Size of motorhome for Europe touring

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by DandP, May 27, 2016.

  1. DandP

    DandP Read Only Funster

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    Hi, I'm sure this questioned has been asked before but have been unable to find a thread on it. We are looking to change from a twin wheel caravan to a motorhome for extended European touring. We have our eye on a Lunar Roadstar 786 which comes in at 7.84m long but in our dreams would like an Autotrail Cheyenne 840 which comes in at 8.61m. Because it is a twin wheel it looks a lot longer viewed from the outside but the figures say it is only .8m longer. So my question is to all you vastly experienced motorhomers will that extra .8m make the difference between getting pitches on sites in France, Spain and Italy. We do not intend to use large commercial/expensive sites. Thank in advance for your advice. Cheers. Dave.
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    When you've done France Spain and Morocco in an 11.8Mtr RV
    I would say 8.61 is very doable well I hope it is cos ive got a Cheyenne Tag axle
    For clarity twin wheels are like the transits 4 rear wheels on one axle
    I assume you mean 4 wheels on two axles Ie Tag Axle
    You cant of course beat a sub 6-7 Mtr van for the go anywhere feel
    But Im big boned ;) and need space too
    G
     
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  3. namwaldog

    namwaldog Funster

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    Hiya Dave,
    We have a Lunar Roadstar 720 so we are about 2 foot shorter than the 786 but that is probably negated by having two bikes on the back.
    We have never had a problem length wise in Aires & Sites in France & Spain. Of course you have to watch the height on Continental sites especially Spain for the pollarded trees which always want to take off your Canopy or aerials but this applies to any MH approaching 3 metres high.
    Go for what you feel comfortable in. We picked the Roadstar because at 6'4" tall I don't have to duck my head anywhere in the MH.
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    couldn't have said it better.. they say size matters .. I would certainly agree

    We have also toured abroad with an 11mt RV ... and there is no question, it does restrict where you can park and access.. especially some of the aires..
    it's much easier now with a 7mt Hymer.

    many older sites in Spain have very small pitches.. but you should have little trouble with 7.84mt..

    as already said.. height is often more troublesome.. ouch
     
  5. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    Just a point - tag-axle attracts higher peage/toll fees if you use the motorways a lot.
     
  6. Granjan

    Granjan Funster

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    We are 9.2 under 3m tag axle only ever paid class 2 tolls, think height might affect things more.
    We always use motorways.
     
  7. Graham and Jane

    Graham and Jane Funster Life Member

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    We are 6.5 and just back from 7 months covering france spain and morocco. Very happy with our sundance. Bigger not always better. Just so long as you enjoy what you have
     
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  8. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    If you want to really move around and cover big distances a smaller van will be easier to drive and cheaper to run. But if setting up in one or two places then a bigger van would IMO be better.

    We like to move around cover distance and see more sights. So we went smaller .

    In my heart though I would love a great big van but the head says be sensible and have what suits better.

    I think that as long as a van can fulfill every aspect the owners want and require then thats the van for you. Doesn't matter what anyone else has or says.
     
  9. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    At 8.5 metres we get where we want to be and have always found a pitch BUT some can be tight on length so we are a little restricted. If touring in high season it could be a bigger problem. Beware that some municipal sites in France don't allow twin axle caravans and can even extend this to tag axle MH, or certainly that was the case a few years ago.
    We keep saying we would go to closer to 8.0 metres next time but then we don't want to loose the space. I would say buy as small as suits you but not smaller than you would be happy living In, then you will make it work and won't be looking to change straight away.

    Martin
     
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  10. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    I think what @Charlie says is pretty spot on, one size does not fit all that's for sure.

    We obviously went the other way to Charlie as we are retired and have time to get from A to B so don't need the smaller van.

    Martin
     
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  11. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Off tangent a little, but still relevant to the space & length debate...
    Should 'weather' play a part in the decision making process?

    If MH use is mainly going to be in good & sunny weather such as in the Mediterranean countries, surely one needs less inside space as a lot of "living" will be outside, under the awning?

    Travelling in inclement weather such as we 'enjoy' in the UK perhaps more interior space would be desirable.
     
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  12. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    You are. Right in theory but we have just come back from Spain were we should have been sat outside but instead we were inside 50% of the time as it was raining, sat here in Holland watching the rIn come down.

    You have to work out what is important to you, we started with a big garage for bikes so that dictates a fixed bed and then a full width bathroom with seperate shower cubicle, then a sociable lounge area and half decent Kitchen and we are over 8 metres straight away.

    Oh and now we have thunder and lightening!!

    Martin
     
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  13. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    We have also travelled extensively in a 36ft RV and while doable it can be hard work and quite stressful. For the last 5 years we've travelled 50000 miles in a 7.6 mt (25ft) tag axle Hymer and never had an issue. For us 25ft is the maximum size as it just seems to fit anywhere although occasionally in Italy it has felt massive.:eek: We'd love a 6.5mt van but apart from B544 theres nothing else on the market thst gives us the internal space we like and our tag is just so comfortable.

    Sorry but thats not true. We have only ever paid Class 2 on the Peage, its height thats important and over 3 mt attracts the higher fee. You will however pay a lot more in Austria (gobox) Switzerland slightly more likewise Slovenia. (y)
     
  14. olley

    olley Funster

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    You've just been lucky, height is one criteria but so is weight, and over 3.5ton a tag is class 4.
    http://www.autoroutes.fr/en/vehicle-classification.htm

    We nearly always get charged class 3 but then we are a little over 3.5t :)

    Ian
     
  15. Allan & Loren

    Allan & Loren Funster

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    Our thoughts exactly. For us the key factors were layout and storage because we use our RV all year round in both uk and Europe. We take it skiing in the winter so internal space is key so we are comfortable and we need lockers large enough for the ski gear. In the summer we seek sunshine and golf courses so live outside under the canopy but still need locker space for the golf clubs.
     
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