Best Layout for Full Time between UK and Europe for 3-5 Years Retired Couple? (1 Viewer)

Affiliate links here may earn MHF compensation

carn9698

Free Member
Jan 2, 2023
5
3
Funster No
93,134
MH
Don`t own one yet
My wife are looking to buy a motorhome later this year with the aim to retire and travel for 3-5 years between the UK and Europe full time. We are mid to late 50`s travelling with 2 small dogs.

We fancy a narrower compact motorhome with a fixed bed. Our budget is between £50-75K, so we would buy used. We intend to travel to towns etc from campsites on folding Ebikes. We would like to store the bikes in a rear garage, so an island bed or German layout may be required.

Ideally no longer than 7M, but if the upfront area has room to put our feet up(without a table in the way) then we could go up to 7.5M.

The Adria Compact Supreme looks a good match, but might be hard to get a used 1 below £75K.

Can anyone suggest any other models that might suit?

We would look to add a Rooftop Rear Air Conditioning unit and Gaslow if the motorhome we buy are lacking those 2 requirements.

Also which makes are better for winter van life? Ie; Most insulated.

Sorry for all the questions, but I can see quite a lot of knowledge on this forums reading some of the threads.
 
Sep 17, 2017
5,749
10,781
Birmingham, UK
Funster No
50,575
MH
A-Class
Exp
2017
I went from a 5.4m Ducato panel van to a 6m A-class that's 2.3m wide. It's not much bigger in terms of footprint, but it feels three times bigger inside. The width is bit of a faff with bits of rural England with really narrow lanes and hedges against the roadside. But most of the time it's fine. And in Europe it's never been a problem. If I was living full time, I'd probably take the living space over the occasional driving stress.
 
Feb 27, 2011
14,975
78,136
UK
Funster No
15,452
MH
Self Build
Exp
Since 2005
Depends on how you will be living. If you are going to be staying in one spot for weeks before moving on then a larger van and some planning is good.
If however you are going to be moving regularly and with minimal planning then keep the size down.

Here are the things I have seen couples recommend.

1) A separate area for each person where you can get away from the other person and do something different. This may be a sitting area in the living area and a bit for the bed to make it a comfortable seat. Having a bed high up that you cannot sit in and being forced to sit next to each other after a row may not be good long term.
2) A fixed bed is essential. As is a decent shower.
3) It is the little things that ruin it. Get a decent sized fresh water tank and black tank. Upgrade the battery and solar as much as you can. The last thing anyone needs is to be in a bad mood because the water ran out just as the other half wanted a shower or a shave. Batteries running down can make the experience miserable.

I have lots more, but need to crack on. There are lots of full timers on this forum. Both singles and couples. Ask away and someone here will have the answers.
 

suavecarve

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2009
7,829
40,052
Surrey/Hants
Funster No
8,035
MH
Rollerteam 685
Exp
July 09
Firstly welcome,

I note you say you would use campsites in Europe. You may want to rectify this thinking unless finance is not an issue in favour of aires and France Passion sites.
The first thing on your list is to pay up as a member here to enable you to ask more questions (5 posts only for no money!)
We will all be different but fixed bed would be a must for us or a drop down. Our motorhome (if you removed the removable table) would fit your criteria.
Are you sure folding e bikes are the way to go ? they would have smaller wheels and if you have the garage we can fit a motorbike and 2 ebikes in there.
DO you both have C1 on your licence for 3500 kgs + ?
Gaslow or similar would be a good addition in my view but Air Conditioning would be very low in priority (we are all different)
Most vans can be winterised at purchase (unless buying 2nd hand)
75K would buy you a new Rollerteam 685 (ours) with all the upgrades (if any are available) (The one that is sometimes used in the Paul Merton series just starting on CHannel 5 and will give you no idea whatsoever on motorhoming)

Best of luck

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Oct 18, 2021
2,169
6,578
Mid Devon
Funster No
84,940
MH
Adria Compact SC
Exp
Camping since 1954, MoHo 2022
My wife are looking to buy a motorhome later this year with the aim to retire and travel for 3-5 years between the UK and Europe full time. We are mid to late 50`s travelling with 2 small dogs.

We fancy a narrower compact motorhome with a fixed bed. Our budget is between £50-75K, so we would buy used. We intend to travel to towns etc from campsites on folding Ebikes. We would like to store the bikes in a rear garage, so an island bed or German layout may be required.

Ideally no longer than 7M, but if the upfront area has room to put our feet up(without a table in the way) then we could go up to 7.5M.

The Adria Compact Supreme looks a good match, but might be hard to get a used 1 below £75K.

Can anyone suggest any other models that might suit?

We would look to add a Rooftop Rear Air Conditioning unit and Gaslow if the motorhome we buy are lacking those 2 requirements.

Also which makes are better for winter van life? Ie; Most insulated.

Sorry for all the questions, but I can see quite a lot of knowledge on this forums reading some of the threads.

We took delivery of a new Adria Compact Supreme SC (3650kg) on 1st December and have had a couple of long weekend shakedown trips in it so far - away again on Friday to St Ives area. Early days yet but having experienced overnights in -6C temperatures I can confirm it lives up the Adria reputation for full winterisation, which was reflected in the minimal gas consumption for heating. We’re finding the layout very much to our liking but as we have other items that will take up the garage space we are using our Thule tow bar mounted rack to take the bikes.
 
OP
OP
C

carn9698

Free Member
Jan 2, 2023
5
3
Funster No
93,134
MH
Don`t own one yet
Firstly welcome,

I note you say you would use campsites in Europe. You may want to rectify this thinking unless finance is not an issue in favour of aires and France Passion sites.
The first thing on your list is to pay up as a member here to enable you to ask more questions (5 posts only for no money!)
We will all be different but fixed bed would be a must for us or a drop down. Our motorhome (if you removed the removable table) would fit your criteria.
Are you sure folding e bikes are the way to go ? they would have smaller wheels and if you have the garage we can fit a motorbike and 2 ebikes in there.
DO you both have C1 on your licence for 3500 kgs + ?
Gaslow or similar would be a good addition in my view but Air Conditioning would be very low in priority (we are all different)
Most vans can be winterised at purchase (unless buying 2nd hand)
75K would buy you a new Rollerteam 685 (ours) with all the upgrades (if any are available) (The one that is sometimes used in the Paul Merton series just starting on CHannel 5 and will give you no idea whatsoever on motorhoming)

Best of luck
Thanks SC. Sorry we will not limit ourselves to just campsites, so aires and safe park areas will be stayed at too.
If the garage is big enough then standard ebikes with bigger wheels would make sense. We like to keep relatively fit, so peddling rather than a moped/motorbike is our thinking.
We both passed our tests in the 80`s so we can drive larger vehicles. My wife seems set on air con, but we will think more on it. Battery upgrades as suggested by Gromett may be a better must have.
 
OP
OP
C

carn9698

Free Member
Jan 2, 2023
5
3
Funster No
93,134
MH
Don`t own one yet
We took delivery of a new Adria Compact Supreme SC (3650kg) on 1st December and have had a couple of long weekend shakedown trips in it so far - away again on Friday to St Ives area. Early days yet but having experienced overnights in -6C temperatures I can confirm it lives up the Adria reputation for full winterisation, which was reflected in the minimal gas consumption for heating. We’re finding the layout very much to our liking but as we have other items that will take up the garage space we are using our Thule tow bar mounted rack to take the bikes.
My wife likes the look of the SC. Looks a great choice.
 

suavecarve

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2009
7,829
40,052
Surrey/Hants
Funster No
8,035
MH
Rollerteam 685
Exp
July 09
Thanks SC. Sorry we will not limit ourselves to just campsites, so aires and safe park areas will be stayed at too.
If the garage is big enough then standard ebikes with bigger wheels would make sense. We like to keep relatively fit, so peddling rather than a moped/motorbike is our thinking.
We both passed our tests in the 80`s so we can drive larger vehicles. My wife seems set on air con, but we will think more on it. Battery upgrades as suggested by Gromett may be a better must have.
Battery upgrades and solar would be a better earlier investment.
When able use the search function in the top right to view other threads and do the research on some items such as "air conditioning" "Gasit" "Lithium" "Remis blinds" "Underslung" and my personal favourite "voie vert"

Enjoy the research
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,425
154,619
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 DL
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
If you want a narrow van with good insulation you won't go far wrong with a Carthago Compactline. Only 2.12 m wide but still plenty of room inside. Lots of underfloor storage in the double floor and all versions have a garage, the twin bed versions have the biggest garage. They have a fixed table but easy to remove.
I wouldn’t bother with aircon, restricts you to sites, you soon aclimatize.
Your budget will get you a decent second hand one.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jan 22, 2012
1,470
2,266
Wigan
Funster No
19,541
MH
Knaus Sun TI 2012
Exp
2010
My advice is to always go to one of the big shows like the NEC. Go in all of the vehicles and don't just look through them but sit in them for as long as you can and imagine yourself living in it . Ask yourself where would you store things, where would you have the telly, where would you put your tea or wine etc etc. We've crossed out loads of vans we'd previously liked by doing this.
 
Jan 11, 2018
1,188
1,384
Malvern Link, Malvern, UK
Funster No
51,943
MH
Chausson Welcome 85
Exp
Since 2018
Air con I found noisy and not all that effective, admittedly we had an old unit. New ones may be better.
Of course you need to be plugged in which limits where you go.
Research Maxxair fans (plenty on here). In my opinion a better all round solution.
 

MisterB

LIFE MEMBER
Feb 25, 2018
6,246
14,123
Essex
Funster No
52,564
MH
Adria 670 SLT
Exp
enough to know i shouldnt touch things i know nothing about ....
My advice is to always go to one of the big shows like the NEC. Go in all of the vehicles and don't just look through them but sit in them for as long as you can and imagine yourself living in it . Ask yourself where would you store things, where would you have the telly, where would you put your tea or wine etc etc. We've crossed out loads of vans we'd previously liked by doing this.
Great advice, I would add - when you book the NEC, book for two days to give yourself chance to see and spend time looking at everything - if you can afford to split the days and have a day off inbetween, it will give you chance to relax and review your first day viewings. Sometimes it's the quality of the van manufacturing that might lead you to a model you hadn't considered. So spend time checking out different manufacturers.
Even though you might not have the budget for brand new, spending time looking at the quality of manufacture might point you to a pre loved moho that someone has already added the extras you 'need' !!
Sign up to the forum and become a full member, there are decent motorhomes always being sold by other members.....
 
Feb 14, 2021
3,859
8,339
Milton Keynes, UK
Funster No
79,219
MH
Burstner Lyseo 727G
Exp
19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
I would be happy in our motorhome full time. Large garage, (we get a motorscooter and 2 standard bikes in it) fixed single beds at the back (which could be double if wanted). Prefer the singles as it is easy for one person to get out without disturbing the other. Plenty of lounge room and a decent size separate shower.

7.5m X 2.3m. travelled extensively in UK and Europe and not found the size a problem.

Burstner 727G like below but doesn't have the drop down bed so very light and airy in the lounge.
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2020
1,110
2,458
Northern Ireland.
Funster No
70,057
MH
Adria Compact SC.
Exp
Since 2017
We took delivery of a new Adria Compact Supreme SC (3650kg) on 1st December and have had a couple of long weekend shakedown trips in it so far - away again on Friday to St Ives area. Early days yet but having experienced overnights in -6C temperatures I can confirm it lives up the Adria reputation for full winterisation, which was reflected in the minimal gas consumption for heating. We’re finding the layout very much to our liking but as we have other items that will take up the garage space we are using our Thule tow bar mounted rack to take the bikes.
Another happy Adria Compact SC owner here. Ours is the Compact Plus model (white body) which is no longer produced, but should be available second hand for your budget (if you can find one). Note - our local Adria dealer has a new Compact SC in stock for £78.4K which is only slightly above your budget.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

MisterB

LIFE MEMBER
Feb 25, 2018
6,246
14,123
Essex
Funster No
52,564
MH
Adria 670 SLT
Exp
enough to know i shouldnt touch things i know nothing about ....
We love our Adria, great quality and the single beds really do work well for us. Downside is we don't have a garage BUT do have a full bathroom right across the back of the van which for us is a better option. We don't live full time in ours though.
 
May 7, 2016
7,457
12,210
West Sussex
Funster No
42,951
MH
Malibu Van 640 LE K
Exp
Since 2003
Also which makes are better for winter van life? Ie; Most insulated.
Watch out for the grey water drain. If it has a tap on the end of the drain pipe it is not properly winterised because the water will freeze in the pipe and make draining impossible. The tap/valve needs to be inboard in a heated area, the pipe then drains properly as the warmer onboard water flows out.

Another vote for Carthago.
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
19,665
31,655
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
MORELO palace
Exp
since 2012
The longer it is the more room you are going to have inside so personally I would go up to 8 metres, over that you can meet resistance on some sites and rally fields, and once you have been over 8 metres and experienced the extra space it is difficult to go back in my experience ;)

Somebody mentioned a decent sized fresh water tank and black tank which do indeed make for a relaxed living style as you are not always looking for fill and emptying facilities, this does of course all push towards a slightly larger van but the upside is that the roof has more space for solar.

I would be looking for Rear Wheel Drive and 4 across the back axle, good payload, good grip.

And of course A class (y)
 

Join us or log in to post a reply.

To join in you must be a member of MotorhomeFun

Join MotorhomeFun

Join us, it quick and easy!

Log in

Already a member? Log in here.

Latest journal entries

Funsters who are viewing this thread

Back
Top