Worried about new van

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Baycott, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

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    We are thinking of trading in our Autotrail Tracker for something with a fixed bed. However, a FB van with a decent lounge area seems to be around 7 mtrs.
    I am used to driving and parking my van which is only 5.9 mtrs.
    I am not worried about driving this length but would ask all you experienced motorhomers if 7M causes a problem in small towns or supermarket car parks?
    I know many of you drive much longer than 7M and would love to hear from you.
    Thanks
    John.
     
  2. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    Our Euramobil is 8.1 metres long & I've never had any problems parking in supermarket car parks. It tends to be easier to park in small towns rather than cities but we usually manage & just have to walk further. We're about to collect our new Carthago M Liner which is just on 9 metres but I don't expect much difference. Height is often more of a problem.
     
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  3. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    Just moved from a c12m towcar \ caravan combination to an AT Savannah.
    So far, no problems. Just be wary of the tail end swinging out as you make a tight turn.
    Would also suggest you have a reversing camera on the back.
     
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  4. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    Our is a 7m, maybe be a little more selective but other than that...no probs
     
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  5. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    We had 7+metre vans for years and would have said that there were few serious issues.

    But this year following some health issues we decided to downsize to make travelling as easy as possible. We bought a 6.4 metre van conversion and it really is easier to drive and park. The biggest difference is because its narrower. Much easier on some of UK narrow roads. Previously in some car parks if we could get in at all we really needed 4 spaces because the van was both longer and wider than most spaces.
     
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  6. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Ours is 8m, no real problems other than supermarket car parks where we tend to take up at least 2 bays and even then are more or less on the bay markings

    We would always aim for the quietest part of any car park, but in light of recent posts am now more concerned about getting 'fined' for not parking properly in bays

    Other then that, grounding has been a minor issue mainly on Scottish ferries and a couple of tight turns on camp sites
     
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  7. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    We got our first MH just a year ago, approx 7.2m, and because of the places we want to go we're seriously considering downsizing to 6m despite the financial loss that would entail. Because so many people are now looking for 6m and under, there are some really nice new MHs at this length with drop-down beds which are the next best thing to a fixed bed - no construction or bed-making to do. Small towns & supermarkets not really a problem with the 7m as others have said, but very rural roads can be narrow and twisty and we aren't really comfortable with it in parts of Cornwall where we live (no passing places) & n-w Scotland.
     
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  8. AuldCodger

    AuldCodger Read Only Funster

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    Never a problem and as regards parking always check your exit can't be blocked.
     
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  9. camocam1

    camocam1 Read Only Funster

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    Moved up from 6m to 7.5 in the summer and spent 2 weeks in Cornwall with no real problem with the length
    Our biggest problem was the width as its 2.4 + mirrors.
    We check with one retail park who have barriers for entry that we could get in ( no height restriction) gave them the width and they said no problem
    Turned into the road to the carpark and we had 1" either side with mirrors folded to get through the barrier that was scary
     
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  10. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    I moved up to 7.5m from 6 ish. I'm being honest here; when I went to pick it up, I thought "Christ! That's bigger than when I fist looked at it". I'm not inexperienced, but the biggest problem that I find is the rear overhang. Not just when getting used to it, but all the time! The van you are looking at seems to have a similar rear.

    When making any turn, you really have to watch the rear. Reversing is less of a problem, but going forward, you can't just 'turn'. The rear on mine seems to pivot on the rear wheels and really swings out. I remember almost taking the front off a Merc on the opposite pump when pulling out of a tight petrol station in France! It's even possible to side-swipe something with the rear when negotiating tight narrow roads and corners. As supermarkets have been mentioned, I'm sure you know that you will have to pull forward enough to clear the rear swing.

    I guess the HGV and RV drivers on here will probably think my experiences are daft, but I find it's easy to forget the rear when occasionally distracted.

    Another point to remember is that some ferry companies charge more for a longer vehicle. BUT, all of this is out-weighed by the extra room and comfort that a larger van affords.

    Hope this helps?
    James
     
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  11. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Fully freighted ours is 42ft long.. No issues as yet !
     
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  12. joncris

    joncris Read Only Funster

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    Ours is (in real money) 26' and no problems
     
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  13. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    We have a tracker FB and yes we do have a few problems with its length. But not really in the UK but in Spain and France.

    Some of the sites the pitches are a bit tight on some of the sites.

    But something nobody ever mentions regarding the Trackers are their height. At over 3 mtrs you often get hammered on the toll roads.
     
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  14. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

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    Ours is just over 7 metres long and I must admit having never driven a motorhome before last year I found it quite daunting. Now after driving it for 18 months it doesn't bother me, as said on here just be aware of the overhang when you are alongside anything and take care when turning left so you don't cut the corner.
     
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  15. trophychap

    trophychap Funster

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    If you are on an autoroute in France not sure about any other European countries and the toll is anything other than class 2 press the help button and tell the operator camping car they usually alter the toll without delay to class 2 HTH.
     
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  16. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

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    The one we are thinking of Mike is the Swift Bolero FB which is a low profile so shouldn't have the height problem. It was mainly the access and parking problems I was interested in but as so many are this length and beyond you guys seem to encounter very few problems.
    Thanks for all your replies.
    John.
     
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  17. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Mike, I concur with the advice given by trophychap above. I wasn't aware until I too was advised and tried it. That's why I use the credit card booths, rather than the manned booths, on the few ocassions we have had to use the Peage.

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
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  18. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Hi James

    If you have a large overhang on 7.5 metre van it will swing out more than our 8.5 metre as we will be on a longer wheelbase. And to answer the OP as others have said in car parks you will need two spaces or an outside spot with somewhere to hang the back over, if we park up in town we pay for two spots.
    Only experienced grounding the tow-bar once and that was somewhere quite extreme where we should not really have been, grounding is as much a height thing as it is overhang so it depends on the chassis.
     
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  19. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Moved from a 6 to 636 m panel van camper this year and we certainly notice the difference, with touring parking being the main issue. I know it dont sound much, but we have a fancy swing out bike rack as well which adds up to approx 6.8, when with last van if a car could get in to a spot we could..........

    So no more parking in tiny quaint Tuscan hill town car parks. Just means have to park further out and cycle in, but do miss the convenience.
     
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  20. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    8.4 mtrs long and 3.4 mtrs high. Have had no problems when driving along, it makes little difference. Parking on some sites can be a problem. 8 mtrs seems to be the preferred length for some site pitches but I always seem to fit it in somehow.
    Phil
     
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