First Motorhome Advice Please

Aug 11, 2014
95
22
Funster No
32,776
MH
2008 Swift Bolero 630EW
Exp
Caravanning for 30 years, motorhome beginners
Hello all

This is a similar question to Merle of July 25th. In a month or two, we will be looking for our first motorhome, after trading in our 18’ caravan. We sort of know the layout we want but would welcome some advice.

Our budget is £30,000 tops, so we’ll be looking for secondhand. We really like the idea of going back to a full shower room at the back so will forfeit our caravan fixed bed.

We really don’t like the railway carriage seating of some MHs we’ve seen, much preferring the more comfortable caravan style softer “settee” type seats which we’ll either sleep on as singles, or make up as a double.

We really don’t like the heavy overcab look of some of the older MHs (and wouldn’t want to climb up to sleep anyway).

A fridge is a must, ideally slightly bigger than our typical 2-shelf Dometic in the caravan, and possibly a small freezer would be useful. An oven is also a must, and a microwave a possible.

Moving from an 18’ (int) caravan, we want a reasonable length MH, but probably no longer than about 7 metres.

And finally, as a rule of thumb, should we be avoiding anything older than, say, 2005/2006 or are older MHs pretty good too?

Any advice as to make and models to look out for would be extremely helpful.
 

Dogeared

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 16, 2013
405
356
Blackburn
Funster No
24,310
MH
Eldiss autoquest 155
Exp
Since 2011
Hi, we were in a similar situation, although the shower is not very big, I suggest that the. Eldiss Autoquest 155 with side facing front seats is worth considering, bonus, you get to keep the fixed bed. We love ours, new cost us 38k this year
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
11,736
11,180
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
N&B Flair 8000 IVECO
Exp
since 2012
Hi anniehall

You say you will forfeit the fixed bed but you also loose the option of a garage for storing bikes, BBQ, windbreak, wet coats and boots, table chairs awning etc etc, so think about how you are going to get around after having the tow car to shop and sightsee and where you will store everything.

There are so many different layouts so it really is up to you what works best, if you can get along to one of the outdoor shows there are loads of vans to look around and lots of other people viewing them and you can swap ideas as you look.

Don't worry that you are looking for a second hand van, it just means that you can get a quality van for a good price, for our first van two years ago we bought a 2006 model and paid 1/3 of the then new price. Going second hand you are better with something that has been used rather than mega low miles and parked up IMO.

I would say German van for the build quality but you will find the British stuff is a lot more cosy and familiar to you as an ex caravanner.

Malvern show this coming weekend would be a good start to your search.
 

TerryL

LIFE MEMBER
Mar 5, 2010
3,882
3,438
North East
Funster No
10,511
MH
Low Profile
Exp
2009
Hi and welcome.

You really need to have a good look at a variety of models so have you got any dealers near you? It's probably worth having a "day out" going a little further so that you can see as many different types as possible - and there are lots out there. For your budget you will be able to pick up a very nice recent model and I'm sure you'll be able to find something that ticks most of the boxes.

But as mentioned above, try to visit a decent show - and keep your eyes open for the yellow "Funster" badges and make yourself known. We're here to help. (A copy of the Motorhome Buyers Guide from Jim's Shop would be a good investment too)

Good luck in your search
 
Nov 6, 2013
6,805
38,012
East Sussex
Funster No
28,906
MH
Swift Bolero
Exp
7 years (tugger for 20)
Hi Anniehall and welcome :welc:
I would think very seriously about giving up your fixed bed.
We also had caravans with fixed beds and now have a MoHo without and have to make up the bed every night. It's fine if we are just away for a few days but any more than a week and it becomes a chore. Although, as others have said, it doesn't take long, it still has to be done........every night.
We are now about to change ours for a FB.
Good luck with your choice. (y)
John
 

JeanLuc

Free Member
Nov 17, 2008
3,305
2,184
Warwickshire
Funster No
4,952
MH
Hymer B630 Star-Line
Exp
Since 2007
I have never been a caravanner but prior to buying a motorhome seven years ago we camped, so I know a bit about the need for space (both for people and equipment). As Funflair said above, don't underestimate the need for somewhere to put gear when travelling. I presume all the clobber can be put in a caravan whilst you are moving between sites, but in a motorhome, you don't really want to share the living/travelling space with tables, chairs, bbq, generator (maybe), silverscreens, dirty laundry, etc. I know motorhomes that maximise lounging space still have external lockers - particularly if they are double-floored models - but that does not compare with the storage available in a 'garage' model. Also, of course, a garage model gives you a fixed bed at the back. I have heard of motorhomers using the shower room as a storage space for chairs, but that would not do for us - we use it for showering!
I think the available space in a motorhome is deceptive until you get used to it. Ours has a rear garage which effectively provides for a 'bedroom' above it and although this removes a section from living space, the remainder is quite adequate for the two of us. Ours has an L-shaped settee on one side and twin rotating chairs at the front. In practice, these are our internal 'easy chairs'. Also, because it is an A-class the front feels more integrated with the rest and is larger than in a low-profile or overcab model. All this in a van that is just short of 6.5 metres long.
If you can manage without a lot of external storage space and want a lot of lounging room, then still consider an A-class with a front pull-down bed. They are very comfortable, give more head-room than many over-cab 'luton' beds and provide the benefit of a permanently made-up bed.
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
9,331
19,557
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
You will be spoilt for choice! A lot is personal preference but be aware of a few things:

Layout
Payload
Seat Belts / Berths

As others have said check out where you would store things both on site and on the move and if you woul dfind making the bed up every night to be a chore.

I thought the drop down electric bed was a great idea in some of the Chausson models but after getting home and thinking about it realised it wouldn't be practical for us.

Don't be taken in by the bells and whistles but think about what matters to you.
 
Aug 14, 2009
3,500
3,379
Cornwall
Funster No
7,967
MH
Low Profile
Exp
Jan.2014
Greetings,

We're about 9 months in front of you (in that we changed from tugging to 'vanning in January)
Like you didn't want to lose the fixed bed and didn't. SWMBO didn't want to go beyond 7 mtrs and I/we didn't want to go above £30,000. Sound familiar.

Now I have to admit that I'm biased in the choice we made but I think we chose well. I also admit that I'd been coveting one for years,

Consider this as a contender.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HOBBY-690-GFS-MOTORHOME-WITH-LARGE-GARAGE-LHD-/231292082354?pt=UK_Campers_Caravans_Motorhomes&hash=item35da1518b2

This is similar to our 'van with a different interior. Hobby do all sorts of set ups inside but the outside is the same (with obvious differences such as window and door placement)
The finish is superb and the quality has to be seen to be appreciated.
 
Sep 3, 2013
768
814
Crowthorne, Berkshire
Funster No
27,910
MH
1992 RMB Silver Star 670
Exp
One year. A whole one!
Hello Anniehall! Welcome!

All excellent advice above, so I'll not repeat it.

Your question regarding age... I'd say you can easily buy older with much confidence. Generally, although this isn't a hard rule, the older German makes are worth seeking out and, for many, there was a 'golden age' around the lae 80's /early 90's when build quality was exceptional.

The problem you face in this respect is that you'll not get, as standard, your oven. Retrofitting one shouldn't be much of an issue, but it's more likely you'll find what you wish for as standard with a newer motorhome.

Threre's been a few 'oven or not' debates of late and it's all healthy stuff and very much down to personal choice with no right or wrong.

I agree that the joys of having a fixed bed are worth having.

You refer to 'the heavy overcab look' of older motorhomes. Is this the C-Class (cab converted models) or also the A-Class (coachbuilt as an all-in-one body). Predominantly, but not exclusively, with the A-Class models the overcab bed arrangement was offered instead with overcab cupboards and therefore more storage. This suits a fixed rear bed arrangement nicely.

I can think of one model that offers all you seek; fixed bed, large fridge, seperate shower but without the oven; but (no surprise from me in this recommendation...) it's German, in Germany. It's built like no other and available for around £20,000 by the time it's registered in the UK.

Good luck with your search. Enjoy it. Take your time and really look around.
 

JeanLuc

Free Member
Nov 17, 2008
3,305
2,184
Warwickshire
Funster No
4,952
MH
Hymer B630 Star-Line
Exp
Since 2007
Just to give you an idea of good build quality and a fair compromise between lounging space and storage, here is a good example of a B655 http://www.friendlyhippo.co.uk/hymerdirect/img5.html
This has a 'half-garage' under the bed and a shower room at the back. It's not my choice as the bed has a corner cut-off to facilitate access to the shower - I prefer the full transverse bed over a garage. It's a very popular layout however and is also available as a B654 on a Fiat base (the B655 is on a Merc). This one is a bit over your budget but might be negotiable. Any Hymer A-class (called Bxxx) built around 2000-2005 is well constructed and many much older ones are still trundling around. Newer ones will be way over your budget. Also consider RMB (has to be old or it'll cost a bomb), N+B, Euramobil. If you haven't found the site, a look at mobil.de will give you more ideas. http://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/search.html?scopeId=MH&lang=en
 
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