The Perfect Layout

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Deckard, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Deckard

    Deckard Read Only Funster

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    OK, I have read many times "it takes three MH's before you get the right one"...

    I have settled on a preference, being fixed rear bed, dinette/lounge area, separate shower...all from reading here and trying to picture myself living in one...not sure about LHD or RHD tbh.

    I'd like to know YOUR preference and why, if you've had a few vans, then the pro's and cons of the layouts you've tried.

    I know I am asking a lot, but I'd appreciate the feedback to make sure i have my "head straight" on what I am looking for....could be lots of "gotcha's" i havent considered !!
     
  2. duane0001

    duane0001 Read Only Funster

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    I dont like permanent dinettes, I prefer a spacious front lounge comprising of two facing sofas
    Fixed bed at the back and a small garage, I know my currant motorhome does not have these features but my next one will
     
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  3. Phill D

    Phill D

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    we are fans of the fixed bed with an across the rear washroom and shower. with a front dinette with side sofa and swivel seats. best of all worlds to us but the compromise ( and there always is one unless you buy a large RV ) is that the kitchen area is small, in the winter thats a minor issue in summer its no issue as the Barb'e is always out.:thumb:
     
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  4. Kevinthecat

    Kevinthecat Funster

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    I've had 2 vans , first van was a fixed bed with small dinette .My current van has a u shaped lounge and the bed needs to be made up. I prefer to make the bed up and I'm so happy with the lounge lay out. We can watch TV ,eat and kick back in a relaxed environment , the bed takes minutes to make up and if I'm by myself I just use a sleeping bag. I found with the fix bed if you have to stay in the van for long periods due to weather , which we did on the Isle of Skye a few years back I felt totally trapped . I know my current van is a tad longer but it's layout suits me for living in . If I was going to change it I would go for the same layout .
     
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  5. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    It depends a lot on how many are using the van, ie family, couple or single. For a single or couple a dinette is a waste of space as it cannot be used for lounging. A couple or single is far better off with a bar version with opposing couch. That way one can lounge whilst the other has a lie down. The rear bed is useful if you have a garage under to store all your must haves. The separate shower and toilet is a must if you are going to use the shower. If taking extended trips, good sized wardrobe and plenty of storage cupboards. If using the van all year round it will have to be factory fully winterised. Good sized fresh and waste water tanks unless you want to spend half your life humping water around. There is no such thing as the perfect van any more than the perfect person. What layout suits one will not suit another. You have to imagine spending time inside the van of your choice as sometimes you have no option but stay inside if the weather is not good. There is nothing worse than a wet week in an unsuitable van. We have had weeks away in the van when it has never stopped raining, but have been happy enough as layouts are the main priority for me.
     
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  6. maz

    maz Funster

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    Even within that preference there are lots of variables. :Smile:

    Fixed rear bed can be transverse bed over garage, French bed, island bed, even two single beds.

    Dinette/lounge area has a number of variations too, as do the type of tables: pedestal, drop-down, free-standing folding.

    Separate shower can be separate shower cubicle within the washroom, or completely separate shower with toilet and washbasin in another compartment.

    Maybe you begin to get my drift: best layout for you is a very personal thing depending on what you like and how you want to use the van. :Smile:

    What one Funster thinks is :thumb: another will think is :thumbdown: and a third will think is :Eeek:

    Best thing to do is to get along to one of the shows (it's show season!) where there are many, many vans of all types of layout, age, budget to play around in. Nothing beats actually trying out a van, imagining yourself living in it. :BigGrin:
     
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  7. Deckard

    Deckard Read Only Funster

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    The "perfect layout" was a deliberate ploy to coach a response....I already gather that there no perfect layouts.....but good feedback from those that have many more years experience than me sitting here reading for 3 hours a day...has to be a good :thumb:
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I could have written the same myself. It's exactly our experience except we haven't been to Skye:BigGrin:

    For me a fixed bed is great at night but the front dinette and swivel chairs does not make for comfortable lounging or even dining.
     
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  9. Deckard

    Deckard Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the feedback maz, I have spent a lot of time reading and visiting dealers and looking round. What you cant grasp is what some of it actually means. I see very small cooker tops (I love to cook and am something of a foodie) so this worries me....

    ...i just literally wanted to hear what people liked and disliked about their chosen layouts as there is always something in there you can pick up on...

    I am trying to get it "right first time" ...I am selling the house and moving into a MH and going full time from the getgo....could be 5 years before i save enough to try another!!
     
  10. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Me as well fixed dinette is just that mostly small and fixed, if you have a u shape at the back you can even leave your bed up if you are out in the day and a seperate table means you can sit on your bed to eat if you want or if its nice take it outside, but you are paying so its got to be what suits YOU
     
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  11. G4OGE

    G4OGE

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    It's difficult

    I'm trying to put together the right van for me I have read lots of different threads to try and see what the best options are at the moment it is still difficult I want to tour around the whole of the UK the length of time I'm not sure about yet a month may be longer.

    what would be best small enough to get into and out of places parking but big enough to not feel cramped fuel costs even should I go full time if it works out. I have looked at the Bailey approach which has a fixed bed is low profile and for the money not a bad build or just a simple 2 berth with a fixed bed.

    Many just seem to get on with it and say sod it which sounds good too it is an expensive thing to buy so we must get it as right as possible I think it seems a world away from the giant pearl tent we started out with it just did not seem to be a problem then it must just be an age thing we have to be comfortable now with all the trimmings.:Confused:
     
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  12. maz

    maz Funster

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    One thing I disliked about both my vans was the enormous German table. Ok, so both slid to and fro, up and down, and had folding flaps - they were still enormous! I spent all my time walking sideways just to get round them. So first thing I did was remove and store them. Replacement is a good quality free-standing folding table with a leg at each corner and no cross-struts to get in the way regardless of who sits where. When not in use it stores neatly in the cab where it doubles up as a towel rack. :Smile:

    Motorhomers' mantra #34: Everything in the van should have at least two uses. :BigGrin:
     
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  13. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I would love £10 for every time I hit my head on the front drop down bed on my old van:BigGrin:
     
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  14. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    I don't think there is an ideal van/mh/rv. They all come with their compromises.
    I like American RVs, the space, comfort, and amenities of a small hotel.
    Some like small, one vehicle does all type of MH. Each to their own, and everyones needs are different.
    As has been said before, if the weather is wet, how do you cope? We have been in tents when the weather has been awful. We got by. That's camping.
    What it boils down to is............Do YOU like it?
    Whatever you buy, there will be something better, and something worse.
    I remember someone said to me when I was buying, "whatever you fancy, buy one bigger, there is never enough room".


    Craig
     
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  15. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Having owned God knows how many motorhomes, campervans and Rvs in the past the layout we have now is as near perfect for US that I have ever had. The van is just under 7 metres so it can go anywhere, has the big walkthrough garage with the fixed bed above, separate shower and toilet, and best of all lounges in my opinion which is the bar version. This gives 3 reclining pilot seats and a couch. The only downside we have found is the small preparation area in the kitchen, but am in the process of remedying that soon with dropdown work surfaces. The van was built to customer order as a 2 berth, so no unwanted beds taking up room and loads of storage.
     

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  16. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    I've only had the one van but this is my fourth year with it. It has a U shaped lounge which enables me to entertain (which I enjoy). I've had 6 people eating at the table but must admit it was a bit of a squeeze. 4 is a much better number. Like you, I like to cook. Therefore, I have a 4 ring cooker (one of which is electric) so in effect a 3 ring gas cooker, a grill and oven. The van is a two berth at 6.1m. Easily parked in a supermarket and handled easily b y 1 person. When I last worked for a living I used it 5 days/nights a week for a whole 12 months.


    Against:

    Not enough storage space (no garage).
    Have to make the bed up each evening.
    Does not have separate shower room.
    No microwave.
    Swivelling seat is of no use in this layout.


    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  17. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    One thing to remember is weight we have just had a major shock on to axel weigh at Leeds both axels within limits but over gross by 60 kilos
    Dry tanks and not a lot of gear with us only thing we had extra was little genny only about 20 kilos
    God help us when we load up for morocco

    And after a weekend at Peterborough we have come to conclusion we are not changing vans our burstner T640 is ok for us to Improve we would have to go to a 7or 8 meter van probably tag axel we could afford to swap and then not able to afford to run it and have no funds to enjoy it
    I did see a big hobbie that I fell in love with
    Conclusion for Elaine and I no changes
     
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  18. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Perfect Van for us is the one we have now and had for the past 7 years, over the years we have had different layouts, for 2 people it just works.

    Drop down bed, but I can sit up in it, 3 Comfortable Captain seats Long settee that you can pull out in the evening and loz around, great table with no legs to get in the way, end kitchen so I can cook in peace.

    Good size toilet and excellent separate shower.
    Good storage lockers underneath.
    Wet storage beeny box.
    All this in 6 metres of van.

    Yes I am very happy with my Hymer 584. :Smile:
     
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  19. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    For us , its the one we have got.
    AND we got it right first time.:thumb:
     
  20. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    Posted on this thread about our ideal van, we went for the Starspirit in 2010 with the U shaped lounge as we don't think dinettes are good for relaxed seating. Two years later and hankering after a fixed bed, large fridge and better storage in the kitchen we saw the, almost, perfect replacement at Peterborough in the Bailey Approach. The 740SE has twin facing sofas, or a dinette option, plus everything else we want, only drawback is the lack of external access to storage, plus it's not the German van we planned for next time.
     
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