Downsizing from Motorhome to Small PVC (1 Viewer)

Giddy Lynn

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Hi folks
It's been a while since I have been on here due to other commitments. I have had my motorhome Autotrail Tribute Tracker T620 Sport (2014) for over 3 years and loved it, however, since non of my family enjoy the pleasures of motor-homing (I know hard to belief there are people that don't) so decided to go small. I have been off driving it on my own without a problem but I have now decided that I want to downsize to a 2 berth PVC under 6' metres due to the fact I like going down country lanes and don't want the worry of getting stuck.

I went to Harrogate Motorhome show and I was looking at Camper vans/small PVC. I came across a Company called Leisure Drive based at Bolton, Lancashire (previously called Manchester Motor Caravan Company), which do conversions. Has anybody purchased from them and do they have good customer service? They have been going for 50 years and in the past MMM have done features on them (but not sure if Leisuredrive paid as an advert for it).

The vehicle I particularly like is the Ford Transit Occasion LWB (5.49m) with the added bonus of a cassette toilet and kitchen area (review on Out & About website). They can find me a vehicle a couple of years old and convert it for me. The warranty would be 2 years Gold Mechanical breakdowns service and 6 years for the conversions side of it. I love Wildax but out of my price range which is £35,000.

Really appreciate your input and any advice on what to look out for in regards to PVC and dealers etc.,
 

GPW

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Wildax are a great make, some of the most practical designs I've ever seen. I don't think they are that expensive but out of my range, my budget was £40k with a little stretch, not £50k with stretch.

You may also want to consider getting a known good brand and model simply for resale value. Ironically resale is IMO what you should be considering when buying a van because the cost is Price_paid - Resale, not simply Price_paid.

October would be a better time to look at the second hand market IMO, personally I found dealer 2nd hand was merely priced to push you onto a new one, so private 2nd hand would be the way to go.

My favourite small van is the Renault Trafic (and related), but that size van usually means a pop-top. The Ducato size is considerably more spacious - a short wheel base one may be fun at 5m.
If buying for conversion look for motorway 'Comfort vans' and also ex 'Library vans' as these already mave most of the stuff you need fitted.
 
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Gellyneck

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You may also wish to consider the widely publicised security issues with Ford Transits?
 
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Ironically resale is IMO what you should be considering when buying a van
We never gave a moments thought to the resale value of our moho.

Simply because we didn't/don't intend selling it 5mins later.
 
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bobandjanie

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I don't know about transits, as so many are stolen, ;) and personally I would not want a van that's had a previous life, :eek: could have been a white van man. :LOL:
We love panel van conversions and the build is down to personal taste. (y)
A self build I would want to see photos of the build and how it was put together. :D Bob.

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GPW

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We never gave a moments thought to the resale value of our moho.

Simply because we didn't/don't intend selling it 5mins later.

Yes that's a great point, but resale still remains a key issue. People were buying new VW Californians and then after 2 years selling them for what they cost - i.e. having 2 free years use from a brand new van. It's fine missing out on that type of opportunity by choice, but not so good because it was never thought about.

Another point is that theft or accident can leave you with an insurance valuation which may be less than that of a known van. Or one decides to move abroad and has to sell it to buy a LHD van etc.

Like it or not in our material world, asset value and spend are valid points to bear in mind. In fact I have a friend who lives in boats (big flybridge cruisers), he actually makes enough profit on buying tired ones, retrimming and selling to live on - but for most people down at the same marina their boat loving lifestyle is a money pit.
 
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If you're after a small but well fitted MH, suggest you take a look at Nu Venture. I have 1 which is great for Devon where I live which is full of small lanes.
Mine's based on the Peugeot Expert which is 1.9m wide & 5.6m long but fully equipped.
 
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Giddy Lynn

Giddy Lynn

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You may also wish to consider the widely publicised security issues with Ford Transits?

I know there are quite a lot of thefts and that concerns me because mine is a ford transit that I have now, but I just have good security on it and hope for the best.
 
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Giddy Lynn

Giddy Lynn

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I don't know about transits, as so many are stolen, ;) and personally I would not want a van that's had a previous life, :eek: could have been a white van man. :LOL:
We love panel van conversions and the build is down to personal taste. (y)
A self build I would want to see photos of the build and how it was put together. :D Bob.

Yes I did say to the dealer I do not want a 'White Van' ;)
 
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mikebeaches

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Good points being made about the benefit and ultimate value of purchasing a well known and popular brand of camper.

When we were buying our first (second hand) van, we whittled the final choice down to 2 models. One was a Rapido, which was 3 years older than the other, a van from the SEA Group (Italian).

I'd never heard of the brand from SEA, and I don't recall it now. But it was a much more modern, low mileage and appealing proposition on the face of it.

But having spent a couple of years deciding the layout etc that we wanted; and considered the newer van was a grand £ cheaper - resale popped into my head.

And thus decided on the Rapido. And although I have no definitive way of knowing, I'm confident we sold it on much more easily and with little drop in value, compared to the more modern van.

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GPW

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Good points Mike, also some dealers simply don't accept trade ins from unknown brands at all. This can work in your favour because they will be cheaper 2nd hand - but always bear in mind that 'custom' is often a problem to dispose of.

This winter I looked around some used Adria Twins, there were a couple of 2008 models in the country for £25k at dealers. There's a review written in 2008 and then they sold then for £32k. I'm guessing private used would be around £20k for them.

I also did the maths on DIY converting a Ducato. You can buy new ones ready to convert from Southdowns for £21k. Then when you add in £10k of heating, kitchen units, fridge, shower and toilet, dinette/lounge and a bed system you're up to £30k. Then factor in about 4 months of your time (probably longer) and value that at £12k, and you're up at £43k.

For which you could have wandered into a show and bought a Globecar or Weinsberg and driven off in it..

To be clear I'm not saying 'don't DIY', some of the best ones are DIY, but just do it for a good reason and with your eyes open.
 
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Cheshirecat57

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Leisure Drive long established company and would be there when you needed them, just an hour from where you live
Wellhouse are close to you as well

Regarding the “Transit” issue, they do get nicked, but only ones that are not properley secured, which is easy to do
They are not as roomy as a fiat or a Trafic

On a personal note, considering those 3 brands, I would put VW behind all of them in the “value” stakes, and VW quality is questionable the newer you get
 
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Giddy Lynn

Giddy Lynn

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Good points Mike, also some dealers simply don't accept trade ins from unknown brands at all. This can work in your favour because they will be cheaper 2nd hand - but always bear in mind that 'custom' is often a problem to dispose of.

This winter I looked around some used Adria Twins, there were a couple of 2008 models in the country for £25k at dealers. There's a review written in 2008 and then they sold then for £32k. I'm guessing private used would be around £20k for them.

I also did the maths on DIY converting a Ducato. You can buy new ones ready to convert from Southdowns for £21k. Then when you add in £10k of heating, kitchen units, fridge, shower and toilet, dinette/lounge and a bed system you're up to £30k. Then factor in about 4 months of your time (probably longer) and value that at £12k, and you're up at £43k.

For which you could have wandered into a show and bought a Globecar or Weinsberg and driven off in it..

To be clear I'm not saying 'don't DIY', some of the best ones are DIY, but just do it for a good reason and with your eyes open.

I agree the costs do add up. I was thinking more on the lines of an established reputable campervan/pvc company with known designs as opposed to me buying a van and having it converted to my spec....and I wouldn't be doing it myself.
 
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GPW

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If you can get a total cost of the job before you start then that sounds far safer.

For super-compact I always quite liked this van:


Might be Spanish though ;)
 
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GPW

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You could always consider the one that I have for sale at www.1946vw.co.uk/camper

This is only for sale because it has been replaced by a similar vehicle three years newer.

At least yours has the usual VW 'space for porta-potti'. No good for most but there in an emergency.
At the NEC show I saw the Ventura VR200, about 10x better than any VW because of the low price and huge amount of interior space (as it is on the smallest Peugeot Boxer/Ducato rather than the smaller VW/Trafic class), but got blank looks when I asked where the toilet was and he explained they'd be making space for it. The rest of the van was perfect (except my wife hates pop tops).

In the VW range I found you need to spend over £60k on something like the Kepler One to have the chance of not having to go to the toilet in the kitchen, but couldn't work out the demographics.
Only young people can go a whole night without the toilet, but they have no money. So who are buying the facility free small vans that cost a fortune? It baffles me.

When I was looking at the Ducato sized vans I noticed most buyers were 40+, i.e. people without student loans and with enough money or assets to swing £40 - £50k, still a good £10k less than the toilet free VWs. These vans generally have a decent toilet + shower, people say women buy houses based on the kitchen and bathroom, and most would make a beeline for the bathroom. Wildax score here with their fully wet rooms with tambour doors, much easier than many others.

I think builders avoid decent bathrooms because they are difficult to design and build, but they are essential for many and IIRC Hillside were advertising a VW with an actual bathroom this time as they can also see the future trend: people who can afford campervans will be needing a bathroom.
 
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Giddy Lynn

Giddy Lynn

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At least yours has the usual VW 'space for porta-potti'. No good for most but there in an emergency.
At the NEC show I saw the Ventura VR200, about 10x better than any VW because of the low price and huge amount of interior space (as it is on the smallest Peugeot Boxer/Ducato rather than the smaller VW/Trafic class), but got blank looks when I asked where the toilet was and he explained they'd be making space for it. The rest of the van was perfect (except my wife hates pop tops).

Yes I am after a flushing cassette toilet it's essential. I'm with your wife on the pop tops.
 
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Alfie159

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Adria twin excellent value for money, superb layout and so much storage ! I’m biased as I’m moving up to one this week from a 2017 vw California ! The twins less value but packs more practical punch. I’ve opted for the longer wheelbase but that’s because I didn’t like sleeping upstairs in the pop top of the VW

Sorry to say but Ford was never an option due to theft, and rust risks

Good luck

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Mark and Mindy

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We have a Devon Colorado, owned it for 2 weeks now. Its 5.4m and is nicely compact, has a settee which is converted into a bed, full kitchen area, wet room style shower which has basin and toilet in the same room, fridge, more storage room than we need and a very impressive 800kg payload.

We decided to have our conversion done on a pre-reg Peugeot Boxer van, we were told that it would be £10k less than having a conversion on a new van. As it turns out, it may be pre-reg but was actually registered on 12th Feb 2019 and only had 11 miles on the clock when we picked it up, so we got the best of both worlds, a cheaper van base which was as good as new and with a new conversion.

Be aware that a Ford Transit isn't as wide as a Ford Ducato/Citroen Relay/Peugeot Boxer - we originally liked a Murvi van but the bed was longitundal as the van wasn't wide enough for transverse.
 
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Langtoftlad

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I love Wildax but out of my price range which is £35,000.
Not necessarily... they do come up from time to time

or


But they do tend to go quickly - which is also another consideration along with £'s on resale...

Edited: Just seen your location... so you're only 20 odd miles from Elland [home of WildAx] if anything needed fixing/replacing on a used model of theirs.
 
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Trixie

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@Giddy Lynn Not certain but I think @Sue+dogs has a Leisure Drive conversion and could maybe give information that you are looking for.

You can also visit Leisure Drive to see what they have.
 
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DBK

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Hi folks
It's been a while since I have been on here due to other commitments. I have had my motorhome Autotrail Tribute Tracker T620 Sport (2014) for over 3 years and loved it, however, since non of my family enjoy the pleasures of motor-homing (I know hard to belief there are people that don't) so decided to go small. I have been off driving it on my own without a problem but I have now decided that I want to downsize to a 2 berth PVC under 6' metres due to the fact I like going down country lanes and don't want the worry of getting stuck.

I went to Harrogate Motorhome show and I was looking at Camper vans/small PVC. I came across a Company called Leisure Drive based at Bolton, Lancashire (previously called Manchester Motor Caravan Company), which do conversions. Has anybody purchased from them and do they have good customer service? They have been going for 50 years and in the past MMM have done features on them (but not sure if Leisuredrive paid as an advert for it).

The vehicle I particularly like is the Ford Transit Occasion LWB (5.49m) with the added bonus of a cassette toilet and kitchen area (review on Out & About website). They can find me a vehicle a couple of years old and convert it for me. The warranty would be 2 years Gold Mechanical breakdowns service and 6 years for the conversions side of it. I love Wildax but out of my price range which is £35,000.

Really appreciate your input and any advice on what to look out for in regards to PVC and dealers etc.,
I wouldn't get too hung up about length in terms of 5.5m or 6m long unless you have a specific reason such as only 5.5m will fit on your drive. On the road there will be little difference between them. Out Fiat Ducato based PVC is 6m long and we have no problem with it on narrow roads.

Have a look at Murvi. They are a very different layout to most of the usual PVCs but if it suits you, as it does us, then you might get on well with them. There is a Murvi Morello on Autotrader at the moment within your budget and the Morello is Murvi's most popular model. They also do a couple at 5.5m but finding one secondhand could be tricky as they are rare.
 
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Adria twin excellent value for money, superb layout and so much storage ! I’m biased as I’m moving up to one this week from a 2017 vw California ! The twins less value but packs more practical punch. I’ve opted for the longer wheelbase but that’s because I didn’t like sleeping upstairs in the pop top of the VW

Sorry to say but Ford was never an option due to theft, and rust risks

Good luck
We have had a twin 640 six for 3 years now. Love it to bits. Used to have a n & b flair. Loved that to but the pvc is better for touring.
Phil

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I wouldn't get too hung up about length in terms of 5.5m or 6m long unless you have a specific reason such as only 5.5m will fit on your drive. On the road there will be little difference between them. Out Fiat Ducato based PVC is 6m long and we have no problem with it on narrow roads.

Have a look at Murvi. They are a very different layout to most of the usual PVCs but if it suits you, as it does us, then you might get on well with them. There is a Murvi Morello on Autotrader at the moment within your budget and the Morello is Murvi's most popular model. They also do a couple at 5.5m but finding one secondhand could be tricky as they are rare.


Agree fully murvi quality conversion but the ones on auto trader are both eberspacher heating, if I was to get another it would be the Webasto, due to the power requirements of the eberspacher as it keeps cycling on and off.
 
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