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Hello and help!

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Pashrolo

Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-12-30

Hello and help!

Post by Pashrolo on Sun 30 Dec 2012, 11:25 pm

Hi everyone, not used forums before so excuse my ignorance! We currently have use of a very tatty, damp old caravan which we have had some great holidays in, but we crave our old tent life with the bonus of all year round camping. After lots of looking around, we have decided a Dandy is our perfect compromise.
Our budget is fairly small (around £1500) and we do need an awning as well (2 little boys and a monster sized dog make that a necessary).
I thought here would be the best pace to start my search and find out what you would recommend - I know nothing, so please don't assume I will know even the basics Laughing
Michelle
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The Admiral

Posts : 534
Join date : 2011-06-14
Age : 59
Location : Wolverhampton

Re: Hello and help!

Post by The Admiral on Sun 30 Dec 2012, 11:50 pm

Hi Michelle, welcome to the Dandy Campers forum. I don't know if you are the same Michelle that has contacted me to see if our camper Minnie was still for sale, but if you are as I replied in the email Minnie was sold a couple of weeks ago but the guys on here will certainly help you look for your ideal Dandy and he/she will come along believe me.
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The Admiral

Posts : 534
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Age : 59
Location : Wolverhampton

Re: Hello and help!

Post by The Admiral on Sun 30 Dec 2012, 11:58 pm

In fact if you could afford a little bit more there is a very nice looking Dandy Discovery advertised on the 2013 for sale thread with a full Dandy awning. Have a look and see what you think.
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mike
Dandy Owner

Posts : 5172
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Age : 69
Location : north east lincs

Re: Hello and help!

Post by mike on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 4:54 am

Michelle to the forum from your family description and the fact you want all year round camping ime going to suggest a dandy 6 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.],the problem you may have is finding a fully insulated 6,an explanation at this point about insulation.
All dandy's have insulated roofs which consists of two layers of pvc with an insulation barrier in between,what we call the batwing ends which is the pvc at the bed ends often isnt insulated but was available and the ones that are we call fully insulated,this can most of the time be checked in pictures because no matter what colour dandy 99% of the time the inside pvc was white.
The 5 berth dandys may be a tight fit especially in the winter unless you have particularly hard children or dog that will sleep in the awning in the winter lol! with those you would have two adults in one bed two children in the other and a floor full of dog,thus making a underfloor heater redundant.
Most of the year you dont need fully insulated but in the winter with five occupants it becomes more vital,you have five units breathing out moisture and this can cause condensation on cold pvc you dont get cold pvc with insulation so it doesn't ever happen.
We have an uninsulated 6 and have camped in the winter without insulation and had no condensation but thats two people in a larger area so less moisture being breathed out,depending on your diy skills you can insulate them yourself i did mine
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The awning next,dont buy a dandy without awning thinking you will pick one up there is very little chance of that,you could fit a caravan porch awning or motor home drive away awning both work well with a little thought on fitting,the down side of these is they need drying when you take them home wet and are not as bullet proof as a dandy awning,you will hear story's about dandy awnings being a pig to erect not true if you do it the right way,also you can have the end walls made to zip out so then you erect it in smaller sections we had ours done and it does make a difference.
There is nothing wrong with your budget for a 5 or 6 berth and you may drop across a later destiny close to that price (although that may mean a long wait) dont get caught up in the in the search for the latest model you can find, condition is more important than age,we have a member on here with a insulated 6 from the 80s that belonged to his parents and it is immaculate.
Going to stop at this point to give you chance to ask more questions and please do thats what we are here for to help.
mike
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mike
Dandy Owner

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Age : 69
Location : north east lincs

Re: Hello and help!

Post by mike on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 5:19 am

This is a drive away awning i used on my 6 before getting the dandy awning,which i was very lucky to get.

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This is a caravan porch awning fitted

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Dandy awning fitted to a 6

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mike
Dandy Owner

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Re: Hello and help!

Post by mike on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 5:46 am

Not that you have ask this question but with the rain we have had this year there will be more people looking at dandys so i thought i would add this to the thread.

Packing away wet can i do it and leave it,the long and short answer is yes unlike canvas pvc does not absorb any moisture so at packing away time you have tent fabric with water sitting on it not in it,any standing water on the top will run off and any trapped when you pack away will sit there until it evaporates,this means no mould or stains or smells when you open up.
The dandy is packed in such a way that the roof is over the interior during folding or erecting so the interior stays dry,if you should be unfortunate and get the interior wet then obviously you need to open it as soon as possible to let the soft furnishings dry but i have never had this happen,the longest i have left a dandy after a wet pack was about 7 months and its the 6 i am using now,i for one dont want to return from a holliday and have a wet camper that needs erecting and drying.
There seams to be a thing with owners of canvas folding campers that makes them unable to leave in print the fact that dandy pvc can be left wet,they feel they must tell a story about a friend who had a second cousin who new some one who heard that a dandy smelt awful when opened after a wet pack just ignore them i think its jealousy Very Happy we do have some members that like to open there's to dry but it is optional.

mike
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Helen
Dandy Owner

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Re: Hello and help!

Post by Helen on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 8:46 am

We have both a caravan and a Dandy ..... we've had the Dandy a lot longer and have discovered we prefer the freedom it gives us, we also discovered the beds are a lot more comfortable Twisted Evil

The only difference in how we live when away ..... we've found that the oven in the van is bigger than the mini oven we take with the Dandy Laughing We can do everything just as well with the Dandy if not better, we get to go to any site with the Dandy as we can call it a folding caravan or a Trailer tent and it's much easier to tow to the harder to get to sites Very Happy

Looks like you've had lots of good advice already.

Welcome to the forum

forgot to say the Dandy is easier to store and to maintain

Pashrolo

Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-12-30

Thank you!

Post by Pashrolo on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 9:22 am

Wow! I didn't expect so much feedback so quickly, thank you all.

The Admiral, yes I am the same Michelle who e-mailed you about Minnie - looks like I was a few weeks late on that one Sad

Mike and Helen, everything you have said makes sense and helps me to know what to look out for in my search. Our dog sleeps in the caravan awning so it will just be the 4 of us in the bedrooms but a 6 does sound like the ideal but we had looked at a few without awnings expecting that we could pick one up, so I will scratch that idea and make sure we find one with an awning.

I think I am most concerned about warmth as we last camped in Nov this year and are hoping to do New Year this coming year so we definitely need to be comfortable all year round. Most reviews we have seen are positive about a Dandy being warm....

I guess my next question refers to Mike's post on the for sale thread relating to really bad ones being sold early last year - if that is the case, what do we need to be looking for to make sure we avoid them?

I'm sure I have many more questions but thanks again for answering so quickly my first ones

Michelle alien
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mike
Dandy Owner

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Re: Hello and help!

Post by mike on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 9:27 am

I didn't just do this its already on the forum

Some things to look for when buying used

Most of these checks are common sense and 95% of 20 year old and over dandys wont have any of them, they where built to last and they do

1 Chassis do corrode so get underneath and poke around.if its corroded any where its not the end of the world so long as its safe to tow and you know some one who will do the work, it is a very simple chassis design, include this in any offer you make.

2 Suspension does loose its bounce and sag a bit with age(don't we all)
There is no scientific answer as to how much clearance there should be between the tyre top and the wheel arch opinions vary. Braked suspension units are now cheaper than ever and you can normally get a new set with brakes included latest price i have seen is just over £200 a set on ebay,you may be tempted because of the light weight of the unit to fit even cheaper none braked suspension but be careful the unbraked legal trailer weight is low and it is a lot lower for individual cars,best to check on this.

3 Wheel bearings do the usual checks spin the wheel look for smooth quiet rotation and grasp the tyre on each side and try to wobble it,wheel bearings are not that expensive any way.

4 Tyres check condition of the walls and how much tread, the ply rating marked on it is important, my unit is max load 750kg and i need 8ply if you replace them get trailer tyres not car tyres, average price about £40 each (quote the max loaded weight to the tyre co and they will know what tyres you need) there is also a manufacturing date on the side wall,due to the degradation of rubber its possibly best not to use tyres over 5 years old.

5 Brakes most if not all dandys you are likely to come across have over run brakes meaning when the car brakes the dandy will, difficult to check without towing but you can check the parking brake works without it pulling up full travel

6 After that its checks of the hitch coupling and look all round the trailer for damage and make sure the lights work.The hitch is connected to a damper with the handbrake off you should be able to with slight resistance push the coupling completely in by hand,it should return all the way slowly,if not it may be faulty.

7 Now we come to the tent itself in some ways its better if the outside is filthy because they really clean up well and you may be able to knock the price down, things to check for are slits and damage on the out side, if present it could be a case of no thank you, patches on the outside are not wanted. The inside is a different story sometimes you will find small slits or nicks on the inside (these can happen when erecting or taking down) if its only the inner layer then no real problem they are easy to repair and don't effect the water proof aspect(but still try to knock the price down) the pvc is guaranteed for 5 years what a joke it will still be waterproof in 35 years.When you see it being erected take a mental note of all areas that hinge and check the condition of these i know
i keep saying this but no real problems again these units are built to last and can be maintained with a simple tool kit and pop rivet gun.
Check the base boards under the bed they can split but again that phrase no real problem and are easy to replace its only thin ply,the load is taken by metal cross bars.The internal checks would be the same for all makes of campers,gas and mains electric if fitted should be checked by a professional,upholstery can be cleaned or recovered.
One final note there should be a number stamped on the a frame the last two digits are the year of manufacture
ie****89 would be 1989

Just my way of looking at it i know but condition to me is more important than age my Dandy six is 26 years old and has years left in it

One important omission the floor this can be a weak spot do a little bouncing on it to make sure it isnt soggy,there are a few tips on the forum about curing it and all i can say is it depends on how bad it is and how much you are paying but it doesn't mean a scrap dandy like most things it can be sorted.



As for keeping warm a fully insulated one in minus 8c can be like an oven if you use a convector heater we did it lol!
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Helen
Dandy Owner

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Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Helen on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 9:29 am

We are as warm in the Dandy (it's fully insulated) as we are in the van Very Happy You can camp all year with a Dandy and use hardstandings if you want, it's just like having a caravan without the drawbacks. You put an awning up for the dog to sleep in so wouldn't be doing much more than you already are, The Dandy (unit) itself is quick and easy to erect and you'd probably do it in the time it takes to get a conventional awning threaded through the awning rail of a van, Dandy awnings are far more robust but take a little longer.
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Cazz

Posts : 2052
Join date : 2011-07-14
Age : 42
Location : Staffordshire

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Cazz on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 10:05 am

Hi Michelle, welcome to Dandycampers. Very Happy

We've had loads of experience with different awnings, we've had 3 different types for our campervan, and we currently have 2 different Dandy awnings.

By far the most robust, sturdy, and easy to care for are the Dandy ones. Yes they're the heaviest, but that's a small price to pay for the extra benefits you gain, and they'll last much longer than the other nylon or canvas ones. But of course any awning is better than no awning with a monster dog to cater for. Very Happy

Good luck in your search, please ask any questions you have along the way.
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Caz1960

Posts : 1716
Join date : 2011-09-04
Age : 58
Location : Cardigan west wales

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Caz1960 on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 12:44 pm

heaps of info and brilliant check point and I am sure that if you are near one of us we would be happy to help check your Dandy
with you but to be honest any problems with the Dandy's they can always be fixed there is one on this forum for sale worth you having a word high sided 6 welcome and I always believe that the Dandy will find you
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3176
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Tow Itch on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 1:45 pm

Hello Michelle

Mikes of the opinion that due to the wet weather there may be an increased demand for Dandys, who knows? I think it's just as likely that with the recession and the publicity "staycations" received that there may be a big over supply of 2nd hand camping equipment this year. You enjoy camping you wish to camp. Vast no's of people were enticed into it as a cheap holiday only to have an iffy year in 2011 and the most miserable summer on record last year. I believe a large no of those lured into camping could not now be dragged to a campsite with a team of wild horses. I can see the equipment of the disillusioned non campers hitting eBay and Gumtree this spring and summer.
Yes now Mike's is right that the logic is that you would expect frustrated and upset trailer tent and folding camper owners who want to camp to be looking at Dandys. However I believe you are in a minority and the prejudice or the perceived wisdom is so strong that most TT/FC owners wouldn't even think about a Dandy. As an illustration look through any thread on the TT/FC forum within CampsiteUK's website someone mentions a Dandy and it's all the same old plain wrong clinches that crop up. Personally I'm not too surprised I'm a motorcyclist who owns a few MZ motorcycles. These are/were (getting quite old now) excellent bikes especially for commuting but they are the butt of everyone's jokes, well everyone bar people who have owned them. I think there is a lot of sadness in people who have spent £££'s on something to find that an alternative that costs 1/10th or less can do the same job or better.

Whether Mike or myself is right about prices in the coming year I'd take consolation in the fact that you will end up with a unit where the price the market will support is far less than any folding camper, folding caravan or caravan that the Dandy can properly be compared against.

As for a 5, 6 or a Destiny. If your dog sleeps outside the 5 may be big enough but the boys while little now will not always be so and you might as well buy any Dandy looking to at least a 20 year lifespan. I think they only die through accidents or becoming unloved. A 6 will also have the advantage of being suitable for the family with just the base unit erected without the awning. Useful if you are stopping over for just the 1 night. Also as you have towed a caravan you would not be intimidated by a 6 or even a Highside Destiny.

If you want an idea of prices you might trawl through the previous (2011 & 2012) Dandy for sale lists. Unfortunately only eBay keeps the ads listed. There is no records of old ads on Preloved or Gumtree.

As for awnings. Dandy awnings are all but bulletproof. I camped last January in a raging gale. The wind was so severe the Dandy was rocking through an arc. I was stood in the awning at one point watching the base of the door moving up and down. The awning was on the leeward side of the Dandy and secured with a storm strap. I was amazed I had two sleepless nights waiting for the Dandy to break and have never even thought about winds since. This nearly caught me out last Sept as I camped with just a sun canopy and the wind changed. I was on the site of a WW2 airfield these were sited for wind. So eventually with the wind blowing into the canopy, it started to lift. I got out of bed and tied it down with a storm strap. The following morning I added the awning sides (I've fitted zips to the sides) as It wasn't a gale I never thought to turn the awning to the leeward side.

Have a good look at what's available don't rush decide what is important to you. If I had to choose I'd say all Dandys are warmer than tents so if I had to choose I'd go for a heater as been more important than insulation. The heater will heat a Dandy in the cold but insulation won't make a cold Dandy warm and if you need an electric heater your then stuck on an EHU site. Then again see my counter argument elsewhere that a gas lantern is often sufficient to heat a Dandy. Cazz camped last winter in her single skin 60's Dandy 5, one of her posts explains how much warmer she found the Dandy than a previous trailer tent (Combicamp?) Mind you for £1,500 you should get both insulation and a heater.

As for condition as per Mikes instructions. If there are floor problems then the Dandy should be pennies the floor is the biggest job. Particularly on 6's the gas struts can be expensive to replace but can be bought from some sources significantly cheaper than others.

Don't know what part of the country you are from if it's close and still for sale this might be a steal. If a distance if you can get an idea of it's condition it might be worth it. If in good condition it could still be a good deal and if it's still for sale I'd expect them to be open on price to allow for your fuel costs. You might be lucky and they may be plain desperate if it's still for sale. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

On the subject of Scotland be WARY of anything that offers delivery when you buy through any form of credit transfer. This especially occurs with Scottish addresses on eBay but not exclusively. Cash on viewing is the way to go. If you get to the point of considering bids on eBay then we'll broach the pitfalls of eBay then.
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Phoenix
Dandy Expert

Posts : 1435
Join date : 2011-09-07
Location : South Norfolk.

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Phoenix on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 7:17 pm

Hello Pashrolo

Sorry for the late reply, had a busy couple of days Rolling Eyes and a dodgy internet connection. Evil or Very Mad

We think Mike and Mr Itch have covered most things lol! but any questions just fire away.

Pashrolo

Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-12-30

I want one now!

Post by Pashrolo on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 10:49 am

Thanks again everyone. All the info you have offered is brilliant and having all the notes on what to look out for and what is easily fixed, or what might cost lots is great - we really haven't a clue so now we might look like we know what we are talking about!

We are in the middle of Derbyshire and the Dandy's we have seen are just too far away to realistically go and look at but I'm sure it will happen soon. My problem is that I'm impatient and want one right now!

One more question though - I can see the benefits of the PVC awning but does it get really hot and sticky in the summer (if we ever get sunshine that is!). I know you are all Dandy converts so I'm sure the answer is no, but I thought I'd ask tongue

Michelle alien
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Helen
Dandy Owner

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Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Helen on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 11:28 am

The awnings get warm in hot weather, it's easily solved ...... we use a hook (rubber bung on ends) and hook the door flaps back to the middle pole. The other thing we do is open the window in the Dandy and let the air flow through into the awning, The Dandy is brilliant in hot weather as all the roofs are insulated so they remain lovely and cool inside when it's really hot outside. We had one that had zip out sides so you could just undo the zips a bit at the top, the other alternative is roll up the front using bungees ..... we do. Very Happy


Last edited by Helen on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

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Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 12:26 pm

I'd go with the Inside of the main being cooler than a tent without an inner tent when out in the sun.
I've only had the Dandys for a couple of years so can't asses the awning in hot weather as I've not seen any. Though the mod of adding zips to the side would help.
Just to show we're not completely biased I'll mention that the awning can suffer from condensation dripping off the roof at times.
General wisdom is to add a cotton inner roof. Easily made from a couple of bed sheets.
My own personal observation is that breathable ground sheets make this worse. The water vapour comes out of the ground and condenses on the roof. A solid groundsheet lessens the issue.
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mike
Dandy Owner

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Age : 69
Location : north east lincs

Re: Hello and help!

Post by mike on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 3:59 pm

Pashrolo wrote:Thanks again everyone. All the info you have offered is brilliant and having all the notes on what to look out for and what is easily fixed, or what might cost lots is great - we really haven't a clue so now we might look like we know what we are talking about!

We are in the middle of Derbyshire and the Dandy's we have seen are just too far away to realistically go and look at but I'm sure it will happen soon. My problem is that I'm impatient and want one right now!

One more question though - I can see the benefits of the PVC awning but does it get really hot and sticky in the summer (if we ever get sunshine that is!). I know you are all Dandy converts so I'm sure the answer is no, but I thought I'd ask tongue

Michelle alien

The awning will get hot in the best weather but no more than any thing else,we use the bed sheet roof liner which helps and you can unzip the front leaving it attached at the top and throw it over the roof,condensation can form on the awning roof over night dependant on several factors,as Kevin said breathable ground sheets dont help but we throw a cheap tarp over most of it during the night and any condensation that forms is caught by the roof liner and drys the next day without being a problem.

Pashrolo

Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-12-30

Excited!

Post by Pashrolo on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 6:23 pm

I am a bit over excited now as there is a new advert on preloved for a Destiny 1991 at £1000 in Coventry.

I am the sort of person to be a bit too enthusiastic and just buy as its the right price and not too far away.

What does anybody think of it??????? And what should I ask if I give them a ring to find out more?????
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Kimmie

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-06-14
Location : West Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Kimmie on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 6:27 pm

Hi Michelle
Welcome! Sorry posted the comment after you'd seen it! If I'd got enough dosh I'd snap it up. And ot far from our sunny Derbyshire!
Ask for more pics.think it'll go quick tho in that on diction at that price.
Good luck flower
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Kimmie

Posts : 181
Join date : 2011-06-14
Location : West Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Kimmie on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 6:28 pm

*condition!
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mike
Dandy Owner

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Join date : 2011-06-12
Age : 69
Location : north east lincs

Re: Hello and help!

Post by mike on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 6:36 pm

That is a low sided late 6 but looks good and insulated
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Helen
Dandy Owner

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Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Helen on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 6:47 pm

I'm sure this one is a 1991 ..... low side Destiny previously known as a 6. The colour is the only real difference from a 6 so the exterior looks like this (click on the link) and the interior looks like Mikes 6, the same layout but in the same colours as the pale blue Dandy's rather than the browns of earlier 6's. In fact the one pictured below lives in Coventry so could be the same one.

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The Admiral

Posts : 534
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Age : 59
Location : Wolverhampton

Re: Hello and help!

Post by The Admiral on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 6:55 pm

It looks good in the photos and £1000 is a good price especially as it has an awning. I'd definitely get in touch and go & view it.
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Helen
Dandy Owner

Posts : 6826
Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: Hello and help!

Post by Helen on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 6:56 pm

It is the same one as the pictures above Very Happy

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