Looking to buy our first motorhome - Advice please! (1 Viewer)

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Oct 27, 2018
3
2
Wiltshire, UK
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56,946
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Auto-Sleeper
Hello All,

My partner and I are looking to enter into the world of motorhomes and are looking for some advice regarding the purchase of our first motorhome.

It’s just the two of us and we have a budget of around £40K. We have recently visited the NEC show in October and coming away from the show we were very impressed with the Bailey 66-2.

What we liked about this particular Motorhome can was the layout and that it felt quite spacious and had a good sized shower room. The 66-2 is at the top of our list at the moment, but before we invest our hard earned money I was wondering if you guys and girls could steer us in the right direction.

We would use the van to tour the UK and then eventually Europe. We would not really be interested in a LH drive model.

So I suppose what I mean is, is this 66-2 a good option or should we stay well clear and if so what would your recommendations be? Or is there something within this price range that we should take a closer look at before making our final decision.

Any help regarding this would be much appreciated.
 
Feb 22, 2014
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I think the general advice on here is to look for the layout you like. We have a Rapido that suits our needs. I’m sure others will be a long shortly to offer advice in more depth. Welcome to fun :welco:
 
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Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
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Adria Panel Van.
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Since 1988
Hiya, exciting times :D You have the right idea, focus on what layout suits you best. A change of layout is the main reason people end up changing vans far too soon and losing far too much cash in the process. Before you buy, you really should read the Motorhome Buyers guide (y) Subscribers can download the guide for Free The Definitive Guide to Buying the Right Motorhome at the Best Price .

Your first purchase can be a bit daunting, but don't worry, there are plenty here who will answer any questions you have throughout the buying process and beyond (y) Welcome to the fun.
 
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Popeye

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tonka

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Jul 2, 2008
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Just my input after looking at the van online...

Ensure you will never ever want to carry and passengers, as obviously a lack of seat belts.

Very lacking with storage, where would you put things like outdoor chairs, ground mats, awning, wheel ramps etc ?
There may be space under the bench seats but they wont take comfy chairs.

The layout means either your in bed or on the side seats.

My own advise is never buy new first time, most people do not get the layout they settle on. We had 3 in 18 months.
Luckily they were used so trade up's were easy. By no 4 we knew what we wanted and then had a brand new van...
You need to use a van for a while to decide on things you do and dont want or you see others and realise what your missing.

Good luck with your search..
 
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TerryL

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I would second tonka in that respect, there are quite a few "used" motorhomes around that in fact have had little use as they turned out to be a "wrong purchase". If you like the layout of the Bailey why not look around for a second hand model, or even a different make with a similar layout. Incidentally, don't worry too much about the doomsayers. There's good and bad in every make and manufacturer.

We did a lot of research before buying, even hiring a couple of times to test out our findings, and eventually got lucky with a 2-year old van that was to all intents and purposes brand new for a not insignificant amount less than new, as well as a load of extras that had been fitted. Had it now for over 9 years and have no intention of changing.

If you must buy new, then fair enough; all I'll say is beware of buying the first nice bright shiny new toy you see. Not trying to dampen your enthusiasm, far from it, but trying to avoid you disappointment.

Oh yes, and :welcome4:
 
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Dec 31, 2017
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Caravanner 40 years. Motorhome 8
We bought new for our first Motorhome and layout and storage were the priorities. Having been caravanners for many years we had insight into what we would need and a definite, non negotiable, requirement was a garage to store all equipment and bikes out of sight. We also decided on a maximum length vehicle and would not be tempted by the odd .25 mtr thrown at us by an enthusiastic salesman. We also went to the NEC this year and feel very satisfied with the choice we made back in 2015 but an enormous amount of pros and cons were listed before making decision. Don’t rush it because it is a big decision. Look forward to hearing what you settle on.
 
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Jul 29, 2013
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Payload is also very important as a lot of manufacturers are not up front about how much weight you will be able to carry.(y)
Also can you swing a cat in the bog as some you have a job to even turn around in(n)
 
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OP
OP
Smibsh
Oct 27, 2018
3
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Wiltshire, UK
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56,946
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Auto-Sleeper
Thank you for all your warm wishes/ information/ suggestions provided so far.

Tonka, Thank you for the storage advice. I’ll look in to storage in more detail and try to work out exactly what we would take with us.
Speve, The size of the bathroom on the 66-2 was good and we were really impressed. Payload is listed as 800kg on this particular model.

I guess we were opting to buy new as there is the appeal of the Warranties that are included on things such as, the engine and the actual motorhome side of things. To be honest, buying second-hand sounds daunting and we wouldn't have a clue what to look for if something wasn't right. Our thinking was along the lines of… at least we would know the history of the MH, which in turn would give us a good grounding to start off with.

There seems an awful lot to learn

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Dec 28, 2015
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Basically it seems ,imho , to be all compromise. Make 2 lists , some things are a must have , some no-no
Ours were 4 belted seats and fixed bed
Price under xxxxx, length under 6,7
We narrowed it down to 2 , Bailey and Swift
And bought the swift
We still have a list of don’t likes in our swift but we were happy with the compromises
 
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Feb 26, 2013
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With your budget I would have thought you could get a much higher spec used van which has had niggles sorted. There have been some lovely ones advertised on this site so might be worth considering. When we bought ours, on a much lower budget, five years ago, we checked all reasonably close dealers as well as autotrader. We knew the layout we wanted and soon narrowed it down to two vans, both private sales. We bought for quite a few thousand less than it would have been through a dealer, more than enough to pay for a full mechanical service and habitation check with local companies we trusted. Worth considering?
 
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TerryL

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@Smibsh see where you're coming from. Regrettably, however, once the dealer has your money things like warranty seem to go out of the window. I'm not saying this applies to all dealers, there are some very good ones about; get yourself a full membership then have a look at the "Reviews" section. Taking it back for things to be fixed would, to me, be soul-destroying having paid multi-thousand pounds for what should be a perfect product. Again I'm not saying that all vans are the same but there are enough complaints on here to say it's not uncommon.

That is the main reason why we were more than happy to consider a used vehicle. The first purchaser would, hopefully, have had all the bugs ironed out and also maybe have added a few nice extras. Despite some saying it's a myth, the VAT has already been paid which should reflect in the price - certainly worked for us. The only thing we ever went back to the dealer for was a failing leisure battery, understandable given the van had been standing unused for quite a long time. Nine years and 100,000 miles later the only things that we have replaced/repaired are what you would expect in any vehicle.

But if you're set on a new vehicle so be it, I'd just re-iterate the advice to buy from a local dealer if at all possible so it's less hassle when you have to take it back.

Good luck.

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Spanda

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With your budget I would have thought you could get a much higher spec used van which has had niggles sorted. There have been some lovely ones advertised on this site so might be worth considering. When we bought ours, on a much lower budget, five years ago, we checked all reasonably close dealers as well as autotrader. We knew the layout we wanted and soon narrowed it down to two vans, both private sales. We bought for quite a few thousand less than it would have been through a dealer, more than enough to pay for a full mechanical service and habitation check with local companies we trusted. Worth considering?

We would agree with keades. By buying second hand you could get a much higher spec 'van with all the bugs ironed out of it. You may even get some nice extras as a bonus - our second hand van came with a self-seeking satellite system, heaters for the fresh water and grey waste tanks and habitation AC. By buying in the winter when demand is lower we even managed to get it for a decent price.
 
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Paul an Jane MK

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enjoyed the freedom over the last couple of years but still Wish we could have got away more often
By the law of averages you probably will not pick the right layout for you first time unless very lucky. All Motorhomes are a compromise really, our first van was used and 6.3 metres with a lounge that converted to a bed at night. We got it to a fine art with me building bed while OH was in bathroom and OH pulling bed apart while I walked the dog in the morning but ultimately we decided we wanted a fixed bed which meant going to a 7.4 metre which was a big consideration as we like to travel around in the van during the day visiting places rather than leaving it on site.

We love our new van and I have managed to get it in all the same places but with lots more care.

Whether you go new or used, buying from a dealer who will honour the warranty work and preferably not to far away is important. If you find a good dealer it shouldn't really make any difference whether new or used really they should be able to set you up with everything you need and show you how everything works and be available to help with any issues.

Our first moho was used and had three warranty faults, the first one after our first trip which brought up an engine management light but after returning to dealer was fixed under warranty, the second ten months later when the power steering failed meant we missed the two May bank holiday weekends while dealer diagnosed fault but was eventually fixed under warranty and then a damp issue was also fixed under warranty.

Our brand new moho has actually had 20 faults in total all minor to be fair and nothing that has stopped us using the motorhome any time we wanted but just silly faults that are all being fixed under warranty.

So check reviews including those on here and find a good dealer, enjoy shopping around.
 
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OP
OP
Smibsh
Oct 27, 2018
3
2
Wiltshire, UK
Funster No
56,946
MH
Auto-Sleeper
Hi again,

Just wanted to say thank-you for the recent round of posts - We have found your advice and recommendations very helpful and it has given us a pause for thought.

Since reading the advice from the folk on this forum we have decided not to rush into this and take our time and research the second-hand market a little better and do some comparisons. We were hoping to pick something up in the winter as there are some bargains to be had. (as stated by Spanda)

Please keep the suggestions coming if you think you can add to the great advice already received.

Cheers
Smibsh
 
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Cheshirecat57

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Just for balance, I would never buy a second hand motorhome, like I wouldnt buy a second hand bed or a second hand pair of underpants.

But as ive saoid before, good job we are all different

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138go

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Feb 26, 2016
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Good sized bathrooms and showers are a waste of space considering how long you actually spend in there. Good storage is essential as is a good payload if you are thinking of longer trips and taking bikes etc.
 
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two

Aug 4, 2011
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£40k is a big investment. If you've not done this before, it's going to be difficult to know what's best for you. I'd hire or start with something you could re-sell after one season. There's a lot to learn and get wrong. All good fun, but it can be expensive as you learn what's right for you.
 
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Twoclots

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Swift Sundance 580 PR
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In VWs since 1994
We drove to Poole where Google showed an array of dealerships in a few square miles, this was to try to decide which layout would be ideal, never intended to buy at a far away dealer.
Of course we fell in love with one particular design and put down a deposit. 2007 Swift Sundance 580 PR 6.3 meters £23k. Luckily, Brian (Magic Roundabout has a lot to answer for!) has been a perfect choice, the rear lounge is very comfy for putting your feet up and watching tv and we only use the beds as singles. Love it. Had the dealer been closer I would have gone back with a couple of small issues, but I did them myself.
But I would suggest trying before buying, we just got lucky.
 
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Minxy

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149
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Carthago Compactline
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Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
Payload is listed as 800kg on this particular model.
Hi and welcome to the fun house. :)

Payload figures are very misleading as they can vary depending on what the manufacturer included to work them out so never take them as gospel, especially if adding accessories as they reduce it.

You'll run out of posting privileges shortly so if you need more help/advice ... which you will and it WILL save you a lot of money and heartbreak. The best £15 you'll spend is to join MHF for the year then you can ask away until your heart's content as well as being able to read the very, VERY useful buyers guide which would cost more than half your subs fee anyway.
 
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