Does extra length cause problems?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by BobtheBass, May 17, 2014.

  1. BobtheBass

    BobtheBass Funster

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    We are new to motorhoming and went in at the deep end buying a new Bailey Autograph 625 which we took delivery of in March. Since then we have been away 4 or 5 times for a few days at a time to get used to it, with the intention of going away later in the year for longer continental trips.

    The van is brilliant, super quality, great to drive and has all the equipment and fixtures we could want, but I find myself wishing for two things, namely permanent beds and more garage space. The bed alone has caused us to argue and fall out on several occasions, mainly due to the complications of bed making/Duvalay rolling/bedding storage, not to mention when we first used it and the whole thing collapsed under our weight! That problem has since been solved, but a simple to get in (we are not very mobile people) and out of permanent bed would be a godsend. Also, we carry a lot of fishing tackle, chairs, windbreaks etc so a proper garage space would be a boon.

    Having looked at many vans to see whats on the market that might suit us better, but in a similar length to the 625 of 6.6m we have concluded there is nothing available! Yes there are models that have the bed and garage, but all seem to fall down on the lounge space which is usually small with a table jammed in it. We went to the Newbury show yesterday to see what was there, but again were sorely disappointed. This brings me to my actual question.

    Bailey do a model (the 740) that would suit us in every respect, and can be bought through our local dealer (Cotswold Edge), who we have had superb service from and would like to use again. The problem is that its 7.45m long with a fair old overhang at the rear. Never having driven anything that large, does the extra length cause any problems we should take into account? Parked side by side with our 625 the extra length doesn't seem like much, but I know looks can be deceptive. Is driving more difficult or will the overhang be prone to grounding? Does it cost a lot more on ferries for the "over 7m" length? Sorry to be a bit of a dimbo in these things, but as I will be taking a huge financial hit if I change after only 3 months I want to get it right this time!
     
  2. Wyaye wires

    Wyaye wires

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    We changed after 3 months to get the layout we wanted...


    We changed again after 3 years to get a bit more space...


    We have a 8.8 metre van now on an Alko chassis and I actually find it easier to drive than the previous, shorter, vans...


    Just take it slow until you are used to it...
     
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  3. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    It does make a bit of difference at first.

    We moved from a 7m van to an 8 metre van with a huge overhang.

    I am still very conscious of the rear end when turning and in Spain recently in a tight spot I very nearly demolished an ancient church wall.:BigGrin:

    I will get used to it . My wife drives it much better than I do I must admit.
     
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  4. suavecarve

    suavecarve Funster

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    Not that I know a lot about it, but it is supposed to be more expensive on teh ferries if you admit to it being over 6 metres. Worst case scenario they make you pay the amount you were supposed to. (can probably only get caught once!)
    There are some limitations on on some aires however most of where we have been really havent been a problem. Reckon we have done 40 aires or so and cant think of one where you couldnt get round it.
    Going up some of the mountain hairpins is likely to cause a few issues when or if you meet something.
    I wouldnt have thought general driving will cause extra worries just overhang in some parking spots
    We ve got a 6 metre but without the static bed (She wants a static bed and has no hope) but i have been sneakily looking and think the mirage style where you can drop the bed down from teh roof is the best option as i like to lie down instead of sit down on the chairs and you just dont get the space with a fully static bed. IMHO
     
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  5. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    There is no doubt that a fixed bed cuts down your lounging space unless you get a very big van. We had a lovely Burstner with a fixed bed but I found the lounge area claustrophobic .

    Sit in the van before you buy it and ask yourself what it would be like to be stuck in there on a rainy day . I read that tip on here, after I had bought the Burstner:BigGrin:
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    check out the garage payload capacity.

    With a very long rear overhang it can restrict the weight you can carry in the garage due to the leverage effect on the rear axle.
    A short overhang will probably have a considerably higher allowance.

    Also, theres a possibilty of 'grounding' the rear end when boarding ferries etc because of the steep ramp angles sometimes found.
     
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  7. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  8. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

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    In addition to the above, you will need to be a little extra careful in petrol stations, they seem to be making them narrower between the pumps, with tight exits when you have a longer vehicle.
     
  9. Spottycatz

    Spottycatz Read Only Funster

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    Having never had a motorhome before the one we have now, I jumped into a 7.5m, island bed arrangement, with a large garage, but quite small lounge area.
    To be honest, the driving is a doddle, the bed is great as we can both get out either side as and when and the amount of storage space in the garage is brilliant.

    However, the lounge area is small and although we've only used the van in France and Spain, (nice weather), there are times when I would appreciate a larger area to sit around in.

    But, having looked in loads of other folks vans when we were away, the perfect arrangement just isn't really there. There are always sacrifices, one way or another. We much prefer the good nights sleep! :BigGrin:
     
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  10. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    We had a Starspirit with a U-shaped lounge and like you got fed up with bed making. Eventually we just left the duvalays rolled out on the sofas and sat and slept on them as single beds. Saw the Bailey 740 at Peterborough and ended up buying it a month or so later.

    Front sofas and the cab seats make a roomy lounge. We fixed a folding pivoting table to save lugging the freestanding one out every time and it works well for us. Fixed bed is fine even if the wife has a struggle to get out occasionally with her aches and pains, plenty of storage underneath but poor exterior access but that's the Alko chassis. I keep the mains cable and water filling stuff handy inside that locker for easy access when we get on site.

    I too was worried about not only the extra length but the extra width but as others have said you get used to it. Ours is the 2012/13 model and much prefer it to the 2nd generation 740 which has a roof window over the cab so losing the overhead lockers, you also lose the extra large kitchen drawers on the later model. Anybody want a couple of duvalays in deaf-aid beige?
    :Laughing:
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  11. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Steph said "extra length??? How the hell would I know???" :cry:
     
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  12. Wyaye wires

    Wyaye wires

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    :Blush::Blush::Blush::Blush::Blush::Blush: Ooh you are naughty, but I like you!!! :BigGrin:
     
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  13. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    They do measure if things are tight or its obvious and will not load you on the ferry. you may well still get charged for the crossing, even though you didnt board. its in the small print and lying about the length of your van puts you in the wrong, having breached the contract

    yes the longer the van the more expensive the ferry costs, but what price can you put on that extra space and comfort? as for ease of driving, once you are used to the length and overhang, your brain just adjusts to it. take bends slightly wider and pick a bigger gap to get out into traffic. however with modern vans it is still very car like and comfortable:thumb:

    if youre really worried get a test drive first and in necessary take a few driving lessons from a specialist school. nothing to be embarrassed about
     
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  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    when i was coming back from spain at the end of april .they were measuring every vehicle .
    heights as well. mine goes as a car and caravan .they allow 11mtr in length . mines 10m .
    even the girl smiled as she measured it . i asked and she did admit it looked longer but wasnt .
     
  15. johnandsue

    johnandsue Funster

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    We are also looking to change from our 7.5m Orion with the u-shaped lounge to getting something with a fixed bed and if possible slightly smaller. The Autotrail Apache/tracker with a transverse bed and garage with a good lounge looks quite good and also we are trying to view the Rapido 640 (but no one seems to have one in stock, don't believe Brownhills website who say they have one). We are looking for a fixed bed that doesn't involve a ladder (her indoors has delicate feet or so she says).

    Any thoughts or advice always welcome
     
  16. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    My van is 7.49m in length, not including the bike rack and it has a long overhang, however I have had very few problems with the size of the van. You do encounter some very tight roads, camping pitches etc as previously mentioned but I have managed okay and have been full-timing for 15 months or so. The only problems I have had have been down to carelessness hence a rather deep scratch I have just noticed the other day near the top of the bodywork on the o/s. I am traveling solo so that is my only excuse, no-one to guide me in/out!

    I have a drop-down bed at the front which I use, leaving the lounge free. However I would love to have a fixed bed at the rear and especially a large garage but, as previously mentioned, you can't have everything!

    The ferries I can't comment on as I have only ever had this van, but I can't see myself getting a smaller van now as I like having the amount of space that I have, especially as I am living in it.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. maz

    maz Funster

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    Couldn't help noticing you were a loss adjuster - ironic, huh?! :BigGrin:

    On a more serious note, just use your door mirrors to keep an eye on what the rear end is doing until you get used to that bit of extra length. :Smile:
     
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  18. barearse

    barearse Funster

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    Extra length.

    My van,with huge back box is just shy of 8.m.(that's 26 ft in old money)She has a long overhang,however mindful of this you need to take extra care when cornering regards curbs etc.Like most things,practise helps.As already mentioned,maybe invest in tuition.
     
  19. Littlewheels

    Littlewheels Funster

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    Length

    The Tunnel do not charge extra for length and are my choice everytime, they are so flexible and do not go out of their way to penalise you with additional costs.

    We are 8.77 long no problem,additionally,dependant on the base vehicle you are so much higher which brings added benefits one of which is security.

    I wouldn't buy a Bailey! If your budget won't get you added value new look at a quality van that might have a year or two on it.
     
  20. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Oh I see, MOTORHOME length, sorry, (embarrassed snigger) for a moment I thought... anyway I wouldn't know, I'm only a diminutive 6.5 metres in that department.
     
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