Hi from Worcestershire

RAS

Jan 19, 2021
6
9
Worcestershire
Funster No
78,870
MH
VW Campervan
Exp
Since 2013
Good afternoon to the forum. A short introduction from a couple in Worcestershire, we currently have a VW Campervan that has been put to good use of the past 8 years touring the UK and Europe. However, more recently we want to travel further afield and therefore we want to make a move to a more comfortable camper van/motorhome.

We have visited the NEC motorhome shows in the past few years and that has given an insight as to the wide variety of makes/models and formats.

But there are many questions as to how to gain more certainty in choosing the right van, how we could try before we buy, reliability and quality, new versus used, how to finance it, trade or private, who are the best dealers, etc.

So joining MHF is a means to hopefully learn more from you all based on your actual experiences that will guide us in our quest.
 
Dec 17, 2016
391
297
Malvern
Funster No
46,488
MH
Hymer B525 2006 A cl
Exp
2012
Welcome from Malvern. Ask away! I spent about a week reading old threads on all sorts of subjects when I joined.
 
Jan 23, 2016
1,014
113,315
Wales
Funster No
41,434
MH
Adria Coral
Exp
25 years
Welcome and have fun.

Choosing the correct van is a difficult question to answer as we all have differetn wants, priorities.

May I suggest what features you dislike about your VW?

List what features are missing from your VW?

I came up through the campervan, small caravan models.

The thing that most bothered me was the non-stop shuffling of items to do the next task, so I decided that I wanted a motorhome where everything was in its place and ready to use. No more having to get the dining table out of the shower so as to eat, or have a shower! No having to disassemble the table to make the bed base before getting to bed.

I visited many dealers, I was looking for a used motorhome, for me as a solo traveller and I had a fixed and limited budget.

Although I didn't buy from them I found;

https://www.3asleisure.co.uk/used/motorhomes/

The best of the dealers I visited, simply because, at the time, they were the only sales site where the vehicles were all left unlocked and you could wander about, and view inside, at your leisure.

It was this and my previous experiences meant that I could look into a vehicle, often rejecting it instantly, if it had possibilities, I could climb in, nose about and then settle down to visualise how the van would work for me?

So in the font seat I could role play things like;

I've parked up, I want a coffee, before a shower and then cook and eat dinner before bed! What do I need to do and how will it all work?

I've finished a dirty, dusty bike ride and arived back hot and sweaty, so I need a shower, food, drinks, clear away, tidy and bed! How will that work?

And that's how I worked out what I needed. It took a lot of time, expenses to travel to 3A's but I eventually worked out what I needed. I didn't find it at 3A's but at South Hereford Motorhomes, near Ross on Wye.

I've made a few minor modifications internally and after three years I have found a few shortcomings that I hadn't foreseen or knew were possible to have, but mostly me research worked well for me.

Hope this helps.

Of course if your van of choice is a newer model, you may find somewhere you can hire it and get a good feel for it.

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OP
R

RAS

Jan 19, 2021
6
9
Worcestershire
Funster No
78,870
MH
VW Campervan
Exp
Since 2013
Hi to all of you that welcomed me, very kind.

The reason for moving on from a VW camper van, albeit a T5 with pop roof plus the accessories like solar panel and swivel front seats, LED lighting, etc can be summarised as follows:

1. Cramped living that was fun at the beginning and in the latter years has become a bit of an endurance test. Moving this to get at the other. Unless you pop the roof, it will soon ruin your back.
2. Seating, having comfortable seats that allow you to sit and relax rather than having to make up the bed to have somewhere to rest.
3. Toilet facilities, we use a portable toilet. For the first few years I wouldn't go near one, YUK!, but since having it, I feel liberated. But this again is rustic living.
4. Storage and bed making/putting away is becoming tiresome.
5. Warmth and being cool to allow for different excursions.

But for all that, we are attached to the van and it has afforded us good/enjoyable holidays whether it be for a weekend or the longest was 3.5 weeks/3.5kmiles around 7 countries in Europe all with a good mix of wild camping/campsites. And we have done the breaks in the coldest UK climate and hottest Europe.

The van size does allow for access down narrow lanes or getting onto that deserted beach (we did 3 days on a beach mull of kintyre, hardly a sole around at Easter 2018).

Northern Italy was the hottest we got to and in the van with no air con, it challenged us and doing the Scottish outer Hebrides or the Rep of Ireland Wild Atlantic way were the coldest.

So with all that above we want a new to us Van or motorhome that provides a suitable step up in living/sleeping accommodation but is agile and not too long to afford access to the nicest of villages.

We appreciate the quality but the challenge is the affordability. From the 3 motorhome shows we have spent to pleasure of hopping in and out of motorhomes, we liked the Knaus Sky Ti 650 platinum van but that is expensive especially as I wanted the Mercedes with automatic and 150Bhp. Why did we like it?, we felt it provided a noticeable quality and attention to the detail.

We are still open minded and having been looking at panel van conversions such as the KNAUS Boxstar, a compromise as it feels very cramped.

But we have never tried them, so we could be liking something that is rubbish.

Originally, we stated we wanted a van/motorhome that had a fixed bed in place but now we are evolving the thinking that to have better seating is more appropriate than a bed in place all the time. Without going for a long van, you cannot have both.

I keep looking at what models people have so I can get a perspective on the types.

We intend to rent both a motorhome and a van this year to help our thinking before going anywhere near a purchase.

I am still perplexed as to how so many people have bought motorhomes without winning the lottery!
So how have people bought them?, personal cash lump sum, finance? what sort of finance deals are out there that are reasonable interest rates, they all seem to be high such as 7.9%.

Given one of us still works, should we just rent or purchase to have the convenience to have what freedom we may have.

Any thoughts are welcome and I appreciate your time to read my lengthy message.
 
OP
R

RAS

Jan 19, 2021
6
9
Worcestershire
Funster No
78,870
MH
VW Campervan
Exp
Since 2013
Oh and we really liked the Auto Sleepers Burford with its lounge, bedroom and end bathroom, but at 7.9metres long and the width, we thought it would be too restrictive for access to places.
 

AndyPK

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 7, 2015
1,567
3,378
Cirencester
Funster No
39,288
MH
Elddis Majestic 155
Exp
Motorhoming since 2015......
Welcome from rainy Ciren! (y)

Good luck with your search.......so many to choose from......so many layouts......:unsure: ;)

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Jan 1, 2017
370
515
eastbourne
Funster No
46,681
MH
van conversion, Peug
Exp
4 years
Hi RAS
Welcome to this fabulous forum, the guys and gals here are so helpful and pretty much every subject is covered somewhere and theres always someone with the same question as you so just shout up, they have helped me many a time, sometimes so quick with technical help while I am actually doing something on the van! There are some technical genius's here!
We started out with two big 'proper' motorhomes, but realised that we just didn't use the stuff inside like the shower, the oven, the sink, and only really cooked toast etc in the van as we prefer to cook outside if at all possible. We decided to downsize to a VW T6 and we loved it but like you started to notice the space issue , mainly cause of big dog!! We have now gone to a PVC Boxer that is a halfway house, it has gas hob, a cold water electric pump to a sink and fitted loo (a godsend in the night) but no shower/oven . While it does have big fixed cassette awning we hardly ever use that as we use a Vango Galli 2 mostly for outside stuff. Its really weird how moving from the T6 to the pic has made us realise how much spare space we have whereas when we went from big motorhome to VW we worried about all the 'stuff' (that we don't actually need.) Of course everyone has different uses for their van, but my only suggestion and please feel free to ignore this, is that you don't go too large if you don't really need it, we found our second motorhome unwieldy and an extra half metre was a pain in some places. The PVC is great for use as daily driver for dog walks etc . That said I miss the VW a helluva lot and wouldn't be put off having another , but would go long wheelbase with a full width bed and no 'kitchen'. in your search let us all know how it goes...

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Jul 11, 2008
8,476
59,339
Dumfries
Funster No
3,262
MH
Knaus Sun 650MEG
Exp
2007
Hi and welcome, we have The Knaus Sun TI platinum 650MEG and love it, saying that we only bought it in June so haven’t done much this year. Before this we had a PVC in the form of a Possl/Globecar Roadcruiser and lived that too but just wanted to go back up in size.

Id recommend you start a different thread about what you’re looking for rather than in here as you’ll get more responses.
 
OP
R

RAS

Jan 19, 2021
6
9
Worcestershire
Funster No
78,870
MH
VW Campervan
Exp
Since 2013
Hi and thank you to Lizsnowdrop and lorger for you most recent posts.
Our research continues on many fronts as to how best to finance a motorhome, what we want from the motorhome/van but equally as important what we from having a motorhome/van.
Just when we think we have settled on a top 3 of make/model, we look further at them and there we stop.
And all of that with the pandemic backdrop that shapes what is on the market at a 'reasonable price'. There looks to be a shortage of what we like and a lot of opportunistic pricing.
Lizsnowdrop, you raise many valid points as to what is actually wanted/needed when you are out and and about, what would make life on the road comfortable versus a luxury. Having the small VW transporter conversion means we can go anywhere and not be concerned whether it is in town or on a beach down a farm track. However it does lack the essentials of an inhouse toilet and reasonable seating. Making the bed each day isn't ideal and no really heating was proving restrictive when it comes to adventures over the cooler months.
Do we need such luxuries as an oven, longitudinal or transverse bed, fixed or make up bed, I don't know, we haven't had the opportunity to try.
Do we flashy LED lighting everywhere, a drinks cabinet, etc. I am not sold on such accessories but they certainly make a model more marketable.
I read reviews as to the experience of blown versus wet heating systems. wet heating seems to be the better experience but again I have nothing to gauge on apart from the wise words of others.
We like to be self sufficient and have used campsites when we need to freshen up, or there are no safe spots to wild camp. But we like to be more on the road than drive to a location and park up for a few days. I get itchy feet if we are in one location for more than one night. The lure of what is next to see calls louder and LOUDER.
The more I have read on this forum and others is that you have to be careful in your choice of a motorhome or a van. Water ingress and damp problems together with the quality of the manufacture and the base vehicle it is on. For me the reviews and feedback of an individuals experience whilst owning one is proving pivotable in narrowing the search.
A few individuals said spend what you can afford, logical or good advice. I agree. it just doesn't gve you the type of motorhome or van that appeals.
So all of the above is telling me not to rush, we still have the VW camper van to go explore.
If I could rent the motorhome or panel van conversion we like the look of to try them out I would. I am looking at that route as an interim solution but that doesn't appear really forthcoming and costly but of course not as expensive as buying the wrong van might be.

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