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First family motorhome
Posted: 1 December 2015 10:04 PM
Subject: First family motorhome
Having a look around

Posts: 23

This has probably been done to death, BUT!! We're a family of four, kids 6 + 9 and we have a budget of £30,000. We are wanting a rear lounge rather thank bunks or fixed bed, rather obviously we have been looking at the autoquest/ escape options.
We're really open to advice and suggestions, we will mostly be going local for weekends, with a European trip once a year and a few longer uk trips,
Thanks in advance
Posted: 1 December 2015 10:20 PM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome

Location: Vanless in Evesham.

Hi Nathan and welcome to the forum.

Best advice from me would be that unless you already have experience and have learned what you want and need, to hire a van or two before buying so that you can learn what you do and do not like about different layouts and how they do and do not work in real life. Believe me the reality is so often very different to the perception!.

Sure hiring is expensive and could be seen as a waste of money but it is a heck of a lot less expensive than buying the wrong van and needing to change it soon after.

Also try to visit as many dealers as you can or a show or two before deciding so you can compare as many vans as possible at the same time.

Some hirers/dealers will offer you a refund of hire charges if you buy from them so it is always worth a haggle, especially if you are considering buying now, the traditionally 'quiet' season.

Edited by Tracker 2015-12-01 10:21 PM
Posted: 1 December 2015 10:22 PM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome

Forum master

Posts: 3704
Location: Way out West (Wales) 2014 Autotrail V line 600

You will need 4 seat belts to travel safely, and for that you will need a half dinette at the front, some rear lounges have seat belts in them,but not many, good hunting! Ray
Posted: 1 December 2015 10:39 PM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome
Having a look around

Posts: 23

Hi and thanks, I'm planning on heading to a show in Manchester in January, were over on the Isle of Man so it's a bit of a pain in the arse to hire anything, we've been in a Danbury T2 for a fortnight, and as fun as it was its just to small.
We've Also been in a 5 berth swift.
I really like the autoquest 180 layout, it offers the option of chucking the kids in the over an, setting up the dinette bed and still have the rear lounge to have a beer etc without having to have lights out at kids bedtime, and I've seen a few in budget, but it's a huge amount of cash to spend, not sure if it's worth trying to squeeze a few more pounds and try and get the 6 speed box etc!?
I knew what I wanted till I started looking!

Edited by Nathan73 2015-12-01 10:43 PM
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 2 December 2015 11:49 AM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome

Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street

I agree with Ray and Tracker. The 180 is a biggish van: over 7.0 metres long and over 3.0 metres high. Would you keep it on the IoM, or on the mainland? Would you use it mainly on the IoM, or elsewhere? I ask because it has a longish rear overhang and, especially in tidal ports, that may cause problems boarding and leaving ferries at certain states of the tide. The risk is of the rear end grounding on the loading ramp.

I also suggest you consider how long you would intend keeping this van. It (2016 model, earlier versions vary) is stated to have a payload of 515kg, which includes 20kg for two gas cylinders. Anything you add to the van, such as an awning, reduces the available payload. It isn't bad, but it isn't great for a largish family van. Your children will grow: in five years that 9 year old will be 14, and nearing adult weight. The stated payload should include a nominal 75kg for the driver only (couldn't find that confirmed) so you should correct the 75kg figure as necessary for actual driver weight, and then deduct the combined weights of all passengers (with an allowance for growth) from the balance of the payload. What is left is what you will have for clothes, food, drinks, books, toys, essential equipment, fresh water (at 1kg per litre), etc. etc: in short, everything else. For weekends it should be fine, but for longer trips probably tight, especially as the children grow. If you can find a similar layout in a smaller, lighter, van, that would give you a shorter rear overhang and a larger payload, I'd seriously consider the possibility.

I don't know the IoM, but would guess it is a fairly breezy place, with a generally "marine" environment. Before you buy anything, therefore, I'd look seriously at the reputations of manufacturers regarding water ingress, and avoid those with question marks. Some manufacturers, at times, have produced generations of vans with a tendency to leak, which have proved difficult and expensive (we are in the £0000's here) to repair. So, I'd insist on a full damp check on anything you consider buying, with written evidence of the findings, and avoid buying in summer/autumn when most vans will be nice and dry. I would be uninclined to put down a deposit before the damp check is available to see, unless there is agreement that the deposit would be refunded in full if the damp check reveals problems. Personally, I'd also be inclined to reject any dealer's claim to repair the damp, and simply walk away. Fixing damp at the point of sale places far too much pressure on the dealer to do the minimum necessary to secure the sale, with the damp liable to re-emerge after a year or two - especially as you are won't be able to "just pop back" to get it fixed.
Posted: 2 December 2015 11:08 PM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome
Having a look around

Posts: 23

Some great advice there, so thank you.
The van will be kept on the island at all times but used to travel a few times a year, I do take your point on the rear overhang and had wondered about that. Also I have not really thought to hard about weight and now I know I really ought to, push bikes will be added to that too.
I have a damp meter I will be taking with me but I will also be asking for written proof, and like you say I will be buying in the next couple of months so the weather will be arguable at its worsed.
As for other size vans, I will keep an open mind and keep the search going.
I will be buying from a dealer as I'm not confident enough to buy privately.
I'm finding the options a bit bewildering!
Many thanks
Posted: 2 December 2015 11:10 PM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome
Having a look around

Posts: 23

Sound advice, thanks for taking the time to post it.
Posted: 2 December 2015 11:15 PM
Subject: ---
Having a look around

Posts: 23

Edited by Nathan73 2015-12-02 11:16 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 3 December 2015 7:25 AM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome

Location: MODERATOR - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp

Archived Elddis brochures/handbooks/price-lists can be downloaded from here:

I note that earlier Autoquest 180s had a small water capacity (fresh-water and waste-water tanks both being 45 litres) and the power output of the standard motor was quite low for what is a relatively large motorhome.
Posted: 3 December 2015 6:40 PM
Subject: RE: First family motorhome
Having a look around

Posts: 23

Power output as in BHP? I did read of ones offering only 100 which I did think would struggle a little
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