First motorhome quandry

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by SpaceMonkey, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Marple Bridge , Stockport
    Hi all :BigGrin:

    First of all, i have a wife and two kids age 7 +10. We are looking to use a motorhome for weekends and half term holidays in the UK, and heading into europe for the summer holidays.
    We dont have a massive budget (£16000 tops). I am torn between buying as new a van as we can afford (coachbuilt fiat/peugeuot type thing) or an older Hymer van (love the look of these as well as the quality).

    We are heading to the Motorhome show in Knutsford over the weekend to have a good scout about.

    Just wanted some thoughts from the funsters!

    Thanks

    Si
     
  2. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    27,237
    Likes Received:
    34,449
    Location:
    Acklam, Teesside, originally Glossop
    First thought is that you will need four belted travel seats - many vans have less belted seats than the number of berths so that's something to look out for.

    Second thought is to compare the various layouts and work out which is most suitable for your particular requirements - never mind anyone else, it's what you need that counts.

    Graham
     
  3. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    5,392
    Likes Received:
    3,889
    Location:
    Full timing in the van
    Hi and welcome:BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
  4. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,651
    Likes Received:
    267
    Location:
    London
    If you are going to Knutsford, try to make contact with the Funsters there, you will be made welcome I'm sure, you can also see some of their vans and will get an unbiased opinion from the Funsters.


    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,432
    Likes Received:
    25,099
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    A good old Hymer is as good as it gets quality wise. Provided it's been looked after.

    But look carefully at "4 berth", how much effort is there in making up the last two. If you have to rip up the living area and the kids sleep there you are going to all have to go to bed at the same time.

    Or the kids get the big fixed bed and you two are stuck with sleeping on the couches.
     
  6. DBSilverfox

    DBSilverfox Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I would second what Graham says - the most important thing to get right is the layout that suits you.

    Once you have that the options available will reduce to a more manageable size. I assume you are buying the magazines, as these will show the various layout options, though that is never the same as actually sitting in one.

    good luck

    david
     
  7. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    5,889
    Likes Received:
    8,606
    Location:
    Wrenthorpe, Wakefield.
    Hi and welcome.
    Once the kids have flown the nest or dont want to come with us every weekend we shall go down the Hymer route. At the moment we have 3 teenagers 2x13 , 1x15 and space is more of an issue.:RollEyes:
    Id go for something with bunks if you can .
    We knew what we wanted layout wise as we'd had caravans in the past. Finding it in our budget , was the problem.
    We started of with a budget in mind and ended upping it , and upping it some more.
    The problem being , that our past caravans had the space , and the quality fixtures fittings and furnishings.
    We almost felt like we were taking a step backwards , looking at what we could get for our budget.
    Keep looking , the show will be an ideal opportunity for you.
    Look out for all the yellow and blue funsters flags blowing in the wind, ( or hanging limply in the rain :Sad: )
    Go visit showrooms, lay-down on sofas and beds. Stand in the shower , see if you could shower in it , bend and pick up the soap ! Not such a silly thing as some are tiny.
    Imagine worse case scenario , what it would be like if it was throwing it down outside, where would you all sit , lounge about , get out of each others way:Rofl1:
    Once you do decide on a model. Research , put it in google etc. You'll be amazed what comes up.:thumb:
    Dont rush in , lots do and realize the layout isn't for them . An expensive mistake.
    Bev
     
  8. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    879
    Location:
    St.Helens
    And storage

    We have just been doing the same but not with a restricted budget like yours. Grahams right, and I would add storage to the list. Thats a lot of clothes and add ons.

    We were doing it for 4 grandchildren, and had to compromise on 2 of the 5 belted sets being lap belts because we wanted air-conditioning.
    Grumps
     
  9. brodie

    brodie Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    Hi

    We have 3 kids, girls 9 & 4 and a boy 19 months. Our motorhome is a 5 berth and is great at the moment for space but this will only become less as the next 1-2 years pass and the inevitable happens and we upgrade to a 6/7 berth.:Eeek:

    I just thought i'd point out a couple of things as others have done that work out the best for us and maybe useful for you:Wink:.

    The layout we have is double over cab (girls), lounge area which converts to a double ( me & hubby) and single dinette at the back that converts to a single (boy). So in the evening when all kids are in bed we don't have to go to bed and have the full run of the main part.

    The dinnette is also great in the daytime as the girls have that as their area for breakfast/dvd/colouring etc. and we have the other lounge to ourselves alleviates a bit of cabin fever if you are getting on each others nerves and are stuck in.:thumb:

    The kitchen is also at the back next to the shower-room, this is good too as you don't get 3 kids barging by you in & out of the motorhome every 2 minutes while you are cooking. If you are intending on any wild-camping then for us a good sized shower-room is a must.

    Getting this layout was only a fluke as hubby had seen this on e-bay one night & 2 nights later (2am) was driving to Poole to collect it without a test drive or even looking at a motorhome in our lifes (not to be recommended)! and fortunately we love it.

    With the luxury of time try and imagine all the scenarios while you are viewing and has been said only you know what will work for you. (By the way we will def be going for bunk-beds next time for the 2 youngsters). I suspect now though we will have difficulty finding the exact one to our requirements when we decide to go for it.:Doh:

    Hope this is of some use:Smile:

    Vik
     
  10. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Marple Bridge , Stockport
    Thanks for all the replies everyone. Lots of things there for me to think about.

    Si
     
  11. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    11,069
    Likes Received:
    13,677
    Location:
    Heavan
    Hi and welcome to the fun.

    If you are going to Knutsford, please do come around and say hello. You are more than welcome to come and look around our van. We too have two kids and a MH suitable for that. Again, ours are a little older than yours but not by much. The one thing that I would be sure of is to buy something you grow in to. Its amazing how these little angels keep growing and develop in to there own breed called teenagers, when this happens you deffinately need more space...

    So feel free to come over, you wont miss us, just look for the big dog in my avatar.

    Paul & Nikki.
     
  12. jezport

    jezport Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    We had similar aged kids when we first started, plus we needed space for a parrot cage. We had a slightly bigger budget £20K. We decided on a Chausson flash 03 which had rear bunks. Although it worked OK as we had a full dinette the van lacked lounging space, luckily the layout was a vey popular one and we sold tha van after 2 seasons.

    Our current van is a year older than the last one but has half the mileage although both vans were low mileage. We could have bought a new van for what we paid for our 5year old Frankia but when we looked round shows we were disgusted with the lack of quality on any of the vans we could afford. So at that stage we decided to go for an older top quality van with low mileage.

    We are going to be at Knutsford, we are easy to recognise as we take a large Macaw parrot arround with us. So say hello if you see us.
     
  13. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    235
    Location:
    Co. Durham
    We ended up going for a rear lounge (2nd time lucky) 6 Beth.

    We have two boys 8 and 11 who sleep above the cab. The dinning area (can convert onto a 3/4 or full double useful for guests or at some point as the boys get older will want their own space). The lounge area (at the rear) converts into a double which is where we sleep.

    We originally opted for an end kitchen layout, over cab bed and dinning/ lounge area (bench seat additional facing dinning area), and we found that we had to get up if the kids woke up early as there was no space for them to get down from the cab area, so we ended up changing for the rear lounge. We also have a retriever, so the extra space the rear lounge offers is welcome to him.

    Take your time looking at various layouts and if you can spend some time in the layout of your choice working through the various scenarios (sleeping, bad weather etc.) and how it will work. We looked at fixed bed, bunks, but decided that the rear lounge option gave us the versatility we needed.

    We got it right on our second attempt, but luckily did not lose much when we decided to change. Its an expensive purchase, so makes sense to try and get it right first time.

    Good luck with your search.
     
  14. jg147

    jg147 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Everyone has already given you very good advice. I can only stress try and find the right layout. We only purchased our motorhome 2 weeks ago and to be honest I had decided we would never find what we wanted. We did however stick to the 'must have' list with small compromises.

    Coming from a caravan that was a top spec' I agree some motorhomes seemed lacking in comparison or just off the scale budget wise. European ones do not always offer an oven and the door opens on the opposite side, not a huge problem but something to consider.

    Our wish list was a seperate shower as we do use it, a wet room as I call them or all in one toilet and shower was no use as everyone I know who has them do not use the shower. We have now got a much smaller bathroom than the caravan but still the seperate shower.

    We wanted a comfy rear lounge and a dinette along side the kitchen. The britsh weather is unpredicatable and some motorhomes only offered dinette area to sit. I like to sprawl out of an evening to watch my tv or read so comfort and space was a must. We have a slightly smaller kitchen worktop area in the motorhome but we do now have 2 tv's. Having a son of 12 he now loves that not only can he watch a movie whilst travelling but he can also play his play station ect and not disturb us if we do want the tv on a wet evening.

    We did not like the waste of space a fixed bed offers in either the caravan or motorhome. I can see us changing our minds in the future when we no longer have a child in tow but for now the living space was more essential. We have never minded making up the bed ( well I walk the dog and hubby does the bed morning and night). Our son loves the over cab bed and feels he really has his own space now. Bunk beds are an ideal solution for larger families as they take up less room.

    Seatbelts are a tricky one as some offer 6 birth, 4 belts? I was chatting to a family who had to take a car with them as the motorhome did not offer enough seatbelts for the whole family? How expensive on fuel they may as well have towed a very nice caravan?

    I have spoken to so many people who have changed the layout of the motorhomes or caravans because not enough thought was put into the purchase.

    Good luck:thumb: I hope you find what you are looking for and once you have decided on the layout for you I am sure funsters will be able to help you find all the models that fit. I found that the most fustrating, even magazines were not over helpful

    I saved a fortune on my insurance thanks to this site and I am learning all the time from my daft questions funsters kindly answer.

    One last thought, the biggest compromise we made was storage. Having a rear lounge we have limited locker space, height wise. Rear beds offer a lot more locker space. This seemed a problem that we were willing to put up with. Actually we have everything in we need and still bags of space, ours has a bike rack on the back.

    Happy hunting and do not be put off if you do not find anything at the weekend, a dealer told me they take a lot of stock they can not sell. Great price wise, if that suits what you are looking for, but just because you do not see it does not mean it does not exist. I think every dealer in the north got to know us over the last few months:Rofl1: We ended up buying 2 hours from home from a dealer I had never even heard of. We were staying locally in the caravan and just popped in on the off chance. Having found what we wanted we had to sleep on the decision due to the very large financial commitment. Our son was baffled having dragged him round the dealers he could not believe we did not ' just buy it' Oh to be 12 again and no worries.

    I love budgets I just wish we could stick to them:Doh:
     
  15. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Marple Bridge , Stockport
    Well , we came , we mooched .......the plan was to take our time , check out the layouts and ponder for a few weeks. But we ended up inside a Hymer and instantly knew this was the one!

    So we are the proud (and scared :Eek!:) owners of a Hymer C524 6 Berth beauty!

    Thanks again for all the advice in the thread & the rest of this site.

    Cant wait for our first trip!

    Si
     
  16. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,651
    Likes Received:
    267
    Location:
    London
    Well you did it.

    I always say you will know the van you want at first sight, I know I always have, you can look for ages sometimes.

    Hope all goes well now just enjoy your new toy, and just try and stop smiling.



    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  17. jg147

    jg147 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Thats great news, now you can start planning your adventures:thumb:
     
Loading...

Share This Page