulling capability of your car as to what size caravan to get. We keep ours on site in the summer at a very reasonable place and they are kind enough to store it for us over winter as well. We find it a little tight on size at times but with 2 adults and two teens we expand the size with an awning. Sounds like a good plan joining the caravan club gives access to some very affordable sites too. You will definitely love the life.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great idea! We have a caravan and it means we can have 5 weeks and a few weekends away in the uk each year. It's not for everyone admittedly, but we love the freedom it gives us to go anywhere. And yes, I have taken my sewing machine on holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a great plan Froogs, especially with the money you get for renting your property to pay for flights and pitch costs, a very good idea. We have a static caravan which we love very much and spend several days each week there. We are toying with the idea of buying a camper van so we can travel further afield. Like you we are unsure what is the best option, as touring caravans are cheaper, but don't hold their price when selling on, also you need a towing car. Whereas the camper van keeps it's value, but you have to take your whole home with you when you want to go out for the day and I can't ride a bike!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I LOVE my caravan! We have been caravanning for over 20 years and have never got bored with it. We will be packing next week for our hols, no plans just go where the sun shines for as long as we want. Thats the beauty of being retired I guess. We have everything we need including a solar panel so don't require the large commercial sites, we much prefer 5 van sites or the temporary holiday sites run by Camping Club members for its members, they usually charge around a tenner a night per unit but if you look round you can find hidden gems at a fiver. We are lucky in that we can keep our van in the back garden so no storage fees to pay. We don't have any pets but I dont think you will have any problems with your dogs, most places allow them if they are kept on a lead, the temporary sites we have been on have there own dog walk area with bins. Go for it Froogs, I'm sure you will enjoy it! xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi froogs we've been reading your blog for a long time, you've inspired us to pay off our mortgage. It's hard some days to keep frugal but know it's not for ever and we also want to get a motorhome and go traveling. Keep doing what you do, you really help keep going.so a big thankyou to you

    ReplyDelete
  13. we love camping and are currently doing up a vw t25

    ReplyDelete
  14. this is a dream of mine, getiing a motor home, in the distant future, I hope you get one. I love the quilt you have just made, Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh yes we caravan. We bought a new one a few years ago and have already travelled half way around Australia. That's when I took up knitting and crochet. Much easier to carry around and do anywhere. Even riding in the car! As we have paid our house off we decided the extra expense of new was wroth it. And I love my van it's a great way to travel.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We've had a couple of holidays in motorhomes and have absolutely loved them and the freedom they offer you. In some places we found the campsites weren't as cheap as we expected and tend to be more expensive if you need hook up obviously. There are sometimes cheaper alternatives if you know where to find them, but there are also laws preventing you parking up in certain places overnight. We would love our own motorhome so we could take the dog with us, but they are pretty expensive and living in London parking them up in the street is a bit of a problem. We are going to stick with renting them for the moment if we can rent ones that allows dogs to be taken. Our dog has a pet passport. It was pretty simple to organise. As long as they're microchipped, injections up to date (especially rabies) and have been wormed before travel and on return to UK. We took the dog to France for a weekend last year to test it out and it worked really well. If you were going for longer, you have to make sure you see a vet abroad and get them wormed before the return journey, as they won't get back into the UK if they aren't. Customs website is quite helpful in this regard. I think there are different requirements for different countries, so you have to check the requirements for your destination. The French seemed pretty easy going with regard to pets in hotels and apartments when we were there.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We'll we have had both. We now have a boat. The motor home requires tax, insurance and mot but many people wild camp . In our two local villages you can see MH's in the small carpark. One is at our marina where we have out boat.
    Caravans I only stayed in camp sites due to needing to unhook to go and have a look around places.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Froogs it is great to plan ahead. Many older folk sunbird in Australia and many use caravans or motorhomes to do so. I am more in favour of a van as you can leave it on site if you need to use the car during the day. I have even seen rigs with a four wheel drive, a caravan and a micro car on the back of that. As it is just me now I would probably would not use a van because I do not think I would be the best tow and park person.

    It is a micro home indeed and can be great fun. As for smaller machines mum has an original singer featherlight/weight. It is tiny, ancient and only straight sews. Perfect for quilting on the go. I know ladies who travel and they do a mountain of the hand work while the other half drives! You do need to be very tidy and organised and I know many quilt guilds love to welcome those on the road.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great plan Froogs! We tent it but have the climate to do so (Australia). I love the motor homes but my other half always says your best off having your living quarters separate to your vehicle. That way you don't have to pack every think up every time you go in the vehicle, you can unhitch the van and go off road while with a motor home (unless its a very expensive off roader) your less able to do this, and if your tires go on the caravan you still have a car while with a motor home your stuffed. However I do like those motor homes anyhow ; )

    ReplyDelete
  20. My experience is only in the states. We owned a motorhome and pull behind trailer (Caravan?). Each had it's pros and cons. Pros: The motorhome made traveling so much easier with an active little one and the dog. They could get up and stretch or go potty easily, we are all tall and leg room was wonderful. Everything is set up so if we were just spending a night it was quick and easy. We could pull the boat if we chose to take it. Cons: Filling the gas tank was a killer. If you go somewhere and want to leave the site alternative transportation is needed (you mentioned having a bike) so that limits what you want to see (distance) from your site. Repeat filling the gas tank was killer :o) Pros: the trailer (caravan) all the Cons above are now Pros. Pros above are Cons. We always traveled with a dog 60 pounds or larger. Definitely the motor home was best. The dog had room to walk around as we were driving and there was much more room in the motorhome than in the trailer. Our motor home was more secure to keep the dog when we went away from the site and could not take them. Our trailer had partial "soft" sides and it always worried me when we were in bear country or it would see something and try to get out. Both had air conditioning so the dog was comfortable. We gave up our motorhome because of the gas expense. It was killer, did I mention that? :o) If we were just going one place and going to stay the entire holiday we might have kept it. Our first trailer put a lot of wear and tear on our vehicle pulling it. When we got a truck, hauling was easier but we could not take the boat.(but we could fit kayaks in the back of the truck.) Either way you choose I lie camping so much more than staying in a hotel during warmer months. Cooking and sitting around a camp fire can't be beat.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi we have just come back from travelling around the South Island here in New Zealand in our caravan that was imported from the UK. We absolutely loved it had a ball. Our criteria for the caravan it had to have a separate table away from the lounge part so that while we were away I could still run our business from the lap top.
    we are so looking forward to go back down south again in November we save an amount each month so that we can do it. We live in the North Island of New Zealand.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love the idea of caravan and motorhome. Motorhome could be easier to drive, whilst a caravan gives you a base to travel and do sightseeing.
    With 5 of us it's a great cheaper alternative form of holidaying. great idea to rent out your house, must look into that.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Froogs. Love this idea! I enjoyed so many caravan holidays growing up and now love camping though to be really cheap you have to hunt for good places and try to be as self - sufficient as possible. Do as much as you can to secure your caravan. Your life is going to be super relaxed and awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi We have a large German van with a fixed bed, Having had several vans before, and facing the hassle of making up the bed everynight, fixed beds are the way to go.Also the build quality of German vans are second to none. Many fellow caravanners have spent £20.000+ on UK vans, and have had many problems from water ingress, to poor build quality.We are members of the Caravan club and this enables us to use CL sites at very reasonable cost.An awning can double the living space, we have had many, butprefer the Fiamma caravanstore which stays permenantely attatched to the van, and can be rolled up in seconds for shelter, then add sides and front for a waterproof awning.You will enjoy the freedom of owning your little home on wheels.Our first van was very old fashioned, but solid and watertight, I enjoyed recovering the upholstery and making curtains, all cheaply with ebay fabric of course.As well as storage fees, annual servicing is £200 and insurance is £150, but we have a 27ft twin axle.Preloved and classified ads are good places to search, also they tend to be cheaper in the Autumn.Good luck xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. I know a couple who did just what you did, rented out their house so that they could travel, with their dog, in a motor home. More than 6 years later they are still on the road, the house is rented, they have a friendly postal collection point (the tenants help out with that) and they make more than they need to live on each month. Not quite like your plans, but it shows that life on the road really works. Another friend motorhomed across Australia - with her sewing machine and when they were in a spot for a few days at a time, she made quilts. So there you go!
    Liz x

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, if you ever get a motorhome, you have to check this site: http://www.france-passion.co.uk/. The principle is that you buy their guide (~£25) and for maximum a year, all over France farmers and wine-growers invite you to stopover freely on their property, day or night, for up to 24hrs. We rented a motorhome for two weeks and did a "Tour de France" a few years ago using this system, and it was an amazing trip!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Froogs,

    We have caravanned for well over 30 years and have a little one we can tow behind our small car with ease.

    Look for one with and end bathroom, beds do not have to be a pain if you use sleeping bags, just chuck the bag down and get in. I bought silk linings for our, had 4 so changed them after a week, quick rinse through and they dry quickly. End bathroom, one of you can shower and dress in the bathroom whilst the other sorts breakfast etc.

    The killer is fuel, your consumption will shoot up when you are towing, About half the usual miles to the gallon as you would do.

    Aim to look for a second hand one where someone is giving up, you can get the van inspected to make sure its ok and often they are sold with all the accessories, saves you a packet. CL's are the way to go, much cheaper. Look on the net for a list of basics, you can add the frills if you need them bit by bit. One thing I would say is buy a caravan electric kettle and also a toaster, saves using the gas and if you are on a site with electris you might as well use it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Looking very svelte these days froogs! I have a motorhome rather than a caravan - because I like 'wild camping', where you basically pull up somewhere out of the way (usually in a breathtakingly beautiful National Park or such) and stay overnight - I have woken up in the most wonderful locations, but you have to be prepared to move on quickly if asked and to get there late and leave early. Also these spots are usually down little lanes or in places a caravan would be difficult to get to. I gather that lots of European Countries have laws which allow you to pretty much camp anywhere, so would think a motorhome would trump a caravan.

    However, if you are planning on only staying in proper 'sites' a caravan is bigger and more comfortable.

    How exciting though!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Before you make your decision between a motor home or a caravan you need to decide what type of holidays you are going to take. We went through this process and hired a motorhome first. It did not suit our holiday mode which is to dump you home somewhere else and then go out for days in the car. If you intend not spending much time on site and touring around then maybe a motorhome is for you. The disadvantages we found with the motor home were that leveling it is not too easy and sleeping at an angle is very uncomfortable. If you need to go out for a packet of frozen peas or a box of matches you have to pack everything away which is a pain. Then there is parking which is not easy in small villages etc so we opted for a caravan which solves all these problems. However we have friends who motorhome but they only spend a day or two on site then move on so their holidays are largely driving. Hope this is some help to you before you make your choice.

    ReplyDelete
  30. In 34 years of married life we've had 3 tents, 4 caravans and 2 motorhomes, now we just have the site for visitors to stay on with THEIR tents, caravans and motorhomes!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your blog today today was of special interest to me. After 8 years of travelling around Australia towing a caravan behind a 4 wheel drive we decided to have a big sell up of various things and invest in a motor home. As you so rightly say, a motor home is vastly more expensive than a caravan but when you take a towing vehicle into account too it does bring the cost up. Here in Australia our caravans are heavier and most are towed by powerful gas guzzling 4 wheel drive vehicles that are expensive to buy and run. After our last trip in November we decided to sell both caravan and 4 wheel drive, along with a veteran car which we seldom used and at last were in a position to buy our motorhome. Wow, they were so expensive and well worn, like you saw yourself. After chasing dozens on the Internet and adverts we had all but given up of finding something suitable, our neighbours have just what we wanted and a chance comment that we were looking for one just like theirs and they offered to sell it to us. The price was just right and they had looked after it both inside and mechanically and have done so many useful alterations that we can't believe our luck.
    I can agree wholeheartedly that travelling is a wonderful life, yes, the folk you meet are friendly and chatty and many travel with their dog(s) just like us. We have had such a great time and now we are that bit older and finding hitching up the caravan hard work we thought a motor home was the way to go, less work but still all the fun.
    Enjoy looking at all the alternatives and ask your many blog followers for any advice you may want, so many of us are caravan nears with years of experience and are always happy to impart our knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  32. We considered this idea and then came up with a different one, we are going to have 2 log cabin style holiday homes on our land (planning permission permitting), we will live in one of them and rent out our house (sleeps 6) and the other one (will sleep 2) to give us an income.

    It's a brilliant idea to rent out your house and to travel for the time it's rented, if you do things carefully you could even end up with a little bit of profit. But it would have to be a continuous let or you will need a friend to come in and clean after each set of holiday renters.

    Brilliant idea though.

    I think after reading through the comments I would plump for a caravan rather than a motor home, which way are you swinging at the moment?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm definitely thinking caravan. Cheaper. When we get where we go, we tend to go every where on our bicycles. I will rent the house out via Frugal Queen. It will be a frugal holiday home. People will get a cheap rental for a holiday in Cornwall but will have to clean at the end of the stay and bring their own bedding and towels. We would probably go away for a couple of months and would charge around £250 a week for the house. In Cornwall, you can pay up to £750 a week for a holiday house and up to £1500 for a coastal house with fancy decor. I'll try it next year when I go on holiday. I'll rent the house out on here and see how the experience goes.

      Delete
    2. A good idea, and by doing it through the Blog you will be able to 'know' a bit more about the folk that rent your house and have some reassurance about them.

      Pop me on the list, I would love a week in Cornwall, it's one of my favourite places.

      Delete
  33. We have a caravan and have had one for about 5 of years, we are on our second one as we needed more sleeping space for older son as the bunk in the old one was too small for him (he is six foot now at 15). My husband had to talk me into it but I wouldn't be without it now. We bought the first 4 berth one for £950 pounds on ebay, I recovered all the seats, husband put down laminate it looked great! (I did a post on this) We had a lot of holidays in it and when we sold it on we made a profit. We bought the next one on ebay again, this time a 5 berth so two double beds and a bunk, all converts to seating. My husband soon got the hang of towing and didn't need a course, just common sense and the right mirrors. I wouldn't worry about interiors too much as with your skills you can revamp them, do look out for mould though and avoid this or you will be taking on work. We have looked at motor homes but like you said, very little living space, expensive and then you have tax and motor repairs on that also. I also work in education so if we didn't have the caravan we wouldn't have all the cheap little breaks that we do. I would say look at doing one up, you'll love it. Oh one last thing people who are selling up often sell all the necessary equipment too.

    ReplyDelete
  34. We have had tents, caravans, a folding caravan, a trailer tent and a motor home. We finally settled on a caravan. I think they are more useful as you don't have to MOT or tax or have serviced, or insure if you don't want to. For some time we had it left permanently on a site on the coast. I think it cost about £1000 per year but you could go any time and stay or tow it away. I also let my children and various family members use it. We have now given up caravanning as my husbands eye sight is not as good as it was and basically we cant afford the upkeep now we are on a pension. I do miss it though. Having our own little snail shell available to go away at weekends or for holidays. We have been to Cornwall many times in caravans and motor homes. Get a smallish, oldish caravan to start with and go from there. You will have so much fun.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sounds fun!!
    Perhaps you can rent one for a week or so, to see how you like it.
    We live in the states, and we have been tent camping for years, but I am getting too old for that, I think. ;) We bought an older motor home several years ago, but I didn't like it. It was too big really, and it blew a tire and scared me. We have gone back to a popup for weekend camping trips. Love making happy memories with my family.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Froogs, you took the words (and the dream) right out of our mouths. Bought our RV as per our retirememt wish list and off we are going:
    http://thriftyat60.blogspot.com/2014/07/oh-how-i-wish-again-i-was-in-michigan.html

    Here's to frugla happy trails this side of the pond!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sounds fab! A caravan is a great investment in terms of trips and holidays to come that won't cost a fortune. We have a vintage 1947 American Airstream that we bought several years ago. My hubby and I had both always wanted one since we were kids and were made up to have been able to get one even though it needed- and still needs - some work. It's a labour of love and is all our future holidays. You'll never regret getting a caravan. It's basically a holiday home on a budget.x

    ReplyDelete
  38. We have a caravan and two dogs, in the 4 years since we have had the van we have been all over and seen so many place in England that we would never have seen before we brought a caravan. The caravan changed our life.

    ReplyDelete

If you want to comment but don't want the comment to be published - please let me know in the FIRST LINE of your comment .Comments are moderated and may get published. Trolls are ignored!