Are we mad at 43 yrs old?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by leeandzed, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. leeandzed

    leeandzed

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    hi... All new to this. We have taken the plunge, packed in our jobs to motorhome it around Europe for the next few years at least! No kids, hence have been fortunate enough to save up a bit for the past few years to buy a van, plus will rent out our house etc for income. One dilemma is that being 6 foot 4, it's not easy finding an MH which is tall enough to stand up in. Also, i personally don't like the look of coach built types of MH's, so am thinking of buying a 2/3 yr old MWB Merc Sprinter or VW crafter (around the 12-15k mark) with a high roof and getting it converted professionally. It seems a much cheaper way also, as I've had quotes ranging anywhere from 6 to 12,000 depending on spec and fittings quality etc. to convert. Has anyone gone down this route ? Also, what is the interior height once converted?
    Went to the camper show at the NEC last weekend, but sad there were no conversion firms there to chat to for ideas, so hopefully will get some ideas here... Thanks and looking forward to chatting on here.. Lee and Zoe
     
  2. f6c

    f6c Funster

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    Welcome aboard;)
     
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  3. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    welcome, great plans

    I will be intrigued about the height options for a PVC. high roof or not, can't see you standing up inside once it has been lined and floored

    Whatever you end up going in have fun :)
     
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  4. Mousy

    Mousy Funster Life Member

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    Hi our son (18) is 6'5" it's not just the head height you have to find it's the bed length and that the driving seat is comfortable.

    The trouble with the merc base is that the side walls at the roofline aren't straight and when converted this reduces the head height even more. So I'm not sure it will suit you.

    Also a van to full time is needs serious consideration, but that's ok, loads of knowledgeable people on here.
     
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  5. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    To answer your question, yes you might be slightly mad, not your age, but the fact you have quit your jobs and haven't even sorted the MH yet, but maybe that is your age still showing through :D I have got a daughter like you (slightly younger in case she happens to read this) :)
     
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  6. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Have a good time!

    Chose your van carefully though! A PVC might look more sexy on the outside, but you have to live in it for a long time and need space to store stuff! Also, insulation levels are better generally on coachbuilt designs.
    Most fulltimers have coachbuilts or A classes for a very good reason! Although I am sure there are exceptions!
     
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  7. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    At 42 I called it a day.
    Sold business here at home and had a property in Spain.
    Moved out to Spain, after 6 mts found I missed not working and moved back and began working again !
    Still spend a month at a time out there but a month is enough for me .... "be careful what you wish for" ! ...
    But hey, go for it... "One life, live it"
     
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  8. leeandzed

    leeandzed

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    Thanks all, wow so many replies in a short time... What a friendly bunch! I should have said in the initial thread, that we are initially driving down to southern Spain for 7 weeks to look for a base to rent for the winter months, and then come back to UK mid May to buy a van. Then tour UK in the summer here, then from early October go to Spain for 6 mths in the winter and have that as a base to explore Spain, Portugal and France etc. so won't be in the van continuously but will be a few weeks at a time.
    Some good points already regarding the Merc side walls etc. being narrow... Wil have to visit a few dealers to investigate further.
     
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  9. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    not much headroom in the standard merc sprinters, try looking at the Renault Master / Vauxhall Movano with the extra high factory fitted roof, we actually ended up putting a false floor in one with storage ,batteries, and water tanks etc under the floor still had pretty good headroom.
     
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  10. TheWM

    TheWM Read Only Funster

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  11. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I am also 43, but have been fulltiming for 6 years now. Currently in a panel van but as I am a short arse I got away with a Fiat Ducato LWB.

    If there are two of you I would suggest looking at the XLWB Iveco's. They give you an Extra Meter of length which would be great for you. They are also rear wheel drive so you have plenty of space underneath to hang stuff. I am pretty certain but you would need to confirm that the roof is also higher than in most other panel vans.
     
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  12. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    Hi and welcome to FUN, as your finding this is the best forum on the net for all and any motorhome questions, good luck in your search. (y)
     
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  13. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Welcome.

    Re you looking for a base to rent - are you looking for a general location or a property in May? If the latter, I suspect that you will not get the best price - the property market has been poor and peeps may be looking to sell or looking for longer term rentals. They may be optimistic about the coming summer and being able to sell their property at last rather than looking ahead to another winter. What part of spain are you looking for properties to rent?
     
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  14. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    hello.jpg and welcome.

    Lots of people know lots more than me but here is my cent's worth.

    The PVC will probably be too small for you - however you could ask Terry who is a member here and does custom conversions. What he doesn't know you don't need to know.

    If I was you I would look at motorhomes in France or Germany due to your budget - make sure it would be legal to import and register back in the UK (or in Spain if you are going to be living there - I think it has to be registered in your country of domicile). Don't rule out a low profile, they might be more visually appealing to you than the traditional motorhome with the bulbous profile.

    Consider a LHD as you will have more choice if buying outside the UK.

    Oh and please become a paid subscriber - you will get more than you money back and also get full access to the site with all the information. I've no financial interest except for the discounts the members get :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
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  15. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    You need to go and have a look at lots of motorhomes. You say you don't like coachbuilts, but they would probably be better equipped and have a wider range of options than most pcv's. Try out the bathrooms too.
    If you can afford the fuel, have a look at American RV's, many have at least 7' headroom and are built for bigger people. Of course, this might restrict where you can travel without a bit of research first.
    At 43, you haven't started shrinking yet, by the time you are 60, you should fit in most vans!
    Allan
     
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  16. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    Hello :hi:

    I wish we could do what you're doing but as my daughter lives at home it would be difficult to let!

    Good luck with your search.
     
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  17. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Hi and a Welcome.
    Stress made me quit at 49. Moved to Cyprus, moved to France.

    Partner & I had just bought first motorhome---he was killed in a RTA exactly a week later ( not in motorhome) so
    go for it as you never know what's round the corner.

    If you want the knowledge on van conversions talk to Terry on here as he's the expert.

    Good Luck and keep us all posted on your adventures!
     
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  18. activecampers

    activecampers Read Only Funster

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    No, do it if you want to!
    I quit full time work at (cough) 36, and the wife was a few years older. Had 1300+ nights away in the van in total, plus other trips like backpacking and cycling. Only came to an end when parents evicted our stuff from their garage and we had to buy another house.
    Whilst we don't regret buying a new house as it has tied us down a bit, we do love where we live and the house. We now do locum/consulting work and have far more offered to us than we want/need, so its a case of throttling back. Now 43 (shit - has it been that long!) we're trying to sort out lots of long ish trips, mixing van with cycling and more backpacking. Variety is the spice of life!
    Standing up at 6'4 is going to be tough in any small PVC - as remember there needs to be insulation etc. So you've probably got to either go big (coach/a-class) or accept the fact you won't stand up full. No half way house :(
    Your conversion costs are cheap - if you supplied a van to the guys that did ours, the conversion only is £25k - though to be fair its oak construction and very well made (as the use/abuse its had shows).
    Our blog may help with some idea, but some out of date now.
    Good luck!
     
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  19. leeandzed

    leeandzed

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    Thanks FULL TIMER. I am actually looking at the high roof Sprinter, which i think is about the same as the other high roof vans, but want Ze German build quality, as have been driving beemers for donkeys years. Looking on the Merc website they actually do an extra high roof Sprinter but that might be new ones.. Will defo look at the others though thanks.
     
  20. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    We have a La Strada conversion on a Merc base. It is 16 yrs old but still looks good. I'm 6'2" and can fully stand up in the main cooking / wash areas and don't have much of an issue under the drop down bed which is over the sitting areas. Our van cost us around £16K and is 16 yrs old.
     
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