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Old 01-26-2004, 08:51 PM   #1
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i am considering buying a '67 caravel. it is 17'. i will live in it for a while. do you think that it is too small, & is there enough storage? is $9500 too much for one in fantastic shape?

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Old 01-26-2004, 09:03 PM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
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Hi, we have a Caravel. We stayed in it for a week without much trouble, but you might find yourself running out of space pretty quick if you were going to live in it. Even when we take short trips in it we have to be very disciplined about how we do things, where the dirty clothes go, hanging up wet towels, etc.. because there's not much room in there.

Of course, it depends on you, and how much time you will actually spend rattling around inside. I lived in dorm rooms about that big for years at a time!

As for the price, it depends on condition. If it really is in fantastic shape, I don't think that's outrageous, but it is top dollar, so make sure it's really nice and everything is functional. Personally, if I had $10k to spend, I'd look for something a little bigger to live in. The tiny trailers command top dollar, you should be able to find a larger trailer in very nice condition for that much money. Of course, it all depends on what you can tow too.

Good luck!


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Old 01-26-2004, 09:19 PM   #3
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I agree with Stef. For less than $9500 you can find a good 31-footer to live in. The Caravel would be a good choice for weekend trips to the mountains, but it is far to small to live in. The lack of kitchen counter space will make cooking food and cleaning up afterward major hassles.

Check out the classifieds at and (they're back!)

I lived in my Overlander for a few months last year, and even though it is nine feet longer than the Caravel it felt confining fairly quickly. And that was after I had the kitchen remodeled to include a full-size refrigerator.
"He's one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith/Spread your wings and hold your breath/And always trust your cape" Guy Clark
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:21 AM   #4
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I have lived in my sovereign for 21/2 years. It's positively palatial. The rear bedroom is nice because it is light and airy--you can't beat a 3 window office.
I think 17' would be rough for a first time experience full-timing.
The longer models give you 2 separate living areas which is nice.
If you're moving around a lot, then maybe the shorter rig is more suited. If you like to spend time at one base camp, you can't beat the extra space.
On the other hand, if you're going into the mountains, you need a truck with lots of torque.
A '74 or later is desirable because they have a gray water tank.
And you definitely want an awning.
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:46 AM   #5
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1968 17' Caravel
2005 30' Safari
Somewhere , roaming America
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For that price in a Caravel I would expect a nearly "perfect" trailer. Around $10k is the top end even for the small trailers -- you see them asking more in VAC classifieds and some California dealers, but I think it is rare that such sales occur at full listing price, at least on the east coast.

To me, "perfect" means (at least): no skin damage, all appliances working and in maintained/overhauled condition, excellent/new fabric and curtains, updated running gear (tires, brakes, bearings, hitch components), ABSOLUTELY NO LEAKS, all original glass (not plastic), original furniture in good condition, no soft spots in floor, recently replaced window & door seals, intact/fully repaired belly skin, etc. Some items which typically don't last for more than 30 years, like water pump and A/C should be recently replaced. Usually at that price point a trailer will have been polished as well.

In short, to get that kind of price the Caravel should be in excellent operating and cosmetic condition throughout, with nothing left to be done.

For comparison, I bought a Caravel last year in Maryland which met every criteria on the list above EXCEPT door & window seals, curtains, and polishing. It also had cosmetic skin damage on the curbside and a dent on the roof. I paid about half the price you mentioned, largely because skin damage is expensive to repair.

As far as comfort, that's a personal issue. Personally, I could live in my Caravel (alone) in a warm climate where I could get outside most of each day, but I wouldn't want to try surviving a winter in there!

-- RL
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