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Hi guys

We are just back from NEC cracking motor homes cracking prices as well!!


I retire at the end of May and we are looking to travel. We want


2 birth, fixed bed or beds and probably coach built


Price range circa £30K probably pre owned


We live on the Nth Wales Shropshire border


Can you veterans suggest a year, model and even dealer who will give us reliability and value for money


Any other suggestions to assist will be appreciated




Glyn D

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Guest Tracker

Hi Glyn and welcome to the madhouse!


Your questions would get a better response if you titled them according to waht you want to know! For example, this thread could be called 'Used coachbult circa £30k' or something similar, that way anyone scanning down the lkist of topics would see without opening it what it was all about. That's not meant as a criticism - more a bit of guidance! Hope it does not offend you!


For £30 there are indeed some cracking vans out there and the next thing to decide is whether you have a maximum length and weight in mind as that will determine to a large extent what lauout you can get.


The main difference with fixed bed vans is the living and lounging area and those shorter vans with the continental style half dinette are er - shorter - but have quite uncomfortable lounging facilities and reduced living area compared to the larger UK style of lounge where you can put your feet up after a hard day's holidaying and relax in style.


Also with many of these vans the washroom is far from ideal so you need to go in there, shut the door and go through the motions of the three main functions that the room offers and determine whether there is enough elbow room to wash, shave, shower and do the paperwork after using the loo!


Other important aspects are kitchen worktops if you like cooking, bed sizes - can be quite cosy, fresh water, battery and gas capacities - more so if you want to get off the beaten track and not use too many sites, storage - more so if you want to go for longer trips, payload - very important as the clutter expands to fill the available spaces. I could go on!


Why not hire a van for a few days and see how you get on? It will at least tell you what you don't like and could save you thousands if you got it wrong firts time - like so many before you!


There are a couple of dealers worth avoiding buying from as they are notorious for poor service and I will send you those by pm. You can still look at their vans for ideas though!


Enough already!


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Hello Glyn,


Tracker has given you some very useful advise. I would just emphaise his point that you hire a vehicle for a few days before buying.

We spent ages looking at different models and layouts before deciding on a Chausson. Hired one for the weekend and found the layout totally unsuitable for our family requirements.

Back to the drawing board and brochures and second time around we settles on a more workable layout (accepting the compromises)

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Hi Glyn


I'd take note of the advice to hire first. We 'knew' what we wanted and hired. Totally changed our minds! I sometimes think we should have hired again especially when parking 7m of motorhome - fixed beds tend to make them long.



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If you're going to select a local dealer, and buy second hand, what you can get will largely be what that dealer has to sell.  Therefore, get to the dealer and inspect his stock.  If you want to select a particular layout, but aren't too fussed about the make, you will have to accept that you may have to travel much further to get it.  If you want to select a particular make/model, unless you get very lucky, you may have to travel across half the UK to find the only one that is for sale!  Many vans are catalogued by the various makers, but many of those that feature in their catalogues only sell in very small numbers.  Therefore, if what you seek is a popular layout, and was widely replicated, you will have a much easier time than if you happen to settle on one of the "rare" ones.

I agree about hiring first, always good advice.  However, before you hire, consider how, and where, you think you will use the van.  While doing this, visit as many dealerships as possible, and climb into everything they have to sell, new and old, and see which layouts you think will suit your expected MO.  Then, try to hire a similar one, so that you can test your assumptions.  Be warned, as you begin using a motorhome, your expectations, and your travel ambitions, change!

I'll add another thought.  British made van layouts are different to continental van layouts, as outlined by Tracker.  Britain is generally cooler, damper, and windier, than most of mainland Europe.  Our layouts reflect that, in being more suited to a more sedentary, indoor, existence.  On the other hand, the continental van layouts (like many continental houses), in general, suit a more outdoor life, with less expectation of indoor comfort, and less emphasis on "heavy" cooking, and eating, inside.  The main adaptation continental makers therefore make for the UK market, is adding an oven/grill.  As you explore, you will note that many right hand drive vans of continental manufacture have limited kitchen storage, and ridiculously placed, sometimes virtually unusable, small, ovens with dysfunctional grills.  In left hand drive form, as sold in Europe, these vans would generally have had a 3 burner hob only, and hence, better kitchen storage.  You can use a British layout van abroad, because you can always decamp outside whatever is inside.  However, if you intend extensive, or exclusive, UK use, especially spring/autumn use, think very carefully about layouts, and how they might work if spending substantial periods of time indoors: for example, if passing wet, blustery, March days in a continental style van.

Buying the first van is fraught with unexpected pitfalls, and many get it wrong.  So, don't rush in - unless you are prepared to spend quite a lot of money changing your mind.  Trial and error is a costly hobby!!  :-)

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