Can you share 10 items good/bad you have or would want/avoid when buying a motorhome

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Life of Reilly, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Life of Reilly

    Life of Reilly Read Only Funster

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    Hi my wife Anne and I (Dave) have been considering a motorhome for some time.

    We moved from Wokingham 12 months ago and now currently live in the west coast of Scotland to be closer to family and want to spend some time touring Scotland in summer months and other times in Europe, for sun and possibly skiing as well.

    We think a 4 berth will suit us, but have looked at several models and all have a multiude of options, which leaves us mighty confused

    If you could help us please with listing your 10 MUST haves in your Motorhome and 10 WASTE of MONEY ones, this will be really helpfull.

    Many thanks


    Dave
     
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  2. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    Hello, tough question cos everyone's needs/wants are different. I don't know about 10 things but:

    Given the choice I wouldn't bother with a microwave but they all seem to come with one these days.
    Our table is really heavy so check when you're looking at MHs

    A separate shower is a must for us
    An oven is a must, some continental vans don't have them

    Can't think of any more at the moment

    Enjoy your search
     
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  3. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Agree completely with Helen @scousebird, that everyone's need and priorities are different, now our continental van doesn't come with an oven but we've never missed one and it wouldn't be on our next van list as a priority. Fixed bed, some will swear by them whilst others feel they take up too much daytime space, particularly in a small to moderate sized van.

    It's all a very personal choice really, you need to make your own mind up and not be swayed by others likes and dislikes...just my opinion :).

    I think it all depends on where your intending using it and what type of use you have in mind.

    Dave :):):)
     
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  4. Soozywoozy

    Soozywoozy Funster

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    Agree about microwave - don't have one, don't need one, requires hook up to use anyway and takes up extra cupboard/ storage space.
    Have small oven - more than enough and again large full scale ones take up too much storage space , depends whether you are wanting to do the full Sunday roast - I would rather not
    Essential -
    payload payload payload,. Nothing worse than finding out you have insufficient allowance to put outdoor table and chairs in
    Storage, storage, storage in and out - think Ski's, bikes, bbq's plus food/ clothes/ cooking utensils / crockery etc. sounds obvious but great variation (think payload again!)
    Seperate shower ( make sure you can turn around in it!)
    Screen cover for cold (skiing essential) and heat insulation
    Air conditioning if you are venturing south on the continent in the summer ( otherwise don't bother). Didn't use it at all last year, but this year, all the time 37 degrees is vile without A/c but of course needs hook up ( not a problem in germany)
    4 berth is good even if majority of time it is just the 2 of you - gives flexibility for extra passengers

    Happy buying
     
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  5. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Completely agree...no good finding out after you've bought it!
     
  6. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    My wife insisted on having an oven in our new van.

    We haven't used it in 3 years like:rolleyes:
     
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  7. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Do you still hide her Christmas present in the one at home Chris.
     
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  8. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    Don't spend too much on your first van, once you start using it, you'll have more of an idea of what you want in your next van.
    And don't rush out buying things you think you need lol
     
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  9. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I have some notes on deciding on a layout, including a link to a checklist, Here. The checklist most likely won't match what you want but you might find it more useful than a blank sheet of paper as a starter.
     
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  10. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Everyone's different; what is essential for some isn't for others. We don't have a separate shower and wouldn't choose a van with one if it compromised storage or comfort. We use our van for around 50 nights a year and have only used the shower once - flannel washes are far more economical with water, which is one of our limiting factors when camping. We've coped quite comfortably without A/C in thr habitation area but would choose a van with A/C in the cab for when we are travelling.

    I would choose a van that fits in the parking space that you have available, is big enough to accommodate what you would like providing it wasn't so big that it becomes a chore to travel around in and park when you arrive.

    I would also choose a van with good leg room when driving, s comfortable bed and sufficient kitchen worktop space.
     
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  11. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

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    If you are thinking of using for skiing then investigate the insulation and the fresh water tank. As said by others it is a personal thing but all would agree that layout and payload are the 2 most important decisions. Personally I like a fixed bed, primarily go for EHU on sites and therefore like my microwave but find the grill a waste of space.
    Horses for courses, and I hope you get sorted. Good luck.
     
  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    For me, the 'must have' starts with the construction..

    My most important criteria when I chose my Hymer B644 was that it had no wood in the construction framework to rot. If it ever sufferers from water ingress, it won't rot the body..
    The fixtures and fittings are good quality, there is no chipboard or MDF in the furniture construction.. the worktops are marine plywood, topped with high quality laminate.. the edges are solid wood, not sticky back plastic trim that will peel off as soon as it gets damp.


    It is going on 15 years old.. and the interior is as good as new, with very few signs of wear or tear.. .. likewise the exterior.

    'Waste of money' is subjective..

    I don't need or want:

    * Microwave oven.. just a wast of space and paload, to be be utilised fully, it requires mains 240v or a large battery bank with solar.
    * Gas oven.. never had one that was much good.. just a waste of space and payload.
    * Electric hot plate.. see microwave oven.
    * A cocktail bar
    * Mood lighting and bling.


    For us.. Must Haves:

    * Fixed bed.. have spent enough years making up a Rubics cube every night.

    *Garage.. for e- bikes, chairs, tables, and other camping paraphernalia.

    * At least 3 belted travelling seats.

    * Under 7mts. this was my max length for drive.. also, the bigger they are the more difficult it is to find parking .. used to have an 11mt RV and it was great to live in but very restricted for sites and places it could be taken.. ideal for full time..

    * Good payload.. this is critical and you must check.

    * For all year use both here and abroad.. A Double floor, fully winterised, both waste and fresh tanks housed in the void.. .. no exposed fresh water or drain pipes.

    * Solar power and twin 85ah batteries to enable off grid camping..

    * Spare wheel.. many new models come without and have a tube of puncture repair gunk.

    * Cab air-con.. almost essential for travelling in southern Europe in summer..
    Hab air con not fussy.. if it had it fine.. if not wouldn't bother fitting.

    I have since fitted

    * Auto satellite dish... a luxury that is not essential.. but after years of using tripods and other manual sat dishes, it was my treat to me.

    * 200 watt Sterling pure sine wave inverter, to charge cameras and anything that cannot be charged direct from the 12v with an adapter.

    * Twin 11kg Gaslow refillable LPG bottles..

    Future.

    * Would like to fit cruise control..



    you can view my van here .
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/showcase/hymer-b644.114/
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
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  13. Eeyore

    Eeyore Read Only Funster

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    At random:

    Definitely check payload ! Remember that the weight on each individual axle is important as well as gross weight.

    Cab A/C : even in winter it is essential to clear the air, is useful to stop you choking in long tunnels and essential in hot weather to keep you alert and comfortable.

    Sensible storage: look at where you will keep big or bulky items, chairs, screen covers, bedclothes etc.

    Good lounging space; in winter we don't want to be forced bolt upright on uncomfortable dinette seats or lie on a fixed bed from 3 pm ( dark) onwards.

    Good heating and insulation including pipework and water tanks. Double floored vans are perhaps something you should consider if you are going to spend more time where it is very cold. We prefer blown air heating: we found in vans with a fire we tended to get cold feet and hot heads.

    Enough space to move around comfortably. This doesn't have to mean especially big but just well planned. We are not keen on vans with dinettes etc as they always seem very cramped and crowded.

    If you want to carry bikes on the back check that a bike rack can be fitted.

    We like either fitted gas bottles or, as we have now,an underslung tank. This means you don't have to cart bottles around or worry about gas supplies when in Europe.
     
  14. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    This variety of responses just proves the point that our requirements are all different so you really will have to take note of everything that has been said BUT make your own mind up when armed with the facts.

    Martin
     
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  15. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

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    Must have payload and a reliable "front end".

    Without both of those you'll run the risk of driving overweight or not driving at all.

    Everything else is secondary and you can adapt to the features it has.
     
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  16. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    What chassis are you on Jim? Completely agree with all you have said above, the Hymer body will long outlive the Fiat Ducato chassis my Hymer is built on. Had I have had the van from 'newer' I would have had it well treated. The waxoil keeps it 'ok' but the chassis will be a major consideration on any next purchase, and I'll get on my back for a good look!
     
  17. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Essentials?

    Levelling ramps and traction mats, plus small 2-way spirit level for use when parking
    Digital multimeter
    Fridge thermometer
    12v socket extenders (ie from one socket to three plus USBs)
    Containers for dumping grey water and collecting fresh water - a folding shopping trolley can be handy here.
    Anti-slip mats for cupboards/lockers
    Electric Hook Up cable, at least 20 metres
    Blown air heating system
    Insect screens on door and windows
    Folding camping chairs
    Spare wing mirror glass - you'll see!

    If camping away from sites (ie European aires, wild camping), Solar panel with charge controller, Refillable gas cylinder, LED lighting, and 12v/USB chargers for all essential gadgets

    Things we've managed without (these will vary with individual needs):

    12v/230v Inverter
    Cooking equipment beyond 4 rings and a grill
    Air conditioning
    Aire guide books (we use free SatNav POI files)
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi David..

    It's on the Al-Ko chassis , MAM 4,000kg the bit that might rust is the Fiat front cross member..

    I've has a good look though and see none at present.. The first owner had the whole underside treated with Waxoil..
     
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  19. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    I can only talk about layout, have no tech/mech knowledge or understanding no matter how hard I try!
    Must have (for us) .....
    automatic / robotised gearbox
    bigger fridge than we currently have
    decent shower-room
    vehicle & habitation manuals​
    Waste of money & therefore space (for us) .....
    oven​

    Best way to save getting it wrong & having to change your MH? - rent first!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  20. Oriel

    Oriel

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    For us it's:
    - A class
    - layout. Must have fixed island bed, oven, good sized lounge area
    - size of vehicle and engine (min 3 lt) with aircon
    - payload
    - colour of upholstery and carpets as we have a dog
    - fully winterised
    - separate shower and loo
    - external shower with hot and cold water
    - fitted awning
    - external bbq point, electric point, TV point

    Don't need/want
    - microwave
    - doors in cab
    - cocktail cabinets
    - shoe lockers with racks

    As others have said, it's very much a personal choice as to what folk deem to be essential and is obviously governed by your budget. I'd make a list of absolute essentials followed with a 'would like list'.

    Hope you find your dream MH!
     
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