Thinking about down sizing. Looking for opinions please. (1 Viewer)

Jul 4, 2016
1,286
5,867
Cornwall
Funster No
43,906
MH
V-Line 636 Sport
Down size Auto Trail Apache 700. Now only 2 of us and a Labrador!

We have seen a whoosh banger we really like. Auto sleeper Kingham. Particular like is the back bed, no more messing about with making beds when travelling. Plenty of YouTube videos about the van.

Anyone here down sized. How did you like the change/ or not!

Anything else I could look at for 2 persons and a dog? With bed area Thanks
 

AndyPK

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 7, 2015
5,041
14,198
Cirencester
Funster No
39,288
MH
None……..!
Exp
Motorhoming since 2015......
What length ‘van are you looking to get - sub-6m, or perhaps a little longer…..?
(I have no knowledge/experience of the AS Kingham……..)
 
Mar 30, 2019
2,801
5,209
Cardiff, UK
Funster No
59,476
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2016
I have a 6 berth 7m van with a u shaped lounge at the rear. I've taken out all the cushions and a proper king sized mattress fitted perfectly. It's great now for just the two of us (and occasionally our dog if our son is not home). Total cost about £200
 
Jan 3, 2008
3,345
5,364
Pakefield, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Funster No
1,118
MH
Looking
Exp
35
Down size Auto Trail Apache 700. Now only 2 of us and a Labrador!

We have seen a whoosh banger we really like. Auto sleeper Kingham. Particular like is the back bed, no more messing about with making beds when travelling. Plenty of YouTube videos about the van.

Anyone here down sized. How did you like the change/ or not!

Anything else I could look at for 2 persons and a dog? With bed area Thanks
We went fro an A class Rapido to an Autosleeper Warwick xl, surprisingly we didn't have a problem there's plenty of storage and its nice to drive being aa little slimmer, build quality has been fine. The only thing we did was change our chairs to slightly smaller ones so the fit in the overbed space as we don't like storing things on the shower. The single bunks are roomy and comfortable and we can make up the double very quickly if we wish. We have changed from sleeping bags to single duvets and that has worked out fine wit just a bottom sheet. There is a good deal of storage under the bunks and we hacvnt managed to fill that yet. We leave the large table at home as we find the smaller one sufficient. Overall we are happy wit hate change.
 
May 30, 2019
720
1,038
Aberdeen, UK
Funster No
61,293
MH
Adria Twin Supreme
Exp
Since 2018
Went from 7.4m Benimar 282 to 6.4m Adria Twin. 2 adults and cockapoo. Best decision we could have made but I’d be a little cautious sharing with a lab. Are you able to hire or at least have test day out in it to see how you get on.

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Adam b

Free Member
Jul 3, 2013
244
327
South queensferry
Funster No
26,783
MH
Auto cruise carrera4
Exp
2003
We have recently down sized to a autocruise carerra 4 from an AClass rapido , the only thing we miss is the separate shower
 
Oct 24, 2009
112
169
Perth, Scotland
Funster No
9,024
MH
PVC
Exp
30+ years
No experience of the Kingham but 10 years ago we went from a 7.5m coachbuilt to a 6m PVC.
We took everything out of old van, looked at it, decided what we'd never used, and chucked it in the shed. That reduced our payload by 50%.
The remaining 50% we stared at, then decided "we very rarely use" or "can't remember last time I used that" and that accounted for another 25% of the original payload ending up in the shed.
We don't regret it one little bit. Best move we ever made. I still look at some things we carry about eg a pile clothes pegs, and think that could go in the shed too - if we do a wash when we're away, we use a dryer as well.
All figures are guesstimates but you get the idea ..............;);)
 
Oct 7, 2013
5,925
37,194
South Wales
Funster No
28,463
MH
Swift Escape Compact
Exp
Since 1988
I don’t know if this is true but I was told by a Kingham owner that the windows in the hab area are single glazed and suffer from condensation, particularly at night.

A Kingham owner will probably be along soon to say true or untrue.
 
Jul 18, 2009
11,294
18,325
Manchester UK + Javea/Xabia Spain + Abu Dhabi
Funster No
7,543
MH
HYMER B644
Exp
2004
Down size Auto Trail Apache 700. Now only 2 of us and a Labrador!

We have seen a whoosh banger we really like. Auto sleeper Kingham. Particular like is the back bed, no more messing about with making beds when travelling. Plenty of YouTube videos about the van.

Anyone here down sized. How did you like the change/ or not!

Anything else I could look at for 2 persons and a dog? With bed area Thanks
Hymer Grand Canyon S
La Strada Regent S

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,044
152,478
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 DL
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
We are in the process of down sizing, looked at loads of PVC's but decided we couldn't live with one and decided we wanted to stick with an A Class.
Ordered a Carthago CompactLine the mid size one 6.67m not much bigger than a PVC but huge amount of storage space. Ordered on the Maxi chassis so we will have 1300kg of payload.
 

MillieMoocher

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 18, 2015
1,118
10,642
West Yorkshire
Funster No
37,199
MH
Autosleeper Kingham
Exp
40 years under canvas: Motorhome 2016 To 2020
We changed form A class to a Kingham, and have absolutely no regrets.

the last A class was a Hymer Duomobile which was undoubtedly better made, better water and waste capacity, large garage and so on.

However as a usable vehicle, the Kingham is easier to drive and due to the layout seems to have more floor space than the Hymer. The overall layout is great for our needs.

the lack of garage storage is something we had to get used to, there is plenty of storage under the bed but not really any good for smelly BBQs as you sleep directly above it. Similarly if you take bikes with you, there isn’t really anywhere to put them other than on an external rack.

the heating system on the Kingham is poor, I tend to sit on the cab swivel seats and often need a blanket as by the time the heat has reached the front of the van it has cooled considerably. And there is no adjustment to the fan rate so pump heat quicker.

We also had to change how we use water, previously with over 100L of fresh water one could be quite liberal but 69L means we tend to drink from a 5L water container and refill that, using the on board water for washing/washing up/toilet flushing. That way we can get 4 days out of the 69L.

I too was concerned about the single glazed Athermic windows but we have never had a problem due to condensation; that is not to say you don’t get it, it’s just that the amount you get is not problematic and is nothing like (say) the internals of a windscreen in the morning.

we also camp with 2 dogs and I think that it’s because of this that the layout seems to work better for us that our previous Motorhomes.

In summary, we certainly don’t regret downsizing, we don’t need a fully winterised van as we don’t go skiing etc, and with some adjustments to how we do things think our Kingham is more suited to our needs than our previous bigger vans.

I did this film about how we manage in the Kingham with the dogs, in case you are interested.

 
Sep 5, 2012
2,110
42,399
Scotland
Funster No
22,782
MH
East Neuk Fifer
Exp
since 2012
Down sized to a 5 mtr Fifer and suits us fine as it still has a loo and as we stay on sites for showers if away longer than 2 nights. We've been down to Devon from Scotland and enjoyed experience. We only have 2 small dogs now though. We're also down sizing car as we use van a lot more now for day trips.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,044
152,478
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 DL
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
by the time the heat has reached the front of the van it has cooled considerably. And there is no adjustment to the fan rate so pump heat quicker.
If you have a Truma Combi with a CP-Plus controller you can set the fan to high. Also setting the "offset" can help getting it up to temperature where you are sitting.
 
Jan 27, 2018
840
1,737
Aberdeenshire
Funster No
52,143
MH
low profile
Exp
1990
We downsized to a sub 7mtr low profile twin single bed model which strangely seems more roomy than our previous sub 8mtr van. Lay-out is more important than size plus our new van has a massive garage which is brilliant.

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Oct 17, 2013
705
19,169
Plymouth
Funster No
28,620
MH
Adria Compact
Exp
Since 2013
We went from 6.9 metre Burstner with drop down bed to a 6.3 metre pvc with u-shaped lounge that made up into a huge double, not really wide enough for a comfortable single. OH got fed up of banging his head on overhead lockers so we have now got an Adria Compact, same width as pvc, but more room at head height, and we have a garage again so no need to store items in hab area while travelling
 

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
36,645
132,493
Sutton on Sea, UK
Funster No
1
MH
Adria Panel Van.
Exp
Since 1988
We once went from a 36ft A -Class RV to a 19ft Hymer. It was interesting, and we had choices to make, but we did it easy enough. We've just gone from a 27ft RV with slides and tons of storage to a 19ft Panel van. We just toured Europe in it for a month with space to spare in the garage and a couple of lockers hardly used. Winter coats and shoes would have likley filled us up though. Some people forget its camping and bring far too much with them. Travelling light means you have to be disciplined, but on the road and when you are exploring, smaller vans will often have much more fun and it's a price worth paying.
 

MillieMoocher

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 18, 2015
1,118
10,642
West Yorkshire
Funster No
37,199
MH
Autosleeper Kingham
Exp
40 years under canvas: Motorhome 2016 To 2020
If you have a Truma Combi with a CP-Plus controller you can set the fan to high. Also setting the "offset" can help getting it up to temperature where you are sitting.
The Kingham is fitted with a Whale heater and a separate Whale water heater from 2021. Supposedly an improvement on the previous Truma set up but I think cost cutting….although to be fair the previous Truma they fitted to Kinghams did compromise the under bed storage to a fair degree which has been improved by the current set up.
 
Oct 18, 2021
462
1,271
Northampton, UK
Funster No
84,945
MH
AutoTrail Apache 700
Exp
Some....good & bad!
Shame I can't find a similar LWB PVC based on the Ford Transit, the difference in ride quality is night and day!
Had a ride out in my friends Benimar Transit based motorhome and boy, it was so smooth, quiet and powerful compared to the agricultural Boxers and Ducatos.
 
Oct 17, 2013
705
19,169
Plymouth
Funster No
28,620
MH
Adria Compact
Exp
Since 2013
Our pvc was on a Renault Master, much nicer to drive than the ubiquitous Fiat Ducato, but the turning circle was huge in comparison, our slightly longer low profile is better.

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,044
152,478
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 DL
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
The Kingham is fitted with a Whale heater and a separate Whale water heater from 2021. Supposedly an improvement on the previous Truma set up but I think cost cutting….although to be fair the previous Truma they fitted to Kinghams did compromise the under bed storage to a fair degree which has been improved by the current set up.
Never seen a good report on the whale heater, Two on Tour fitted a diesel heater because the Whale was useless.
 

MillieMoocher

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 18, 2015
1,118
10,642
West Yorkshire
Funster No
37,199
MH
Autosleeper Kingham
Exp
40 years under canvas: Motorhome 2016 To 2020
Lenny HB I would definitely endorse that the Whale heater is a BOS. We had a lot of problems with ours, which Whale/Autosleeper/SMC eventually sorted by replacing the heater. The problem was that when running on gas, it would run, reach temperature and stop. Then, once the temperature dropped, it would not always re-light. Worked perfectly well on electric though.

we decided that if it couldn’t be sorted properly that we would change it at our own expense for a Truma system, installing the heater under the settee where there is difficult to access (so not really used) storage and would have the advantage that the output would be hottest in the lounge area, not the bed area. Luckily the new heater seems fine in terms of reliability if still unimpressive in performance.
 

Norfolk Nige

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 4, 2021
405
13,611
Norfolk
Funster No
78,709
MH
Wiensberg
Exp
Caravanning since 1980, saw the light in 2020
We downsized from an Auto Trail Dakota to the Kingham as it had a similar layout but was more useable and accessible. I had become disabled and we needed something smaller but still roomy with a fixed bed loo and shower. We like the layout, particularly the long side sofa. It is a nice drive with the air suspension and auto gearbox. There is plenty of storage with underbed accessed as a garage from the barn doors as well as overhead lockers and under the sofa. Plus plenty of kitchen cupboards.
Once we got used to not carrying so much unnecessary stuff we have found it really works well for us and for me with my lack of mobility it is very easy to get around in. We love it.
Perhaps the only alternative we would have looked at is the Wildax Elara. But that’s another £30k with all the kit we would want.
 

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