Thinking about a motorhome

Vampirequeen

Free Member
Jul 22, 2014
5
3
Funster No
32,516
MH
Don't own one yet
Exp
Undecided
Hi

We've just started looking at motorhomes. Our budget will be a maximum of £20K although we'd rather spend around £15K if we can get what we want/need. Actually we're not sure what we want/need (apart from a cassette toilet...that's a definate) as we plan to live in our motorhome full time.
 

PP Bear

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 5, 2013
3,894
12,217
UK
Funster No
25,395
MH
Coach Build
Exp
2012
Welcome to the house of Funsters Vampirequeen, hope you find exactly what you're looking for :)
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
10,629
29,811
Scottish Borders
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29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
Welcome!

Apart from price check out layout and payload.......

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PP Bear

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 5, 2013
3,894
12,217
UK
Funster No
25,395
MH
Coach Build
Exp
2012
Hi

We've just started looking at motorhomes. Our budget will be a maximum of £20K although we'd rather spend around £15K if we can get what we want/need. Actually we're not sure what we want/need (apart from a cassette toilet...that's a definate) as we plan to live in our motorhome full time.
I was really patient when looking for a motorhome - my first. I visited the NEC for 3 shows, surfed the net, looked on YouTube and went to rallies and chatted to lots of people with motorhomes too :)

I often take my disabled friend away with me, so the layout had to suit both her needs for dressing and mine when I'm away on my own and in my future life. Her wheelchair folds nicely flat and slips under the fixed bed via the outside garage access - perfect

In the end I came up with my list:
Must have a separate shower.
Lounge layout had to allow for me to stretch out with a book, doze on, or be comfy while I watched the TV. Also had to allow for my friend to be able to dress and do her hair etc. important for the ladies, but doubly important if you're caring for someone with MS.
Fixed bed - I did originally think that I wanted a rear lounge, but I changed my mind later for the fixed bed and very happy that I did too. Nothing wrong of course with a rear lounge, I just wouldn't need that much room and I didn't want to make up and down the bed every day.
I wanted an over cab sleeper - for guests and then as a means of storage. This was a great move and I couldn't imagine being in a low line now, as the extra space is so useable for so many things.
Wanted alloy wheels.
Wanted the door on the UK left kerb side.
Wanted the fixed awning.
The loo was a must of course.
The kitchen had to have the grill and oven and the hob and I needed lots of space as I like to cook and roast in her too. The sink needed a drainer (so many new motorhomes don't have a drainer and such little workspace too) and plenty of workspace , which I have.
I knew the heating I wanted and the learnt about the water heater etc and made sure I did all my homework.
It was then that I knew I wanted the Auto-Trail Dakota and knew I wanted the SE with the extras it gave you.

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Feb 24, 2013
11,667
86,917
Bolsover, Derbyshire
Funster No
24,833
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Hymer S800
Exp
not long enough
Have you ruled out black tanks?

Sorry to confuse the only decision you have already made, :whistle: but full timing you might prefer a larger capacity

Other than that confusion, welcome and I wish you well trying to stick to the lower budget, now you have £20K in your minds I bet you spend it or more (y)
 

Minxy Girl

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
24,630
37,633
E Yorks
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149
MH
Carthago Cmpct i-138
Exp
Since 1996 we've had Elddis, Swift, Rapido, Rimor, Chausson MHs and Autocruise & Globecar PVCs
Hi and welcome.::bigsmile:

Living in a MH full-time throws up a different set of needs to just using one for holidays so I'd suggest having a chat with some full-timers of the pros and cons before you take the plunge. For example, using a MH in the summer doesn't make much difference to whether or not you have outside water tanks etc, but for full-time use you need to consider how you'll cope with the middle of winter and with external tanks, so onboard ones or those with heaters would be a must as would a well insulated van with a good heating system.
 
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Vampirequeen

Free Member
Jul 22, 2014
5
3
Funster No
32,516
MH
Don't own one yet
Exp
Undecided
Thanks everyone. I knew you'd all help me. We're starting to look and plan now for next year at the earliest. Neither of us making big decisions on impulse. Before we make the final decision I'll have made a pros and cons list and comparison notes plus we'll have seen virtually every van available in our price range.

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Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
5,601
42,296
New Forest.
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16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
Hi and welcome to Fun.
Great advice so far, as you've seen.

Best advice I had here was sit in each van, imagine it's raining for 24 hours. So you're in, door shut for the duration. Enough comfortable seating? Somewhere for the telly?

Go in the shower room, close the door, sit on the loo, is it spacious enough?

For full timing you need plenty of storage space ( winter/ summer clothes, bedding, towels, shoes/sandals/wellies/walking boots) you also need to carry more paperwork than if you were just on a holiday.

But full timing is great. I loved it and sat on a dusty floor today, trying to sand yet another part of a floor, I'd do it again tomorrow.

Good luck. And enjoy seeing lots of vans.
 
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Vampirequeen

Free Member
Jul 22, 2014
5
3
Funster No
32,516
MH
Don't own one yet
Exp
Undecided
Thank you all for your advice.

We're definitely going to sit in vans imagining the most miserable day ever.

I'm terribly excited tbh. I hooked on autotrader lol.

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Feb 24, 2013
11,667
86,917
Bolsover, Derbyshire
Funster No
24,833
MH
Hymer S800
Exp
not long enough
Great advice from Hollyberry above, we do a toilet test, sit on loo try to shut the door, that often rules it out straightaway, then go through an arse wiping procedure (dry run only of course) but go through the motions :whistle:

I am quite a large lad so may need more room than most, but a load of MH toilets have nowhere near the elbow room I need (y)

All part of the learning curve :D
 

MHVirgins

Free Member
Aug 22, 2011
3,889
3,162
South of Scotland
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17,867
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
March 2011
I was really patient when looking for a motorhome - my first. I visited the NEC for 3 shows, surfed the net, looked on YouTube and went to rallies and chatted to lots of people with motorhomes too :)

I often take my disabled friend away with me, so the layout had to suit both her needs for dressing and mine when I'm away on my own and in my future life. Her wheelchair folds nicely flat and slips under the fixed bed via the outside garage access - perfect

In the end I came up with my list:
Must have a separate shower.
Lounge layout had to allow for me to stretch out with a book, doze on, or be comfy while I watched the TV. Also had to allow for my friend to be able to dress and do her hair etc. important for the ladies, but doubly important if you're caring for someone with MS.
Fixed bed - I did originally think that I wanted a rear lounge, but I changed my mind later for the fixed bed and very happy that I did too. Nothing wrong of course with a rear lounge, I just wouldn't need that much room and I didn't want to make up and down the bed every day.
I wanted an over cab sleeper - for guests and then as a means of storage. This was a great move and I couldn't imagine being in a low line now, as the extra space is so useable for so many things.
Wanted alloy wheels.
Wanted the door on the UK left kerb side.
Wanted the fixed awning.
The loo was a must of course.
The kitchen had to have the grill and oven and the hob and I needed lots of space as I like to cook and roast in her too. The sink needed a drainer (so many new motorhomes don't have a drainer and such little workspace too) and plenty of workspace , which I have.
I knew the heating I wanted and the learnt about the water heater etc and made sure I did all my homework.
It was then that I knew I wanted the Auto-Trail Dakota and knew I wanted the SE with the extras it gave you.


I was just reading through your post and thinking, you've got the same requirements that we had and then noticed we've got the same van:D
Funny thing is, I look at other vans on dealers websites and always end up saying, "No, we've got exactly what we need in the Dakota", with all the extras that the previous owner had added(y)
 

wellsprungalice

Free Member
May 23, 2014
62
50
Lancashire
Funster No
31,614
MH
Low profile
Exp
2 years with a campervan; saw the light, now mortorhome newbie
Getting everything right on your first van isn't easy. It's only when you use it over a few trips (or the first few weeks) you find out things you didn't realise you needed to know!

We started off with a panel van conversion that had all the things we wanted (we thought) only to find that (given our health) we were using most of our energy every day putting the bed together and then taking it apart again. All the storage in the van was taken up with random bits of bedding that had to be stored during the day, so we could forget having somewhere to store clothes, and had to take holdalls and plastic carriers filled with stuff on every trip. On the flip side, we had too much space given over to cooking/washing up.

Lots of things become obvious the minute you get on the road, but are very difficult to visualise when you're just viewing a van.

Is there any way you can get hold of a van to try out before you decide on one of your own? It'll help you hone your priorities and might save you a lot of money in the long run.
 
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Vampirequeen

Free Member
Jul 22, 2014
5
3
Funster No
32,516
MH
Don't own one yet
Exp
Undecided
We thought we might hire a van for a few days in February to get an idea of what it's like to live in a van in the middle of winter which I guess is the hardest time.

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Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
10,629
29,811
Scottish Borders
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29,703
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SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
A lot of funsters have said it takes three vans to get it just right....:LOL:so far we're on our second.
We are on our third but that is over 30 years and requirements have changed over the years as children have grown and then left - now we have a Grandchild to take along but more time to entertain him!
 
Nov 30, 2009
6,382
80,783
Pickering
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9,521
MH
PVC the PUG
Exp
Since 2009
We got it right 1st time with ours. Starting off with your budget and doubling it !
We were lucky. But I think that was down to having several caravans over the years, so we knew about the lounging space being king !
But now the kids don't come along :((y)and we don't need the extra space , we are downsizing.

Ours would be ideal for you, fully winterised , we've been down to -17 without hookup over the new year in the Cairngorms .
She has loads of storage , solar panel, diesel heating, big fridge with freezer, cooker , grill , 4 ring hob , separate shower cubicle, halogen lights throughout , swivel cab seats, 6/7 birth, huge king size over cab bed , fiamma awning with zip store sides etcetcetc. Too much to list without properly doing an advert !
Totally professionally refoamed and reupholstered so it looks bang up to date.
It's just had 4 brand new agilis camping tyres , new discs done for our Hebridean trip. And the cambelt done last year.
But we want a bit more than your top budget , and we don't want to loose her till we have the panel van finished really. As we like our weekends away.
So I reckon that would be after Xmas. As the new boxer won't be ready for 3 months after ordering. Then Ralph's got to convert it. It's not up for sale yet.....
Though I suppose if we had an offer we couldn't refuse;)
 

Wildman

Free Member
May 30, 2008
0
8,556
Ilfracombe, Devon
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2,913
MH
Amazon Ambassador
Exp
since 1967
Hi and welcome to the fun, it seems no one has mentioned the motorhome buyers guide, written by one James Brown, our very own Jimbo. see advert for Jims shop top right. Having read it from cover to cover I can assure you that you will recoup the cost and still make savings.

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Vampirequeen

Free Member
Jul 22, 2014
5
3
Funster No
32,516
MH
Don't own one yet
Exp
Undecided
Thanks for the welcomes. I've just bought Jim's book. Looks like a useful and interesting read.
 

Peter JohnsCross MH

Funster
Deceased RIP
Jan 5, 2008
9,632
6,214
East Sussex
Funster No
1,134
MH
Autotrail
Exp
1995
We thought we might hire a van for a few days in February to get an idea of what it's like to live in a van in the middle of winter which I guess is the hardest time.
Dont know whereabouts you are but your welcome to hire one from us and if you buy you get a rebate!

Theres a few vans maybe in your price range on our wesbite

Peter

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