I've got a little list.......

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Touchwood, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    ...well, I will have, when all you good folk have helped!

    We've had our MH for about three years now, and still enjoy our time away immensely. The Avantgarde is just about perfect for our needs - we were very lucky to get so many things right on our first attempt at buying, we know so much more now and could easily have got a layout that didn't suit so well. We're starting to think, though, about buying something a bit newer that will be nearer the perfection we all seek, and to that end I plan to put together a list of possible 'vans that would fit the bill - that's where you lot come in.

    A major improvement over our current layout (the only improvement needed, really) is our wish to have twin, single bunks in a rear lounge. We don't want a fixed bed, we're quite happy to roll out the Duvalays every night, but currently we have to convert the seating to a double bed, which means one of us can't get out for the inevitable loo trip in the middle of the night without disturbing the other. Twin bunks would be ideal - unless there are any drawbacks that we haven't seen? I haven't seen many 'vans with this arrangement, however - do most manufacturer's offer this, or not? Also bearing in mind we'll almost certainly be buying second hand and not new, how difficult is it going to be to find a 'van that's right in all other respects with this layout?

    Other considerations I'd welcome your views on as follows: -

    Luton top - we currently have a Luton with a double bed, but we're too creaky to sleep in it, so we use it for storage, and very useful for that it is too. We may have a future need for a further bed when our grand-daughter is a little older and can come away with us, and the Luton would be good for that - should I look for a four-berth with a Luton? Or is there a better way to give us the storage space and a future extra bed?

    Driver comfort and luxuries: -

    Our current 'van is an '02, so pretty basic. I'd like to have some extras like cruise control, air conditioning, central locking, radio/CD controls on the steering wheel, etc. etc. What year of manufacture am I going to need to be looking at to get these as standard? Or does it vary greatly between manufacturer's?

    Rotating driver/passenger chairs: -

    We don't have these at present. We certainly don't need them for day-to-day use, but on occasion one or other of us can't sleep - at home we'd toddle off downstairs, make a cuppa, and read for a while, but we can't do that in the 'van. Maybe a rotating chair would give this option of another place to sit when the lounge is a bed? We could of course just sit in one or other of the cab seats without rotating - but that doesn't seem right, somehow. Any thoughts?

    General build quality: -

    The Avantgarde is I suppose what would be classed as pretty basic - but it suits us just fine and we don't necessarily want or need to go up-market in this respect. Having said that, are there any manufacturer's who it would be best to avoid to ensure getting a good build quality?

    Anything else?

    There are a few other niceties to think about, but nothing major. We'd like a bigger fridge, especially more freezer space, external access to some storage would be good (I currently have to dis-assemble the lounge to get the ramps out when needed) a microwave may be handy, but I'm not sure if the space used is worth it - anything else I haven't thought of?

    This is a long term project, we're planning to take maybe a couple of years before we take the plunge, but it would be nice to have maybe two or three 'vans in mind - any ideas/thoughts/comments would be most welcome.
     
  2. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

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    My only advice from also having the transverse double at rear problem at night, is it depends how tall you both are. Our Apache rear side seats are about 5'10" long and too short for me, but may be fine for you. I have noticed this in a lot of U shaped loung rears, they seem designed for a transverse double bed. We have slightly different needs family wise, and are currently considering a Scout. I think with you only wanting a 4 berth and 4 belted seats you may have more choice, including a few continentals. (We want 6 berth and 6 belted seats including driver, not a lot about).

    Good luck with your search.
     
  3. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    You are going along a similar route to the one we trod with our Autoquest, Mike. We were thinking of changing it anyway when Asda stepped in :)

    I take your point about twin beds but don't discount a fixed bed completely. I can get out of the foot of ours without having to climb over Jill.

    We, too, used the Luton for storage but went for a low profile the second time round. It's more stable when driving and the storage under the bed compensates for the loss of Luton storage. We've never used the make-up bed in the dinette on ours but that arrangement, or a drop down second bed, are alternatives to consider.

    Luton top - we currently have a Luton with a double bed, but we're too creaky to sleep in it, so we use it for storage, and very useful for that it is too. We may have a future need for a further bed when our grand-daughter is a little older and can come away with us, and the Luton would be good for that - should I look for a four-berth with a Luton? Or is there a better way to give us the storage space and a future extra bed?

    We've found rotating driver & passenger chairs a boon. The van is 4 feet longer but we have about 8 feet more of usable space.

    The general build quality of our Burstner is superior to the Autoquest, even though it is slightly older.

    Whichever way you go I would recommend putting together a checklist as we did. In case it is of help you can download our checklist (as a better start than a blank sheet) Here.
     
  4. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    Thanks Grumps, I'm just a quarter inch under 5' 10" so would be a bit tight!

    Thanks to you too, Graham, some useful advice as usual. I must admit I've never understood the fixed bed idea, it always seems to me that you are giving up an awful lot of living space to avoid what is at worst a slight inconvenience - but lots of folks seem to like it so what do I know? Thanks too for the checklist, I'll be adapting and using that.
     
  5. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    Not very many replies to this thread so far - c'mon guys, surely there's someone out there who has had a similar requirement for single twin beds in a rear lounge? Pretty please?
     
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