Motorhomes are designed for small people!

Feltwell

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Now I know that at 6'2" ish and 18 stone (ish!) I'm not the smallest chap in the world, but I'm also not exactly a giant, plenty of others are a similar size to myself or larger.

I went into a couple of dealers today, just for a quick browse - vague vague thoughts of getting a PVC or a narrow bodied A class in a few years time. For exploring down the little country roads I always think the width of the van is much more critical than the length.

So, first off, an AutoSleepers dealer, with lots of PVCs, all based on the Peugeot Boxer - which as we all know is fundamentally the same as the Fiat Ducato and Citroen Relay, which between them make up the vast majority of PVCs.

Ahh - my head brushes the ceiling inside and smacks the light fittings. Not good, don't want to stoop. Loo/shower cubicles are small, but I expected that.

So, pop in to a Hymer dealer. Ahh yes, the Germans are a tall bunch, they must design them with themselves in mind surely? Lots of big posh Hymers in stock, but I really want something not much wider than a PVC. Narrow bodied A class would do the job - transverse bed over the cab, no good, not wide enough. Duomobil with longitudinal beds over the cab - still not long enough! Fixed beds in the back are an option but take up a lot of space, and even then some aren't too generous. Plus the shower cubicles on some of the Hymers I could only stand up straight in by having my head poking up into the skylight - not exactly convenient for hair washing! - and the cubicles were teeny tiny, a real squeeze for a (ahem!) larger chap such as myself.

So all you small and svelte types, rejoice in your much wider choice of motorhomes! :(
 
Sep 26, 2013
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I can think of two options.
1. Have about 4 inches taken out of your legs, any private hospital could do it.
2 Have a conversion done on a extra high Peugeot or Fiat van.
 
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Feltwell

Feltwell

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Hmm, Mrs F has always said I need cutting down to size...……..

But seriously, I'm not that tall!
 
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Feltwell

Feltwell

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Nah, trust me, I turn invisible at a bar...

Planes are a problem. Concerts aren't. ;)
 
Apr 6, 2019
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Forgive my naive reply but why not just get a MH inst and of PVC? 6'2" and plenty of headroom in my Ducato Maxi based model (20 years old).
 

Minxy Girl

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Forgive my naive reply but why not just get a MH inst and of PVC? 6'2" and plenty of headroom in my Ducato Maxi based model (20 years old).
Unfortunately most MHs are 'fatties' - PVCs are usually 2.05m wide and a MH can be anywhere up to 2.35m.
 
Feb 4, 2016
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Im over 6 foot and about 20 stone needs sorting i know (y)

I own an old Hymer i imagine built for fat Germans cos i fit ok .

If as an old comic Stanley Boardman said they bombed our chips shops it was not to make us fit the vans they sell i reckon:)
 
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Feltwell

Feltwell

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Unfortunately most MHs are 'fatties' - PVCs are usually 2.05m wide and a MH can be anywhere up to 2.35m.
Yep - current van is 2.35m body width, a "skinny" one appeals. Older coachbuilts / A class tend to be on the wide side, it seems that narrow bodied coachbuilts are a more recent trend, although there will be some older exceptions of course.

Campscout looks interesting, definitely taller than most.

I used to occasionally drive my Mum's Fiat 126 when I was a "yoof" - I used to have to scream it's little 650cc engine in 2nd gear and change straight into 4th, as there wasn't enough room between the steering wheel and my leg to change into 3rd! :LOL: One time when we were fixing it and front seats were out, I took it up and down the road driving from the back seat, just for a laugh!
 
Jul 11, 2009
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I'm nearly 6 foot 5 and struggle with head room, also very broad across the shoulders not too fat...

Leg room driving is my problem and seeing under the windscreen edge.

In my Concorde I can stand up and lift my arms up ... And shower has plenty of room .. no fixed bed though which I want

Did like the new VW grand California at the birmingham show lots of headroom

Daniel
 

Northernraider

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Yep - current van is 2.35m body width, a "skinny" one appeals. Older coachbuilts / A class tend to be on the wide side, it seems that narrow bodied coachbuilts are a more recent trend, although there will be some older exceptions of course.

Campscout looks interesting, definitely taller than most.

I used to occasionally drive my Mum's Fiat 126 when I was a "yoof" - I used to have to scream it's little 650cc engine in 2nd gear and change straight into 4th, as there wasn't enough room between the steering wheel and my leg to change into 3rd! :LOL: One time when we were fixing it and front seats were out, I took it up and down the road driving from the back seat, just for a laugh!
300mm really is not that much. The length of a school ruler.

There's very few roads to explore that make that much difference.

I find it's length and overhang that cause issues on tight bends and inclines etc.
And of course height makes a difference for some places.

So if I were you I'd be inclined to go for a shorter MH than a narrower pvc
 

mikebeaches

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300mm really is not that much. The length of a school ruler.

There's very few roads to explore that make that much difference.

I find it's length and overhang that cause issues on tight bends and inclines etc.
And of course height makes a difference for some places.

So if I were you I'd be inclined to go for a shorter MH than a narrower pvc
300mm = about a 'foot'. Indeed, may not sound like a lot, but to my mind it makes a huge difference.

We are only on our third MH, first two were full-width coachbuilts (both under 6m long), but now have a slightly longer 6.4 metre panel van conversion. And wow, how much more relaxing to drive, on ordinary roads as well as down interesting country lanes. Easier to park too, even though it's longer. (y)

And boy, does it travel better on the motorway - goes like the wind and just feels much more sure-footed and planted on the road. ;)

But I sympathise with the OP. I'm a couple of inches shorter at 6', and right on the limit for standing up in bare feet or soaks-only, without having to stoop. As others have suggested, the Globecar Campscout Revolution might be the one to go for, with extra internal headroom, but still a narrow body. And if it's anything like our Rapido V68, the longitudinal fixed beds should be a decent size. :)
 
Feb 27, 2015
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Plus the shower cubicles on some of the Hymers I could only stand up straight in by having my head poking up into the skylight - not exactly convenient for hair washing! -

Blimey an excellent way of saving money and reducing the weight you carry in water :D
 

Lenny HB

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Unfortunately most MHs are 'fatties'
Speak for yourself fattie.:)
I'm under the recommended driver weight of 75kg. :rofl:

/ A class tend to be on the wide side,
Hymer Exsis range 2.21m, Hymer BMC range 2.29m.

Both our current van & last van 2.21m I find the narrower width makes life easier in tight spots than the shorter wider van we had.
 

Lenny HB

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Plus the shower cubicles on some of the Hymers I could only stand up straight in by having my head poking up into the skylight
Shower in our Hymer is nearly as big as a small domestic one, and the boss struggles to reach the rooflight.:)
 
Sep 23, 2014
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I've said this before, motorhome & caravan designers really need to go stand outside any secondary school & see the size of modern day pupils (motorhome buyers of tomorrow).

These kids tower about Hazel (5ft11in) and I (6ft2in square) & we struggle in modern vans.
IMHO there is too much emphasis of huge toilet cubicles with showers etc, we spend a 1/3rd of our lives in bed & I know I love a long lie when I'm away.
We need bigger, not smaller beds.
 

Northernraider

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300mm = about a 'foot'. Indeed, may not sound like a lot, but to my mind it makes a huge difference.

We are only on our third MH, first two were full-width coachbuilts (both under 6m long), but now have a slightly longer 6.4 metre panel van conversion. And wow, how much more relaxing to drive, on ordinary roads as well as down interesting country lanes. Easier to park too, even though it's longer. (y)

And boy, does it travel better on the motorway - goes like the wind and just feels much more sure-footed and planted on the road. ;)

But I sympathise with the OP. I'm a couple of inches shorter at 6', and right on the limit for standing up in bare feet or soaks-only, without having to stoop. As others have suggested, the Globecar Campscout Revolution might be the one to go for, with extra internal headroom, but still a narrow body. And if it's anything like our Rapido V68, the longitudinal fixed beds should be a decent size. :)
Hmm at 2 metres wide minus the thickness of the body iitself that leaves a very narrow walkway or very narrow seating or beds.
I've not been in one that's comfortable yet that's why I bought another a class.
There's pro's and con's to each van but I have had everything from early vw camper vans, a long wheel base sprinter 3 x 7 metre motorhomes 2 x 8.5 metre motorhomes and I've never yet been restricted by width.

And there's no type of road I haven't been on.

Length and ground clearance has restricted me in all sizes over the years but I've still got pretty much anywhere I wanted to get to.

I was tempted myself by a 6 metre panel van but it just doesn't have the comfort or the storage for long term travel and I still wouldn't use one as a daily driver
 

Minxy Girl

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300mm really is not that much. The length of a school ruler.

There's very few roads to explore that make that much difference.

I find it's length and overhang that cause issues on tight bends and inclines etc.
And of course height makes a difference for some places.

So if I were you I'd be inclined to go for a shorter MH than a narrower pvc
I disagree, having had both thin and fat, long and short MHs I can definitely say that having a longer but narrower PVC is much easier than a shorter fat MH for driving, parking etc. We really would NOT want to go back to a fat MH especially with the places we like to go and the fact that a narrower one makes a lot of difference just driving, even on normal width roads, as there's less risk of 'contact' with oncoming vehicles.
 
Aug 19, 2013
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Mrs Dorwyn's a 5ft titch, and is always complaining that she can't reach the lockers where much of the storage is in our pvc. Mind you she's always ...
 
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Feltwell

Feltwell

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It's all a compromise, alas no designer yet has managed to actually replicate the Tardis!

The current van doesn't stop me going to places, it's the ease of driving that I think a narrower van will give - having driven numerous mini buses and panel vans over the years, some of which were getting on for 8m in length, the foot in width makes a real difference in some parts of the UK especially - Wales for example, which is close to me, lots of narrow roads and unforgiving dry stone walls lining them! The mirrors on my current van stick out a long way. Length of van, not so much of a problem - occasionally on a 3 point turn, but I can't understand why some folks think a 7m long van will be more difficult to drive than a 6m van, I don't think there's much difference.

Shower in our Hymer is nearly as big as a small domestic one, and the boss struggles to reach the rooflight.:)
How tall is the boss? Mine can't reach the central skylight in my current van!

I was a bit shocked at the showers in the Hymers, some were absolutely fine but some really were cramped, with only about 6' dead from tray to ceiling. Not helpful if you're taller than that.
 

mikebeaches

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Hmm at 2 metres wide minus the thickness of the body iitself that leaves a very narrow walkway or very narrow seating or beds.
I've not been in one that's comfortable yet that's why I bought another a class.
There's pro's and con's to each van but I have had everything from early vw camper vans, a long wheel base sprinter 3 x 7 metre motorhomes 2 x 8.5 metre motorhomes and I've never yet been restricted by width.

And there's no type of road I haven't been on.

Length and ground clearance has restricted me in all sizes over the years but I've still got pretty much anywhere I wanted to get to.

I was tempted myself by a 6 metre panel van but it just doesn't have the comfort or the storage for long term travel and I still wouldn't use one as a daily driver
Horses for courses, clearly.

We certainly went to loads of 'crazy' places in our full-width coachbuilt vans, but the pvc is just that much more relaxing and comfortable to drive, from my perspective. And Mrs mikebeaches is much happier driving the narrower van too. :)

Oh and the fixed twin beds are 80cm x 1950cm & 1930cm; or can be a king size double 1300cm x 1920cm. Certainly plenty big enough for us. Yes, the walkway is relatively narrow, but not an issue. Fridge 135 litres. Lots of storage for 2, but the compromises are small wardrobe and bijou bathroom.

Big side door and opening barn doors at the back a real bonus, especially in hot weather. (y)

Good job we're not all the same with our requirements. ;) :D
 
Oct 12, 2009
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Hmm at 2 metres wide minus the thickness of the body iitself that leaves a very narrow walkway or very narrow seating or beds.
I've not been in one that's comfortable yet that's why I bought another a class.
There's pro's and con's to each van but I have had everything from early vw camper vans, a long wheel base sprinter 3 x 7 metre motorhomes 2 x 8.5 metre motorhomes and I've never yet been restricted by width.

And there's no type of road I haven't been on.

Length and ground clearance has restricted me in all sizes over the years but I've still got pretty much anywhere I wanted to get to.

I was tempted myself by a 6 metre panel van but it just doesn't have the comfort or the storage for long term travel and I still wouldn't use one as a daily driver

I am in Tam's camp on this. We go almost anywhere with our 2.3m wide 'A' Class, except of course 2m width restrictions with posts, but I am sure PVCs are often a squeeze.

As for narrow country lanes like Devon, even in any vehicle, somebody has to back up.

I am surprised about the comments on MHs, other than PVCs with no elevated roof, which have restricted height. What do the builders gain by lowering the roof? Our Arto is 3m high so no problem. There are very few bridges below 3m. Even 2m barriers catch VW T6s with a TV aerial etc.

For the extra room all round I will cope with driving an 'A' Class, after having driven some 7.5t trucks through City of London alleyways, including reversing one into an alley achway and getting a clap from a London Cabbie.

Geoff
 

Northernraider

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I disagree, having had both thin and fat, long and short MHs I can definitely say that having a longer but narrower PVC is much easier than a shorter fat MH for driving, parking etc. We really would NOT want to go back to a fat MH especially with the places we like to go and the fact that a narrower one makes a lot of difference just driving, even on normal width roads, as there's less risk of 'contact' with oncoming vehicles.
I think it's down to the driver
 
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