moving back to A class from a van conversion?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Jimbob45, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    We had a Hymer B654 (2006) and sold it a year ago to downsize to a PVC, auto sleeper windrush. We found the A class Hymer a bit too big for the UK roads and parking was a nightmare (we tend to stay in the uk but likely to go to France next year). We thought that whilst compromised the autosleeper would suit our needs and give us a bit more flexibility. We want to be able to park AT the place we visit, not have to get a bus or the bikes out!
    However, the lack of storage and making up beds every night is a real pain and we are thinking of changing hopefully for the last time for a long while.
    There is 3 or sometimes 4 of us, including 2 small toddlers, so we would like 2 fixed beds. Ideally though we want a 'slim' van less than 2.2m wide so we can park and enjoy narrow lanes without too much hassle.
    We have been looking at the Hymer Exsis i474, which has 2 single beds and a drop down over the front. Seems a great alternative to the PVC not much wider and a little longer. However the cost with all the extras we will need is rocketing and whilst my Windrush is only a year old it seems I will lose a lot of money on it.
    Is there anything else out there that people could recommend with fixed beds and a drop down bed, or experience of the Exsis? Ideally narrower than the standard low profiles or slim A Class?

    Hope you can help with some advice! Thanks
     
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  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    You're looking for a tardis.. and it doesn't exist.. there has to be compromise.. and as you have found out small and beautiful isn't necessarily the best ..

    I've never had issues on narrow UK roads with my B644 .. but parking any vehicle that is longer than a family saloon or a swb panel van is always going to be a challenge.. but not insurmountable..

    With two young kids have you considered a caravan.. ? We had them while the kids were young, they much prefer being on sites and out playing rather than travelling every other day.. Best of both worlds.. a decent sized living van with fixed beds and a car to go sightseeing , shopping etc..
    You don't need a gas guzzling 4x4 to tow ... most family salons can pull a decent sized caravan.

    Good luck with your search.. whatever you decide..
     
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  3. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    We like the idea of a PVC but every time we look inside one its a definite no, too small too claustrophobic and to much fiddling to making beds.
    Talking to a guy the other day who'd downsized from a Aclass to a PVC and was regretting it.
    The idea seems great the reality not quite so.
     
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  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    ditto..

    looked at many before buying the Hymer.. love the idea, but not the reality
     
  5. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Try looking to by from Germany we picked up our new Exsis i698 this year in June for £53000 that included Bundesvans fees,solar panel,sat system plus extras to many to mention,it's a great van it is LHD. don't know if you want that?
     
  6. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    I'm looking at I 474 as well. Priced in the UK crazy! £20,000 cheaper if you buy s lhd import...
     
  7. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Love the idea of a PVC but storage is the biggy for me, my Hymer has oodles of it but is less than 20ft long, feels wider than my old van but you do get used to it(y)

    Looks like your gonna have to dig deep or look for a second hand one, what about buying from Germany? any cheaper?

    Oops on germany:giggler:
     
  8. Cat53

    Cat53 Funster

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    We always enjoyed caravanning with children. We stayed at CLs mostly and they loved the freedom.
     
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  9. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

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    We bought a Ford Transit Jumbo van and had it converted ourselves. Opted for U shaped seating at the back and L shaped at the front. When we're in France we leave the bed made up at the back the whole time as we live mostly outdoors, in the uk we leave the seating if the weather is bad.......... usually is !! We can sleep a small one in the L shaped seating at the front, but also had the option of a false roof which housed a double bed above the living area. Lots of space and even have a loo.
     
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  10. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    We're going the opposite way from an Adria Matrix 680 so just over 7.5M to a PVC as now just the two of us, we thought long and hard and looked at loads of different models and didn't like the idea of making beds as we had got used to the fixed bed.
    So after a lot of head scratching and view over 50 PVC's we have decided on this and ordered a new RHD from Germany
    http://www.poessl-mobile.de/portfolio-item/roadcruiser/
    We will lose some storage but will still have a fair amount under the beds and will be keeping the bikes on the outside now so only time will tell we plan to keep it for at least 5 years.
     
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  11. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    We downsized from a coach built to a pvc and love it (we've been away for 3 months now and don't regret the change at all)

    However there are just the 2 of us.

    For 4 people, or with toddlers, I wouldn't consider a pvc suitable for long holidays.

    We've had family members visit us for the odd week (our van can make a 3/4 double plus a single) and its tight (good fun for a week in the sun, but would be terrible in the grim weather)
     
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  12. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Thanks for all the advice, we had considered a caravan but really enjoy the freedom of the motor home. We regularly have weekends away and not always on sites.

    Would definitely consider a German import but as we are mostly in the uk would have to be RHD. has any one imported RHD and still made a good saving?

    Speve - how's your Exsis? Certainly a lot cheaper than uk prices!
    Any other recommendations for a slim ish van with fixed and drop down beds?
     
  13. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    I
    I think that a pvc is great for 2 but with kids and 'stuff' it doesn't work for a longer holiday. Ours has rear bunk beds and a lounge that converts into a double so we have enough sleeping space but no room to manoeuvre!
    It could have been an expensive mistake...
     
  14. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Ours is really great we have had a couple of minor warranty jobs but in general we are very pleased with it
    It drives really well and once you get used to LHD it's no problem we bought the 4250kg gvw so that we can tow a car trailer as we spend winter in Spain it tows well
    Loads of space and fixed island bed at back and huge double drop down over cab easy to use.
    Toilet and shower are spacious you can sit down without banging every wall in the bathroom.
    We feel this is probably the right van for our current requirements and intend keeping it for a long time.
    Best move we made moving from Autotrail coachbuilts to Hymer although we liked Autotrail it just couldn't fit the bill.
    It's narrower and takes much more payload.
     
  15. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    OK well why not have a look at the Carado range they are 'part of the Hymer group'. Basically the cheaper alternative to the full Hymer vans but using a lot of their parts and technical support etc. I have the Carado T134 and its in a different league (in a good way) to my previous Elddis in terms of build quality and functionality. Obviously you can get them cheaper also in Germany, but maybe a late season deal from heart of england one of the importers???
     
  16. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Thanks I'll have a look at the carado then do they make a drop down bed version, think I have only seen low profiles?
     
  17. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Had a look at Corado, nice vans but standard width and drop down bed option is over 7m... Shame, back to Hymer maybe unless any other recommendations?
     
  18. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    you wont get a good deal on a German van if you insist on RHD.......Simple really. Have driven LHD for over 25 years..... don't get the necessity at all for RHD to be honest.
     
  19. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We've got the Globecar FamilyScout which is from the same company (both part of Dethleffs group) and the storage is brilliant - you'll be surprised just how much space there actually is!
     
  20. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    AFAIK the Carado ones are 2.3m so quite a bit wider than a PVC and it DOES make a difference we used to have a Chausson Flash which was 2.3m and downsized to a PVC of 2.1m max and have taken it to places even a car driver would shy away from!

    There are now some PVCs that have twin transverse beds in the rear with one above the other I believe that Swift/Autocruise do one and also some of the foreign manufacturers do too. Whilst you may find making up the bed a faff bear in mind the amount of space that a fixed bed takes up - yes the kiddies can sit and play on it during the day but as they get older it may not then suit.

    Our Globecar FamilyScout L PVC is 6.34m long, 2.1m wide and has a transverse fixed bed (standard double bed length/width) and an L shaped lounge but if you went for one of these you'd still have to make the bed up although they used to offer the option of a raising roof too with a bed in it but I'm not sure if it is still available, this is a photo of it:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2014-GLOB...3-130-M-JET-/141128776810?hash=item20dbee3c6a
     
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