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Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
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userjonnybeare
Posted: 29 April 2020 11:00 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Definitely just a week at a time, and the odd long weekend, plus the odd festival.

We used to have a Mazda Bongo w/pop-top, was great in some ways but had pretty much zero storage and came with all the problems you mentioned, putting kit away and getting it out, wet clothes/shoes, having to take a tent to store things in, etc, etc.

You're right, I definitely don't want to get something too small and regret it, but compared to a Bongo just the thought of having some cupboards and a toilet seems like total luxury!

Another issue regarding size is that some friends have campervans and we'd like to camp with them sometimes, we can get away with that with a very small MH or large camper but probably not with a larger MH.

userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 29 April 2020 11:42 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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


jonnybeare - 2020-04-29 10:00 AM

I did have a look at the Talisman, but despite being a 4 berth there are only 3 seat belts.


Other ‘shorties’ are the Dethleffs A5251, Hymer Camp C494 and Knaus Sport Traveller 500.

I’m not sure if the A5251 made it to the UK in RHD fornat, but the latter two certainly did

http://www.motorlands.co.uk/used-motorhome/hymer/camp-c494/fiat-ducato-2-0-jtd/for-sale-in-lytham-st-annes-lancashire/aetv14645540/

https://www.motorhomedepot.com/vehicle/knaus-sport-traveller-4-berth-end-washroom-compact-motorhome-for-sale

All are ‘conventional’ overcab designs but, unlike many UK-built models, the overcab sleeping area is not so small that only young children could tolerate being there.

(Trouble is that - once you’ve set your heart on a Wingamm Micros - everything else will be second best.)
userjonnybeare
Posted: 29 April 2020 2:56 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Weirdly I was cycling about half a mile from my house and saw a 2008 Wingamm Micros in someone's drive behind a hedge, only just noticed it, so I've put a note in their letterbox... you never know! I'm just amazed to see one in the flesh really.

Failing finding one of those for sale (very unlikely), and in budget (fairly unlikely) I think of all the suggestions the Hymer Exsis SG looks pretty much exactly what we need. I think I'll try to find one to have a look around when the corona chaos is over.

Thanks for all your help :)


Edited by jonnybeare 2020-04-29 2:57 PM
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 29 April 2020 5:13 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


jonnybeare - 2020-04-29 2:56 PM................................I think of all the suggestions the Hymer Exsis SG looks pretty much exactly what we need. I think I'll try to find one to have a look around when the corona chaos is over.

Thanks for all your help :)

One for sale here: https://tinyurl.com/ydynd5mj Ledbury. Looks good on paper (but then it is being advertised for sale! ), and a fair price.
userSAlexander
Posted: 29 April 2020 5:32 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


Liking what I've found

Posts: 54
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Location: Scotland Rapido 640F


I can remember considering the Hymer a few years ago when looking for a replacement for my Mazda Bongo. I thought it was a fabulous layout with some really clever ideas for storage and space utilisation. I was put off slightly by the high prices for what were generally older, high mileage vans and limited availabilty. I also wasn't keen on the short habitation door as both myself and wife are tall. But never the less, a fascinating and desirable van in many ways.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 29 April 2020 6:44 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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


Brian Kirby - 2020-04-29 5:13 PM

jonnybeare - 2020-04-29 2:56 PM................................I think of all the suggestions the Hymer Exsis SG looks pretty much exactly what we need. I think I'll try to find one to have a look around when the corona chaos is over.

Thanks for all your help :)

One for sale here: https://tinyurl.com/ydynd5mj Ledbury. Looks good on paper (but then it is being advertised for sale! ), and a fair price.


Two snags with the Exsis at Ledbury - it’s LHD and JB wants RHD, and it’s the SK version with three sleeping berths and JB needs four.

There’s a 2006 model-year Hymer Exsis brochure here

https://www.exsisowners.com/downloads/2006_Exsis_Brochure.pdf

and the SK and SG layouts are shown on Page 21.

My Rapido 640F has a somewhat similar front-lounge layout to an Exsis SK, with two inwards facing settees, each of which (with a lot of fiddling about) can be converted into a forwards-facing 3-point-belted travel seat. In principle the 640F can carry 4 adults while travelling and, as the settees can be converted into a transverse single bed, it can sleep 3 adults. But I think the 640F would almost always have been bought by couples that would sleep in the rear island double bed. (Rapido produced a 640B version that added a ceiling-located drop-down single bed (so 4 travel seats and 4 berths) but as that model was soon dropped I imagine it proved unpopular.)

Few buyers will need to cram 4 people into a motorhome under 5.5m lomg, so - even though the Exsis SK will be uncommon in the UK - the SG version will be very rare.
userjonnybeare
Posted: 29 April 2020 6:59 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Yes that's right, has to be the SG version due to the two double beds + 4 seatbelts.

They do seem to come up occasionally, I'm in no hurry.
usertrialsrider
Posted: 30 April 2020 1:14 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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Location: Cardiff - Peugeot Boxer X290 Ruddock Race Home


I think the Concorde Compact would be a good choice. Built on a medium wheelbase Citroen x250. Drop down cab bed which is huge and double bed below. Concorde quality too. I've seen 2009 ones for about £25000. Don't come on the market often though.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 30 April 2020 2:37 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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


There’s an advert for a 2006-registered Concorde Compact here

https://www.somersetmotorhomecentre.co.uk/showroom/van-conversion/concorde-compact/

Although it is advertised as a “great 4 birth van” (sic) the downstairs bed constructed from the dinette seating is quite narrow. OK for one adult or two small children, but JB has said his requirements are for "2 adults and an 11 and 13 year old but one of them is as tall as me already so 4 adults really”.
userpepe63
Posted: 30 April 2020 2:56 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Blimey..is that shelf in the roof, really a bed?...storage for bedding, coats etc maybe...

Whilst there are undoubtedly some ingenious designs, and well executed conversions around, until such time as they start constructing them from magic, they are all still going to be lacking in sq footage and general "elbow room", when they are expected accommodate 4 adult sized people....

(I couldn't imagine many teens would really want to be bunking up alongside/above/below M&D's bed for long, especially in such a tight space..).



Edited by pepe63 2020-04-30 2:58 PM
usercid
Posted: 30 April 2020 3:03 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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hi all, i own a granduca on a fiat chassis. 6 berth, 5.6m long. sleeps 2 over cab, 2 in mid section and 2 on a rear bench and single bunk. although, in very good condition and used daily, as i have no other vehicle, it was first registered in 1996. only done 77,000 miles. interested?
usertrialsrider
Posted: 30 April 2020 5:09 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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Posts: 330
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Location: Cardiff - Peugeot Boxer X290 Ruddock Race Home


pepe63 - 2020-04-30 2:56 PM

Blimey..is that shelf in the roof, really a bed?...storage for bedding, coats etc maybe...

Whilst there are undoubtedly some ingenious designs, and well executed conversions around, until such time as they start constructing them from magic, they are all still going to be lacking in sq footage and general "elbow room", when they are expected accommodate 4 adult sized people....

(I couldn't imagine many teens would really want to be bunking up alongside/above/below M&D's bed for long, especially in such a tight space..).



It must be the type / location of campsites I go to but most are full of vw T5 vans with pop tops sleeping families of 4. The bigger vans seem to be the choice of child free 60 plus year olds. Just my observation of course. Perhaps due to having a young son, we go to family campsites where young kids are more prevalent.

The van shown in the advert is a 2006 van. The x250 model is much better.. I'm 6ft 4 and the drop down bed is massive. I've laid on it. Unlike most a class vans the drop down bed is not transverse in nature and is 200cm long. I think it's an amazing van from a world class constructor. I would buy one myself if it was not for me needing a garage in the van.

The westfalia James Scott is another pvc with this type of configuration but on a Merc chassis. Both beds on this one are big. Westfalia nugget is similar but on a transit base. Again, very rare in the UK. Take a peek.
userpepe63
Posted: 30 April 2020 5:50 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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The majority of our camping(be it tent or previous van conversions & MHs, or our current DIY "festival-camping-van")has been on Music festival sites (and festival-based group gatherings on basic campsites). Being honest apart from maybe when their children were very young, I can't picture anyone of us, or those around us, routinely sleeping 4 adults in a VW sized vehicle?

Of cause it's possible..and don't get me wrong the likes of that Concord is a lovely bit of kit (and the prevision to sleep 4 if need be, would be of benefit) but almost everyone we know and/or see, end up putting up an awning of sorts or an additional little tent.

userjonnybeare
Posted: 30 April 2020 6:18 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Derek Uzzell - 2020-04-30 2:37 PM

There’s an advert for a 2006-registered Concorde Compact here

https://www.somersetmotorhomecentre.co.uk/showroom/van-conversion/concorde-compact/



I saw that Concorde Compact, but looking at the dimensions 5.41 x 2.06 x 2.98 it's almost the same as the Exsis, however the Exsis looks bigger inside (from photos at least). Also the Exsis SG has a better lounge layout imo, with both front seats swivelling to make a larger area and more seating, the second bed is also bigger in the Exsis.

One advantage of the Concorde is that you can get it on the newer Fiat (2007 onwards), whereas the Exsis you're stuck with the older model.



Edited by jonnybeare 2020-04-30 6:19 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 1 May 2020 8:39 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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


This Practical Motorhome review of a 2010 Concorde Compact

https://www.practicalmotorhome.com/reviews/motorhome/30023-concorde-compact

indicates that the narrow ‘double bed’ of the pre-X250 version has shrunk to 78cm width (31inches) and is described in the article as a "sizeable single bed (194cm x 78cm) which is made up out of the dinette”.

If the selection criteria you specified in your original posting - "I'm looking for a motorhome, needs to be under 5.5m (due to driveway), sleep 4 and include a washroom/shower, up to about £25k” - are ALL ‘must haves’ I believe you’ll need to accept that short panel-van-conversion models are a non-starter as they will be just too narrow.

Even if you move the goal-posts by dropping the washroom/shower requirement, squeezing 2 adults and 2 sizeable children into such a small vehicle for a week would be verging on the masochistic. The 5.5m maximum length is the main stumbling block - you really need a longer motorhome - and pepe63’s earlier suggestion to keep the vehicle in local storage seems to be the only realistic solution.
userRuby(Exsis)
Posted: 1 May 2020 9:22 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Location: Bath Hymer Exsis SG 2006 Red


Hello Jonnybearde,
I started a longer reply but lost it all, perhaps timed out as I thought about it ?
You have observed the downstairs attributes of the Exsis SG correctly.
The huge upper bed can be stowed completely made up with bedding and still leaves room in the formed front locker for most of the downstairs bedding.
The dinette(only battery/ electrics inside) and side bunks are all storage - no water tank/heater as most modern vans.
The en-suite rear bathroom has a large wardrobe which rivals most 6m vans.
WE have used the van with 4 adults in summer (site with facilities and EHU) several time quite comfortably and even 3 or 4 for a night or two in winter.
If you chose a small van you will not be disappointed with the space and facilities that the Exsis Sg affords in that size of van.
There is also much support on our website, which is another benefit for older vehicles

https://www.exsisowners.com/

The X244 base vehicle was all sorted by that era and has been very reliable. The perhaps more refined early X250 base vehicle had many well reported teething problems.... not Fiats proudest moment.
Fred
userjonnybeare
Posted: 1 May 2020 9:51 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Thanks Fred, have you had many problems with yours over the years, e.g. rust, or anything major needing replacing?
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 1 May 2020 11:43 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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


The Exsis Owners website is a mine of informarion relating to these Hymer models, particularly the “Little Exsis Book” that runs to 751 pages.
userjonnybeare
Posted: 1 May 2020 11:54 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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That's an incredible resource, quite overwhelming at 996 pages when I just downloaded!
userMag&Hal
Posted: 2 May 2020 11:12 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
Pops in from time to time

Posts: 119
100
Location: Birmingham - Avantgarde 200 2.0 Peugeot Boxer


Autoquest Avantgarde 100 and 200 both come in under 5.5m. Overhead cab sleeping for kids and a user payload ~450kgms
userwilliam49
Posted: 3 May 2020 8:33 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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I would suggest a Sea Sloop 5 but its 5.7m and rare

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPedQtK3liA
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 3 May 2020 8:42 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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


Mag&Hal - 2020-05-02 11:12 AM

Autoquest Avantgarde 100 and 200 both come in under 5.5m. Overhead cab sleeping for kids and a user payload ~450kgms


The Avantgarde 200 and 100 models were suggested as possibilities on the first page of this thread, but the 200 has a rear U-lounge (so 3-point seat-belts on the cab seats only) and this 2006 review is very critical of the 100’s beds.

https://www.practicalmotorhome.com/reviews/motorhome/30247-compass-avantgarde-100




useranymore
Posted: 3 May 2020 2:30 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Location: SW Scotland - Wingamm Micros LHD 2016


I'm a bit late to this party but my experience of our Micros might still be of help to the OP. We added the official Wingamm additional berth kit to our Micros and in all honesty it wasn't money well spent. An additional cushion is supposed to add one sleeping position to the lower bed, but this doesn't work well on a bed which is already compromised in length. Two smaller children might be able to sleep on the bed thus extended, but my view is that for adults, it's a non-starter.

The additional berth kit also includes a rectangular table top instead of the oval top which comes as standard. While this might make for a better bed base, it made it near impossible to move around in the vehicle when installed as a table. We were fortunate in being able to revert to the original table top which the dealer still had.

The Micros is a delight in every other way for us as a retired couple. Best of luck to the OP in finding something suitable.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 3 May 2020 3:20 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Derek Uzzell - 2020-04-29 6:44 PM

Brian Kirby - 2020-04-29 5:13 PM

jonnybeare - 2020-04-29 2:56 PM................................I think of all the suggestions the Hymer Exsis SG looks pretty much exactly what we need. I think I'll try to find one to have a look around when the corona chaos is over.

Thanks for all your help :)

One for sale here: https://tinyurl.com/ydynd5mj Ledbury. Looks good on paper (but then it is being advertised for sale! ), and a fair price.


Two snags with the Exsis at Ledbury - it’s LHD and JB wants RHD, and it’s the SK version with three sleeping berths and JB needs four.

There’s a 2006 model-year Hymer Exsis brochure here

https://www.exsisowners.com/downloads/2006_Exsis_Brochure.pdf

and the SK and SG layouts are shown on Page 21.

……………....

I had intended posting this ea4rlier, but I've been a bit tied up! Looking at page 21 of the Hymer brochure linked above by Derek, I gained the impression that the 4th berth was an optional extra on both the SK and SG versions (the 4th berth, and extra width to create it is referenced "SA", which is noted bottom right "(SA) = optional extra", but is not stated as specific to either version). If that is a correct interpretation, I suspect the rarity factor of a 4 berth of either version will be further increased. Can anyone confirm either way?
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 3 May 2020 6:16 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 


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


This Practical Motorhome "Used Hymer Exsis buyer's guide”

https://www.practicalmotorhome.com/advice/50690-used-hymer-exsis-buyers-guide

reads as follows:

The layouts

Both of the Exsis variants featured the same full-width changing and showering area at the rear, including the toilet, a natty swing-out sink and a wardrobe.

A forward lounge was ahead of the centrally located kitchen.

The Exsis SK had twin inward-facing sofas, each of which could be specified as being able to be converted into a dedicated forward-facing travel seat with a three-point inertia-reel safety belt.

The Hymer Exsis SG had a shorter kitchen, a two-seat half-dinette on the UK nearside, and an inward-facing seat on the offside. The half-dinette provided two rear travel seats.

Both variants featured a drop-down over-lounge bed. An additional single (SK) or double bed (SG) could be made by lowering the permanently secured table and shuffling the cushions around.

This generation of Exsis was built on the 3500kg chassis, with the heavier 3850kg version available as an extra-cost option.


The drawings on Page 21 of the 2006 Exsis brochure clearly show the SK model’s longer kitchen and photos on Page 17 show the transverse bed constructed from an SK’s pair of settees. Logically, then, the bottom bed’s optional increase in width frpm 90cm to 115cm should apply only to to the SG model. Presumably the option would require extra cushions and support and (possibly) intrude into the area of the entrance door’s opening.

As Ruby(Exsis) owns an SG model, he may well be able to advise about this.
userjonnybeare
Posted: 21 July 2021 10:25 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Sorry to bump an old thread, but after much (covid) delay we bought a 2009 Adria Twin and absolutely love it.

It turns out the compromise was length, we stretched to 6m and it just about fits behind our house, it overhangs our neighbour's garden by about 30cm but luckily they are lovely and don't mind.

Plus with some crafty placement of two storage crates and re-arranging of the lounge cushions it actually makes a second double bed for the kids.

Completely converted to van life now, going away nearly every weekend

userpepe63
Posted: 21 July 2021 11:29 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Well done! Glad you got sorted!
The Adria Twin is a good, highly-thought-of, van and to my way of thinking is probably as good a van as you could get/need for the job.

(At the ages you said yours were, the following will probably be too small for your children?..but still, may be of interest (assuming you haven't seen them before? - https://www.cabbunk.co.uk/# ?
userjonnybeare
Posted: 21 July 2021 1:42 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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Thanks.

Yes cabbunk would probably be too small now, cool idea though.

userjimbo07g41
Posted: 21 July 2021 8:41 PM
Subject: RE: Suggestions for a (really) compact motorhome
 
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pepe63 - 2020-04-29 10:51 AM

Mornin' JB..

Another possibly daft question- How do you envisage using this van, how often (and for how long each time)?

If you're thinking of touring for weeks at time (during the school summer holidays), maybe abroad, and maybe moving on every few days, then something quite small that entails you putting up awnings and/or tents will become a pain in the backside..

If on the other hand, it's just for the occasional week long holiday, with some additional "impromptu" long weekends, then a short-ish, van conversion(as I linked to above) "may" possibly do you?

But do be aware, that by the time you have loaded an awning/ tent(s), sleeping bags/pillows, camp-beds,camping chairs/table(s),4 sets of clothing, 4 lots of footwear(that will get muddy!), 4 lots of coats(that will get wet!). etc etc, you do run the risk of having a van with "facilities" that are pretty much unusable until everything is disgorged on 'site..
( we have festival friends, some of which run quite swanky VW conversions...but the things are rammed to the gunnels, when they first roll up on 'site).

..and at some point, (usually whilst wrestling with a awning/ tent in the wind/rain) you will ask yourself ".. why have we spent XX 1000s on a ******* motorhome, only to end up putting a ****** tent up!?..." )

£20-25000 could get a decent sized,over-cab "family van"(possibly with bunk beds)? Obviously that wouldn't be as versatile(or as "cool"?) as a small van conversion,but until I'd explored the availability/cost of storage, I wouldn't fully rule one out..?

It all depends on what you actually "want"?
(but want we "want", is not always the same as what we "need")

I have a La Strada Trento with a pull down bed and double bed below. Has a shower and toilet. Been brilliant and it is 5.6 meters long. If you want to use it abroad you need it to be self contained. The French for example let you pull up at any aire and let you stay overnight.

So consider vans, but will be difficult given your dimensions. Autosleeper Symbol is compact.
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