Our IH 630 FL - Florence

Discussion in 'I H Motorcampers' started by aldhp21, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. aldhp21

    aldhp21 Funster

    Feb 17, 2009
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    It’s now been a year since we bought our new IH 630 FL, Florence to us, so I thought I’d put our thoughts and findings down which as well as being an opportunity for reflection may be of use to others.

    Lyn and I had discussed changing our A Class Adria for something smaller at some time in the future. Something that would fit at the front of the house thereby saving the storage fees but more so for making our home from home all the more accessible for the impulse “let’s go somewhere now” moments. Lyn was also keen to have something smaller that she would be confident driving and therefore take some of the driving load on longer journeys.

    We thought that the downsize point would be for some time in the future but when we happened across the IH630FL at Peterborough in April last year we fell in love with it. In truth we were first drawn to the SL with the slide out lounge section but on viewing both vehicles the FL had more appeal for us. We preferred the larger settee for lounging on in the FL and obviously the additional cost of the SL was a factor. And with cost in mind, IH vans are certainly not cheap, we had a good look round at similar vans from other manufacturers. Most weren’t up to the quality of the IH and the ones that were close just didn’t have that feeling of space, some in fact downright claustrophobic. So decision time, decision made, we went for it and bought Florence.

    Now if you had asked what our “must haves” for a new van would have been beforehand the answer would have definitely included. Fixed bed; must have a fixed bed, don’t want to be making up a bed every night. Separate shower; must have a separate shower, everything gets splashed in a wet room. Well it just goes to show what we think we want may not necessarily be what works best for us.

    So we’ve now lived with her for a while, been across France, wild camped, rallied, even stayed on commercial campsites and we’re really enjoying our time with Florence, tweaking things here and there as we go.

    What we like about Florence.

    • Easy to drive and manoeuvre, love the auto gearbox, and a fuel economy of approximately 33mpg. I’m expecting the mpg to improve slightly as the engine beds in.

    • The lack of rattles when driving.

    • Very spacious. Surprisingly we have more living space in the IH than we had with our A Class.

    • Great internal storage area for all those essentials (and some nonessentials). The balance of overhead storage whilst maintaining a feeling of space is superb.

    • Big slide door, when the weather’s good just leave the door open.

    • Enough room in the kitchen area for proper cooking and the sink has a drainer.

    • A decent capacity leisure battery.

    • A single electric element on the hob. Nice touch for when you’re on EHU.

    • Storage area in the boot. I need to be organized but I can get Honda generator, awning, ramps, two chairs, toolbox, watering can, windbreaks, 12v jump leads, bucket, cables and Cobb bbq in there. Lyn even gets her fold up rotary drier in there when I’m not looking.

    • Easy roll out bed. Very quick to make the bed each night. Pull out the bed, roll out the duvalays, take two pillows from the over cab storage and we’re pretty much done. In the morning nearly as quick just takes a little bit longer to make sure the duvalays are rolled up tight enough to go back in the wardrobe.

    • Speakers in the lounge area of the van

    • The fixed LPG tank. The led display though is highly inaccurate. When it gets to red it must still be about 50% full as I could only get 12 litres in when topping up. It’s no biggie though as I just top up whenever I’m in the garage.

    • The excellent finish of the habitation area. Very solid feel.
    Design bits we would change if we could

    • Bathroom sink. It’s not the size of the sink that is the problem it’s the positioning. Set right back on the shelf in the corner which makes washing your face a tad awkward. The sink would have been better positioned more towards the front of the shelf.

    • An additional plug hole in the shower tray for when the van’s not quite level.

    • Cupboard door to the storage area beneath the settee. There is a large space below the seating area but the size of the hatch door to access it is too small. This would have been the ideal place to store our bedding, instead they go in the wardrobe. I know the top does lift up but the metal part of the frame rubs against the remaining cushion seat so I try to keep use of this to a minimum.

    • Diesel filler cap and LPG filler cap on opposite sides of the van. I tend to fill both up at the same time.

    • Passenger seat has to be returned to its normal position when rolling the bed out as the metal underneath the seat rubs against the seating cushion.
    What changes we’ve already made or are planning

    • Added additional Velcro strips on the settee frame to stop the seating cushion slipping off.

    • Added extra shower curtain across the wall behind the toilet to stop water getting into the cupboards when showering. Used one of the extending plastic rails with suckers on you can get at motorhome shows with a short shower curtain. Works a treat. You can of course have this added as an option on a new build.

    • Fitted doweling across the front of the overhead cupboards in the kitchen area to stop cans falling out.

    • Adapted the cupboard above the TV to hold all our plates and crockery in. I’d looked for readymade storage solutions and can’t find anything suitable so got creative with some more doweling, wood and hooks and jobs a goodun’.

    • Added BBQ point.

    • Added 100 watt solar panel.

    • Added Oyster Cytrac satellite receiver to the roof. It is a bit of a tight fit on the FL but it does fit. (Thanks EddieVanBitz)

    • Going to add an additional 240v socket in the TV cupboard. I’ll take a feed from the plug socket behind the fridge to add additional socket for when we take the SkyBox with us.

    • Going to add a couple of brackets in boot to hold windbreak. I like to keep access to the toilet cassette free and the only place I can currently put the windbreak is along the bottom of the boot which restricts the removal of the cassette. A bracket high up near where the awning handle is stored should be the answer.

    • Going to add a j rail just below the awning to stop the rain drops coming in from the sliding door.
    We’ve mainly used Florence in the warmer weather and had concerns of how the insulation and heating would cope during the winter. Well with the help of the external insulation screens it worked really well. The big sliding door is a disadvantage in the cold but I’ve stopped the smoking so the doors not used as often now.


    Alan & Lyn
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  2. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

    Oct 18, 2015
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    Thanks for a comprehensive appraisal of your van! It is definitely a thumbs up and ,I'm sure you will have loads of lovely trips!
    Have you emailed IH they would be pleased!

    Congrats with the none smoking!!(y)
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  3. aldhp21

    aldhp21 Funster

    Feb 17, 2009
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    Just a couple of images of the van image.jpeg

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