Van conversion or coachbuilt?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Bels47, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Bels47

    Bels47 Read Only Funster

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    Hi all, Just sold our caravan and planning to purchase a mh next year. Prior to the caravan we had a large coachbuilt which we enjoyed but felt a little restricted and tended to stay on site.
    I would love to hear comments from people who have downsized to a van conversion. When looking at vans it is difficult to see their advantage compared to coachbuilts of similar dimensions.
    Why/how to decide?
     
  2. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    The reason that we went to a van conversion was to save money as I did all of the work with the exception of the upholstery work on the seats. The overall cost including a new Van was around 29k. The way that some of the converters mess about with a panel van is strange such as IH who will give you an option to fix the sliding door and cut out for and fit in a normal motor home door. They also offer to remove the back doors and use a grp panel. The cost of this type of conversion is something like 60 to 70k. Autosleeper do one at that value and I am surprised that they sell any. There are quite a few 6m coach built vans around and some are barely wider than a pvc so you have plenty of choice.

    Mike
     
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  3. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    We had a coachbuilt and hardly ever used it. We are now on our second PVC and love it.. they are (in our experience)

    Cheaper
    quieter when driving
    warmer when parked
    easier to drive
    much much easier to park
    Less cause of envy from toerags

    but the cost is space. There 're only 2 of us and we tend to do short trips so works perfectly for us but we know we will need something bigger when we are older and doing longer trips.
     
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  4. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Coachbuilt for us but we do a lot of trips, some of them for a few weeks, so we find we need the space. Parking can be a hassle but I find the van surprisingly easy to drive, in fact more relaxing than a car.
     
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  5. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    We've recently "downsized" and are glad we did, each to their own though but in our opinion the advantages and disadvantages are

    Advantages (to date)

    Easier to drive
    Easier to park in towns (width will fit in car park spot)
    Less stressful in tight situations (noticed particularly in France)
    Less "obvious" when you park up or wild camp
    Easier to clean
    More lounging room in rear lounge plus front section (layout dependant)

    Disadvantages (to date)

    We now have to make bed up (5 mins)
    Bathroom smaller but still usable (we had separate shower cubicle in coach built)
    Slightly less storage (debatable though as we have external water tanks and external gas tank now)

    Wouldn't entertain one with kids in tow, but wouldn't now go back to a coach built - we love the panel van.
     
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  6. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    As the previous post says; the trade-off is space! They are no longer a cheaper option either. I was looking around some (out of curiosity) over the weekend at a show. I was staggered at the prices! Nothing fancy in terms of fittings/facilities, but the same price, or more as some mid-ranged coachbuilts!

    I'm sure the industry has cottoned-on to their popularity amongst the young, ease of driving and parking on driveways etc.

    As with all layouts, it's a matter of what suits. Personally, I prefer space and not having to be banged-up with Mrs W in close proximity when it rains. :D
    However, I'm envious when I have to reverse a 23 foot Motorhome onto my front drive with traffic snapping at heel. Can't have both :-(
     
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  7. fastpat

    fastpat Read Only Funster

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    In the end, having considered all the advantages and disadvantages of both, what directed me to a PVC was the many tales of damp with coachbuilts - they are after all some slabs of plastic glued and screwed to a frame, the quality of that glue varies. With a PVC at least you have a tin can keeping the elements out.

    When I want a bigger van in five or six years for longer (6 weeks plus) I will probably do a lot of research and kick the above suggestion into touch - but currently that is my rationale.
     
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  8. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    We always hired coach built for holidays in the past and like many of the above have mentioned parking was a pain, we opted to buy a PVC now the kids have grew up so there's only the 2 of us and to be honest we love it, its drivable like a car, easier to park, basically get in anywhere a car can, the only down side is storage space, we have a Fiamma 500 box fitted on the bike rack that stores our chairs (this is basically all its used for) - apart from these things we would have to pay around £500 per year for storage, whereas we can fit the PVC on the drive.
     
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  9. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    On our 2nd coachbuilt but <6m long so compact .We have a bed that lowers out of the roof had to make up the bed in our caravan years ago and couldn't be arsed again
     
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  10. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    We've had a big one. Slept 7. We've now got a xlwb PVC.
    Ralph's building him. Probably cost us the same if not more than some bought Motorhomes or PVC.'s .
    But it's exactly what we want. From the outside in. Everything about him.
    Here's a link to Ralph's build blog.
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/rb-panel-van-conversion-begins.100614/
    We're not quite finished. But are using "pug" regardless at least once a month now. All work no play. Names Ralph a tired worn out boy !!
    He's easier to drive, park , cheaper to run. The only downside from our bigger mh is we don't gave a separate full size shower cubicle. We can live with that !
     
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