Coming out!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by gaznshaz, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. gaznshaz

    gaznshaz Funster

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    Hi all,

    Been using this forum to educate myself as best i can over the last year or so. So thank you to all those who have posted those useful articles.

    I fully intend to be a very demanding newbie in the preceding weeks while i cement my choice of MH, consider how it should be kitted out, where we can go in it and recommended pitches. So i apologise in advance :)

    My wife and i are in our early 50's and considering our options prior to that period before semi retirement (is there a name for it) where you start to look at the more practical aspects of those thoughts that have been lurking at the back of your head for some years. In our case whenever the topic of "have you thought about what you would do when you stop working" comes up around the dinner table we have both always answered "go travelling again".

    We were lucky (or foolhardy) enough to travel thru France and Spain into North Africa and then thru the Sahara across to East Africa and down to South Africa in a converted 110 Land Rover in 1987 for just over a year.

    Ever since we have promised ourselves we would carry on, albeit in a more sedate manner, when kids, work and funds would allow.

    We have tried canal living on various holidays in UK and France. We loved it and will definitely have more holidays on the water, but long term the restriction of being limited to UK canals only seemed restrictive. We had an excellent holiday in USA with our 3 kids did nearly 3k miles, really enjoyed the freedom of being on the road again. It obviously helped that we were in USA with the country geared up for RV living and views like the Grand Canyon helped a bit too.

    We have not tried any UK or European motorhome holidays though. I understand many of you seasoned travellers will be wondering why we have not followed their very sensible advice to hire for a holiday and try before you buy. The reason is twofold - i have a small disability whereby i need to sleep in a bed that has nothing at the foot end, my leg needs to overhang the end of the bed. I know this is strange but there it is. We have had to drag mattresses off beds in villas and sleep on the floor for the whole holiday - little embarrassing.

    Probably not something you guys have to concern yourselves with when looking at motorhomes but unless you can tell me otherwise those with suitable beds are like hens teeth?

    Looking at the offerings in UK and Europe to hire i see nothing that suits (even the "French bed?" layout, fixed double with corner cut off is not what i want). There are a few much larger "walk around" bed options but the cost is off the scale and i doubt would be a good barometer to compare with what we may buy.

    So we are going to buy a UK motorhome and rest out hopes on our experiences 30 years ago combined with my powers of "getting a good deal" - if it don't work out i will sell it on.

    As i say i have been covertly researching our options for many months, with the added obstacle of the bed. I have taken on board such advice as "buy the smallest that suits your needs" "look at as many as you can before buying" "consider where you will be travelling" - all good sound advice and all taken on board.

    Please feel free to add your two-pennyworth but here is what we have decided on:

    Autosleeper - I have read so much about the monocoque cab and how it is much better against leaks and damp. The build quality, the reliable donor vans they are based on (in the main) and that many people say these are built better than many modern MH.

    As for the model - due to the bed requirements i believe either the Executive or the Excelsior are the only two with the twin couch layout and the rear door. We have been to see maybe 4 or 5 Executives of various ages (normally about 1996) and conditions and tested the bed layout. Seems like a great idea to me once in the double format it is huge and seemingly very comfy.

    I have yet to see an Excelsior in the flesh. As i understand it they are different in length (5.8 vs 6.8) giving a bit more cupboard space and maybe slightly longer couch? They are only on the Ford chassis. I like the idea of more space inside but the same layout of the Executive but i gather the length will mean more expense crossing the channel and possibly restrict us camping wise in some European countries? So i would like to see one if only to discount it but very rare in our neck of the woods.

    Cost - i do like a deal! I have seen the Executives for as little as £8k and the same year at nearly £20k. Obviously i am wondering what the difference can be at nearly £10k? I am in no rush and would like to buy private rather than go thru a dealer. I like the idea of buying from an enthusiast who has cared for their pride and joy and lavished not only care and attention but a whole bunch of goodies. I have read much advise on buying from a dealer to get the service and support etc. But i am yet to be convinced of this argument. I have been to many dealerships looking at many vans (many types before i settled on the AS) and have been unimpressed with their attitude and more importantly knowledge. Last week my wife and i went to a dealership that has both new and used MH for sale and a good selection. I called beforehand to make sure they were open, that we did not need to make a timed appointment, and that they were happy for us to have a good poke around. I said "i am calling about the Autosleeper Executive yo have for sale..." he says "let me go and have a look... what does it look like?!..." i say "i have the picture in front of me on your website, not quite sure what you mean, do you have more than one" "no" he says "i do not know what it looks like"!! Not really instilling a great deal of confidence.

    It was only a week or so back that we have made the decision to actually buy one, so my searching is now in earnest. I am hoping that you guys will have a few pointers especially in respect of what to look for when buying. But hopefully not to put me off the AS.

    Also if anyone has a nice one for sale Executive or Excelsior, low mileage, FSH, in excellent condition, with all the goodies (awning, dual gas, solar panel, extra leisure battery, 2 berth) for sub £10k - i'll take it :)

    Thank you for taking the time to read my stream of consciousness and please feel free to advise away.
     
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  2. MH 55 FUN

    MH 55 FUN Funster

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    :hiya2: & :welcome3::):)
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Good luck with your search and
    welcome animated smiley.gif
     
  4. Rob and Val

    Rob and Val Funster

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    Hi.gif and a warm welcome from us.

    Have you considered attending any of the motorhome shows? The dealers will have lots of second-hand 'vans on display. There's a show at Lincoln in September. It could be an interesting day out for you.
     
  5. gaznshaz

    gaznshaz Funster

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    Hi, thanks for the heads up. I will look at that one 23 / 25th Sept. We did go to one recently (god my memory is rubbish) but cannot remember where - it was big and had loads for sale but all out of our price range. I think we would be looking for one that a dealer was too embarrassed to take to a show. I remember the security guard said i should look in the car park as many private sales were going on there - maybe the same here.

    Thanks
     
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  6. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    Hi and welcome to FUN. (y)
     
  7. kcy

    kcy Funster

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    It costs nothing to look and you can find the bed layout that is ideal for you, then start looking elsewhere for the type you want in your price range:hiya:
     
  8. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    Hello and welcome from West Midlands.



    Wyn
     
  9. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    :HelloThere:. :welcomesign:
     
  10. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    If buying privately make sure you take a decent damp meter with you and use your eyes and nose.
    Happy hunting :) 002.gif
     
  11. Riverbankannie

    Riverbankannie Funster

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    image.gif
    We had an Autosleeper for 8 years and the build quality second to none. Would have had another if they had the layout and look that I wanted.
    Good luck with your search.
     
  12. wigster

    wigster Funster

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    :welcome4:
     
  13. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    When we bought recently there were only 2 criteria that mattered, price and layout - so that's really only 1 criterion, price.

    Good luck anyway but you may have to kiss a lot of princes before you find your frog.
     
  14. gaznshaz

    gaznshaz Funster

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    Thanks guys
     
  15. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    You also may have to subscribe as you only have 2 free posts left. Best value for £15 you will spend for the year(y)
     
  16. gaznshaz

    gaznshaz Funster

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    Well worth it - the info I have found so far is easily worth £15 a year. Just paid - thanks
     
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  17. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Hi and Welcome......(y)
     
  18. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Hello welcome to Fun, any questions just keep them coming :pink:
     
  19. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Welcome! We have a Murvi Morocco which has a bed where one side has nothing at the foot end, both when configured as a double or two singles. Unfortunately, being a relatively new and reasonably scarce vehicle I suspect second hand ones are rare and unlikely to be available under £30k I fear. But it would meet your requirements in the foot department. :)
     
  20. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    Wouldn't be possible to go for the twin bed layout and chop off the bottom end of one of the foam mattress? Or is that not enough of an overhang?
     
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