Which are the 'quality' manufacturers of MH's

Mar 27, 2021
21
15
Funster No
80,011
MH
Looking
Hello. Having owned and fitted-out canal boats for 32 years, often as my UK base as I worked overseas, then owned a 'place in the sun' by the Med; I have got to the age where I need to be based in the UK but can motor over Europe meeting all my old friends and colleagues at their homes far away. I am past fitting-out a vehicle and have no space to do so anyway, but am contemplating buying a new MH. It will be a wrench to pay overnight fees after stopping my boat wherever I want for free every day!

Living in north Lincs I have plenty of options with suppliers around Hull as well as a short trip down to Brownhills. But I do wonder about the quality of construction. From boats I am aware of good space saving design which is easily spotted. But I wonder if some of these vehicles are the proverbial Fur coat and no knickers!

I want a vehicle large enough to have an easily accessed loo (its my age you see) when on the road - parked! Two berths are ample but 4 belted seats would be a must. A permanent double bed would be nice without converting a dinette. And all the usual mod kitchen cons would be expected with electric hook-up and solar panel top-up for the electrics. An awning and storage for an outdoor table and chairs would also be needed. A couple of bike racks would be fitted at the rear. But all this will need a good security system to keep it safe too.

We would travel at times through all seasons of the year within the visa terms, so heating such as an eberspacher will be required, and obviously not a pop-up roof. An LPG converted engine would be preferred but most I see on sale are diesel. An auto transmission will also be an advantage.

Its a long list and I find that most suppliers can supply much of what I require in one model or another, though I am worried about true van conversions with bench seats and swinging rear doors, yet some of those I see appear to be made to a price with some corners cut (or not finished-off in some cases!).

Your collective advise will be very much appreciated, thanks.
m
 

sedge

Funster
Jul 7, 2009
5,113
8,375
Nr Jct 3 M6
Funster No
7,396
MH
C class
Exp
Aug 09 to date 9,000 miles!
Hi - weight is a FAR greater issue for a motorhome, and hence you may be quite disappointed finding that very little inside is made of anything you know is solid! But as with any longer and narrower construction - it always boils down to layout and you both need to consider more than somewhat whether the space provided in eg the shower, is there space in the bathroom for you to shave when your wife's in the shower - the kitchen area and the bed, is going to be adequate and comfortable for both of you - together and separately. Enjoy looking around vans for sale, and playing at living in it during a wet week wherever.
 
Feb 21, 2016
4,014
12,571
Uk
Funster No
41,726
MH
C class
Exp
Since 2017
Wow,that’s a very ”big” question!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is no such thing as the perfect motorhome.

I think you need to prioritise your wish list,and remember the word compromise!

Best thing you can do is go and look at loads of them when the rules allow. Enjoy!

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Oct 8, 2014
1,100
3,200
Todmorden
Funster No
33,748
MH
Compactline 143
Exp
I'm a newbie well I was!!
From your list/description I would read something like this.


The reality though may be somewhat different, It will be very much a journey of looking at as many M/homes as possible within your price point and deciding which features you can if necessary, compromise on.

The one thing I would say though it would seem the m/home you are looking for needs to be a double floor well insulated vehicle which in the cold light of day will pretty much rule out uk manufactured M/homes.
 
Nov 5, 2013
1,694
54,893
Shropshire
Funster No
28,900
MH
Pilote Explorateur
Exp
Since 2013
Don't worry about having to pay much to stop over in Europe,thousands of stop overs many free👍




Good luck with your search for a van👍

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
15,007
19,597
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
MORELO palace
Exp
since 2012
I "quality" van or any product for that matter is one that meets your requirements(y) a £250k 9 metre van might be nice but its not "quality" if you have a £50k budget and 7 metres max requirement.

Yes I think the German vans are well put together but they are usually not as cosy as British vans.
 
OP
mish
Mar 27, 2021
21
15
Funster No
80,011
MH
Looking
My thanks to you all for your care in taking time to respond.

I am not looking for too many 'luxury' features, and having lived in the USA I admire the quality and engineering excellence at a good price attainable over there. I appreciate that weight is limited but I would prefer a short wheelbase vehicle after having seen so many long wheelbase vans grounding on not very uneven ground. Especially important when even pulling off the road in the Alps or Balkans (I lived in Bosnia for 7 years too). But its not the quality of materials that worries me but rather the fit and finish on some of them.

With boats, using 10/15mm faced ply is no heavier than the common 15mm particle board used in vehicles, so I am happy with what is used but I expect some craft in fitting-out. (Plenty of raw edges at the back of some spaces in some vehicles). Wiring is also a worry - I have seen loose cabling which should be supported and not tucked loosely out of the way. Again, with boats this is subject to a regular safety certificate inspection. (A ban on soldered joints in gas pipes too). Vibration can turn loose cabling into a fire risk. Accessories, appliances and fittings I have seen, have at times been of low quality or 'value' brands that I have seen used in boats, and chosen to avoid previously. But I am sure some vehicle manufacturers have a policy of fitting those from the better end of the spectrum; so can those builders be easily identified?

On usable space, always a problem for someone who is 6ft 2 tall and not exactly stick-like. But again, years of boat discipline means we are used to confined spaces. So we never share the bathroom!, but I need to stretch out my arms when showering and drying. But easy to judge that when viewing. The bed length is more important, and this is maybe where I will have to compromise - to have a bed in which I can stretch out.

The VW Grand California 600 fits the qulity bill there, but I would have to compromise on a fold down bed and swinging rear doors. (Westfalia built?)

So I take the point that German vans are perhaps better quality and the £70k cost is within range, but are there others with similar quality but with better features?

m
 
Jul 18, 2009
5,651
6,636
Javea, Spain/Manchester UK
Funster No
7,543
MH
HYMER B644
Exp
2004
I’ve never bought a UK built motorhome, first brand new one I Sat in. The seat collapsed due to flimsy slats. I’m 13 stone, unlucky?.

Only ever had German Conversions

2001 Eura Mobil, Mercedes.
2007 Frankia, Mercedes
2013 La Strada, Mercedes
2000 Hymer, Fiat.

Worst build quality was Frankia. Best reliability, Fiat.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
mish
Mar 27, 2021
21
15
Funster No
80,011
MH
Looking
So my point is a valid one then ! Plus, I am 21 stone.
m
 
Nov 22, 2018
415
4,345
Kent
Funster No
57,328
MH
Rimor Europeo 87plus
Exp
Four years plus three tugging
To the OP.
I guess that all of us have at some time made up a list of "Must haves", "Should haves", "Would be useful", "Would be nice". Always a good start.

Out list was:

MUST New
MUST Rear double bed without ladder
MUST Front/mid double bed
MUST 3500kg mam
MUST Auto gear box
MUST Tow bar
MUST £60k or thereabouts
SHOULD Separate toilet door (not a screen)
SHOULD Cargo/Pax >500kg
SHOULD Fridge >140 l
SHOULD Proper oven
SHOULD Un-integrated toilet/shower/sink
SHOULD Separate shower
SHOULD Gas and electric water heater/heating
SHOULD Be 7m or thereabouts
SHOULD Wind out awning and full G3 awning front and sides
USEFUL Separate Freezer
USEFUL Engine >150hp opt
USEFUL Cab aircon
USEFUL Night time living area (ie not making up the table into a bed)
USEFUL Cruise control
USEFUL Large garage door
USEFUL Hab Aircon
USEFUL Full size spare wheel
NICE LED lighting throughout
NICE Reversing camera
NICE Solar panel
NICE Inverter

What we arrived at, was our current bus, the Rimor Europeo 87 plus (now renamed to Superbrig 87, I think). However, as a narrowboat user, you will know that the instant your moho arrives, you will then spend the entire period of ownership tweaking and nudging it so it is exactly the way you want it, so don't expect the full list of 'nice' and 'useful' to be on the bus, the instant it arrives! Our bus now has all the above!
 
Last edited:
Aug 25, 2016
618
2,809
Taynuilt, UK
Funster No
44,797
MH
Hymer 655 Starline
Exp
newbie
So my point is a valid one then ! Plus, I am 21 stone.
m
I’m the same as you mate 6,3 and 21stone. My Hymer is the most comfortable van I have had. 👍 the Germans are big people so build fort big people 👀👍😷

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
mish
Mar 27, 2021
21
15
Funster No
80,011
MH
Looking
DDJC - agreed on the musts and shoulds, thank you for taking the trouble to make the list, mine is similar.

Haggis, good point - except. The Japanese are small people but my Toyota LandCruiser Amazon (ex UN) was the most comfortable vehicle I ever drove - including driving from the Balkans to UK. But I will take a closer look at the Hymer range, assuming that their quality is also at the usual German standards too.

m
 
Aug 25, 2016
618
2,809
Taynuilt, UK
Funster No
44,797
MH
Hymer 655 Starline
Exp
newbie
DDJC - agreed on the musts and shoulds, thank you for taking the trouble to make the list, mine is similar.

Haggis, good point - except. The Japanese are small people but my Toyota LandCruiser Amazon (ex UN) was the most comfortable vehicle I ever drove - including driving from the Balkans to UK. But I will take a closer look at the Hymer range, assuming that their quality is also at the usual German standards too.

m
Land cruisers are the summo wrestlers comfy cars 🚙👍🤪
 
OP
mish
Mar 27, 2021
21
15
Funster No
80,011
MH
Looking
Well I hope I don't look like a sumo wrestler just yet, but the missus might not agree - I still ride my bike though.

Yes on my narrowboats I always bought the extras, but that was under my control. The basics of the vehicle and its quality of build are still out of my control, which is why I am being careful before I jump. I assume that Hymer, using a Merc chassis, will also have a petrol/LPG engine offering? Though can't see it in some range descriptions. But not an issue at present. I like LPG and its economy and ready availability on the continent. Plus its also getting more complicated to enter some cities with diesel vehicles. The channel tunnel issue is not a problem for me! - I like ships.
m

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

mikebeaches

LIFE MEMBER
Feb 22, 2010
3,971
4,474
Bristol
Funster No
10,377
MH
Rapido V68 Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2009
As mentioned in previous posts - German brands, including Hymer, are mostly well recognised for quality design and construction.

There are a couple of French brands that are also worth considering for their generally positive reputation: Pilote and Rapido.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Dec 17, 2016
461
362
Malvern
Funster No
46,488
MH
Hymer B525 2006 A cl
Exp
2012
"I assume that Hymer, using a Merc chassis, will also have a petrol/LPG engine offering? Though can't see it in some range descriptions."

I don't think any Hymers are on a petrol Merc / LPG. As already mentioned American RVs with big petrol engines are the way to go if LPG is what you want.
 
Feb 16, 2020
152
689
UK
Funster No
68,790
MH
Dethleffs
Exp
Newbie
I’m the same as you mate 6,3 and 21stone. My Hymer is the most comfortable van I have had. 👍 the Germans are big people so build fort big people 👀👍😷
Like you I am 6'3, but a lightweight at a mere 17st!!! (although with lockdown I am catching you up fast :rofl: :ROFLMAO:)

When we started looking I wanted to find a shower that I could stand totally upright in, something that ruled out so many vans owing to head space. Also, as we were full timing, we needed to have a decent payload.

We took over 12 months to decide on the van for us, visiting new and used showrooms up and down the country, visiting fairs and shows, looking at UK, European and American RV's from 7.5m to probably about 12 meters, with different bed layouts, seating arrangements, driving sides, fuel type etc. - probably the works and came down to 2 or 3 models we liked. We then compared our shortlist to budget and decided on the van we purchased last year.

We having been living in it fulltime since Sept last year and only had one issue, a floor hatch that split and the dealer was quick to find and fit a replacement for us.

I wish the OP (Mish) an enjoyable time looking at all the industry has to offer and hope you are able to find a happy medium with one of the manufacturers - be sure to let us know what you decide

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Mar 19, 2021
35
45
Funster No
79,888
MH
small van
Hi mish,

Newbie here without any experience, so take this with a pinch of salt... but this resource sounds interesting


Have a look at the "League tables: New motorhomes" and "League tables: Pre-owned motorhomes" sections ;-) They seem to match closely the comments made by members of this forum.

Pura vida!

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Top