Help needed please

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Shell181, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Shell181

    Shell181 Funster

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    Hi Everyone

    Myself and my hubby, after a few years of talking about it have decided to buy a motorhome [​IMG]

    We have been to a couple of dealers and had a look at different models and are trying to find the design that will suit us best. I wandered if any of you could help please because there are sooo many models and makes lol.

    These are our requirements:-

    We will be buying a used one, probably 4/5 birth. We would like a fixed double bed-the ones which have the storage compartment underneath, (garage?), a proper shower with a door, hubby would like a table for sitting and eating and I would like a long settee to be able to lie down (maybe a removable table would give us the best of both worlds?). We do not have any preference as to whether it is an end lounge or bathroom etc etc because we can't think of any advantages or disadvantages as this is all new to us-maybe you could educate us on your experiences?

    We are in our forties and I am 5'11 so hopefully a bed long enough lol, we would be using the motorhome for the uk and Europe. We cannot get one more than 3500 kg as hubby is a diabetic, we would like to buy one no older than year 2000 and don't want to spend more than £25,000.

    If you think you own the ideal motorhome that would suit us please could you let us know so we can make a short list as it would be really nice to narrow it down. We would really appreciate any help that is given.

    Thanks
    Shell
     
  2. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Well you could do worse than get yourselves off to the National Motorhome Show at Peterborough towards the end of this very month!!! LOL

    http://www.warners-exhibitions.co.uk/outdoor_exhibitions/national/default.aspx

    And get talking to some of the Funsters staying there and have a nose at their vans, as well as jumping up and down, lying down, sitting down, standing at the sink, trying the cab seats (some of em are err surprisingly FIRM as they are designed for white van man LOL) shutting yourself in the bathrooms etc of all the new ones on show.

    It depends LOL ...

    Do you want a 'full' cooker? Most of the smaller continental vans don't have more than 3 hob rings, in some you don't even get a grill let alone an oven. Do you want a huge fridge/freezer? Can you live without a microwave? Must you have an integral telly?

    Do you want to use it in freezing conditions? not all vans are 'winterised' which doesn't mean you can't use em in winter, you just need to be a lot more thorough with draining down and stuff like that - eg last winter was a bit of a mare and we don't know what the next few will bring - we keep ours on the drive outside so it can stay hooked up with a bit of background heating on.

    We happen to think that a fixed bed config is a bit of a waste of space for us because obviously unless you have quite a long van you do lose out on 'daytime reclining' space. And we prefer that. It was never a prob to put the bed away and convert it back to settees. So we do better with an end lounge - U shaped or L shaped - so we get 2 settees/single beds, which convert to a transverse double. As it happens, we are quite comfy sleeping in the Luton (over-cab) bed. However we spent many years caravanning (and tenting!) before buying the beastie so we used those experiences to help guide us in what we did and didn't want.

    We do take some frozen meals/meat with us usually (to tide us over) but buy fresh wherever we are. Some people set out for 2 weeks holiday with an entire fortnight's food, we don't but we always have the makings of several meals in tins and the fridge when we set off - so we don't feel the need for huge fridges. The under the worksurface one we have is at least twice if not thrice as big as the one in our elderly last caravan!
     
  3. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    you would do well to go to the show at Peterborough and hike around the dealers offerings------then come over to our area for a beverage and a chat.
    We all have different ideas on 'the ideal' layout, so just look at as many as you can (and make notes of things you like or dislike)
    WELCOME to the site BTW
    Nigel & pamala
     
  4. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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  5. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    If you like the rear U-shaped lounge you will need to remember that you can't get seat belts there (unless someone has come out with one in the last year or two. This means that if there are more than two of you travelling you would also need a couple of forward facing passenger seat as with a half dinette. This will increase the length of your vehicle.
    Sedge feels the fixed bed is a waste of space - we love ours, but it's whatever floats your boat that's important. We have a reasonably comfy L-shaped dinette which will give us two passenger seat belts in addition to the two cab seats, and both cab seats swivel so we have ample room. There is also the pull-down bed over the cab area, so we can easily sleep 4 but have only slept three on a couple of occasions - the pull down bed stays made up and just gets pushed back up to the roof during the day. There are some MH that only have a pull down bed, which gives a larger living area, but maybe pulling the bed down is not your thing.
    As you are limited to 3.5 tonnes be very aware of the amount of payload you will have. There are plenty of vans which are 3.5t and only give less than 200 kg of payload. This is NOT enough. One passenger (i.e. the spouse) would take up a third of that and all the kitchen kit, clothing, bedding, and the other gear would more than account for the rest. (We had around 450 kg and found there was not enough spare payload for our son to travel with us.:Doh:)

    Just a couple of aspects you may not have thought of. Hope it helped.


    John
     
  6. Shell181

    Shell181 Funster

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    Oh my goodness, there is a lot more to think about than we thought, especially the pay load that worries me a bit tbh. We have decided on a couple of things anyway - deffo do not want an overcab bed (thats me) and hubby doesn't want to make up beds (this would be my choice so more room in van) so the only compromise are the fixed beds I suppose unless I can persuade him lol.

    Just from reading forums the older Hymers seem to be very solid, reliable and well made etc etc and have a good name and I am steering towards them so am now thinking maybe we should not think about setting our goal on getting year 2000 or above. Maybe we should buy an older one and take it somewhere to someone who can do it up a bit inside?

    We are going to a couple more dealers this weekend to look round more but I just wandered if anyone knew of a fixed bed one that has a seperate shower and has the bench seats with a table that can be put up or taken down and used outside (thought this was a good idea as don't have to take an extra table for outside then)
    Also I did see one that had storage in the overcab bit rather than a bed but can't remember which one it was (have looked at that many lol)

    Any ideas please? We really appreciate all the help and time you have taken to reply and thankyou once again.
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Best advice she'll get on FUN.

    Just keep looking, sitting, photographing, taking the aspirins, then do it again and again.

    You'll never find what you want just get as close as possible.

    Prioritise - shower - once a month maybe** - so make do with simple small one. Bed - you're asleep in it - so minimal. Lounge - need it a lot - get it right.


    ** we've used ours about 4 times in 4 years.
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I firmly believe that due to manufacturing costs and fashion older MHs were built better.

    However, fixed beds are more common now but, oh boy, do you lose a load of valuable space for something you just sleep in. Over cab or drop down is a real winner in this department because you get full width so a massive bed that takes up no living space.
     
  9. sawbo

    sawbo Read Only Funster

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    Swift Kon tiki

    I have owned several motorhomes and at present a Gulf stream RV.
    In my opinion you should take a look at the Swift Kon tiki, sounds like just what you are looking for.

    Enjoy

    Mark
     
  10. johnnerontheroad

    johnnerontheroad Read Only Funster

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    This is good advise, what we found is that the idea you have in your head about the layout when you come to see it and try it out is not what you need. Always sit in for long periods and play with/pretend to make a meal and use the kitchen, lounge on the seats. Remember the sales man/woman is there to sell they will not care if it is the right van for you they need to make a sale.

    The older Hymers are better than the new one's in my opinion.

    Good Luck

    Dave
     
  11. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    I think that you will know when you find the motorhome for you.

    If you look at as many as possible you will begin to know within a little what you want, sit in the vans do as children do, play house!!

    There is a lot to be gained from this, you will look mad but who cares, you will begin to know what you can live with.

    Look at shows into peoples vans they won't mind they will possibly invite you in, ask about good and bad points they know as they have that van.

    You will finally find the van for you, it's there you just have to find it.

    Hope you find it soon.


    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  12. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    Agree with Desco 100% on this one, when you walk into the right motor home you will know it`s the one you want.

    That`s exactly what we did fell in love with it from the first sight, still haven`t found one we would exchange her for.
    So good luck and we hope you get as much fun from yours as we do from ours.:thumb:
     
  13. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    I have to agree with this. We didn't relish the idea of an overcab bed at first but now find we prefer it. You don't even have to put your bedding away - just raise the bed floor and drive away!

    Wyn

     
  14. Shell181

    Shell181 Funster

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    Thanks everyone, just regarding the fixed bed - I don't want one of the solid overcab bed ones cos I think it will be a bit claustrophobic for me and I also read a review that said it was like sleeping in a coffin lol, also I am 5'11 and will probably hit my head all the time lol. The drop down beds look quite good but I'm a bit nervous as to how much weight limit they hold lol, I'm not massively overweight but they look really flimsy to me? Also do they move about cos thats another thing that they look like they do?

    I know everyone likes different things and has different views on them, personally I would like to get one of the U or L shaped lounges (more of an open space feeling I think) but hubby is deffo saying no to making a bed up every night which crosses those off !

    I'll keep plodding on lol although I must admit it seems to be becoming a chore now rather than fun, looking at every single MH to see if it has everything we want i.e. fixed bed, proper shower with a door on and a table that can be taken down to create more space - maybe theres no such layout ?????

    Shell
     
  15. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    The pull down bed, as in the A Classes, are designed to sleep two full grown Germans (Hymer. Dethleffs, etc.) so flimsy they are not. They are constructed on a metal frame that is pulled down from the deckhead and sort-of 'clunks' into place. My son (taller than me (I'm 5'9" after a shower) and weighs about 14 stone) reckons ours is really comfortable. OK he hasn't had to share with anyone but there is loads of room in the bed - it's about 4'5" wide and about normal bed length. Getting into it is a step up onto the sofa and sit onto the mattress and swing in. There is a ladder but nobody has used it yet.
    Driving on some of the Devon lanes (i.e. the roads that are mostly tarmac between the potholes) the bed bounces a little bit on its hingeing mechanism which is initially a bit disconcerting but given the state of the roads not surprising. Nothing has suffered any damage except a small slit in the roof lining caused by a folding chair that wasn't stowed properly (wrist duly slapped).
    What I'm trying to say is, whereas I can understand your objections to the lumps (as we call them, though I quite like your 'coffin' description) don't imagine that a pull-down bed will have the same feel. Have a little kip in one next time you go to have a look at an A Class.


    John
     
  16. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Good thinking hilldweller, however I think SWBO would object if I only had a shower once a month.:Rofl1:

    Must echo JayDee that the drop down bed is not claustrophobic at all, good headroom and not to be confused with a C-class overcab bed. We used ours all the time in our last van, but not in the present one as the fixed bed is better, and neither of us is a lightweight. (Me 15st, she not declared)
     
  17. Shell181

    Shell181 Funster

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    Bed

    Hi Everyone

    Update : After lots of advice from you about the drop down beds I am now convinced that I would be able to sleep in one :Smile: so am now trying to find MH's that have these as well as the fixed beds - more choice now hopefully to find the perfect or near perfect layout for us, anyone know any vans that do have the drop down beds off hand please?

    Also with regard to the drop down beds and fixed beds we would deffo like to buy a new mattress, is this possible?

    Shell
    :Smile:
     
  18. mythor

    mythor Read Only Funster

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    HI
    We have a talbot express swift she is 1991 , What I would say is fixed beds do take up an awful lot of space and beds only take mins to make up once you are used to it.we have it down to a fine art now and we are older then you not as tall as you but probably rounder lol. Then we have are U lounge through the day.The other thing we do if we are visiting relatavies in their garden for a long while we leave the bed made up at the back and some times we leave it made up when traveling so we can just fall in to get some sleep . That is advantage of the U shaped lounge you can have it as a fixed bed and still have the kitchen area table to sit .When we do this I just thank god we dont have the fixed bed as I feel it is more cluttered and like to go back to the lounge ASAP. I use the bed over the cab for storage bedding, MFtopper, quilt pillows, awning ,my second table, and much much more, What I would say to is watch were the door is and how much room you have when coming in , is the kitchen next to the door and if you are cooking does your other half have to pass you while you are doing this, it is something you dont think of but if you are coming in with coats etc I usually have a dog in tow as well! Just go to the show and go into loads you will want them all good luck let us no What you end up getting.:thumb:
     
  19. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Our over cab bed has a totally normal 4ft 6ins x 6ft 3ins mattress - ie a bog-standard double bed mattress. Anyway even if it's a really odd size, you can always get new upholstery made or re-covered, be it seat cushions, entire cab seats etc etc - just takes longer to find the company and get the quotation and find the dosh and get it made etc etc. A lot of the fixed beds are a really weird shape at the bottom, taper off on one side or the other, I would certainly have to have fitted bottom sheets to actually fit as I can't stand untidy looking bedding when you have made a bed and I certainly cannot tolerate a creased bottom sheet when I am in it - would drive me totally potty. LOL (the quilts still hang over more on that corner than I'd like to live with!!!)

    All we have to do is transfer normal bedding from the house to the van, packing spares if we are going for a length of time. When we had to make up the caravan bed, I think we used a flat sheet on the bottom, in order to cover the vast expanse of bed. No rocket science anyway!
     
  20. GregM

    GregM Read Only Funster

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    You say you want a 4/5 birth, are you traveling with 4/5 of you or are you thinking there will be more space?

    The reason I ask is finding a van that has more than 4 births within the 3500kg weight. We needed at least 5 birth when we was looking last year and found the weight a big issue.

    You also need to consider seat belts, we have three kids so wanted seat belts for all of us, we found many vans just had belts on the forward facing dinette seats which again rstricted our options.
     
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