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Dark Blue Quality

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navver

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Post by navver on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 12:00 am

I keep seeing comments about the quality of the latest dark blue Dandies being worse than the light blue ones. Is this just a general perception of everything being a bit more flimsily built than before as seems to happen to all products by being engineered down, or is it something to be concerned about. I would prefer to buy newer so as to have less trouble but could it be that the older ones will outlast the newer ones.

I notice the light blue ones were lighter in weight than the new ones. Is this because there's more kit in the new ones or possibly a different way of calculating the weight. Such as including battery & gas bottle in the ex works weight or whatever they call it now. Or could it be extra insulation not present in the light blue ones, but now fitted and not included in the standard stated weight, meaning that many light blue ones are actually heavier than quoted.

I am looking to buy a Designer over the next year or so. Need to sell the caravan and Mondeo first, then tow the Dandy with a Fiat Panda 1.2 petrol, so weight is very important to me. This is for impending retirement when we must cut our cloth etc.
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 6:08 am

I don't own a dark blue Dandy I'm not really up to that sort of spend level. The only people I know who have owned both are Vicky and Nick. See: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Try searching through post for more specific reasons. Old Lad has a dark blue Dandy and will have observed plenty of other Dandys as for the other way round there are just not as many dark blue units so most haven't done a direct comparison though both Mike and Helen will no doubt have observations. You are no doubt not as wantonly sexist as I am but if you are don't presume Vicky's thoughts will be on the girly level of trim quality, Vicky is an engineering type (mech eng?) My own thoughts gathered through trying to remember what I've heard rather than actually comparing are that I think some of the ply sections were replaced with OSB board [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Try googling OSB Vs Plywood but sit down with a cup of tea and biscuits or even a sandwich first. Though ironically the pannel that would cause you the greatest grief and expense to replace, the floor has always been in OSB (OK not certain on 60's originals)

I notice the light blue ones were lighter in weight than the new ones. Is this because there's more kit in the new ones or possibly a different way of calculating the weight. Such as including battery & gas bottle in the ex works weight or whatever they call it now. Or could it be extra insulation not present in the light blue ones, but now fitted and not included in the standard stated weight, meaning that many light blue ones are actually heavier than quoted.
"Such as battery and gas bottles" Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Though there is a greater chance that a Dark Blue may have been factory wired (especially if factory fitted with a Propex heater) all that was paid for separately and never included in the tare weight. Dandys are notoriously Spartan as sold. Conway and Pennine got increasingly flash kitchens, bathrooms, water heaters and soft furnishings (to up margins) you just about start to see this on late model Destinys. There was a comment that Dandys were weighed off originally but not for new models so there was weight creep (Ian Smith Riva???) Then again the bed frames went from aluminium to steel there is a change from ply to OSB and look at the comparative weight of the pre and post 1995 kitchen fronts. Weight transfer in opposite direction Glass to perspex windows. Is the weight difference 100Kg? Dunno if I ever empty out my Designer and I'm near a weighbridge I'll check. (You have to have seen my Designer or car to realise how unlikely that is) I'd bet you loose in excess of 70Kg of load though. N.B. If choosing any 500Kg Dandy where the suspension needs replacing Riva see no problem in upping to 750Kg units.

So you are looking for a Designer but are in no hurry. this is a good thing I sense from your comment about the differing methods of measuring weight that you are not deeply immersed in Dandy knowledge yet. Great we can use the time to make sure you get what you want.

My own thoughts. Age isn't important condition and personal preference is. Look at the spread on how old owned Dandys are you won't find that age spread on folding campers (canvas) or caravans. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] What % of caravans that you see are over 40 years old? If somebody's tried they they could have buggered a 6 year old Dandy (newest available) conversely you may find an early 90's Dandy that is comparable with a 2 or three year old folding camper.
There is nothing that can go wrong with them. Provided you have had a good look and the floor is not soft (As in OSB board that got wet not caravan delaminated floor)or the frame rusted away the biggest issue would be a suspension change. If you allied that to a 750Kg suspension upgrade and a spacing beam being inserted (Hitch heights changed) you are still only looking at £600 if the job is done at a garage. There is a constant need to replace rivets or the odd roofing bolt (used to attach roof hoops) but basically we whitter about very little of any real complexity on this site.
Will you be able to tow it? Mike tows a Dandy 6 (lowside Destiny) with a Punto. Now at the winter end of the year he is not too happy with the idea of a long trip. I don't know if that is just him, the worry of heavy winds and snaking or not wanting to do hilly areas in winter. No doubt he will say. If the site i used was correct (and many aren't) a 1200 Punto is good to tow 800Kg [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] So you could tow a Lowside Destiny if you wanted. I don't know how stable the side entry Dandys are (I know someone who had a moment with a late Highside Destiny without a stabiliser but they are very different beasts) but the rear entry Dandys are perfectly stable due to their geometry. see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Though if you have had caravans in the past I suspect you're more bothered about the legality of towing not the practicality. You will know what you feel about any set up.

A lot will depend on how you want to use the Dandy. If saving money is key my first thought is to an older Dandy with a Riviera floor heater as a Propex tends to need EHU as it eats batteries. This may not be the limit it once was as solar cells are so much cheaper so the Propex may be viable on wild sites. I gather a few retirees follow Steam rallies or other summer events for a combination of entertainment and cheap camping.
Dandys aren't the most lightweight to erect so if it's a later model with steel bed frames you may be looking at gas struts but you might well want the gas struts anyway.
The PVC awnings are not light but are bombproof, inserting zip panels in the side helps with the weight but the dark blue Dandys had the option of Acrylic awnings that zipped on. You then need to dry them out but Acrylic dries quickly. Not quite as robust but as always "You Pays Yer Money And........" Also I don't think I'd hold my breath waiting for a Designer with an Acrylic Awning. Not as rare as hen's teeth but I've not seen one yet.
Her indoors. Back to wanton sexism. Dandys are a bit stark inside By the time of the dark blues this was being addressed. The later upholstery looks a lot better. Dandys never needed a roof liner but a roof liner and modesty curtains can improve the aesthetics no end.
One radical suggestion if your used to caravan dimensions and I'm not sure what sized caravan you used to have you thought of a Lowside Destiny? Yes I know you were asking about the newest Dandy possible but I'm here to throw answers and other possibilities back to you.

You don't say where you live but at some point we should be having a rally not too far away Come the caravan is welcome and you can look and as far as I'm concerned when I'm leaving your welcome to tow my Designer although I don't think a great deal will be learned towing till you get the Punto.
Helen
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Post by Helen on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 8:53 am

Quoted from Nick who 'upgraded to a newer Dandy'


they dont make them like that anymore,you have lovely interior in a dandy made before they had financial woes.I think you might be surprised by the difference in fit and finish between our 2005 dandy and yours.

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I did re-upholster my designer but the only thing we've had to do since owning it is general maintenance and we have changed the suspension but even that was straightforward. I can't say I understand how the weights are worked out but on looking at Nick and Vicky's Dandy plus other Dark blue models you can feel the difference in the pvc used and where possible plastic was used rather than metal so hinges were snapping regularly.

Before seeing the dark blue ...... I wanted one, they're newer, have a more stylish interior and look pretty .... very important to us ladies Laughing

since looking properly (beyond the aesthetics) ..... I wouldn't swap my old Dandy Smile
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 11:54 am

but on looking at Nick and Vicky's Dandy plus other Dark blue models you can feel the difference in the pvc used and where possible plastic was used rather than metal so hinges were snapping regularly.

What, the PVC walls were actually of a different grade?

Can you remember what hinges became plastic? On the older Designer I think it was only the seat hinges that were plastic.

I do think the plusher late upholstery looks far better. What did they do at the seat ends to avoid the "Upholstered Lump" that is the beginning/end of the tub, or is it just the same and the dark upholstery hides it better?

I'm a bloke who is supposed to understand Spartan but I've always thought that someone knocking out a fabric kit for a Dandy would be on a winner if only there were more of us. Not just a roof liner but more like an inner tent to mask the poles. Then co ordinate curtains both those for the windows and modesty curtains for the beds. Think Ian's roof liners are a touch expensive for just roof liners but he doesn't list any details if they include the modesty curtains it would be quite reasonable.
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Dark Blue Quality 3355420168 Well I don't know if I'm having a severely gay moment or what but I've always reckoned that an inner tented Dandy would definitely up its appeal. Maybe not on the strictly practical level when your trying to keep it clean in the mud fields of summer. Though with practically sized machine washable pieces possibly not too bad. Perhaps it would have just worked on a brochure front where you get really flash looking Pennines and stark looking Dandys. Come on Helen your our soft furnishings consultant what do you think?

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Then maybe again I'm just talking rubbish went to take some images off Pennines site.
White is a bit stark in PVC I'm sure it will look good in cotton for all of 10 minutes. No forget that it doesn't evee look good to begin with. Somebody must remember really attractive inner tents on folding campers. The new interior from Pennine is just awful.



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Helen
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Post by Helen on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 1:52 pm

The upholstered seat edge isn't there any more Kevin, the bed matress comes right to the end, I saw one Dandy for sale at a local caravan shop where the bed had no padded roll but the frame had bent slightly so there was a slight gap ....... chilly. It looks much neater without the roll but perhaps the roll helps with draughts and condensation .... I don't know having no experience staying in one without the roll.

The pvc feels different, I'll try to find Nicks post explaining.
Helen
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Post by Helen on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 2:08 pm

I can't find it Kevin, I'm sure Nick or Vicky will elaborate when they come across this thread. The pvc feels more flimsy and not as smooth, I don't know what grade it is but it's not the same as the older Dandy's and only appeared on the newer ones.

The hinges you'd have to ask Nick about as I can't remember which they were but know he was fed up of them breaking and commenting that they are plastic when on the older Dandy's they're metal.
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Post by jake001 on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 2:33 pm

I think that it's the cupboards Helen, they don't slide in the new type.
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 7:30 pm

Sorry navver

Your comment on allowing for the weight of batteries and gas cylinders did make me laugh but it appears you know quite a bit already.
I've just realised this is your thread on UK Campsite [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I would have responded to you there but I've been banned for a good while.

I see much more about what you want and what you need now.
I still say have a look a a Lowside Destiny as it would give you that much more space without an awning. Pitty about the loss of 3" off the bed but at least one set of specifications list both as 198cm so I might be tempted to measure.

Will you be pitching on your offspring's lawn, is there a cheap local campsite or are you sounding out local farmers?

If you have an underfloor heater or if you do have access to EHU permanently fear not, not just for the warm months you can be round for Christmas and Boxing Day no problem.


Helen

Think I'd want a good look at how the new (steel) bed frames attach to a tub with no top rail along the side? I suppose the hinge could be different and the rail just bellow but I'd want a look at that.
Helen
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Post by Helen on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 8:48 pm

The missing roll first appeared on light blue Dandy's ...... post ours and yours Kevin, it gives a bit of extra bed space and when folded leaves a gap that you can slip things through the sides into the tub. There is a metal tubular rail in place of our wooden ones that sits against the side of the Dandy tub when erected, if you look at the video showing a designer being erected you should be able to see it. The hinge is on the front and back rather than the sides.
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navver

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Post by navver on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 9:46 pm

Thanks every body, sounds like Nick will know the qualty issue answers. At the moment we always have EHU and I doubt we will ever not have it. It does sound as if the Designer may be a bit overweight to start with, as it only starts with 105 kg user payload. That should include, gas bottles, battery, awning etc. Maybe I should really look at a Dart or Delta.

What I'm after is a nice easy tow from Bristol to Cornwall including up over Bodmin Moor on the A30. The car is only a Panda, not a Punto but still a 1.2 60HP petrol engine. I guess the diesel Panda would tow a lowside destiny no probs but as I've only ever towed with a diesel, I'm nervous about loading up a petrol too much. As it is, it feels like there's a caravan on the back on hills with me being so used to diesel. The petrol's gutless.

The car weight details are Unladen weight inc. 90% fuel tank 860kg. Payload inc driver 460kg. Max braked tow weight 800kg. Max towball weight 60kg. Unfortunately it doesn't give a Gross Train Weight. Not bad for such a small car.

I know I can load up the Panda, but I really do want the journey to be relaxed without it struggling. It is best part of 200 miles each way and I know you Northeners think nothing of travelling from Newcastle to Cornwall non stop, but us Southerners are simply too soft and think 50 miles is a long way to go.

My favourite Dandy would be a post 95 light blue, winterised, with the newer kitchen, insulated walls and floor heater. I really do like the pale blue colour, although, I'm sure my wife would prefer the newer ones. I could afford one of the newer ones when I sell the van, but I want it to be worth the extra money. If the older ones are better built, why pay it. It's refreshing to see something built to last but it's just not good business sense.

I've gone for the Designer as it gives us a bit more room and the table will help out with the lack of kitchen space and generally give us a bit more living space. The destiny looks a bit more to put up and would really be too big for us. I want it to be short as drive space is limited and a Designer will fit nicely. The only big plus for a Destiny is the toilet compartment, but those are 1000kg and over my limit. For two of us, I can't see what added benefit a low sided Destiny would give us over the Designer except a built in fridge.

The Dart or Delta look as if they are not really that much smaller. The internal wheel arches in the Designer look a bit of a problem for the settee and must restrict the amount of extra kit you can store in them while towing. A Delta may well be the answer. But is there any where to store the table other than in the awning? How many times have you stubbed your toes on those wheel arches getting back into bed in the dark? Sad

I am amazed at how well they last but then, everything is inside the trailer out of the harmful rays of the sun, and many are kept in garages. I can't believe how little they've changed in 50 years now (it must be very soon) and to me, it just shows how right they were from the start. I think with caravans everything is out in all weathers. The sun streams throught the windows fading the upholstery, carpet, curtains etc. They are built with a lot of wood; then moss etc gets into the joints and they start to leak a bit. In no time they start rotting. On top of all that, stylewise, a 5 year old looks really dated, then they load them with kit which is really flimsy and falls apart in no time. So 10 years and they are fit for the scrap heap with virtually no value. Shame, but they do look nice in the showroom.

I am an electrical engineer so am quite happy to potter about underneath the Dandy, especially when I retire. I am frustrated that the caravan is stored in a farm field so I cannot do anything with it unless I block up the whole drive. I built my own camping trailer over 30 years ago, and apart from replacing all the wood a couple of years ago it's still going strong. I used Indespension units and Mini wheels from the scrap yard and got my Stepdad to weld it all up.
Helen
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Post by Helen on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 9:51 pm

You'll have to trust me on this but it's amazing just how much you can pack in a designer Laughing

I pack a fair bit and then some more, you can see on this thread how I pack some of the stuff but also how much extra space there is to pack lots more Very Happy

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Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 4:34 am

Arrrggggh. Hate it when I get mixed up in my head. Yes Mike does tow with a Punto but the figures I posted were for a Panda.
You don't have a 100Kg nett weight limit on an older Designer more like something near 200Kg. Also if bulky items are stored even 100Kg goes a long way. When you get to see a Dart, Delta and Designer in the flesh you will get to appreciate that though the Delta is only 10" wider than the Dart there is quite a difference in the interior space and likewise with the extra 12" to the Destiny.
I was considering the Lowside Destiny as you don't seem too keen on awning erecting and a Lowside gives you just a few extra square foot to secrete the toilet and for Fido to find a place. "Room For Bog And Dog."
You take however long you need to travelling 200 miles it's no macho contest, it's supposed to be fun.

Not the best believer in advertising blurb but the 2nd to last page of Dandys 1991 brochue states.
Owing to the small compact size, light weight trailer, car tyres and brakes of the folded Dandy, all models except the Destiny can be towed by a very small engined car such as a 600cc 2cv Citroen. The Destiny would only require a 1000cc car such as a Metro.

If you read [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] you will find a piece on what people tow with, one or two classics including Cazz and Wayne with their 5 (Discovery) towed by a Type 3 Volkswagen.

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As you might imagine there is no way that Cazz and Wayne would pull anything to stress their car.

I'd stop thinking and leave it till we have a camp somewhere not too far away then you can come and have a look and a play You will certainly be able to tow a Designer but you can look at your other options also you can have a sniff and feel as in the end you also need to decide if PVC camping is for you.
Owd Lad
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Post by Owd Lad on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 6:39 pm

Dark blue or light blue, um, which one? Well I can only go by our experience. Our first Designer was a light blue circa 1994, complete with bed rolls, which we could have done without, and plywood furniture with sliding doors. It was also un-winterised, did have fitted electrics and did have a fitted Riviera heater plus a Dandy awning. Dandy number 2 was a new Destiny, which we bought in 1997/98. This was a high sided rig, didn't have bed rolls, didn't have a toilet compartment and for which we didn't have an awning. Nor was there a Riviera fitted. (Still don't fully understand why they fell foul of whatever regulations caused their demise.) the fold out beds were still made with plywood sheeting but the rest of the furniture seemed to be a mixture of plywood and fibre board. Like all Destinys at that time it had fitted electrics and was winterised and had double glazed polycarbonate windows. In other words, design had moved on some. Much was at the behest of the customer who wanted something practical but a bit more stylish.
Our latest Designer is dark blue and was made in 2007. Part of our reason for buying it was that it was in cracking condition throughout, as was the awning. Ten years had elapsed between the Destiny and Designer 2 being produced and again things had moved on. The colour scheme, in our eyes, is the nicest of them all. The furniture still needs to be handled carefully to avoid damage and the PVC material for the roof and bat wings has changed in that the dark blue is now a more matt finish, more flexible and yes, possibly a little thinner. The white material doesn't seem to be any different to us.
Is the dark blue Dandy as usable as its earlier cousins? Certainly. Will the dark blue Dandy prove to be as long lived as its earlier cousins? Certainly, provided that they are looked after and maintained.
There have always been minor annoyances with Dandys because minor details fail over time, because they get used. There is, however, nothing that can't be repaired and possibly improved, at a relatively low cost and by people without extensive engineering skills.
Let's remember that the Dandy was conceived as a fairly simple and convenient shelter, better than any tent or trailer tent, and simpler and lighter than a caravan but still providing a comfortable and warm environment. Fifty years on and they're still ticking all the boxes. Do we like plastic? Well, it's fantastic! Will we part with our Designer? In due course, yes, but we would never, ever replace it with anything similar made out of tent material even if they did offer extra gongs and whistles. Like every owner on this site we know that once bitten by the Dandy bug, there's no going back. That's why we all sport silly knowing grins. We have the best!

Steve
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navver

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Post by navver on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 11:16 pm

Hi Tow Itch, I see what you mean about the space in the low sided destiny. Would that just be a 6 or was there a more modern version. On the Riva site specs the pre 2004 destiny is the same height as the modern one at 135cm but is 530kg ex works 750kg max gross, similar to a 6. What would be the latest lowside available. Was the change during the mid light blue era.

My wife is a little short and would struggle helping put up the high side. To be honest, I normally have to set up on my own as SWMBO doesn't like being told what to do, particularly with the awning. Not a good start to a holiday!

She also needs a mobility scooter and that is another 80 or 90 kg to be carried somewhere. It normally goes in the Mondeo boot with the two batteries behind the front seats. I don't think it will fit the Panda, but as one or two of the big parts are low I was hoping to get one or two either inside or on top of the Dandy under the cover. Those parts would be about 21kg each and that would leave room in the Panda for the fridge and perhaps a couple of crates of clothes, and the little dog etc.

The fridge would be a 3 way rather than a cool box so as to be quiet in operation but probably too high to fit in a folded Dandy.

Interesting poll on how old is your dandy. Only 2 out of 17 are less than 10 years old. No wonder they went out of business. Our first van, a Freedom was similar. It had a GRP body and similar luxuries to the Dandy; only difference being it had a fridge, but its life is supposed to be 25 years or more. Having owned one I can well believe it.

Thanks OwdLad, you certainly sound well qualified to answer having owned Dandies of 94, 97 & 07 and other than needing to take care of her you think she should last well.

Caravans are very flimsy and each newer one we have bought has been appeared more flimsy than the previous one, but heavier. Having said that the only breakage we have had was the wide end bed slat which cost about £30 to replace with a new part from the manufacturer.

It sounds as if a dark blue will be OK, but the big question is: Is it worth the extra money? Only SWMBO can answer that for me, because it's really all about appearance versus money.
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Post by Esermalda on Thu 10 Jan 2013, 10:17 am

hello and welcome Navver, have been reading this thread because we were in your position last year.
firstly, the difference in size of the designer and delta,(which I have) is about ten inches in width of the floor space, the length is the same I think. The delta is more like the discovery. The storage is ample in the bottom cupboard, I have set of pans crockery, cutlery and washing up bowl and dog bowls, and the foot locker holds boxes the size of shopping baskets. Ours is light blue, 1992. I was looking for a designer but the delta came up first.
Secondly, you said your OH is short, I am 5ft 2in and OH is 6ft 3in and we have worked out a system for putting up the awning.
I marked on the inside of the roof the line where it lies on the pole, then folded each side from out to in with the line marked in the middle. folded like this it fits on the top of the camper nearly perfectly. then we put up the poles and both of us lift up the awning putting the marked line onto the pole, then OH and I undo first one side then the other. He does the poppers at the door and I do the ends I can reach. Hey presto, one awning up.
May I say that we had more time away in the dandy in all the rain than we managed in the canvas folding camper the year before.
Essie
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Thu 10 Jan 2013, 12:56 pm

Answers in apple pie order I can't deny that dark blue Dandies look smarter. I'm a sucker and I think the dark blue upholstery looks spot on particularly with the newer kitchen units.
What were the changes in the light blue units? The windows changed from glass to polycarbonate double glazing. Nicer but where do you get a replacement from? The kitchen changed from slide cupboards to hinged. As said previously by Helen the join at the hinge changed as did the side of the beds getting rid of the "Lump" at the bedside.
At some point around 93 the Lowside went to Highside. This early attempt still has square corners rather than the later threepenny bit corners.

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Alas I think any form of Highside is above your weight limit. While Ian (Riva) has forgot more about Dandys than I'm likely to know I think he gets a bit mixed up on his website. I phoned him at one point when I noticed some odd measurements. The The 530Kg nett 750Kg gross must a apply to a Lowside Destiny. Never seen any literature for the pre Riva Highsides but the earliest brochure lists 6's as 10cwt (508Kg) and this is repeated in the 1991 brochure when 6's along with all the other Dandys gained a name the 6's becoming Destinys. So I can't believe that the Lowside destiny only gained 22Kg to become a Highside.
So the latest Lowside is approximately 1993 but that is an approximate as quite a few Dandys were built to order or there were transition models. I've seen a Dandy with an extra wide bed, two Highsides that were pre GRP ends with bathrooms, 1999 saw the year of all white Dandys but I've never seen an all white Destiny. So if someone showed me a 1995 Lowside Destiny with revised cupboards and windows I wouldn't fall off my chair in surprise, just that 93 is the latest I've seen so far.

My wife is a little short and would struggle helping put up the high side. To be honest, I normally have to set up on my own as SWMBO doesn't like being told what to do, particularly with the awning. Not a good start to a holiday!

She also needs a mobility scooter and that is another 80 or 90 kg to be carried somewhere. It normally goes in the Mondeo boot with the two batteries behind the front seats. I don't think it will fit the Panda, but as one or two of the big parts are low I was hoping to get one or two either inside or on top of the Dandy under the cover. Those parts would be about 21kg each and that would leave room in the Panda for the fridge and perhaps a couple of crates of clothes, and the little dog etc
Thanks for being open enough to explain your position this sort of think helps us understand what your wants and needs are. I had noticed your train of thought on the UK Campsite thread seemed to focus on what might be an issue as years passed. Right so the Lowside Destiny starts to look a better option as it gives you dog and bog space plus a possible space to ship the mobility scooter. Though I doubt the mobility scooter is narrow enough to fit through the door if it were that would be brilliant as there is a 20min mod to allow the bottom of the door to open while a Dandy is still folded thus allowing the scooter to be slid in or out.
Concerning age and capability one of the reasons that I want you to see and play with a Dandy is that they can be a bit of a lump to put up single handed. I'm 50 6ft futher over 17st than I'd like to admit so should be able to throw my Designer up with ease. However early 2009 I had my stomach cut open from naughty bits to about 5" above the belly button and just for fun they went back in late 2010 did the same plus other fun things. Hence my stomach muscles are shot and lifting can easily cause me pain. So I'd have to say that there are days when erecting the Designer single handed is a bit much. The solutions will be to add gas struts to the beds and possibly gas strut the walls like those on a Destiny. Yes navver though I'd not said those longer walls on a Destiny have gas struts to lift them.

Now you talked about possibly putting some of the scooter components underneath the cover. Indeed Mike has a cover with extra depth on his 6 so he can store things on top. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Now while you have a specific set of needs you're also looking to the future and there are things that come to mind but I'm worried that by going into that much detail or complexity I'm putting you off. I can almost feel people reading the next bit and thinking no does he not know when to shut up. Well those of you who have met me will know well that I don't.
Navver you want to transport as much kit as possible but the Designer is limited in weight (and inner storage) the Lowside Destiny has 230Kg ish of carrying capacity more space internally and means you don't have to erect an awning. Only thing is as the years clock up it's going to be a right lump to push around without help. Also unless I'm very much mistaken there isn't the clearance for a motor mover. Though I have seen a GRP ended Riva Destiny with a mover so either it is possible, GRP Destinys are different or they did a bit of engineering.
The answer to the lack of weight capacity and possibly the space for a motor mover is the same. Unfortunately it looks a bit drastic but actually it's not that massive a job. See:
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So if I was going to be doing that it might affect what sort of Dandy I bought. I'd tend to buy a lower priced Dandy but I've never seen a Designer offered up where the vendor said the suspension was trashed. As you mentioned in the UK Campsite thread that you'd look at buying from Riva so you seem to want a Dandy that is right at purchase. I can see the point but a Designer from Riva where he changed the suspension? £5,000 to £5,500 for the Designer and £600 or £700 for the suspension done by Riva. It's all getting expensive and though it will hopefully last a lifetime it does re introduce the concept of depreciation.
Depending on what you are prepared to do or if you know someone who is practical a £1,500 Designer with £300 spent on suspension, £100 on gas struts and £200? (Ask Helen) on upholstery gets you all but the same thing.

If you do go to 750Kg suspension as well as getting a deeper cover you do get the option of these as well but they're thin on the ground.
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Yes the dark blues look nicer but have you seen what a bit of fabric can do?

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Have you bought the 3 way fridge yet? I got an electrolux 3 way fridge freezer in 2011. Yes they are silent, mine being a fridge freezer is obviously colder than a cold box, but boy are they big. As your not doing southern europe and are always on EHU I'd buy a cold box and stick it under the bed of the person least troubled by noise at night.
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Post by navver on Thu 10 Jan 2013, 2:34 pm

Hi Tow Itch, thanks for that. I guess the high side came in when they fitted a fridge and that was probably when they redid the kitchens. So sounds like light blue lowsides might bequite hard to come by.

I do notice that most for sale seem to be delta, dart & destinies. Maybe people buy the first that becomes available such as delta, then move up to a designer when one comes available but sell the dart/delta. Or a destiny owner who's kids grow up downsizing to a designer. Either way it's probable a designer owner will hang on to it no matter what their family size.

The scooter actually breaks down into bits, each being a 'manageable weight'.
  1. Front bit with handle bars & floor. 23kg
    Rear bit with motor and seat support tube. 21kg
    Seat. 15kg
    Battery 1. 10kg
    Battery 2. 10kg
    Basket.

So I could easily carry them into the camper before folding down and she doesn't use it at home. Biggest bit is the front bit but it is only about 10" high.

My wife's height will only be a problem with a high side as that does seem to be a bit of a reach even for some men. She's 5'4 I'm 6'4.

Yes I am a bit concerned about the 105kg luggage capacity of the designer; but it may be a good thing because if I got the 6 there'd be a lot more room to fill up. I am very keen to keep the weight to tow as low as possible. I really am worried about the performance of a Panda towing with the 1.2 petrol engine. Just having 2 people in it slows it down noticably compared with me on my own. I know from caravan experience if there's room to keep something that may be handy it will be there. It just gets heavier each time you go away. It's the same when you go fishing. You start with a nice light tackle box and in no time it's full of things that may come in handy, so you end up with a wheel barrow.

105kg is a fair bit for two. Probably 38kg for scooter (front & seat), waste/water/bog/awning/bedding/camping pots & pans/ melamine crockery etc, kettle, battery, gas cylinders, shelf unit & light, electric heater, spare wheel, telly, radio. Sounds close to 105kg.

Clothes, food & fridge in car.

The nose weight is on the car not the camper. When we're in it we are more than 105kg.

I do like what Helen has done to her insides very much and it looks as good if not better than a new one.

The Delta does look an attractive option because although it's 10" narrower theere are no wheel arches. That means the floor space isn't that much less and the kitchen bottom unit is wider. The bedding box looks very easy to access and it could be used without the cushion for the fridge and maybe telly. The lighter starting weight will be very welcome.

But all food for thought.


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Post by Helen on Thu 10 Jan 2013, 8:48 pm

I wonder if you could put a small 3 way in the space at the side of the cushions ?




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Post by navver on Thu 10 Jan 2013, 10:24 pm

That's the space I had planned for the loo at night, with the bed curtain round it, but the fridge could go there by day with the loo in the awning.

On the dark blue ones they put the fridge to the right of the kitchen on the settee, under your nice shelf. They cut the mattress with a small bit at the end you add back in if you want to use the bed at night. Look at the Designer for sale on Ian's (Riva) site.

Thinking a bit more, I need a light blue designer because of the 300kg ex works weight against the 395kg of the dark blue. How does the same camper add on nearly a third of its weight? I have to admit, I don't have much confidence in Dandy brochure weights.
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Post by navver on Thu 10 Jan 2013, 11:04 pm

I don't believe it. Just checked on Whattowcar, and the panda towing a 750kg destiny low side gives better performance than my mondeo towing the 1326kg caravan. With the 300kg designer it flies. The panda with 750kg struggles on hill starts though, only a 1 star and needs lower gear for hills. It will be harder work.

Towing

At 50mph mondeo needs 38kw, panda needs 19kw. Half the power and thats for 750kg dandy.
On a 1:20 hill, mondeo in 4th, panda in 3rd but both doing 53mph.



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Post by mike on Fri 11 Jan 2013, 5:19 am

Sorry i dont think i have welcomed you, Dark Blue Quality 1217042266 had quiet a lot on the last few weeks,ime the tow a 6 with a 1200 punto merchant.There have been occasions when approaching a steep hill i have thought it would be nice to have more power then when we get to the top i think why,with a low sided destiny you would have to work the gears a bit more on occasion but most of the time you would be watching your speed to stay under 50.
As for mpg i lost the details when i changed my battery but over all including a fair bit of towing. loads of 2mile work journeys and some motorway the running average was over 45 mpg,i decided even if i lost mpg when towing it would only be a small increase in cost when the lower normal running costs where looked at.
A couple of tips to save weight dont have a dandy awning unless you need it,if you dont need the centre bed or seating for six leave the table out and replace it with a light aluminium fold up one,decide how much use the wardrobe is to you as leaving that out gives more floor space for packing,all though you can pack stuff inside it when its laid down.

mike
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Post by mike on Fri 11 Jan 2013, 5:32 am

Again sorry if i have this wrong but did i read you where a little concerned about you and your wife erecting a low sided destiny,all i can tell you is we find it easier than the smaller ones especially with gas struts on the side wall,i do all the lifting and Nancy does the hold in place till i get round that side,the beds would be better with gas struts but thats not expensive,there are one or two tips that help but are not in the erection instructions and i will pass these on if you go down that road.

mike
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Post by navver on Fri 11 Jan 2013, 9:43 am

Thanks Mike, I notice on Parkers yours is 49mpg average and the panda 50mpg. I was a bit concerned that they all said you tow with a punto but if it was the diesel it would be a different story, but it sounds like yours is the 1.2 60hp petrol engine like ours.

Is yours is an older 6. They used to be 8cwt then went up to 10 cwt for the 1991 destiny. Would yours be an 8cwt.

Good tip about the table and awning. I was going to try and use a light weight awning. I guess the steel frame weighs a ton with the PVC awning.

I wondered about the wardrobe. If I leave it at home it would give a useful cupboard top for the telly and for any kitchen overflow.
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Post by The Admiral on Fri 11 Jan 2013, 10:14 am

navver wrote:That's the space I had planned for the loo at night, with the bed curtain round it, but the fridge could go there by day with the loo in the awning.

On the dark blue ones they put the fridge to the right of the kitchen on the settee, under your nice shelf. They cut the mattress with a small bit at the end you add back in if you want to use the bed at night. Look at the Designer for sale on Ian's (Riva) site.

Thinking a bit more, I need a light blue designer because of the 300kg ex works weight against the 395kg of the dark blue. How does the same camper add on nearly a third of its weight? I have to admit, I don't have much confidence in Dandy brochure weights.

That's where we put our new 3 way fridge during the day in our designer we've got a cut out piece to the seat cushion and then move it onto the kitchen unit overnight as my hubbie sleeps on that bed and can only sleep with his head away from
the door!
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Post by Tow Itch on Fri 11 Jan 2013, 1:45 pm

navver wrote:Thanks Mike, I notice on Parkers yours is 49mpg average and the panda 50mpg. I was a bit concerned that they all said you tow with a punto but if it was the diesel it would be a different story, but it sounds like yours is the 1.2 60hp petrol engine like ours.

Is yours is an older 6. They used to be 8cwt then went up to 10 cwt for the 1991 destiny. Would yours be an 8cwt.

Good tip about the table and awning. I was going to try and use a light weight awning. I guess the steel frame weighs a ton with the PVC awning.

I wondered about the wardrobe. If I leave it at home it would give a useful cupboard top for the telly and for any kitchen overflow.

Is yours is an older 6. They used to be 8cwt then went up to 10 cwt for the 1991 destiny. Would yours be an 8cwt.

I was just about to refer to the 1981 brochure and say "No They Have Always Been 10cwts" then of course I re read the 1981 brochure and you're right. I've no idea about the whys and wherefores of why it's the only Dandy to show a weight change in that period but thanks for reading and posting I'd somehow forgot that the early 6's were 8cwts. As the Dandys morphed throught the 80's right up to winterised ones I suppose the only way is to weigh an individual example.

Not thinking of changing your mind and getting an early 6 that you can load up with 7cwts of kit are you?

I was just thinking how the change of design of the awnings must have added a good bit of weight (The original awning was quite different navver) So 2 Dark Blue Quality 3355420168 questions for Mick or anyone with a long memory.

1) As awnings were an extra did the net weight include the weight of the awning?
2) Has anyone seen a 6 with the PVC flaps on the batwings to attach an awning?

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