Big or small?!?!

Nov 19, 2019
529
1,738
Funster No
66,935
MH
Burstner 576-2
Exp
Since 2020
Hey all,
We find ourselves in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to replace our 20 year old Burstner with a new van, but we are really torn between getting a long (7-7.5 metre) van or a shorter (6-6.5m) one. We so far have mostly used off-grid stops and don't really use sites that much. Also, we have a 14 year old daughter and an 11 year old son as well as a 32kg dog. Our current van is 6.3 metres with an overcab and bunk beds at the rear with the typical 4 seater dinette seating.
Whilst we love the van, we both feel that we don't really have any "lounging" space. Our daughter lives in the UK, so normally it is only the 3 of us + dog travelling and even when our son is in bed, the dinette doesn't give us the space to spread out so to speak, not without leaning on the window frame (far from comfortable) with my feet nearly touching the kitchen counter.
The euro-style layout vans (twin rear beds that make into a huge double with a double drop-down over the lounge) would seem to give us the space we need, as well as giving the kids their own beds when they are both here. The only problem we have is that this size van would mean we can't keep it at home due to the length of our driveway. We are worried that this would cut down our using the van due to the faff of getting it from storage, putting it back again, etc etc etc. So I wanted to ask you lot what you opinions are? If you keep a van in storage, do you feel it's been ok? Or do you wish you could have it at hand for those spur-of-the-moment "let's go away" decisions? If you have a shorter van suitable for 4, what is your layout and does it improve over the traditional dinette layout?
Many thanks as always for your suggestions and insights!
Joe
 

Bustup15

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 25, 2018
939
2,404
Durham
Funster No
54,597
MH
Dethleffs Alpa I 7820-2
Exp
New to motorhomes 2019
All depends how far away the storage is? We are fortunate as its less than a mile and means we can access it easily.
 
OP
RubyOptics
Nov 19, 2019
529
1,738
Funster No
66,935
MH
Burstner 576-2
Exp
Since 2020
All depends how far away the storage is? We are fortunate as its less than a mile and means we can access it easily.
Storage would be around the same as yours, but still means we can only pick it up when the storage facility is open. Same for dropping it off as well.

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Aug 15, 2014
2,102
1,988
Exiled in Yorkshire
Funster No
32,840
MH
PILOTE 600L
Exp
SINCE 2006
Wow lucky you to have such a problem, great. My present and fourth van lives on a lockup site 9 miles from me, only the two of us so I can't comment on the length of your van, mine is only 6 metres, it could be a problem if I was to think of it as such but should I need the van I simply swap it with the car or I get driven there and then drive back. I can also run there, or back, although advancing years is slowing me down :cry:

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Jan 26, 2020
8
44
Marske-by-the-Sea, UK
Funster No
68,317
MH
Hobby Toscana 715
Exp
caravanned 59,000 klms right round Australia..does that count?
Morning all, we to are very fortunate in that our house sale to downsize is going thru' and we set off over the weekend to look at Motor homes... first was a Hobby 750 (8mtr)...Ruth sat down, said right I'm squatting in this till its paid for!!
Our logic? we toured Australia for a year in an 18ft Poptop caravan, went just about all round the coast, even though just the two of us in our 50's and 60's respectively we looked back and needed more room so Hobby size and comfort is far better than we have imagined..
Length yep.. going to need storage.
Build quality? yes surpassed all the rest of the vans we looked at ......after I 'enticed her out with a big bar of chocolate.'
What I'm contributing here is we accept all sorts of compromises in this life, and to have t nip out and collect the van surely should'nt sway choosing what is the perfect M/home for your situation and enjoyment....for me it's a none starter, Fact...we need storage, collect it as and when and off we go, and we surely will.
My 3 'pence worth

Regards G
 
OP
RubyOptics
Nov 19, 2019
529
1,738
Funster No
66,935
MH
Burstner 576-2
Exp
Since 2020
Wow lucky you to have such a problem, great. My present and fourth van lives on a lockup site 9 miles from me, only the two of us so I can't comment on the length of your van, mine is only 6 metres, it could be a problem if I was to think of it as such but should I need the van I simply swap it with the car or I get driven there and then drive back. I can also run there, or back, although advancing years is slowing me down :cry:
I absolutely realise how luck we are and indeed pointed this out in the first sentence of my post!
 
OP
RubyOptics
Nov 19, 2019
529
1,738
Funster No
66,935
MH
Burstner 576-2
Exp
Since 2020
Morning all, we to are very fortunate in that our house sale to downsize is going thru' and we set off over the weekend to look at Motor homes... first was a Hobby 750 (8mtr)...Ruth sat down, said right I'm squatting in this till its paid for!!
Our logic? we toured Australia for a year in an 18ft Poptop caravan, went just about all round the coast, even though just the two of us in our 50's and 60's respectively we looked back and needed more room so Hobby size and comfort is far better than we have imagined..
Length yep.. going to need storage.
Build quality? yes surpassed all the rest of the vans we looked at ......after I 'enticed her out with a big bar of chocolate.'
What I'm contributing here is we accept all sorts of compromises in this life, and to have t nip out and collect the van surely should'nt sway choosing what is the perfect M/home for your situation and enjoyment....for me it's a none starter, Fact...we need storage, collect it as and when and off we go, and we surely will.
My 3 'pence worth

Regards G
We realise that either decision is a compromise. At the moment the van we have is compromised on space, but we have this problem and are used to dealing with it. I've never had a longer van (well, other than a 2 week rental) and never had one storage so I'm asking others who DO have them in storage how big of a compromise they feel this is.

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Sep 17, 2017
1,131
1,673
Birmingham, UK
Funster No
50,575
MH
A-Class
Exp
2017
We've got a driveway that's short enough that I'm expecting the neighbours to complain when our new 6m motorhome is ready for pickup... Stuff 'em.

But I there's so much more convenience on the driveway than it being in storage. Cleaning and maintenance at your leisure. Stocking up the night before you go away. Knowing it's not been stolen! Knowing that the battery isn't flat. Do you load the car with all your stuff and leave it at the storage while you're away, or do you have to get someone to drop you off and bring the van back to the house (and then the reverse at the other end).
 
Jan 28, 2016
927
899
Stockport, Cheshire
Funster No
41,498
MH
Bravaria i740 AClass
Think you are putting your own barriers up . How difficult is it to drive to storage a mile away.
This is what i do if going away for the weekend. Collect Thursday evening upto 7 oclock. Leave van outside drive. Load up set off Friday lunch return sunday unload return van between five and seven easy,

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Bustup15

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 25, 2018
939
2,404
Durham
Funster No
54,597
MH
Dethleffs Alpa I 7820-2
Exp
New to motorhomes 2019
Storage would be around the same as yours, but still means we can only pick it up when the storage facility is open. Same for dropping it off as well.
Unless the access hours are very restrictive I don't see any major issues - ours is open 8am - 8pm 7 days a week. I think you just accept the slight limitations and work around them?
 
Oct 15, 2011
2,731
6,649
Not Glasgow
Funster No
18,482
MH
A class
Exp
Since 2011
We keep our 8m van in storage which is 30 miles away, don’t have a driveway and live at the end of a small cul de sac. Luckily the neighbours haven’t objected when we bring it home to get it prepped for going away. It is coming up to ten years of ownership so hasn’t really bothered me
D10ADAFD-8738-4F1D-B8C2-BB5D3215515D.jpeg
 
Dec 24, 2014
4,054
19,113
Hurstpierpoint. West Sussex.
Funster No
34,553
MH
Compass Navigator
Exp
Ever since Mother was a lad.
I really appreciate having mine on my drive for doing all the maintenance jobs and preparation for trips. The only downside is that crims would know when I had gone away but at least I'd have taken my most valued/valuable possession with me.

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Apr 25, 2014
716
3,312
Lancaster
Funster No
31,133
MH
Overhead cab
Exp
8 years
We have to keep ours in storage. It's only 10 minutes to get there but I'd love to have it on the drive to make it easier for loading up. There's only the two of us so the u shaped lounge with over head cab for storage is fine. 6.6metres long. It wouldn't be so easy with two almost grown children and the dog as well so you might have to compromise and get storage for a longer one.
Just one more consideration; how long will the 14 year old want to go on holiday with you?
 

Tombola

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 21, 2020
891
2,672
Merseyside
Funster No
78,053
MH
Autotrail Imala 734
Exp
12 years
Whilst we love the van, we both feel that we don't really have any "lounging" space.
This was the exact reason we went from a panel van to a coachbuilt, for more "lounge" space.
yes I agree for parking etc not as easy but Id go back to a panel in a second, SWMBO wont
 
Mar 10, 2012
2,503
2,898
Lausanne
Funster No
20,102
MH
Laika EcoVip 2
Exp
Since 2012
Our vans have always been stored away from home, originally 500m away, then 10km away, then 5km away and now <1km away (it's getting closer...) and it never changed how we have used it. Now it's in the same village i go by bike to take things around, do odd jobs etc.

One factor that's always helped us is that we can can leave it on the drive overnight before we go away (have to check with our neighbour first) and so i bring it around the day before, fill up the water, connect up the mains and switch the fridge on. Could you still manage to do that and squeeze the van on for say 12-18hrs before setting off ?

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Mar 30, 2019
595
853
Funster No
59,476
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2016
We have to keep ours in storage. It's only 10 minutes to get there but I'd love to have it on the drive to make it easier for loading up. There's only the two of us so the u shaped lounge with over head cab for storage is fine. 6.6metres long. It wouldn't be so easy with two almost grown children and the dog as well so you might have to compromise and get storage for a longer one.
Just one more consideration; how long will the 14 year old want to go on holiday with you?
Ha, another two years max is my experience.
 
Apr 25, 2014
716
3,312
Lancaster
Funster No
31,133
MH
Overhead cab
Exp
8 years
Our vans have always been stored away from home, originally 500m away, then 10km away, then 5km away and now <1km away (it's getting closer...) and it never changed how we have used it. Now it's in the same village i go by bike to take things around, do odd jobs etc.

One factor that's always helped us is that we can can leave it on the drive overnight before we go away (have to check with our neighbour first) and so i bring it around the day before, fill up the water, connect up the mains and switch the fridge on. Could you still manage to do that and squeeze the van on for say 12-18hrs before setting off ?
Not having it on the drive means we can't do the last minute jobs so easily. It's not a big problem but would be great if we could.
 
Mar 30, 2019
595
853
Funster No
59,476
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2016
My van is in storage about 15mins away from home. We (now only my wife and I ) load the car and drive there then unload into the van and leave the car in the van space. Takes maybe half an hour or so. We have been doing it that way for about 5 years and have it down to a fine art. We have dedicated boxes for clothes etc which fit directly into the storage areas and always pop a bag of ice into the freezer to cool the fridge.
 
Oct 12, 2009
5,530
10,451
SW London, Poland and all Europe
Funster No
8,876
MH
A Class N+B Arto 69GL
Exp
Since 2009
Hey all,
We find ourselves in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to replace our 20 year old Burstner with a new van, but we are really torn between getting a long (7-7.5 metre) van or a shorter (6-6.5m) one. We so far have mostly used off-grid stops and don't really use sites that much. Also, we have a 14 year old daughter and an 11 year old son as well as a 32kg dog. Our current van is 6.3 metres with an overcab and bunk beds at the rear with the typical 4 seater dinette seating.
Whilst we love the van, we both feel that we don't really have any "lounging" space. Our daughter lives in the UK, so normally it is only the 3 of us + dog travelling and even when our son is in bed, the dinette doesn't give us the space to spread out so to speak, not without leaning on the window frame (far from comfortable) with my feet nearly touching the kitchen counter.
The euro-style layout vans (twin rear beds that make into a huge double with a double drop-down over the lounge) would seem to give us the space we need, as well as giving the kids their own beds when they are both here. The only problem we have is that this size van would mean we can't keep it at home due to the length of our driveway. We are worried that this would cut down our using the van due to the faff of getting it from storage, putting it back again, etc etc etc. So I wanted to ask you lot what you opinions are? If you keep a van in storage, do you feel it's been ok? Or do you wish you could have it at hand for those spur-of-the-moment "let's go away" decisions? If you have a shorter van suitable for 4, what is your layout and does it improve over the traditional dinette layout?
Many thanks as always for your suggestions and insights!
Joe

Hello again Joe

It seems you have two dilemmas.

1. How to provide beds for you two as a couple and for 2 teenagers (one not quite yet) of different sexes who need separate beds, plus lounging space. Thus longitudinal singles seems to be the answer.

2. Second dilemma is can you get that onto your drive or accept storage?

I sense from the way you asked for advice on the storage question that you realise that 7-7.5m is really needed.

As you know we are able to keep ours at home but in UK I did keep mine in storage, but at my work base so I could look after it periodically.

I think that maybe to help your decision making you should consider exploring some storage options and establishing what is available in respect of :-

Distance
Security
Access - some places give 24hrs, via key or security code.
EHU

In relation to taking off at short notice, do you:-

a) ever decide after closing hours of storage?
b) do you leave everything in the MH ready to go?
c) can you park in your street overnight?

In relation to b) you may like to look at my post, and other responses on that aspect here -


I shall also be sending you a PM in relation to Polish aspects of changing MHs which may not be appropriate to a general UK MH forum

Best Wishes

Geoff

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OP
RubyOptics
Nov 19, 2019
529
1,738
Funster No
66,935
MH
Burstner 576-2
Exp
Since 2020
Yeah I know you did so what is the point of your exclamation mark, I think you have taken offence when none was intended (y)
No offence taken! I got 40 last month, we have no mortgage left to pay and are looking to buy a new motorhome during a world wide pandemic. Just wanted to reiterate that we are very aware how incredibly fortunate we are!!
 
Jan 20, 2019
300
630
Bristol
Funster No
58,131
MH
Pilote G740
Exp
Since 2019
We keep ours in storage (farm) about 5 miles from the house. We keep enough clothes and other essentials on board so that we can get away quickly for the odd weekend. But we bring home to load if we are going for longer.
Ours is 7.4M wouldn’t go any smaller because we spend the daytime walking/socialising and evenings lounging, Netflix and red wine! So number 1 for us is the lounge and fixed bed. We are also in the process of taking out the MASSIVE dining table to replace with a Lagun leg and table top to give us more flexible space.
 
Apr 11, 2015
3,728
23,009
hull
Funster No
35,812
MH
Laika Ecovip 300
Exp
since 1988 with breaks until 2009
We changed from a 7.3 M 4 berth to a 6M supposedly 4 berth, but only for an odd night, we knew that when we purchased, said while we were awaay, thank goodness we don't have a dog not even enough room for a border terrier. We use an awning with camp beds for the grandkids, if we were trveling with 2 kids and a dog, the van we have would not really be suitable. take a good look at the lounging space too. We have always kept vans in storage. can be a faff but we have it sussed.

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Jul 2, 2019
232
952
doncaster
Funster No
62,107
MH
just looking
Exp
since 2010
we had an 8.5 m van and had it in storage,we would go in car pack it and pick it up, park on the road for an hour to finish off the packing and off we would go....simples
 
Sep 10, 2019
2,280
953
Warwickshire
Funster No
64,009
MH
Hymer camp c546
Exp
Since 2019
Lots of different ways to see how it will suit your needs for not just now, but in the near future?, We can just fit zebedee 22 foot on our drive, but not permanently, so it's in storAge thankfully 10 min walk, plus side it's safer, we can access it, anytime, negative but is bringing it down to the drive, it's sideways on lucky with the neighbours...so far, just means moving our cars on and off, not really a problem, ideal would be space to leAve zebedee on the drive, so we could go out to play any time, I've become to just appreciate, like you hAve, just fortunate to be in a position to have the MH..good luck 🤞 ::bigsmile:

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