Recommendations on which motorhome to buy

Les M

Free Member
Feb 26, 2019
5
1
MH
just looking
Exp
newbie
Hi,
Planning on moving away from caravans and buying a motorhome at retirement in a year.
I realise everyone will probably have different opinions, but I need to start looking.... so which units do you think would suit our requirements (details as follows)..oh and note I have a class C licence if it matters but smaller the better...

For 2 adults only...
A fixed, drop or fold down bed..were fed up with making/un-making the bed each night.
Bed not to be side on so someone has to climb over the other to go to the loo, or a cut off shape and have legs hanging off the edge
Most important for the lady....a separate, decent sized shower, not a combo toilet / wet room
Most important for me, price...thinking of mid 50k MAX happy to go lower but cannot justify more.
Doesn't have to be a new model, which might save money.. Would also consider a good second hand.

With caravans, there are great (usually expensive), good, ok, and ones to avoid..I guess motorhomes are the same? It would be nice to buy from a British manufacturer if new..

As a final note, I saw online an American RV from Leisure Travel vans, it has a Murphy fold down bed...brilliant idea, but I don't think fold down beds are available here??

Ok, feel free to suggest makes & models ...thanks
 
May 23, 2018
172
168
Leicestershire
MH
Autocruise Stardream
I can’t help, because we are looking at twin beds, but if you can get to one of the shows, I think there is no substitute for going and sitting in a lot of vans. Due to child-related restrictions, I did a most of my research online, and it’s amazing how different vans ‘felt’ in real life, compared to online pics/videos/plans.

Good luck, I’m sure there are plenty of people who have better recommendations.
 
OP
L

Les M

Free Member
Feb 26, 2019
5
1
MH
just looking
Exp
newbie
many thanks for taking the time to reply.. We went to the NEC at the weekend and that's where the bug hit, we plan to go to some more shows but looking for recommendations or ones to avoid..
 
Jan 22, 2012
473
366
Wigan
MH
Knaus Sun TI 2012
Exp
2010
Agree with Wellington above. You will learn so much from going around lots of dealers or shows. We have just done a tour of the south coast taking in dealers. Ended up on our way home stopping off at the NEC. We saw lots and lots of motorhomes and spoke to lots of dealers. Prices vary between them all, for instance we were offered a trade in price from one dealer of 24k for our van and 38k from 3 others. What ever positive price you are offered you can often quote to the next dealer and invite them to beat it or offer add ons. You just learn so much from the donkey work. Ironically we completed a deal with Signature motorhomes in Preston (30 minute drive from our home). Also really go through the van in detail when inspecting and before you walk out of it sit down on the chairs for 10 minutes and just imagine yourselves in it and how you would live in it.
 

Simon Howards Motorhomes

Bailey and Sunliving dealer.
Mar 18, 2016
115
137
Somerset
MH
A Class Coachbuilt
Exp
25 Years
Hi,
Planning on moving away from caravans and buying a motorhome at retirement in a year.
I realise everyone will probably have different opinions, but I need to start looking.... so which units do you think would suit our requirements (details as follows)..oh and note I have a class C licence if it matters but smaller the better...

For 2 adults only...
A fixed, drop or fold down bed..were fed up with making/un-making the bed each night.
Bed not to be side on so someone has to climb over the other to go to the loo, or a cut off shape and have legs hanging off the edge
Most important for the lady....a separate, decent sized shower, not a combo toilet / wet room
Most important for me, price...thinking of mid 50k MAX happy to go lower but cannot justify more.
Doesn't have to be a new model, which might save money.. Would also consider a good second hand.

With caravans, there are great (usually expensive), good, ok, and ones to avoid..I guess motorhomes are the same? It would be nice to buy from a British manufacturer if new..

As a final note, I saw online an American RV from Leisure Travel vans, it has a Murphy fold down bed...brilliant idea, but I don't think fold down beds are available here??

Ok, feel free to suggest makes & models ...thanks
Bailey Autograph 540 Compact? Big end washroom and an electric drop down bed. The van is 5.99 metres long as well.
 
Mar 23, 2012
3,073
6,028
leicester
MH
c class
Exp
1
What you havent mentioned is what sort of use you envisage mostly/totally on site or off grid/wilding. If its the second there will be more compromises depending on length/price etc. Maybe the first thing to do is sit down together and prioritise your wants when shes told you what you think it will be easier then to come up with possibles.
 
OP
L

Les M

Free Member
Feb 26, 2019
5
1
MH
just looking
Exp
newbie
thanks all...the durations will be UK holidays from long weekends to 2 weeks...we don't envisage staying in it for months on a European winter break, but you never know...

Have now got finances in place and seriously looking, went on Wednesday to 4 front motorhomes on the A23 just south of Gatwick.. They couldn't have been more rude, insisted they needed to know exactly what we wanted before opening a van, it was a choice of 3 but then said they were too busy to show us round...decided to take our business elsewhere.
Today we went to Marquis in East Sussex, what a difference...very professional, showed us the sort of vans that suited our requirements and gave us a lot of info..

now going away to digest....also thinking of hiring a motorhome for a week to see what we really need..
 
OP
L

Les M

Free Member
Feb 26, 2019
5
1
MH
just looking
Exp
newbie
oh forgot to say...a mixture of off grid and some fully serviced sites..
 
Apr 30, 2018
241
85
Les M. I would thoroughly recommend you go down the Hire route first. It'll be the best ££ you spend. If MoHo still appeals to you after a weeks hire it will simply confirm your thoughts, if you don't like MoHo it will save you a small fortune. So Win Win whichever way.
 
Sep 19, 2018
24
28
MH
Don't own one yet
Exp
I'm a newbie
We had the same experience with 4 front! If you are down south then 3 counties Motorhome which has 3 showrooms are friendly and helpful. The chap in Poole spent a lot of time when we were first looking with us explaining everything about UK v European considering we intend to spend a lot of time in Europe in ours. We bought ex rental which so far so good- really good service from them.
 
Oct 20, 2018
336
220
Teesside
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 1990
thanks all...the durations will be UK holidays from long weekends to 2 weeks...we don't envisage staying in it for months on a European winter break, but you never know...

Have now got finances in place and seriously looking, went on Wednesday to 4 front motorhomes on the A23 just south of Gatwick.. They couldn't have been more rude, insisted they needed to know exactly what we wanted before opening a van, it was a choice of 3 but then said they were too busy to show us round...decided to take our business elsewhere.
Today we went to Marquis in East Sussex, what a difference...very professional, showed us the sort of vans that suited our requirements and gave us a lot of info..

now going away to digest....also thinking of hiring a motorhome for a week to see what we really need..
The Benimar range that Marquis do are superb and within your price range, far better than the British made ****. The Ford chassis is undoubtedly better than the Fiat chassis though, especially if you want an automatic. There is an awful lot quietly thrown in as standard on the Benimars.
 
Jun 30, 2013
4,543
6,396
Cotes d'armor, France
MH
Burstner Harmony TI 736 G
Exp
Since 1987
I contacted 4 Front when we were looking at new vans. I asked them why they charge an admin fee on top of their prices. The reply I got back was flippant and quite rude, so decided not to visit.
Their loss!

Anyway, I can only reiterate as above, go and sit in as many vans as you can to see if you could see yourself spending hours in it when it’s cold and rainy outside!
Electric drop down beds are great, but use a lot of power if you are using it off grid. ( we have one as well as a queen size island bed.

Think seriously about British vans. We have had 2 used and one new. The used ones were great and although I couldn’t really fault the new one much at the time, after buying a new German van, I realise how poorly my superior British motorhome was put together. ( it never leaked or broke down though!)

Most people will tell you the best van to buy is the one they have.

I won’t tell you this. But it is........
 
Last edited:
Nov 9, 2016
1,036
597
midlands
MH
Van conversion
Exp
newbie
The Benimar range that Marquis do are superb and within your price range, far better than the British made ****. The Ford chassis is undoubtedly better than the Fiat chassis though, especially if you want an automatic. There is an awful lot quietly thrown in as standard on the Benimars.

and the fords are easier to steal..........:whistle:
 
Oct 20, 2018
336
220
Teesside
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 1990
Electric drop down beds are great, but use a lot of power if you are using it off grid.

Think seriously about British vans.
This is simply not true. Our electric bed has a 100w motor. That is about 8 amps at 12v. Given that it takes less than a minute and a half to raise and lower it (that's going down to just 75cm from the floor), it consumes about 0.2Ah of battery capacity. In other words with a 90Ah battery you could raise and lower the bed several hundred times.

Think seriously about British vans???? Really??? Our first new caravan a Swift, major damp repair after 1 year, write off with damp after a further 3 years. Two new Baileys, the later one Alutec. Both had major repairs in first year, the later one, rain poured through the roof at 10 months old. Our last new caravan a 2018 Elddis lasted just 4 weeks before it was structurally so bad we dare not use it again. We eventually got our money back. I would NEVER touch a British caravan or motorhome again, sorry.
 
Oct 20, 2018
336
220
Teesside
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 1990
and the fords are easier to steal..........:whistle:
Knew someone would dredge this up.

So they say, but tell me how a Fiat would fare any better if someone lifted the front up and towed it away. Anyway we've a few simple but very effective security devices (OBD port lock and brake lock) and a factory built in tracker, and when all else fails insurance.
 
Nov 9, 2016
1,036
597
midlands
MH
Van conversion
Exp
newbie
Knew someone would dredge this up.

So they say, but tell me how a Fiat would fare any better if someone lifted the front up and towed it away. Anyway we've a few simple but very effective security devices (OBD port lock and brake lock) and a factory built in tracker, and when all else fails insurance.

i was merely pointing out a sad fact, ford need to sort security on their vehicles, and to be fair anything can be nicked if lifted and towed............
 
Oct 20, 2018
336
220
Teesside
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 1990
i was merely pointing out a sad fact, ford need to sort security on their vehicles, and to be fair anything can be nicked if lifted and towed............
Are you sure they haven't? After all there are more Transits on the road than other panel vans, and therefore one would expect a higher number of thefts. Also do you have any data to show how old the Fords are that are being stolen? How many new Transits were stolen last year for instance? You might wish to check this post, basically Fiats are also easily stolen with the right technology: https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/comfort-insurance-theft-update.187289/

As has been pointed out the easiest way in is through the motorhome windows. No plastic lock will prevent a crowbar easily opening one.

Should point out that the Benimar Ford also has a 5 year Ford warranty.
 
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