Coachbuilt versus A-Class

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by joggerman, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. joggerman

    joggerman Read Only Funster

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    Coachbuilts are generally cheaper - A-Class can look sleeker, but what other reasons influenced your choice between the two?
     
  2. Kon tiki

    Kon tiki Read Only Funster

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    Had an A class & we now have a low profile coachbuilt. We will be going back to an A class for our next van. Like the feeling of so much more space in the cab area, many of the A class vans now have the double floor (not so common on coachbuilts. This means all your tanks, pipework etc is protected & also gives you much more storage. Downside aprt from costs is the tend to be heavier in a like for like layout (some manufacturers do almost identical vans in both versions) so you lose payload. Drop down beds on the A class are usually very good but some coach builts have similar beds.
     
  3. dellwood33

    dellwood33 Read Only Funster

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    We looked at A class, but the drop down beds were impossible for my wife to access safely due to her disability. Next van will be low line coachbuilt with a fixed island bed. :Smile:
     
  4. bazfergy

    bazfergy Read Only Funster

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    Weve got an aclass and im a wheelchair user we use the fixed bed instead of the drop down bed.The drop down bed is brilliant for guests.But apart from that we have far more room than we did in our low profile.We have a pilote galaxy on a merc sprinter,we had a burstner nexxo t660:thumb:
     
  5. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Love the space although we are trying to replace our RV with a B class RV which will still have stacks of space with slideouts but will be narrower, lower and slightly shorter to make our Euro travels easier.
     
  6. smifee

    smifee Read Only Funster

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    Went to Dusseldorf show with a mate in his Hymer A Class.

    Result - didn't want an A Class or a Merc.

    Bought a Hymer coachbuilt on a Fiat and haven't regretted it.

    A Class has a windscreen that costs a bomb to replace and are not readily available. How many do you have to replace before you don't get windscreen cover on insurance?

    A Class have non standard mirrors and when I was looking to buy most weren't electric or heated.

    On an A Class that huge, to me, wasted space at the front of the cab is only there to allow for the fitting of a drop down bed which I don't want.

    His A Class does have more useable space than the extra length over my coachbuilt but that's because the layout is different.

    Not sure if his roof is all one piece but if it is that's an advantage over a coachbuilt as I had a leak where the overcab joins the rest of the roof.

    Still he paid £62,00 for the A Class. I paid £36,000 for the coachbuilt 1 year later. Both vans bought new.:Eek!:

    Until someone comes up with the Tardis MH I'll stick with my coachbuilt:thumb:
     
  7. M&L

    M&L Read Only Funster

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    Unless you have the need for a dropdown bed and a supposed status symbol then why pay extra. As said previously the extra space is of no use and the join between the base vehicle dashboard and the extra bit always looks a bit of a mess in the ones that I've seen.
    I would also say that the coachbuilt one's cab would also be safer in an accident.
    In the end it's the overall layout that counts rather than is it an A Class or Coachbuilt.

    Mike
     
  8. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    We had absolutely decided that the Knaus SunTi with the L shaped dinnette and fixed bed was going to be our next van. Arrived at the dealership to look at it and to put down the deposit; went through the hab door and didn't like it. Went round the corner and saw an A class with exactly the same layout; loved it.

    We both spent a long time trying to pinpoint what it was about the Knaus and came to the conclusion that, because it is on a Renault Master and they have a very high dashboard which slopes down to the bottom of the windscreen, it makes the view out from inside the van (not in the driver or passenger seat) very letterboxy. The frame behind the cockpit narrows the overall width and makes it seem very narrow. It is narrow. Despite the massive sunroof it gave the impression of being visually cramped and there is very little space between the kitchen and the dinette.

    A Class is roomier and looks much roomier. The space in the cockpit is extremely useful. Our son has slept in the pull-down bed and says it's very comfy. Double floor keeps it nice and warm, though the water tank is actually in the van under the forward facing seat.


    John
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  9. bazfergy

    bazfergy Read Only Funster

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    horses for courses joggerman.You have to decide what fits YOUR needs its not something to rush into,best of luck and whatever you choose happy travels:thumb:
     
  10. Spacerunner

    Spacerunner Read Only Funster

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    Nowadays you can have the best of both worlds.

    The new Chausson 'Suit' has an ingenious motorised wind down bed at the front, an island kitchen area and full width rear bathroom and dressing area.

    All of this in a coachbuilt body same size as the compact AutoSleeper Neuvo.
     
  11. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    What's this one Spacerunner? - nothing like it on the Chausson UK website. Sounds intriguing.


    John
     
  12. GregM

    GregM Read Only Funster

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    Maybe he is refering to the Welcome suite with its center kitchen
     
  13. joggerman

    joggerman Read Only Funster

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    Yes, i am sure he is.
    It has a wind down bed from the roof according to the photos.
     
  14. derekfaeberwick

    derekfaeberwick Read Only Funster

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    It was price that was the deciding factor for me.

    Had I gone A class I would have had to buy quite a bit older and probably a Fiat base. The compensation of a wider roomier cab and drop down bed didn't really warrant this as far as I was concerned.

    If I had the money I'd have gone for a Merc based A class, but.:Sad:
     
  15. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    Thanks for that Greg. I had assumed he meant Chausson Suit as a model (Doh! - smilies not working nor is multi quote). Looks a very natty piece of kit. I'll need to have a look next time we pass Highbridge. Ideal if we ever wanted to downsize - not that we're all that big to start with. John
     
  16. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    We all have our opinions!

    In my view, although an A class "feels" bigger, the space is not useable and is really an illusion - the front seats are in exactly the same position! Also a low profile has cupboards that you lose around the front if you have an A class. So unless you need the drop down bed, the apparently smaller low profile actually has more usefull space.

    Personally I would not want to be without a drivers door - most UK A-classes do not have one as the makers do not convert the whole van for RHD. The thought of having to walk through the van with muddy shoes to get out for fuel or other quick stops to me seems unacceptable.

    Add that to the fact that an A-class costs a lot more, and I know which I prefer! But I can understand others likeing the feeling of space that you do get in an A class.
     
  17. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    l think its down to the individual. l am going for an A class RV, the reason being we want to spend a lot of time living in it. Maybe even full time, as we have retired early. The amount of space and facilities you get on an American RV is abundant. The captains seats are real lounge chairs, and still there are cupboards around the headroom. l know they don't appeal to everyone, but, they certainly do to me. l have rented RVs in the States, and find them most suitable for our needs. Yes, they are thirsty, but we aren't going to work and back in it. l don't want a FIAT, and l can get an RV for the price of a Merc A class, and l wont have to pay extra for awnings, air con, generator, microwave, oven, tow ball, hydraulic levelers, gas tank, electric step, cruise control, automatic gearbox(a necessity for me), reversing camera, ladder, island bed, etc; l would sooner pay a little extra and get something l like, than endure something l am uncomfortable with because it does a few miles extra per gallon, or something that is under 6m because l can save a few pounds on a ferry.
     
  18. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    We have a Frankia C Class and the bed at the front tips up out of the way giving the cab a lot more head space and making the habitational area expand into it once the seats are turned, so we have some of the advantages of an A class in a Coachbuilt.

    Some coachbuilts have a dinette backing right upto the cab and without the lifting bed make the cab very claustophobic.
     
  19. wanderer

    wanderer Funster

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    Hi
    Surely everybodies needs and pockets are different but my views are
    I love the large windscreen on my A class , when i sat in the drivers seat of the low profiles especially with blind runners fitted all i could see was the wheels of the vehicle in front (i am six ft tall) . Yes the windscreen is expensive to replace but it is insured and how many replacements are needed ?
    Why would i be walking with muddy shoes from the drivers seat to the side exit where did the mud come from (puzzled) previous poster
    We use the drop down bed if one of us is ill (cold) or conditions are to hot outside gives a better nights sleep
    Our driver and passenger seats fully revolve without obstruction.
    We never get close to filling our storage space why would we want more
    We looked really hard for a low profile but could not find anything that was better than our Aclass And under 7 metres , the 2 that came close were the autotrail Cheyanne and Swift Starblazer.
    Wanderer
     
  20. Spacerunner

    Spacerunner Read Only Funster

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