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How to buy a SH Caravan

Hi there! I came back with a funny story. I’ll tell you what adventures I went through when I bought the caravan, and at the end of the article, I leave some tips, which I

Hi there!

I came back with a funny story. I’ll tell you what adventures I went through when I bought the caravan, and at the end of the article, I leave some tips, which I learned from my experience.

Recently, we decided to buy a caravan. When you have a dog, the trips are no longer so simple in Romania, because you are not allowed anywhere with your pet. And if you still find a guesthouse around here, in restaurants it is quite difficult to let you inside, with your little friend.

So we decided that it is ideal to buy a caravan, and to cross the country long and wide, with our quadruped friend.

Our budget was not too big, so a new caravan didn’t pose the problem. So I chose the SH variant and I searched like all Romanian, a caravan on mobile.de.

However, I said to keep an eye on the ads in Romania, and yes, I also found new perfectly polished caravans in Pecica, Arad. And we are quite tempted by this option, but I gave up the idea after reading about the stolen England caravans, and where do you think they are brought? Yes … right here in Pecica. For me the saying is valid: “good guard passes bad danger”, so I eliminated this variant.

We returned to look for caravans in Germany, on mobile.de, and our attention was drawn to a Fendt Diamond 650 from 2000, somewhere at 4000 €. The price was more than convenient, and the caravan looked great in the pictures. We paid a cash advance through the bank, to reserve our caravan, and we quickly got in the car, marching cheerfully to Bremen, in the north of Germany, about 2000 km away from Bucharest. We chose to go through Romania at night, and we left home around 22 o’clock.

The weather seemed to be with us, and this beginning of February seemed rather like the end of March. We stopped at KFC Tata in Hungary, which in my opinion is the best KFC in the world. I ate the best fries here. Every time I pass this KFC I stop to eat a huge portion of fries. I hardly left the best KFC behind, and started on the road.

Pirna

Here we come to Germany too! On our way, we wanted to visit Bastei, a super tourist sight near Pirna. On the bank of the river Elba, a stone bridge rises imposingly, which elegantly laces the sharp corners of the rock. The bridge links the stone castle – Neurathen, from Bastei, through a harmonious interweaving of nature with the work of man, in a framework that is difficult for you to detach. I longed to see the Bastei bridge, and now was the time, especially since we didn’t get much out of the way, and we hoped we would fit in in time. But I reached the foot of the mountain at about 5 pm, when the sleepy sun left the cold darkness behind. The fog covered the heights of the cold rocks, and the bridge of Bastei mysteriously disappeared into the clouds. The temptation to stay overnight was huge, because the place has a rapturous beauty, but the weather was beginning to wane, and a long way was waiting for us.

I spent the night in Dresden, at a very friendly hotel. We rested, and early in the morning we went to Bremen to see the caravan. We reached the dealership, and our caravan was tied to his car, ready to be “visited.” First impression? A monster !! Don’t get me wrong, but the caravan is 8.5 meters long, and anchored by the car you get somewhere at 13 meters. This size overwhelms you and discourages you terribly. Outside, the caravan looked really good. We were going to see inside too.

I confess that before we went on the road we watched on youtube videos about how to buy a used caravan, what to look for, what to consider. And I decided not to let myself be carried away by the wave, to understand my enthusiasm, so I entered the caravan with criticism. I was not impressed by anything and tried to find every flaw. Honestly, I was a little disappointed, I expected to have a feeling of ecstasy, but I was cold as a rock and I searched hard for any trace of infiltration, odor of mold or other defects. But I didn’t find anything wrong. I tested the air conditioning, the heat and the gases, they all worked perfectly.

I got out of the caravan, took another tour around it. Everything seemed fine. We coupled it to our car to see if everything is okay and all the light bulbs (lights, brake, etc) go. I entered the caravan again, and I swear it overwhelmed me dearly, as I didn’t think it was possible. I was already seeing myself, quietly on vacation, in the mountains, on the shore of a lake.

What were we to do now? Acts! The biggest problem is that the Germans do not speak English very well. Now I do not know if they really do not know another language, or simply do not want to speak it, it is certain that no one speaks any English. But our salesman, a genuine but super-nice German, knew a few English words and explained exactly what we had to do. Even though I knew the institutions we had to go to and the steps we were going to take to get the papers, it all seemed too complicated. As I said earlier, the man was super cool, and offered us an employee to accompany us and help us get the papers.

Great thing I didn’t really understand, because the staff of the institutions knew nothing in English, god, but nothing in English. And here’s how we spoke English through signs, I think the Germans were laughing when they saw us like that, and we were nervous that we didn’t understand what was going on.

Mostly, we had to submit the documents to get the provisional numbers, pay the insurance for 15 days, and go to the ITP to check the chassis series, and prove that the caravan is not stolen. Two institutions, no more than 2 hours and all the documents were ready. The only problem was that we needed a German credit card, it’s not clear why, even today, but the guy who accompanied us gave his card details and so we solved this problem .

How much did the documents cost?

  • The numbers were somewhere at € 110
  • Documents: 50 €
  • 15 days insurance: 70 €

After I settled with the state documents, I made the purchase agreement and the rest of the day I spent it at the Waterfront mall. Here I ate currywursts and the best waffels ever. We searched for accommodation and rested. We knew that a long, hard road awaits us.

We woke up in the morning, panicked about how we would remove the caravan from the dealer’s yard, and drive it through the narrow streets of the city, as we would have to travel 2000 km at the speed of the snail with the caravan behind us, without passing us not even a truck.

We reached the autohaus, switched on the caravan, and got in the car. In our panic we forgot to ask the German if he has a spare wheel for sale. If you want to buy a caravan from Germany you must know that it will come empty, because all the accessories are sold separately: gas bottle, antenna and even the spare wheel. In our panic we completely forgot to buy one, and so, we went on the road, 2000 km without spare wheel.

If the road to Bremen was easier and the drivers changed between them, only one driver had a driving license for this category: extended B. So we had an oppressed one, who had to do the hard work. Beginner, with a driver’s license smelling of nine, just released, made his baptism on a considerable road, with a very large trailer.

Our luck was that the autohaus was on the outskirts of the city, and we got out pretty quickly on the freeway. The feeling of pulling that mastodon after you is damn bad. It was difficult to look in the extension mirrors and to approximate the size of the caravan. By the time we got on the freeway we had already aged 3 years. I don’t think we had exceeded the phenomenal speed of 40 km / h, but to our surprise no one in the city cursed us.

On the freeway we relaxed a little, and we increased the speed timidly, to 70 km / h. I reminded you even earlier, that we went on the road very knowledgeable, and we watched at home all the possible and impossible videos with and about caravans. We especially watched videos with accidents. And we were now scared like hell at every tilt in the asphalt, every bigger car overtaking us, and every gust of wind more intense.

Driving the car had become quite hectic now, because the caravan was hitting every hop with all the weight in the car’s nail, and it felt like we were jumping every time. If the road was smooth, and our walk was smoother, but if the asphalt had an oscillation of level, I simply felt the stomach turn back.

As “luck” accompanied us all the way, here we come again to Pirna, but obviously the rain had started, so, not even this time I came to visit Bastei. To stay overnight, not even in discussion, because we were too stressed on the road, and I knew that Romania was announcing a big blizzard.

At the moment the weather was good, and we couldn’t complain about it. Even though there were clouds, and it was raining around here, we were on the road, braver than The Brave Little Tailor. That’s how we walked slowly, slowly, on the freeway, without even passing a truck. When I said we weren’t going to get past a truck, I didn’t joke, we didn’t really go through anything, all the way. Moreover, we made behind us a huge column of trucks, which were struggling to overtake us and insistently toot us. So we would pull in the parking lots on the freeway enough to let the trucks overtake us.

In the Czech Republic, we passed through a slightly more mountainous area, where it was snowing and the snow had already started on the ground. If so far the weather was ok, well, time had reserved us only surprises, a little more unpleasant. You realize how panicked we were to drive this big caravan in the snow. When we left the mountain area, there was no snow. Terribly tired, we searched for a car park where we could spend the night. We drove cautiously to near Jihlava, where we found a parking lot, where there was still a place where we could park the caravan. Needless to say, it was terribly difficult to find a free parking lot. Since truckers are monitored by GPS, and must comply with the rest schedule, parking on the freeway is full to the brim. Once parked, we took the blankets, pillows and all the anti-cold arsenal brought from home and slept in the caravan. We cuddled on the cold mattress, pulled the blanket over our ears and slept until morning, when a truck driver knocked on the door and asked us to pull the trailer so he could get out of the parking lot, because he couldn’t get the truck out because of our caravan. The man was understanding, and patiently waited for us to raise the caravan’s feet. We started again on the road, slightly forced from the surroundings.

The blizzard was announced until 10-11 am, but we left at 4 am confident and cheerful. They, except that a problem, never comes alone, and here is the GPS application for trucks that we had installed, decided to get us off the highway, and take us on a side road. That, or most likely we missed an entry, somewhere. We will choose the first option, so that we don’t look dumbs. Not only did the app take us out to a small town with narrow streets, but the big snowfall started out. We went out of town by the skin of our teeth, and we got on a narrow lane. But in the end, that wasn’t even our biggest problem. The main problem was that the wind was going crazy, blizzard snow fields. Soon the road was covered with snow, and we were flying blind, on a cold night, to Vienna, on a white, blizzard road. So strong was the wind that we actually felt the caravan move. What panic did I get then you have no idea. I was about to get down and leave the huga there (by the way, Huga remained the name of the caravan after this adventure. Hugai in Romanian means something big). As we were smarter than the other, we were debating what to do. I’ve already told you all I needed to do then: get down, leave the caravan there and run like hell. This was not a feasible option, so we had the following 3 options:

  1. Go ahead to Vienna, on this blizzard and narrow road, about 120 km;
  2. Go to Brno, about 80 km, on a road that didn’t seem too promising;
  3. Return to Jihlava, 23 km, and enter the highway again.

As three responsible adults, we obviously chose the most “indicated” option, and followed the road to Brno. Yeah, I know, bad move. Not only was the road narrowing even more, but now the wind was blowing strong from the side, and at every gust we felt that we were overturning. We arrived in the first village, extremely difficult and slow, and decided that we should make our way back to Jihlava, to get stuck in the freeway again. We returned terribly hard for the caravan, with many maneuvers and directions we were giving out of the cold. So we lost a few hours, on a windy road, and on an apocalyptic weather, to get back to where we left off.

On the freeway the spirits calmed down. It was still snowing, but the highway was clean, sprinkled with salt, in the evening, so there were little chances for snow to settle.

About 10 o’clock the blizzard stopped, and we drove, stretched, on a warm sun, and a summer-like time, to Romania, to Arad. Of course we stopped at the KFC in Tata Hungary, although we had to go under the motorway, on a fairly narrow road and with Huga after us. but so good are those potatoes that they are worth all the trouble! After enjoying the potatoes we left to Romania.

At our border, we felt as if we were teleporting, in a parallel world. There was a wind blowing here that you couldn’t open the car door. We stopped before the border in the parking lot to prepare the documents and rest. I remember getting out of the car and going to the trunk to get something, I don’t know what, but when I opened the door to the car the wind simply pushed it back. Strong, I managed to open the door, and I went down. The sharp wind whipped my cheek. I opened the door from the trunk and the nervous wind blew and lifted the door and knocked it over. I was terrified of this curse, and slammed the luggage door. I jumped in the car without taking what I was looking for.

I drove to the border. It was not a queue, and on this wind no customs officer came out of his box. Our turn has come. Stupor. The entrance was so narrow that we entered the millimeter. So if you are planning to bring a caravan from abroad, keep in mind that upon entering the country you have to squeeze your cheeks a bit to enter.

The customs officers requested the documents at the car and at the caravan, but being brought from Germany they did not rub too much with the caravan’s check.

As Arad and Pecica are at a jog, we decided to stay in Timisoara. We weren’t going to run out of caravan before using it.

We walked slowly because the wind was chasing us insistently. In Timisoara we took a nice accommodation, right in the center, because we only had an 8 meter long caravan behind, and “could” park it at every street corner. We put the waze to take us to the accommodation, and behind the building, where the accommodation was, was a two lane street. We have not been to Timisoara until now, and from the street where we were, this street seemed to have an exit on another boulevard. But the boulevard we were seeing was the pedestrian center, and our driveway was clogged in a small roundabout, where I could hardly believe that you could turn the car without this long appendix from behind. And for everything to be “cool”, the entrance to this street was not so normal. Nooo .. between the two lanes, right on the street was a bar with some high edges, so we had to remove Huga as professionals, on a well-defined space, not too wide.

Here we are, locked in a street in the heart of Timisoara, with this huge caravan. What was it like to do in such a situation? Although I was about to cry and I stick my feet, well, even then I had such an adventure moment, and I got out of the car confident that we will succeed! So I got out of the car and analyzed the situation. In front, excluded. The caravan did not enter that roundabout in any form, and the only option was to turn around and exit the boulevard through the small opening of the walking direction. The question now was another: how the hell were we going to get 100 meters behind, such a big caravan? One in front, one in the back, we were giving more than which directions to the driver. Left!! No, no … the other left! It took us half an hour, if not even better, to get the caravan out of the alley. But now where to park it? We searched Google for private parking, but when we saw how narrow the streets are, we never ventured. So we left it in a more industrial area, next to some small workshops. All the parking lots were empty, how happy!

We fell down, and we slept some better, some less well. This is because big blizzards were announced, and roads were closed, and the dreaded Olt Valley was waiting for us.

In the morning we left hurried to our caravan. You guys! The parking lot was full, and not only was it full, but right next to the caravan nails a car was parked. Basically we could only pull the caravan from the side, blocking the street. Street that was now super populated. It seems like all the people from Timisoara were passing by at this hour, on that street, to see us struggling to connect the caravan to the car. Obviously we blocked the whole street, and kept the people in their path. We probably took some oaths, but let’s be good!

We hardly managed to tie the caravan and left, on the narrow streets to the freeway.

And yes, it was a big blizzard, closed roads, but the blizzard remained in the southeastern part of the country, towards Constanța. On our way it was just sunshine and joy, and we went smoothly. On the Olt Valley everything went very well, only a slightly more difficult curve, where we have slowed down a lot, otherwise I want to tell you, we have very good roads. I’m not lying, I’m serious! We really have the best and smooth roads! We stopped on the way to eat something at the Dacian Inn. The food was good and the atmosphere lovely. A well-deserved break after all this. From here we went to Bucharest, where there was some snow. Through the city we drive quite hard with the caravan, especially since we entered Bucharest around 5 pm, when we all know what the traffic is like.

But we got home well, and that’s the most important thing. Now I can hardly wait for the good weather to come, to go with Huga all over the country!

Tips:

If you want to buy a caravan, I have some tips, which I will give from my experience.

  • I would recommend avoiding the caravans brought from England. Not only because it rains a lot, and it is possible to have seepage, but in England the caravan is considered an accessory, and it is not registered, so the probability of it being stolen is very high.
  • Preferably buy a caravan from a dealer, because we found private sellers, on mobile.de, who brought caravans, where do you think from? Yes, from England!
  • Avoid ads that sound too good, they can be scams!
  • Make sure your driving license allows you to drive the vehicle / caravan assembly. If the MMA (maximum allowed mass) of the ensemble exceeds the category of your driving license, we are talking about a criminal classification. It’s not worth the risk! In most cases, in Romania B96 (extended b) is sufficient for most caravans. Find out before you go!
  • Check the weather! After my adventure I would recommend not to buy a caravan in winter! But no matter the situation, check the weather !!
  • Don’t go on the road without a spare wheel for the caravan! Yes, we went 2000 km and we had no problems, but the tires on the caravan were quite new, the pressure on the wheels we did before we left, and we were quite lucky.

If you have any questions leave a comment and I will respond to it with love!

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