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6m or 6.36m pvc? (1 Viewer)

Dazzler1969

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Jul 10, 2018
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hi all,
Looking to draw on the experience from the owners of the above size PVC’s, we are looking to change our Bailey 79-6 and whilst it will take some getting used to! Is there really any need to go down as low as 6m?
The reason for change is it will fit on the drive, easier for my wife to drive and make areas more accessible in the uk. 6m will be easier in towns and general car parks but does that 400mm really make a difference? Love the look of the rapidio V55 but steering towards the V68 or maybe a Globecar.
Thanks in advance
Darren
 
Oct 7, 2013
5,925
37,196
South Wales
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28,463
MH
Swift Escape Compact
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Since 1988
Can’t help you with the 6.36m PVC but 14 months ago we “downsized” to a 6m after 30 years of coachbuilt.

I don’t imagine the extra length of the 6.36m will cause many problems but, if you keep below 6m there are savings to be made on ferry crossings etc. if you are thinking of any Continental holidays.
 

Northernraider

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Jul 30, 2017
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I doubt it makes much difference to parking or driving but possibly a difference in layout etc

400mm is the same difference between a swb and a lwb on a vw t4 and I noticed a big difference in them inside
 

TM59

Free Member
Sep 16, 2011
653
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Northern Ireland
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18,190
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Rapido V55 PVC
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since 2003
In the process of downsizing from a Swift Bolero, end bathroom model approx 7.8 metres to a 6m Rapido v55. Looked at both v68 and v55, went with V55 as we liked wardrobe/shower set up. Main reason for change is the ability to explore more places both UK and abroad, parking at home. New van due end of March. Looking forward to it, has virtually everything we had before in a more confined area. Only time will tell if we have made the right decision.
If you search this forum there are many threads of funsters who have downsized in the last couple of years. All appear to have made the right decision.
 

pops

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May 1, 2012
544
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south glos
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Pilote panel van
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since1997
We downsized in 2013 to our Pilote F630DJA.
We have not been disappointed with our decision. Our travels now takes us to places we did not want to venture too in our coachbuilts.
Hope you find what your looking for.

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Dec 7, 2009
307
295
Macclesfield
Funster No
9,592
MH
Knaus Sun Ti
Exp
Since Dec 2009
Just downsized from a 6.7m Burstner coachbuilt (7.3 m with bike rack deployed!) to a 6m Hymercar Grand Canyon.

Finally settled on a 6m as the front end was identical in the 2 models we were interested in - the only difference (0.4m) was between a transverse bed or longitudinal twins. Obviously, the 'garage' space under the bed is slightly smaller in the 6m but still huge compared to the underbed storage in our Burstner.

The width is great - definitely more agile on the roads and MUCH easier to park!
 
Sep 18, 2010
1,103
1,733
Plymouth
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13,751
MH
Benimar 486 tessoro
Exp
2010?
Wow interesting thread, we have bailey 625 and they are so spacious, I want to downsize for all reasons above but OH says you can’t move in them
 
Mar 22, 2016
201
202
Lancashire
Funster No
42,097
MH
AutoTrail V line 635se
Exp
Caravanner since 1993
Re length 6m/ 6.35
We've just downsized from a 7.41m Swift coachbuilt to a 6.35 PVC. I never bothered about driving a van the size it was but we wanted to get to smaller places etc.

The biggest surprise we've found ( its a 2 long bench seats at the back layout) that there is plenty of storage and just requires a few changes on some of the larger stuff ie we have a collapsible watering can instead of a 23l blue water container and a trolly, we have 2 expanding hoses instead of a large reel version, but on the whole we've not compromised much.

Another factor with a PVC is I don't carry a large box of straps, clamps, Gaffer tape and mini saws and waterproof sheeting that may be required if you have meeting with a wall or somebody hits you up the rear whilst abroad and you have to carry temporary repairs so that got rid of 2 plastic boxes right there.

I would also say that an underslung tank is pretty much a must as it frees up a large cupboard or under sink storage that gas bottles take up ie our kitchen has 4 drawers AND 2 large Cupboards more than in the coachbuilt, and we have 8 overhead lockers we had 5 in our old van.

But I suppose the biggest change has been has been visiting a place or event and parking at the venue something we didn't feel comfortable with a coachbuilt as it was larger and in a car park we worried about other parked cars and doors, people who do not RV have no idea how delicate a coachbuilt is compared to a car door. So we have found we are going places in it as a stop off on the journey which adds to things we can do on the trip not just when we get there. I also feel less tired when doing the same miles or can do more miles - as I think whilst not having an issue with the coachbuilt my brain was doing extra processes managing the overall physical envelope, in a PVC you are basically a large SUV plus a bit of length so you just drive rather than process so this has been great

I will say that we enjoy the extra 10 inches of length ( ooh Matron !!!!!) and don't find parking a problem - but 6m van would statistically fit onto 20% more car parks than we would but we fit in 75% more parking scenarios than a coachbuilt so were happy. ( an example is in the photo below we had to hang the back over the grass a 6 m would have just fit, so if the car park had walls instead of grass and kerb - we would have had to pass up on going to the museum in the van. ( cant post pic - i will solve that later
 

Garratt

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Nov 9, 2016
192
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Miskin
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Rapido Dreamer D55+
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Since 2017
We’ve recently downsized from a 7.4m Autotrail Imala to a Rapido Dreamer D55. I was surprised at how much quieter the new van is compared to the coachbuilt and I don’t think it’s entirely due to build quality. The new van is also less affected by wind and is much more stable on the road. We preferred the layout in the 6m continental vans with the transverse bed over the garage, but if you find a layout you like I don’t think the difference in length makes much difference practically.
 

tuscancouple

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Oct 8, 2007
552
964
Kent
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562
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None
Exp
Since 2007
We downsized to a Sunlight 640 from the RV at 9.4m recently so that we could visit places that were just not possible in the RV. The bed is nearly as large as the one in the RV, just accessed diferently :) and there's stacks of storage space. We don't carry anywhere near the stuff we had in the RV, though we do need to pay attention to overall weight as it's gross is only 3500kg. We also have a drive away awning which provides useful space when staying somewhere for more than a few days.

Mick

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Sep 10, 2012
2,145
3,878
worcester
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Sunliving van
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2012
6mtr is easier to park and even then some places we have been to its a bit difficult to find parking spaces big enough.
if the extra 40cm is devoted to seating then its probably worth it. relaxing in a dinette is not the easiest thing to get used to.
our fixed traverse bed is comfortable but the wife get upset when climb over her (usually to get up).
cooking in a confined space may present you with problems but you soon adapt - so the wife told me.
 
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Dazzler1969

Dazzler1969

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Jul 10, 2018
134
130
Leicestershire
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S&L Atlanta PVC
Exp
Since 2015
Thanks guys for a very good view of what to expect, my wife loves the look of the Autotrail V-Line models but given the comments by a few (not just in the forum) I might need to see them in the flesh and look at quality of build.
I really should of joined the site prior to buying our Bailey as so many say “try before you buy” it can be an expensive mistake as I’m expecting to loose a packet on my current van, but the thought of not using it as much will haunt me if I keep it.
Thanks again everybody
Darren
 
Jun 22, 2012
3,863
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Sherborne Dorset
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Since 2012
We have the IH6630Rl which is in fact 639 cm I believe . We had planned on getting the 6 metre one but do like that extra space at the front where the seats swivel round.
The price difference on the cross channel ferries is only about £20-30 , but is going to make us shudder a bit in Norway this year but it's a special birthday so who cares!
Parking is usually easy abroad but in Uk carparks you sometimes have to pay for two spaces and there seem to be more and more little bollards in new carparks to try to stop you parking through two, might be my imagination of course.
 

mikebeaches

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Feb 22, 2010
5,416
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Rapido V68 Van Conversion
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We downsized from a coachbuilt to a Rapido V68 just over 2 years ago. Originally planned to stick at 6 metres, but glad we went for the longer 6.36 metre body.

Love the longitudinal fixed twin beds, and great storage in the garage. However, I agree the shower/wardrobe design on the Rapido V55 is very clever. But we'd had enough of climbing over one another in the night, so to speak... to access the bathroom you understand.

The van conversion is much more sure-footed at speed, and sits comfortably all day at 70-75 mph on the autoroute. We used to travel at about 60 mph on the motorway in the coachbuilt.

Being a foot narrower makes all the difference to relaxed driving with the pvc. And as everyone has said, makes access to 'interesting' places easier.
 
Oct 29, 2008
5,106
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West Yorkshire
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4,712
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PVC
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since 2008
Its the width of the PVC which makes a massive difference. We changed from a 8.3m Tag to a 6.3m PVC.
I would happily buy a 7.5m PVC as the narrower width would make narrow roads a breeze, length doesnt matter as far as Im concerned.

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Blue Knight

Free Member
Aug 7, 2017
5,232
5,704
Durham
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49,879
MH
Globecar Summit 640
Exp
2016
Darren,

We boiled down our final choice to a 5.99m Pop-top or a 6.36m standard PVC. In the end we decided that we wanted a huge amount of floor space for our dog so went for a continental 6.36m.

I would spend some time jumping in every PVC possible to see what is good for you.

Good luck,

Andrew
 

ludo

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 12, 2011
725
1,179
Lincolnshire
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17,306
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
Since 1990
We have had 4 PVC's now, the first being 6m and the other 3, 6.36m.

The 6m one had 15" wheels and the 6.36m ones were all on the heavy chassis Fiat, with 16" wheels, and the difference in the drive on the latter 3 is substantially better.

If you go for the 6.36m, make sure that you select the heavy chassis option, plated at 3500 kg but easily up-rated to 4500 kg, (paper excercise), if required.

The front axle is rated at 2100 kg and the rear at 2400 kg so it is almost impossible to overload either axle, even if left plated at 3500 kg. Furthermore, bearing in mind the heavy chassis is designed to run at 4500 kg, using the van at 3500 kg means that it is never weight stressed using it as a motorhome.
 
Oct 7, 2013
5,925
37,196
South Wales
Funster No
28,463
MH
Swift Escape Compact
Exp
Since 1988
@carolyn
We have a 6m PVC.

The space in the front dinette, shower etc is identical to the 6.36m layouts. The extra space is usually dedicated to the sleeping area, eg. longitudinal single beds in the rear.

Our PVC has both front seats on swivels so the living area is very comfortable.

I agree with you that layout is important and we rejected several PVCs because the driver’s seat could not swivel. It’s a big advantage to be able to sit comfortably with the large hab door open when the weather is not quite perfect for being fully outside.

We considered going for the longer wheelbase but considered that we would only use the rear “lounge” occasionally, the front dinette area being more spacious and comfortable. We felt that ease of parking outweighed the advantages of the extra length.

Having said the above I doubt that we would ever go back to a Coachbuilt.
 
Dec 21, 2016
145
266
Pyrenees France
Funster No
46,542
MH
Adria Compact Access
Exp
Since 2017
We have the Adria Twin 640 SL, on a Fiat Ducato 150. The layout suits us as not having to make up beds each night. The vast storage space under the beds is also very useful, everything gets put away.
Parking and travel through towns and villages has not been a problem,
Agree with #ludo the 16" wheels make a difference in the ride. Also the 150 gives a little extra power and torque in the mountains..
Have a look at plenty and choose the layout that suits your needs.

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Riverbankannie

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Mar 11, 2016
10,691
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Bristol
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41,967
MH
IH 630 RL PVC
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12
We have the IH 630 with rear longitudinal beds. We are both too tall for transverse beds so that was main part of decision making.
I agree with someone above who says it’s like driving an extra long SUV.
I think there is not so much difference for parking between the two, you still have to look out for extra big spaces. Even with our LWB VW which was 5.5m (I think) we had to back up over grass etc in normal car parks.
 

Riverbankannie

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Mar 11, 2016
10,691
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41,967
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IH 630 RL PVC
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@carolyn
We have a 6m PVC.

The space in the front dinette, shower etc is identical to the 6.36m layouts. The extra space is usually dedicated to the sleeping area, eg. longitudinal single beds in the rear.

Our PVC has both front seats on swivels so the living area is very comfortable.

I agree with you that layout is important and we rejected several PVCs because the driver’s seat could not swivel. It’s a big advantage to be able to sit comfortably with the large hab door open when the weather is not quite perfect for being fully outside.

We considered going for the longer wheelbase but considered that we would only use the rear “lounge” occasionally, the front dinette area being more spacious and comfortable. We felt that ease of parking outweighed the advantages of the extra length.

Having said the above I doubt that we would ever go back to a Coachbuilt.
The IH does have the extra 30cm built into the front cab area so that you get good longitudinal beds in both versions, the same washroom and kitchen space but extra space in front.
 
Oct 7, 2013
5,925
37,196
South Wales
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28,463
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Swift Escape Compact
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Since 1988
The IH does have the extra 30cm built into the front cab area so that you get good longitudinal beds in both versions, the same washroom and kitchen space but extra space in front.
Thanks.

You learn something every day thanks to this Forum!(y)

We obviously didn’t check that one out before making our decision, but are still happy with what we got.
 
Aug 18, 2011
12,176
18,057
derbys
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17,808
MH
AUTOSLEEPER SYMBOL
Exp
since 2007.Tugger before since 1970
We have had 7.5 metre Dethlef,,6.5 metre Autocruise ,6 metre Trigano PVC ,6 metre Autosleeper Coachbuilt and now have a 5 metre (5.4 with rear box) Autosleeper..Happier with this van than any other,,decent lounge,,great kitchen,,comfy beds, only downside is small shower and toilet, but unlike many new vans it does have the large cassette on the loo,,,But we all have different expectations,,BUSBY:)
 
Oct 27, 2016
61
118
Co Durham
Funster No
45,798
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
Since 1997
We traded down from an A class Hymer to a T5 pop top. Would not go back to a coach built for all the reasons above plus much better fuel consumption and much lower toll fees. We chose the LWB (6.3m) version to get a proper toilet cubicle. Not missed the extra space - we like to be out and about. Sufficient storage space as we no longer take all those things "just in case". Can still sleep up to 4 adults so grandkids can still come along.

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Langtoftlad

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Apr 12, 2011
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Langtoft, South Lincs
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16,024
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WildAx Aurora FB [PVC]
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@Dazzler1969
Wildax do a PVC called an Aurora - it comes in 2 versions, Fixed Bed or Rear Lounge... it also comes in both lengths, 6m and 6.36m
The basic difference in their options is extra cupboard space, a bigger fridge & a microwave. The furniture, washroom & kitchen are the same in both lengths...
BUT
Wildax will tweak the design to what you want - so for example, if you want twin singles [like @Riverbankannie ] they can do it.

If you're coming to P'Boro show then WildAx are likely to have the variants on display - not necessarily saying you should buy a WildAx but I'm very happy with mine [6m Fixed Bed], but you can compare lengths side by side.
 
Apr 21, 2014
102
118
Hertford
Funster No
31,075
MH
ev micro camper
Exp
9years
Downsized from A class to PVC 5.99m several years ago and had no problems in getting used to the smaller space even with four of us aboard. We wasted so much space in the A class by taking more stuff because we could. Packing took twice as long trying to make sure everything stayed put. Parking much easier with PVC but I agree with others that the overall drive was just more relaxing and despite the gruff Citroen (Ford) engine it was much quieter. We went back up to a 6.3m PVC with the same layout but to be honest for us it was our "motorhome mistake", we should have changed layout instead. The growing boys could fit in the longitudinal beds (which is why we changed) but everything else was the same and it all felt much bigger outside and no bigger inside. The manufacturer just filled the extra few cm with stuff and I had to uprate it to 4250kg because it was on the heavy chassis and I hadn't noticed that there was very limited payload. The extra cm meant a much lower payload. Now down to a HymerCar 5.4m with pop-top and last year toured to Romania with the now grown boys and we all said how roomy it felt! This is our forever van, but we all think that I guess.
 
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Dazzler1969

Dazzler1969

Free Member
Jul 10, 2018
134
130
Leicestershire
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54,849
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S&L Atlanta PVC
Exp
Since 2015
Its the width of the PVC which makes a massive difference. We changed from a 8.3m Tag to a 6.3m PVC.
I would happily buy a 7.5m PVC as the narrower width would make narrow roads a breeze, length doesnt matter as far as Im concerned.
I’m inclined to agree, the Bailey is a wide beast and whilst doesn’t concern me the wife won’t drive it! Apparently size does matter she has now informed me.
Off to the the NEC in feb to try some out! The thought of loosing upwards of 10k is frightening but not as much as 60k being on the drive not being used to it’s full potential.
 

AndyV

Free Member
Feb 5, 2018
75
15
France
Funster No
52,288
MH
Coach Built
Exp
since 2003
I agree with a lot that's been mentioned about down sizing, having done just that last year from a Piot Galaxy 6 to a Burstner Ixeo 590. The Pilot was nearly 7mtrs long & had plenty of room/ storage space. We needed it then as we had 2 dogs one very large one who needed a lot of space (sadly passed away) . The opportunity to downsize was there, so we did. We did have to comprise on what we took with us as there is a lot less storage space on the 590. I greatly miss not being able to carry our 2 large sun loungers for starters, just about everything else we have managed with & it hasn't been to much of a problem. The real niggle is there is no spare wheel/tyre. I always feel some comfort in the fact in all the years I have never had a puncture, of course that doesn't mean it wont happen & that's the niggle. This year we intend to travel to Morocco & I will be making arrangements to carry a spare, not yet decided how to but it has to be for my own peace of mind. Downsizing the length doesn't really matter that much as has been previously mentioned but the width does. On the Burstner , it's short in relevant terms , dead easy to swing around , park etc. but she's wide with long sticky out mirrors which causes a few anxious clench moments. I'm not sorry I downsized & will not go up to a 7mtr job again, however I do miss the extra inside space of the bigger van, would be a lie if I didn't.
 
Jun 22, 2012
3,863
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Sherborne Dorset
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21,586
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Van Conversion
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Since 2012
@carolyn
We have a 6m PVC.

The space in the front dinette, shower etc is identical to the 6.36m layouts. The extra space is usually dedicated to the sleeping area, eg. longitudinal single beds in the rear.

Our PVC has both front seats on swivels so the living area is very comfortable.

I agree with you that layout is important and we rejected several PVCs because the driver’s seat could not swivel. It’s a big advantage to be able to sit comfortably with the large hab door open when the weather is not quite perfect for being fully outside.

We considered going for the longer wheelbase but considered that we would only use the rear “lounge” occasionally, the front dinette area being more spacious and comfortable. We felt that ease of parking outweighed the advantages of the extra length.

Having said the above I doubt that we would ever go back to a Coachbuilt.
In the IH the beds are the same length in the 600 and the 630RL, the extra space is between the front seats and the wardrobe so you do get the extra room there, we did do our research. Obviously it may be different in other vans. You get two extra useful shallow tall cupboards behind the drivers seat, all the electrics are in one. The battery is also deeply hidden in one and getting at it involves dismantling the lower cupboard! Thank goodness it's 140 and gel.

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