advise please, purchasing a motorhome

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Angela Dyer, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. Angela Dyer

    Angela Dyer Read Only Funster

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    Good morning.
    I am looking to purchase a motorhome. I am a beginner at large.
    My requirements are
    4 berth
    U shaped lounge.
    Shower cubicle...not one that showers the toilet, w/basin as well.
    Turning front seats
    Central heating hot/cold.
    These are just the essentials.
    Can someone let me know what make to look out for.
    £24,000 or under is my hopeful price
    Thank you kindly
     
  2. nelly

    nelly Funster

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    That sounds like a Hymer 634 not sure they still make it new but Rapido now do a model like that. Not sure what you mean by hot and cold central heating.

    Nelly
     
  3. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Various makers produce such layouts. Have a look round local dealers and, if possible, go along to a show like Peterborough next month.
    One tip to watch out for is to make sure the van you choose has sufficient belted travel seats.
     
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  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    To get that layout , ie U shaped lounge , .. with 4 belted seats, you are probably looking at a six berth..

    Double bed in the U shaped lounge , double bet in the dinette which should have at least two belted seats, and an overcab bed.. or drop down bed if an A class.

    That makes it quite a large van .. do you have a maximum length and weight in mind ?

    .. and also consider your driving license .. can you drive over 3.5 ton ? .. ie is it pre 1997 with grandfather rights ?

    I don't think the Hymer 634 has 4 belted traveling seats..
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  5. Angela Dyer

    Angela Dyer Read Only Funster

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    Thank you. I will look up the hymer 634
    Also will check license.
    I am grateful for your help
     
  6. Angela Dyer

    Angela Dyer Read Only Funster

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    Is it a b634. That is what is appearing.
     
  7. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    If by the "cold" bit of "Central heating hot/cold" you mean air conditioning (A/C) then there are two main types. First there is "cab A/C" which is the sort of A/C you might expect in a car. When the engine is running it blows cold air at you from vents in the dash. A slightly Marmite feature, a few don't like it or can't see the purpose but I think anyone (bound to be an exception somewhere!) who has tried it will be won over. Useful in winter too as it helps demist the windscreen as the humidity in the air is lowered. At the risk of being shot down I would list this as an essential if you have plans to go anywhere hot.

    Then there is A/C in the living/sleeping area. These are generally roof mounted and need a mains supply to run them. They sound perfect but they can be noisy and in my experience of living in the tropics for a while there is a great danger you don't become acclimatised and spend all day hiding in the cooled area (my office) and are reluctant to go outside. However, when I lived in Kuwait A/C in your house and office was an essential. I went camping in Jordan in May once and after 10:00 in the morning you couldn't move so we left the tent and went driving in the air conditioned car. In high summer it was cruel. But you might just need to keep cool for medical reasons so I would not be judgemental but habitation area A/C is not common and most folk get along fine without it.
     
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  8. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Advice I always give to first time buyers is Hire before you buy. Even though we had been tuggers for 20 years we still hired a couple of vans before buying. Weren't able to hire the exact layout we were interested in but we did find out what we couldn't live with.
    Unless you go for an A Class like the Hymer where you have a drop down bed, a U shaped lounge really does limit your choice & you end up with a hotch botch of a bed that has to be made up every night and often lumpy & uncomfortable as well.

    A few Hymer B534's for sale here.
     
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  9. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    think long and hard about the U shaped lounge. the main activity and time spent in a motorhome is sleeping..bed comfort one of the most important issues. making one up every single night, on a sofa? just think about it lol. Also with rear bed/beds layout & front lounge, one can still be in bed and one up front in lounge, cooking, laptop, whatever, without disturbing one and other. Don't know what sort of use you envisage but we spend most our time outside...
     
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  10. Angela Dyer

    Angela Dyer Read Only Funster

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    Wow..looks like I will have to rethink the lounge bit.
    Lennyhb what restrictions would I have. Also what is an A class?
    Judgemental thank you.
    What is the best layout for me to be looking for. I am confused.
     
  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    @Angela Dyer

    the best bit of advice I can give today is to buy Motorhome Buyers Guide.. publish by Jim , site owner..
    http://shop.motorhomefun.co.uk/product/motorhome-buyers-guide/

    it is an excellent guide for both novice and old hand.. read and digest..

    You said you wanted four berths.. I assumed there are four of you ?

    If so, you require four belted seats.. none of the Hymers suggested have that..

    Four belted seats are usually found in family vans with a four seat dinette table.

    your best plan is to look at a few vans at dealers .. make a list of 'must have's

    start list with

    1. four belted traveling seats
    2. lounge
    3 at least four berths ..
    4. toilet with separate shower
    5. etc
    6. MAM.. that is 'max authorised mass' or weight of vehicle that you are licenced to drive.. assume 3.5ton unless you sat your test pre 1997

    show your list to a salesperson..

    don't rush .. ask on here about anything you've seen and liked ..
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
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  12. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    dont get me wrong many happy with rear lounge..just offering a different point of view. most european vans favour the kind of layouts we like.
    rear twin single beds - french bed (what we have) - transverse bed.

    transverse, best for space, keeps length of van reasonable. but you have to climb over each other the only downside:) just go to a really good show dont listen to dealer BS and have a look at whats available. below

    A class
    coachbuilt
    PVC panel van camper
    A class.png
    coachbuilt.jpg
    PVC or panel van (what we have).jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
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  13. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

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    Also, check the "payload".. With 4 of you, you will need a fair bit off "stuff" !!
    Mitch.
     
  14. Angela Dyer

    Angela Dyer Read Only Funster

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    ScotJimland, I will order they ebook and take note of your advise.
    Judgemental you must have a large motorhome..what is a transverse bed please.
    This will take me ages to find what I want.
    So much to look for.
    Thank you.
     
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  15. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Payload is king & as a general rule, if you are limited to 3500kg, the bigger the van the smaller the payload.Don't forget the "payload" also has to include the weight of the driver & passengers. If you are not restricted to 3500kg then no problem, but still check the payload & don't believe the brochures or salesmen.
    Then layout & this is very important depending on how you intend to use the 'van i.e. on/off sites,
    Mainly UK/abroad, Self catering/eating out, Summer only/all year, etc. etc.
    As suggested try before you buy, some dealers will hire you the van & deduct the hire fee if you buy.
     
  16. Trekker

    Trekker Read Only Funster

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    Hymer 634 does not have separate shower, It's integral with toilet. You are correct in that they are not made new any more. We are happy with ours. (634). But where you lose space in 1 area you gain in another. Main problem with integral shower is you always have to stand on shower base to use toilet and wash basin.
     
  17. Trekker

    Trekker Read Only Funster

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    Hymer 634 only has 2 belted seats, driver and passenger, none in rear
     
  18. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Nope we have an identical, same colour, as smallest one in above pictures. A possl 636 FR ( french bed model) we like panel van campers. Less issues that inflict their larger cousins . Steel body, normally no leaks, fast, economical and excellent handling

    Transverse is a large bed across back wall. Normalyvover a big garage...Google is your friend use it :)

    Common layouts in this link:

    http://www.hymer.com/en/models/semi-integrated/hymer-exsis-t/layouts.html



     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  19. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    Hi Angela.
    We are in a similar situation has yourself but perhaps a little further along.
    I can highly recommend Jim's book.
    Enjoy looking. It's a minefield.
     
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  20. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Later ones had the option of fold up travel seats in side sofas, I think these might out of the OP's price range.
     
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