How Did YOU Choose?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Langtoftlad, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    …your MH

    I’m a newbie
    I’ve not even spent one night in a MH.
    Last time I “camped” I think Baden-Powell was still head of the scouts
    [not quite true but my last night under canvas was in Africa, which was “full service”, en-suite tents, running water and uniformed waiters bring the G&T on tap]
    …but it is my retirement dream. Freedom of the road, places to explore etc etc.

    I’m doing my homework, trying to ensure my first MH is the right MH.
    I know my budget, I know my layout, and I even know that it has to be under a certain length to fit on my drive… I’d prefer new, but used would be acceptable
    But my shortlist is still too long :cry:.
    Within my criteria I can still choose between PVC, Coachbuilt & A Class [used].

    The trouble is never been MH’ing,

    I don’t know what I need, or what I don’t.
    I know a couple of ‘must haves’ but as for the rest… I have no particular preference for brand or base vehicle or anything else for that matter.

    What actually is important?
    Two or three ring burner on the cooker, do I care? I don’t think so
    90litre or 100litre water tank, does it matter?
    Thetford 200, 250 or 400 whatever loo – is that a deal breaker, surely all serve the same function?

    Trouble is, it’s all still theory, all on paper.
    I’ve been to a couple of shows, stepped in a few vans, seen many I’d not want, but many I’d love…
    I’m too easily seduced by the salesman’s patter, oh the space of an A Class, a PVC has almost the convenience of a car, the new slimline coachbuilts equals all the benefits… blah blah.

    So how do you decide?
    A test drive is not going to tell you anything very much – unless they let you overnight in it?
    A drawer in the wrong place, or the shower pressure might annoy the hell out of you – but you’re not going to know that until you’ve bought the damn thing! Do I decide on the size of the fridge?


    …and MH dealerships are hardly thick on the ground, for choice, general browsing or for playing one off against another…
    Another handicap is that I’m not really “car” orientated – I bought my last one off the internet via a comparison site!

    Before I jump in – I intend to rent a couple for a few days, just to make sure I don’t actually hate the reality… but how to narrow down that shortlist to just one or two models that one can go hunt for & search out the right deal ?????


    Addendum...
    The sort of thing I'm looking at:
    Chausson Flash... 04, 10 but even the 08 is not dismissed!
    Globecar PVC, a bit pricey but I haven't dismissed the budget Tribute 669
    Latest fad - the new Elddis Accordo 125 (or it's variants), all the advantages (?) of a coachbuilt but with the compactness of a PVC!
    ...and then there was this old Hymer B564 which caught my eye...



    :shout:
     
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  2. PaulyP

    PaulyP Funster

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    Not an easy decision to make, only you will know what suits you.
    Good idea to hire one as you at least get to know whether you like it.

    Look at plenty if you get the chance, think of rainy days when you may be stuck inside for a while, is it roomy enough. Are you going to be using it for a few days or a week at a time, do you plan longer trips ?

    All these factors need to be taken onto account.

    Lots of cooking inside or eat out a lot, is the cooker/fridge adequate for the time you use it, so many things to think of.

    All comes back to what suits you in the end, not many get it right first time, there is always something you wish you had or something you find you dont need.

    Not very helpful I know, but only you can decide.
     
  3. Roxie

    Roxie Funster

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    We hired a chausson flash 04 (I think that's what it was), from Motorholme - and took it round the Outer Hebrides as we're based down South and also our own rapido was potentially too large for the small roads. It was an awesome trip - and the Chausson was a great van. Try Motorholme for a rental - they have a large Chausson fleet and loads of bases.

    Have fun :thumb:

    Roxie
     
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  4. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Lincolnshire seems to have a fair number of dealers to choose from &you should be able to find one or two who will let you "hire before you buy".
    Personally I would go for a used quality marque than a new budget make, remember a new one will lose 20% of its value as soon as you drive it out of the gates.
     
  5. Bellini

    Bellini Funster

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    You're in the same position as we all were.

    The range and depth of choice is mind boggling, but that's half the fun.

    A few helpful words from someone who has relatively recently searched the market and bought 'the right one'...

    1. Rent before you buy. Doesn't matter if it's not the model you think you need. Just rent a size that's appropriate for you. You'll soon establish stuff you want and stuff you don't. Build quality was a key thing for me. As was (lack of) depreciation. But layout is the overiding criteria.

    2. Broaden your search to the German market and The Netherlands. Loads more choice and some great prices. Yes, you'll have to import and re-register (doing just that on mine right now...) but you may find your ideal motorhome and it's enjoyable looking. LHD isn't an issue in the UK.

    3. Older motorhome? Yes, definitely! Hymer are excellent. RMB are even better :Cool: if you can find one of these rare machines. Concorde, also.

    4. Take your time. Don't rush into it. Absorb advice and the market and what's on offer.

    5. Read, read and do more reading on here. Dig deep. There's loads to absorb and digest. It's surprising what you pick up.
     
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  6. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    All good advice so far :thumb:Layout will be the most important thing,:Smile:Do go and hire something if only to decide it's not for you.They basically all come with the same stuff in but lots omit a oven :Wink:No problem simply different ways around it(ramoska etc).2ring cooker is fine you simply buy a steamer and use only one ring saving on gas :Wink::BigGrin:
    It's all a big learning curve :BigGrin:
    Look into buying one around 12k ish for your first go and then you can use it for a few mths or a yr then you will know exactly what you want and get most of your money back, even make a small profit bought wisely:thumb:Then you can buy your new van once you are sure of the one you want.Did I mention Layout? :BigGrin:
    It all depends on how you use it as to the size you need? Are you going to use it as everyday transport? = PVC a few days away ? or weeks on end away -Unless you opt for larger vans you can get into most places-been all over the UK and never found nowhere we could not get -yep tight in places :BigGrin:
    The way we used or vans changed over the yrs as did vans going from 2 berth to 4 to 6 and back to 2 which more than occasionally went to 3 when Grandson joined us :BigGrin: All where not planned or envisaged at the time.
    Enjoy your search :thumb:try a couple,spend a small fortune Then if you must spend a big fortune :BigGrin:PS did I mention layout
    terry
     
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  7. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    lots of good advice on here and that is the best way to choose, take all onboard and put it through you own "what will suit me filter".

    Personally we already had a caravan so the step to a motorhome was smaller than yours, we used the caravan to attend shows like Peterborough etc so we could look at loads of layouts in one place and chat with people that were already using there own and had found some of the little quirks.

    We went down the used route and do not regret it as we wanted a fairly large top spec German van that would have cost us £150K plus new and we got it for a third of that, plus if you buy used first time around if you do make a mistake with something size layout etc you dont loose so much changing it for the right one.

    Martin
     
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  8. jemhorn

    jemhorn Funster

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    How to choose

    We're now on our 3rd van in 4 years! What went wrong? Nothing really, bought a 4year old Chausson Welcome 96 (the one with big garage and transverse electric bed) to start with which was a good buy and a good introduction to MHs. Bought privately. Didn't like the transverse bed over the garage so went on the trail of an A class with a drop down bed. So traded Chausson for Rapido 9048 with 150bhp. Great van but not enough storage for us. It was manageable but with 2 sets of golf clubs etc. it was a bit tight. Big mistake going to the NEC last November. Had read a report on a Laika Kreos 3008 so duly went and had a look. Great size French bed, electric drop down double (ideal when the grandchildren come along with us), lots of headroom, massive garage for golf clubs and everything else. Heavy 4.250tonne chassis, under 7m, 150bhp and automatic. Took a couple of deep breaths at the trade in but we now have a great van with all the bits we want which will do us for many years to come. So do lots of research, decide what is most important to you then go and buy a used model that won't loose too much money and use it for a year and hopefully by then you'll really know what you want. Hope that helps! Have fun
     
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  9. greyman1

    greyman1 Read Only Funster

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    terrys advice is spot on and you will not go far wrong if you choose to follow it ! the only thing i would add is that if you have never been motorhoming before as you say ,then you may think you know what layout you want, but with all due respect it probably wont be the layout that will actually be right for you in the long term . i started off convinced that i needed a low profile van with rear bathroom and bench seats yet after sitting in that layout at a showroom and realising the logistics of making up beds which would then basically halve the interior space of the van in the evening i changed my mind ! i subsequently have a rear lounge a class with pull down bed !! good luck in your search regards garry
     
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  10. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    First we decided LHD or RHD as we had a big trip through Europe planned for a few months and being close to the Tunnel probably thought we would get more use out of a LHD.

    Secondly we wanted the ability not to have to make up the beds all the time so a A class with a drop down bed suited us rather than a fixed bed at the back as we wanted to stay under 6m's if possible.

    This narrowed it down to a few Hymers which we went and looked at and in the end we visited a dealer in Canterbury to look at a Hymer but they also had an Eura Mobil on the forecourt which was the same age as the Hymer but had been refitted with new uphostely and so well maintained inside it was like new.

    Spent 2-3 hours pulling everything apart and a couple of test drives and that was it.

    The biggest thing we found was seeing a number of vans and generally you could tell instantly whether it was right or not and seeing a number of vans confirmed to us what we liked or didnt like about the van.
     
  11. Spenders

    Spenders

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    Top tips

    Some good advice given already.... did Terry remember to mention layout?
     
  12. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    Thanks for all this, it is very useful for all people planning to MH who haven't done it before.

    12 years ago we had a massive old Hymer, sorry don't remember the model but it was old when we bought it. We ran it for 4 years, and put several miles on the clock. We sold it for just a little less than our purchase price when we moved house and we didn't replace it although when we built our present house we did put in standing for a motorhome / caravan with EHU, water and waste disposal.

    Now the children have grown and flown and (early) retirement is on the cards so is a new van and the chance to take up kayaking again. The last kayaking we did was the first Tay Descent in 2010 although we have retained our SCA membership. We have a subscription to MMM and to this site so are reading everything we can get our hands on. We are haunting dealers' forecourts and that has narrowed our list of models even more.

    Reviews are useful but remember are subject to the reviewer. An example: an MMM review says that the grill in one of the Chausson models is too high but being tall people it is exactly right for us.

    We know what we don't want (and that is personal to everyone) and we have a basic spec plus a "nice to have" list. We will go for pre-loved because there won't be a van that will do all that we want "off the shelf" so alterations will be necessary and custom built is out of our budget. We will probably hire for a week or so before we finally commit - any dealer that won't arrange this is probably one to walk away from in my book.

    Finally always take a note book, tape measure and camera when you are looking!
     
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  13. Windy55

    Windy55 Read Only Funster

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    Hi there,

    I have just purchased my first motor home as a ' solo ' and it is difficult to know what's right and what's wrong! I have a Burstner Nexxo t620 it's great in as much as it has a transverse bed over a garage area for storage . The inside is compact but does have two captain seats. It's 6m long and seems to have all I need. Also depends what your going to use it for - weekends, long haul? I'm not sure I could drive one any bigger at the moment but time will tell - female worries I guess.

    Good luck
     
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  14. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Thanks everyone - but I'm surprised no-one mentioned "layout" :Rofl1:

    I joined MHF nearly three years ago :Eeek:, so I'm hardly rushing into things... but the time is rapidly approaching to stop browsing & dreaming and actually buy one!


    • I think I know the layout I want ie fixed bed - but of course until one tries, one doesn't know if something else is more important.
    • I was already planning to hire but now I will definitely do so.
    • I was leaning towards buying new - I'm not mechanically, automotive or even DIY inclined so thought for reliability & peace of mind, warranties etc, new would be best - and all "reviews" are for new... but I've now been idly browsing for so long :RollEyes:, that some models that initially appealed are now appearing on the 2nd hand market eg the Chausson Flash 04.
      And given that the odds are against me making the right choice first time, the better value, and indeed making the budget go further, having some of the budget left over for personalisation (toys) and maintenance (repairs?), then I'm now accepting that 'pre-loved' is probably the best bet (though a brand new shiny shiny is still tempting :Cool:)
    So, thanks again.
     
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  15. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    3 things...........

    1. Layout

    2. Layout

    3. Layout

    In the UK especially it has been known to rain occasionally!!!

    So you will need some comfort if you are stuck inside for a day (if you are lucky) :thumb:
     
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  16. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    I couldn't get what I wanted, so had to design one, just for me.

    Then got somebody to build it :Smile:
     
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  17. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    @Windy55
    Very interesting, I'm also Solo, in a similar situation (aka approaching early retirement) and your van is more or less the layout I'm considering - but at 6.6m, it may be a tad too long (will go outside and measure drive... again :Blush:)... and there is one advertised that is 5yrs old but only 8k mileage within budget...
    It would be very interesting & informative to hear about what you like, what you thought you'd like but perhaps don't and maybe things that have surprised you? Either about the van, or indeed your new pastime.
    :thumb:
     
  18. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    I'm not sure my approach is one to recommend, but I went on eBay with a budget in mind; saw turquoise captain swivel seats, and MoHo's good looks, took a punt at a single bid at the starting price (slightly over my intended spend).

    No one else bid. I won a motorhome. :Eek!:

    A week or so later met the guy in a train station car park, exchanged money, and drove it home :BigGrin:

    I had spoken to him a couple of times on the phone before hand. But bought unseen, undriven, and with no experience of motorhomes bar a week in a sprinter van in australia.

    then I joined MHFun.

    A little arse about tit one might say. But I would say that not every eBay is a scam, there are genuine people out there.

    I've learnt a lot but it's been fun ever since. :thumb:
     
  19. Windy55

    Windy55 Read Only Funster

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    Have sent you pm
     
  20. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Our approach was quite different to probably every other comment here - we didn't want a motorhome! By that I mean we didn't want a box on wheels with a little door you use to shut yourself away inside - too much like being in a caravan. What we like about our PVC is the big sliding door on the side. Yes, it bangs and crashes a bit when you try to close it but I just need to add some loop handles on the inside to sort that.

    We also wanted a decent kitchen so have 4 rings and an oven.

    Within reason layout wasn't an issue for us. Enough storage room for clothes and room under the bed for chairs, EHU cable etc. Wardrobe and a good sized loo and that's all we needed. A garage would be nice but I think we would just fill it with non-essential stuff. My starting point was lightweight camping, either on foot or on bike and this has taught me that I don't need a lot of things others might find essential. But then I don't play golf or have a canoe but the bikes fit on the back of the van and there is room for our walking boots in the wardrobe. We do need to make the bed up at night but it takes only a minute or so and we now have a good routine for putting it all away in the morning without falling over each other or falling out with each other. We also share it with our Jack Russell but of course if you have great flolloping dogs then they alone would need a bigger MH.

    Of course if you plan to do winter camping in the Alps then something like our van wouldn't cut it but it is OK for what we use it for. Others have different requirements and they have different vans. There is no perfect van for everyone.

    There is a guide to the different type of MH available on this Forum which is worth reading. My only advice would be to be wary of falling into the trap of thinking the bigger the MH the better. For some people US RV's are ideal and I wouldn't argue if that is their choice. But if you go down the large MH route it probably won't be long before you think you need to tow a car then when you get somewhere, because you have the car you feel you have to use it and what might have been a relaxing holiday chilling out becomes a whistle stop tour of local tourist attractions.

    Horses for courses. No one can tell you which vehicle to buy - you can only consider all the options and then make a choice. I don't think there are any MHs which I couldn't live with, they all have pluses and minuses but for us simplicity was a factor. We don't think we need to surround ourselves with "things" for happiness. When we get old and creaky and need mobility scooters we may need a bigger van but ours works for us at the moment.
     
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