1st MH / PCV. ...... Need help on makes to look at (1 Viewer)

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Waitforme

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Nov 14, 2018
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I'm a newbie
Hello all
I'm contemplating buying a MH / PCV and would really appreciate some help in manufacturers to focus on , and if it is acceptable to mention on a public forum ,manufacturers to not focus on !
I was told Autotrail were the best UK manufacturer but I've read recently of quality issues. I've read of Swift having quality issues also.
I was going down the MH path until I read of more chance of damp issues than in a PCV, so am now more thinking about getting a PCV. Space really isn't too much of an issue as it will just be my wife and I who will be using it, I'm 5'8" and my wife is 5'2" , both athletically built so don't need a lot of space.
Our budget is about 45k , don't mind buying 2nd hand maybe a year / two years old if the saving was worth it over new.
So at the mo , I'm thinking , 2 berth PCV , rear bed ( we'd probably leave it made as a bed all the time).
I'm very open to advice from you folks though. Are there other factors I should be considering ?
Do all vans come with heating / AC other than what would be offered via a standard van set up ?

I'll no doubt have a lot of other questions but I think that is enough to burden you with at the moment !

Best regards.

Kenny
 

bobandjanie

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Apr 28, 2008
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Hi Kenny, we are on our second panel van conversion, our preference is 6 meter because parking is restricted at our apartment, our first one was a 2012 Rapido V53 and our present one is a 2017 Pilote V600g both very much the same layout transverse bed gas locker under leaving storage for chairs and so on, you have to remember this when you look at rear lounge vans where dose the bedding go and chairs and all the other thing you need to store. The shower area is bigger and better in our latest one and we prefer the high fridge we also wanted a 3 way fridge elec / gas / 12v and also wanted to carry large gas bottles a couple of batteries and a couple of solar panels because we like to be self sufficient. (y)
Most vans have cab air con, but best check, we would not be without it, because we only do summer I also would want cruise control. :rolleyes: :LOL:

So when your looking you have to think about storage and it with all the things in it, because some seem to have lots of room until you put things in it. :eek: :LOL: Bob.
 
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thebriars

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Have a look at the new Benivan, that should be within your budget and comes with loads of extras, including underslung gas tank (freeing up space inside) and a solar panel.
 
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Allanm

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I think the main factor you should be considering is the amount of time you will be using the van. A couple of weeks a year, a few weekends away or longer trips of a few weeks at a time?
Is parking at home an issue or are you keen to get into U.K. supermarkets who seem to like marking out their car parks for very small cars.
For us, we wanted a permanent bed that meant we didnt have to climb a ladder or climb over each other, a separate large shower, comfortable seating that we can spend long winter evening in and plenty of storage.

We bought the perfect van after only four attempts!

Make a few lists of features you want, things you need and what you can do without and visit as many dealers as you can and spend time in vans you like the look of imagining how long you would feel comfortable in it if it was dark cold and raining outside.

That should get you thinking.

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mikebeaches

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:welcome3:

We're on our third van - the first two were coachbuilts, but now have a panel van conversion (PVC) and love it.

For us, it's much more relaxing to travel in because it's narrower. And likewise when it comes to parking. Many other advantages for us too.

Our preference is for continental vans, rather than British conversions. We are on our second Rapido, but have also had a Chausson - all French.

By the way, if you're serious about getting a van, then sign up to become a Funster on here - best investment you can make! :)

Good luck whatever you decide. (y)
 
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Aug 26, 2008
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@Waitforme you are similar in size to us and we find we can manage comfortably in a 5.4 m PVC with the transverse fixed bed layout.

A £45k budget will get you a new entry level PVC e.g. Dreamer or Sun Living with a few options, or a recent used higher spec PVC or demonstrator / old stock although there may not be many of those to choose from. MH owners tend to keep theirs for an average 7 or so years once they buy one that suits them so that means used ones at 1 or 2 years old are scarce and you need to find out why they were traded in in case they are lemons.

I would pick a recognised make for your first PVC in case you feel you need to change it. w2f
 
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Jan 17, 2014
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Welcome to the forum, here is our experience of a medium sized PVC (not an elevating roof type).

We have used LWB high roof VWs (just over 5 metres long and less than 3 metres high) since the early 1990s and as you see from my signature we have had a few! Being retired the camper gets plenty of use, this year the camped nights count stands at 96 since the beginning of May. The vehicles have always been fitted with hob, sink, grill, fridge freezer and blown air heating plus rear seating / bed on sliding track to make a universal passenger carrier with lots of good space when needed.

The camper is our everyday vehicle which presents no driving or parking problems as we live in a town with no height restricted car parks.

Rod
 
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Nasher

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Welcome

5.4m pug boxer PVC is my moho & daily drive

Works well for me, but can I suggest that you visit a show & have a good look at different vans & styles to see what you might think will work for you. Pay particular attention (as mentioned above) that in bad weather you could end up spending more time in the van than intended!

After working out what you think is best for you, see if you can hire one for a weekend & go from there

Best of luck with your purchase
 
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Waitforme

Waitforme

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Thanks for the replies folks.
Bobjanie , storage space is something I'd not thought about , will add to my list of things to check. Also the fridge power is something I must consider also as I'll probably do a lot of weekends wild camping ( is that just a tent type phrase ?) I'll have a look at the Vans you mentioned.

The Briars , What is an under slung gas tank ??

Mikebeaches, would you go back to coach built ?

Allanm , what were the drawbacks with the first few vans you bought ?

I'm located about an 40 mins from Perthshire caravans so will have a good look around their place.

Not sure how much we will use it , I'm not quite retired yet but plan to be in maybe a year , max two years so the use will change quite a bit I'd imagine.

I wouldn't contemplate doing my own conversion and plan to buy a well known make , budget can creep a bit particularly if I think we can get by with one car and a PVC rather than two cars and van. I'm thinking I would be more inclined to use a PVC as an occasional second vehicle much more than I would with a CB.

We have no issues with parking as we live in the countryside but Im wondering if there is a size that if we go over we get penalised with ferry fares etc for the sake of maybe an extra 18" in length ?

So , recommended makes are Pilote, Benivan , Rapido, Dreamer , any others ? Are all of the previous makes non UK ?

Thanks for the info
 
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Feb 18, 2018
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Dicksons in Perth sell Globecar.

I would download Globecar pdf brochure to see what suits you rather than rely on what Dicksons tell you though (y).
 
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thebriars

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Generally one has to buy a gas cylinder and then pay for refills whenever it get near empty. You will need gas for water/van heating, fridge and cooker if not on electric hookup. The gas tank takes up valuable space inside the van.

An underslung tank is a permanent gas tank fastened underneath the van. When it needs refilling you go to a petrol station that sells autogas and refill it there through a socket on the side. Far cheaper, and it holds far more than a normal refillable cylinder.
 
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Riverbankannie

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Thanks for the replies folks.

So , recommended makes are Pilote, Benivan , Rapido, Dreamer , any others ? Are all of the previous makes non UK ?

Thanks for the info
We have an IH Motorhome conversion. They are based in Knottingley and are well built. We have the 630RL as we like having a comfy corner each to lounge in, however I do like the spaciousness of the front lounge versions with a larger washroom across the back.

http://ihmotorhomes.com/

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Aug 2, 2017
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Hi and Welcome. If thinking of traveling around and staying overnight in your part of the country (Scotland) during the winter months my first choice would be a Motorhome because the manufacturers are not restricted by the body shape when installing the installation.
 
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Blue Knight

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so am now more thinking about getting a PVC.

Hi Kenny, A big welcome to the forum for starters(y)

There will be lots of advice on here regarding the various makes and manufacturers but IMO you need to have a think about what you want/need from the van.

We pick up our first PVC in a few days from now and the reason for the change is that my wife and I both wanted to be able to tour the Highlands & Islands, Wales, Ireland etc, without the worry of having a wide conventional MoHo that struggles to navigate the more out-of-the way roads and locations.

Also, if you plan to do the same as us and live off-grid, without the need for a 240v power supply, and a fair distance from the shops, then you really need to consider things like solar panels, habitation battery numbers, fridge capacity, storage for wet stuff, fresh & waste water tank sizes and base chassis choices etc (example: I found the Fiat Ducato chassis and its cab layout to be much more usable in PVC-guise than that of a Mercedes-based platform).

In the end, (and following months of research), we opted for a 6.36m long Globecar but I was fortunate to have a whole load of help from the guys on this forum who were truly brilliant.

I honestly thought that choosing a PVC would be simple but how wrong was I:whistle:

You will have Dixon's of Perth on your doorstep but I do know that Highland Campers near Inverness do better financial deals so they are worth a try too.

Good luck Kenny and it's good to have you on the forum (y)

All the best,

Andrew
 
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Cheshirecat57

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Feb 3, 2018
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Kenny
Welcome aboard

I too have had 2 Coachbuilts in a year, and decided to go down the PVC route, based on size
After careful consideration and research, i have ordered an Adria Twin

Have you thought about hiring one?

Ive said it before, best few hundred quid you will ever waste
 
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Dec 30, 2017
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If you want a smaller motorhome that can be used as a second vehicle, you might want to take a look at the Nu Venture Rio.
It's ideal for us as a couple roughly the same size as you! plus a jack russell.
It's fully equipped but doesn't have a fixed bed so maybe that makes it a no no.
Rob
 
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Langtoftlad

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I'll throw in Wildax [Aurora]... though a new one might be a little rich for your budget... [but a lot of kit which are optional extras on other brands are included in their price such as refillable lpg].

This dealership shouldn't be too far away
https://www.scotmotorhomes.co.uk/ though I have no experience of them personally.

I second the advice of renting as a trial run.
 
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Jim

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Jul 19, 2007
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Settle on an internal layout that you think will suit you and your circumstances. This is hard but it is the most important step in the whole buying process, it will involve sitting in a lot of vans (More than 50) so be prepared to do a few miles to your nearest big dealers. Once you have settled on layout, THEN start to consider what brand of motorhome you might like/be able to afford.

Fact is, you could have a van from who many might consider the best brand in the world but if the layout is wrong you will hate it. The right layout always supersedes the make, so start there. Best of luck (y)
 
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Feb 20, 2017
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As many have said make sure you can sit comfortably in whatever you choose if you come across poor weather.
 
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