COmpact vans?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by White Rose, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. White Rose

    White Rose Read Only Funster

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    I'm looking for suggestions of "somewhere inbetween" vans, please... I'm buying one with my sister, and she feels that she'd be happiest with something not too much bigger than a transit/camper van as she mostly travels solo, but me and Mr WR have a very active 3yr old so would like as much space as possible and def need three or four berths (including a double) and four seat belts.

    I've just discovered the CityVan - does anyone on here own one? And any other thoughts of vans that would fit the bill? The smallest coach builts all seem to be two berth and anyway she feels that they seem very big to drive ...
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    My own personal opinion for what its worth
    DON'T compromise on size:RollEyes:
    It can be a very expensive decision to do so
    many many on here will tell you that the first vehicle rarely fits the bill and a trade in soon follows and the expence that goes with it there never can be a one size fits all
    Get your sister to test drive a few even the bigger coach built are very car like to drive

    Take your time and spend a couple of hrs or even longer in the chosen one at a dealers, try relaxing in it watching an imaginary TV, pretend your cooking,imagine what its like when its raining, are you falling over each other ,will you buy an awning for extra space only to sell it half price after two outings, because its to much troble and takes up too much space
    Tell her the bigger the van the bigger the smile:thumb:
    and you do seem to pay twice as much for half the size:Sad:
    That said there are some good reasons to own the panel van type but I aint found em yet:Doh:
    Geo
     
  3. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    :Rofl1:
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    I started with a Vw Transporter:Eek!:
    10 PXs and ££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££ later
    so I have been there:cry::cry:
     
  5. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    I did it in reverse Geo, 20 years with kids in something large and now something that you would use as a toad but they are all great. It is totally different to my previous life but just as enjoyable. No, I actually find it much more enjoyable.:BigGrin:
     
  6. finby

    finby Read Only Funster

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    I agree with Geo. Our first van didnt have the "loungability" factor, so we found ourselves constantly trying to get comfortable when we had to stay in the van (watching T.V. at night and when confined because of rain etc).
    So, comfort, cooking /prep area, bed arrangement and toilet / bathroom (you may need a "proper" shower if "wild camping", or if its too rainy to walk all the way to the shower on site) come high on my list of priorities.
    Im sure others will come up with different priorities for choosing a motorhome, and they are probably all valid and worth taking into consideration. Very good luck with your choice:Smile:
     
  7. activecampers

    activecampers Read Only Funster

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    There are small van conversions (4.8m transits) which would match.,

    Horizons unlimted sell Cavarno 4 and an Ikon Sport - both 4 belted seats and 4 birth (2 x doubles or 1 double & 2 singles, though the upper double is kiddy only really). The cavarno has full shower/toilet etc. We have the cavarno 2.

    Westfalia also do 4 birth, including a pop-top, with 2x double beds (adult size) and 5 belted seats.

    Not sure why people say "don't compromise on size" - ours is 4.8m and we have used it more than the vast marjority of motorhomers (200 days away last year alone) and its perfect. The small size means we can do more and go to more places. That said, EVERYONE is unique and working at the motorhome shows its clear everyone has different needs.

    Details of the vans mentioned at www.roywoodtransits.co.uk
     
  8. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Roy Woods Transits are a good dealer!

    Very straight.

    Peter
     
  9. White Rose

    White Rose Read Only Funster

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    :thanks2:

    Thank you all for your input so far - more comments welcome, please.

    ActiveCampers - the Cavarno 4 looks very interesting, I'll do a bit of looking deeper at that one. I do take your point that small vans are perfectly sized to go anywhere and that it's definitely possible to have lots of pleasure out of them without feeling restricted by their size. In fact, that our next trip sees all three of us in a two man tent for four nights, it's not as if we're used to plenty of space :BigGrin:

    It just seems a lot of money to spend for us to fall over each other - I can imagine loving some of the smaller ones for just the two of us, but once I try to put a rainy day with our cooped-up daughter whilst i'm trying to cook into the mix, it starts to feel a bit less comfortable. It would be nice to have somewhere to sit and watch telly/play cards/read/have a couple of beers once J has gone to bed but on some of the smaller transits, the top bed pulls out into the body of the van, so once she was in bed we'd only be able to move around at floor height bent double from the waist :Rofl1: And I'm not sure quite what combination of wriggling it would take to get her out of her bed and across to the loo at 3am in the morning once our bed was up ...

    So far this week we've been for a look round at Dick Lane Motorhomes (not entirely helpful!), Marquis at Preston (lovely food and very friendly) - I've just asked J what she'd like to do on our last day off together and she's said "look at more motorhomes"! The child is evidently addicted so we're off now to either Lowders in Huddersfield or Danum at Doncaster :Laughing:
     
  10. activecampers

    activecampers Read Only Funster

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    If you want any more info on the cavarno let me know.

    I will delare a sort-of-interest in the fact I work for the dealer at the NEC shows. By that I mean I'm paid by the hour to tell people about the vans. No sales talk as I'm not a salesman, just tell it how it is and let the (usually!) intelligent buyers decide! That said, I'm under no instructions not to say anything so if something is crap I tell them (and I add that the new van has a few mods which I made to mine lol!)

    There is a full review of the cavarno on here (probably) and also on my site - again its honest not sponsored but the new van is better :(

    The cavarno 4 has the same layout but the bed pulls out from above the cab seats. For kids its ideal. Same storage and an extra table. For 1 kid you should be able to have the bed just pull out a bit and give a 5' or so traverse upper bed leaving more room to wak around. As both cab seats can turn round you can zone in/out. For instance i have the pax seat at 90' and a little table there for laptop working, leaving the rest of the back of the van (sofa/rear seat) completely free for the Mrs so you aren't forced in each others space. Probably why we are still speaking!

    RWT have a good colour brochure they'll send you for free. They aren't hard sales people so don't worry about them chasing you. Just say Ryan sent you and that should get me a sausage-sandwich breakfast at the next NEC show in October :). They are based in Reading but if you want to view a van at the manufacturing facility (Tamworth) then that can be arranged (via Reading) as they are up there a lot anyway.
     
  11. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Absolutely right.

    If you intend to use a mh/campervan to tour.....then size certainly does matter. Big or too big will mean you won't be touring around much because of high running costs not to mention restrictions on minor roads and even restrictions on some sites.

    Like yourself I used to have a campervan of approx the same size, 4.8m, and my van was not only used for extensive touring but also in daily use as a commute vehice.

    As you say, everyone has different needs and some people are content with lugging a huge tub once a year down to the south of France or Spain, sitting on some site for a few weeks, then turning around and coming back to park it up in their driveway for another year!
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi go for comfort in your van. It is not a lot of use having a drop down bed if you cannot climb into it or perhaps get out in the middle of the night if you had too much wine LAYOUT / comfort is the single most thing you should be looking at We have tied all sorts of layouts from 2 / 4 berth to 6 to 4 again then 6 again and now in a 2 witch suits us great. Get out and look / try out as many bed layouts and don't be scared to put up climb in etc, etc, before buying Use one of the shows or a dealer to try this and get a good idea what is going to suit you then look for what you want.
    Also try hiring one for a weekend or mid week this will give a good idea as to what you want
    terry
     
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