Jump to content

First family motor home


Nathan73

Recommended Posts

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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand you point with the bunks, but I'm thinking g the rear lounge gives us more options? The kids will want the overcab without a doubt, then me and the wife can make the dinette bed up but still have the rear lounge to watch tv have a beer etc?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Nathan and welcome to the forum,

 

A couple of things come to mind...

 

First, As you will almost certainly have to get a model with a dinette (or more likely half dinette) to get the extra seat belts then you may find that dinette's made into beds don't always make the best beds. I think Lounge areas have more seating area to start and then offer a better bed, have a look at a few made up to see what you think or compare dimensions in brochures.

 

Second, do you have category C1 on your driving licence? If not then you will be restricted to vehicles with a MTPLM (GVW) of less than 3,500 kg. This may restrict what vehicles you are looking at or the payload you can carry. Be very careful of quoted 'Unladen' or 'MIRO' figures and always get a weighbridge ticket for any vehicle you are considering to make absolutely certain you can stay legal. There have been a lot of threads on here about payload, may be worth reading up on a few.

 

Just my thoughts and opinions for what they are worth.

Keith.

 

PS And dinette beds quite often restrict access to overcab beds once made up as you normally need to remove the ladder to make space, what happens then if the kids want the loo in the night?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fact.

You never get it right first time.

 

The kids will soon be 8 and 11, will they still want to share?

Take them with you when you start looking, their own little den with their own toys and a curtain to pull across is a big advantage.

For four, a six berth is useful as you don't have to make up beds and the kids have the option of facing each other over a table when travelling to play games.

Just watch that 3500K limit if either of you passed your test after 1997.

You need C1 on your licence.

 

(If you look at "a5881" on eBay you will see what I mean, it's ours for sale but the broker has asked too much for it, so it will be within your budget now)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Billggski - 2015-12-02 8:18 AM

 

 

For four, a six berth is useful as you don't have to make up beds and the kids have the option of facing each other over a table when travelling to play games.

You need C1 on your licence.

)

Should not have table up, when travelling, could cause serious injury in an accident. Also make sure that seats will accommodate the child booster seats. Payload VERY important with 4 travelling . Bear in mind that the majority of motorhomers are mostly retired and only 2 passengers,

PJay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you don't have bunks, you'll need a 5 berth or separate beds for the children because growing children fight and fall ill so need to be separated from time to time. They also grow up surprisingly quickly so whatever you buy should have one eye on the future when you will have two teenagers. Are the children the same gender? We motorhomed with two boys of a similar age. Ours found the UK a bit boring but loved continental touring.

 

An older van may have a lighter Mass in Running Order which may give you just enough payload, if you're careful, to stick within 3,500kg. The Escape and Autoquest range give you a chance of having just enough loading margin. We motorhomed as a family of 4 plus dog with a loading margin of 400kg [but no bikes]. If you can go above 3,500 then your motorhome options increase. Do some broad internet research to find problems with the vans you are interested in buying.

 

There are numerous guides for new motorhomers on the Out&About Live website so please make sure you work through those.

 

Dealer support will be important so choose your dealer with care. Search the internet for comments on your 'local' dealers and see many are an Approved Workshop - if so look at its scores for servicing. Also make sure you can store the size of van you buy without unnecessarily annoying any neighbours and breaching property restrictions.

 

Lots to think about. Take it a step at a time. Do your search and ask questions and you'll be fine.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Op lives on the Isle of Man, so I guess dealers are in short supply

Location is a problem for some, as most of the dealers are around midlands and Yorkshire area. We don't have a great deal of choice locally , as we live in a sailing community area, so easier to find a boat than a van!

PJay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike88 - 2015-12-02 2:06 PM

 

It sounds as though you may have passed your driving test after 1997 and that will require a motorhome with a MLW of in excess of 3.5Kgs. That being the case you need to check whether you are licensed to drive it.

 

Agree Mike

I don't think younger people are aware that there are restrictions on Motor Homes. They see all the old people( I include myself) driving them , and think well if they can drive large MH, so can I !!!

 

For what it's worth , I think Caravans are better for families, and cheaper to buy, no road tax or separate insurance, and as the owners still have to work, have limited time , to justify the cost. I would have thought that kids would prefer to be taken to the seaside, and play on the beach, rather than be driven around , which Mh are more suited to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have a look at the Elddis Autoquest 180 which is six berth, rear lounge, overcab and dinette. Although the dinette bed on this type of motorhome is usually only 3-4 feet wide I have come up with a design that enables extension of the width to a full 4'6" or more. If this is something of interest to anyone with a narrow dinette my design idea is being published in the February edition of Practical Motorhome.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

PJay - 2015-12-02 3:18 PM

 

Mike88 - 2015-12-02 2:06 PM

 

It sounds as though you may have passed your driving test after 1997 and that will require a motorhome with a MLW of in excess of 3.5Kgs. That being the case you need to check whether you are licensed to drive it.

 

Agree Mike

I don't think younger people are aware that there are restrictions on Motor Homes. They see all the old people( I include myself) driving them , and think well if they can drive large MH, so can I !!!

 

For what it's worth , I think Caravans are better for families, and cheaper to buy, no road tax or separate insurance, and as the owners still have to work, have limited time , to justify the cost. I would have thought that kids would prefer to be taken to the seaside, and play on the beach, rather than be driven around , which Mh are more suited to.

I passed my test aged 16 in 1989, caravans are only allowed on the IOM with a permit and as the bookings on the boat are paid for by the meter it's just not worth the hassle,as for driving a MH, I've driven vans af various sizes since leaving school I currently have a T5, have holiday end in a T2 and a swift, and with all due respect what my kids enjoy to do on holiday is no concern of yours, I'm after advice on a MH not parenting. We can walk to a lovely beach from our house, and we go camping in Devon a lot, I'd argue if your going to drive to the beach it's better to go in MH and wildcamp for a few nights and make an adventure out of the trip.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your comments are not particularly friendly especially as people are trying to help. I don't think for a minute that parenting advice was being offered and we had no idea that you lived on the IOM as you have not filled in your locational details. Neither were we aware that you had passed your driving test at such an early age. The point was made because many people are unaware that there are restrictions on those passing their tests after 1997 and was made in good faith.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With a young family a good sized external locker will be very handy, you don't want to be scrabbling around under seat bases looking for stuff. Or a van full of wet shoes, boots, chairs etc.....

Obviously payload is important, as is a decent water/waste capacity - unless you're regular users of sites.

 

Layout is a personal choice, and I won't try and educate you on that subject, but as has been suggested once a dinette double has been made up, in most cases this will restrict access from any over-cab bed.

 

I would be more concerned with build quality - and would avoid earlier Elddis, Swift [bessacar] models because the method of construction and design techniques are not the best - whether more recent methods have improved things remains to be seen...

 

With any second-hand purchase, checking for water ingress is critical. Don't assume a clean habitation check means all is well - do your own inspection, especially underneath, where the sides abut the floor/rear, and along side skirts for example.

I have witnessed some horrific structural damage on vans that appear to be immaculate on the surface...

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PJay - 2015-12-02 9:08 AM

 

Billggski - 2015-12-02 8:18 AM

 

 

For four, a six berth is useful as you don't have to make up beds and the kids have the option of facing each other over a table when travelling to play games.

You need C1 on your licence.

)

Should not have table up, when travelling, could cause serious injury in an accident. Also make sure that seats will accommodate the child booster seats. Payload VERY important with 4 travelling . Bear in mind that the majority of motorhomers are mostly retired and only 2 passengers,

PJay

In a lot of Continental motor homes the tables are fixed, earlier Continental vans are also more family friendly and designed for several occupants.UK vans are more suited to couples, at least the earlier ones, around the 30,000 mark.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If table fixed then obviously you have to keep it up. I was meaning tables that are not fixed permanently. Still not sure how big seats would be, with child seats on then, that is something one would have to check . I would not want a child seat close to the edge of the seat, (not like a car, where you have a wall at both sides)

PJay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

globebuster - 2015-12-06 9:44 AM

 

With a young family a good sized external locker will be very handy, you don't want to be scrabbling around under seat bases looking for stuff. Or a van full of wet shoes, boots, chairs etc.....

Obviously payload is important, as is a decent water/waste capacity - unless you're regular users of sites.

 

Layout is a personal choice, and I won't try and educate you on that subject, but as has been suggested once a dinette double has been made up, in most cases this will restrict access from any over-cab bed.

 

I would be more concerned with build quality - and would avoid earlier Elddis, Swift [bessacar] models because the method of construction and design techniques are not the best - whether more recent methods have improved things remains to be seen...

 

With any second-hand purchase, checking for water ingress is critical. Don't assume a clean habitation check means all is well - do your own inspection, especially underneath, where the sides abut the floor/rear, and along side skirts for example.

I have witnessed some horrific structural damage on vans that appear to be immaculate on the surface...

 

Thanks, when you say earlier swift what years do you class as early, I've seen a couple of 07 auto trail and Bessacar,

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike88 - 2015-12-06 8:56 AM

 

Your comments are not particularly friendly especially as people are trying to help. I don't think for a minute that parenting advice was being offered and we had no idea that you lived on the IOM as you have not filled in your locational details. Neither were we aware that you had passed your driving test at such an early age. The point was made because many people are unaware that there are restrictions on those passing their tests after 1997 and was made in good faith.

I'm not wanting to sound unfriendly but the post did say I'd be better off taking my children to the beach, and not driving around in a MH, I just thought it was off topic.

And in an earlier post on this thread I did say I was on the IOM.

Thanks xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nathan73 - 2015-12-06 12:06 PM

 

Mike88 - 2015-12-06 8:56 AM

 

Your comments are not particularly friendly especially as people are trying to help. I don't think for a minute that parenting advice was being offered and we had no idea that you lived on the IOM as you have not filled in your locational details. Neither were we aware that you had passed your driving test at such an early age. The point was made because many people are unaware that there are restrictions on those passing their tests after 1997 and was made in good faith.

I'm not wanting to sound unfriendly but the post did say I'd be better off taking my children to the beach, and not driving around in a MH, I just thought it was off topic.

And in an earlier post on this thread I did say I was on the IOM.

Thanks xx

 

You also need to say whether your children are the same sex or not because growing up you will need different accommodation unless you are thinking of not keeping your first motorhome for any length of time. Members of this Forum are generally very knowledgeable and helpful but do need all the facts to be able to help.

 

Our first motorhome was a Rapido 4 berth which we kept for 2 years, this had 4 belted seats and was okay for us two and the occasional Grandchild visit, but, the payload wasn't great for all the kit needed when taking children away, bikes etc, extra wet weather gear, it all mounts up, and with there being 4 of you, you will need to ensure you have enough payload. Quite a few of family Forum members have gone for 6 berth motorhomes for that reason even though they only have 4 belted seats. When you find your ideal motorhome you will know whether its right for you or not. Some Friends of ours have a 6 berth Mobilvetta with rear lounge (double bed), centre dinette (small double) overcab double, but the centre of the van is very tight but it does mean that as the children get older you have the accommodation to cope. Good luck in your search.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Take a long hard look at any Elddis or Swift group products -

 

Both now claim to have improved assembly techniques, but this is fairly recent with SoLiD from Elddis and whatever Swift call theirs.

 

Unfortunately, it would appear a lot of British built vans suffer from inherent design flaws in construction methods. Hopefully the recent changes will resolve this, although I'm yet to be convinced....

 

I'll add that I don't have a 'downer' on British manufacturers - indeed some continental vans are less than perfect, but my personal observations are that some of our major builders have not done a great job in the past....

 

For 30K and at this time of year, you should be able to find a later model van if you do the research - although not being on the mainland might be more of a struggle.

 

Good Luck with the search.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...