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Durability of interior & grandkids!


Zafira

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Hi - retirement beckons & the search is on-going for a suitable motorhome, though a (new) 3-4 berth PVC is the variety at the top of the list at the mo (narrower, less prone to leaks?) but one of the prime considerations is the durability of the internal fittings, shower room, etc to withstand the growing angst of x2 little grandsons - any observations/comments anyone is able to provide would be most welcome, and thanks to one and all in anticipation of your knowledgeable replies! :-D :-D
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

 

In my experience the inside of pretty much any van of any price consists of much the same fittings made by the same few companies and none of them impress me for solidity of construction or potential durability.

 

Maybe the best way to avoid excessive damage and depreciation is to try and drum into inexperienced users the inherrent design and construction failings of modern vans?

 

Or buy an already scruffy one and let someone else suffer some of that depreciation!

 

 

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Family holidays are the most stressful ones, you have to lay down the ground rules from the outset, but still need 360 vision 24/7. The only problem we had this year was a pot of chocolate mousse over one duvet cover, the result of just once easing up on the rules.
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No magic answer, just vigilance and discipline. 

 

Modern parenting seems to involve endless negotiation and empathisation, so that the developing mind can explore options while learning.  It is very difficult for parents to stay on the case consistently enough to maintain control and so collateral damage becomes inevitable.

 

Once the parents have gone you can however terrorise the little sods in the old fashioned way, without actually resorting to violence of course, then they learn the rules and do as they are told!

 

Rules should include no touching window catches and other flimsy (i.e. non-childproof) items, to minimise unnecessary damage.  No "playing rough" inside the MH, only drawing (on the paper not on the table) and time-rationed video games and TV.

 

Good luck!

 

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If your grandchildren are like mine they'll appreciate taking trips with you in your motorhome. Ours love it! We don't have "rules", we just ask them to look after things and they do! At age 8 and 10 they understand what you tell them. There are some important things which both adults and children need to understand...

 

1. Nothing needs forcing. If it isn't opening/moving/closing/raising/lowering it is because you are not doing it properly so ask granny or granddad.

2. Shoes are for outside, not inside.

3 If you can't reach, ask someone for help. No-one needs to climb on the furniture!

 

The two grandsons also take great responsibility - they want to know how everything works and want to help with jobs, even emptying the toilet container and recharging with chemicals.

 

We have lots of games (no TV or electronic devices) which we play with them and we get as much out of their company as we hope they are getting out of ours.

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The smaller the van, the greater the knocks because there is less room to move about. Narrower vans are worse. Imagine sitting inside a short, narrow van with two grandsons with the rain beating down outside. The grandkids will have to sit still for long periods on what may be less than comfortable seats - unless they get the cab seats. It has all the makings of a stressful break.

 

If you can pick and choose how often you take away the grandkids, then taking them out for a couple of days at a time when the weather's nice in a PVC should be OK. Also buying second hand could reduce the pain of the damage done to your van. By the way, adults can damage a van more than children because of lesser mobility. I don't remember our kids doing any damage in 10 years of motorhoming and they were not angels.

 

A 4 berth motorhome may cost more and so you may want to reflect on how many times you can cope with the grandsons. Is it worth the extra money?

 

If taking the grandsons is going to be a regular occurrence, look at the family van models used by hire companies.

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My thanks to everyone for their responses, certainly given us food for thought. ............... let the research begin on suitable tent "hook-up" for alongside the potential m/home! Does anyone have any comments re: Hymer fittings durability as the Exsis-i 414 is also on the possibles list?

Many thanks in anticipation again :-D

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Fittings in the Hymer Exsisi range should be fine.

 

The vans in the range are narrow and this compromises internal space and bed length. It has three floor levels although only the difference between the kitchen area/door and dinette/cab is likely to lead to trips and falls unless people pick up their feet all the time. Be sure the table height isn't just right to dent the grandsons heads. The table cannot be removed temporarily.

 

It would be better for the grandsons to have the rear bedroom. It could also be their play area during the day - a sort of tent in a van. If they sleep in the drop down bed, then it will mean early to bed for all. The drop down bed has a safety net for children. Oh, have you worked out how 4 can watch the TV?

 

The bathroom is tight for space. Drop down sinks are less robust than fixed sinks. I doubt an adult will be able to shower in comfort in the bathroom [have you had a mock trial?] although it should be fine for the grandsons if they can manage to shower on their own. Otherwise you will need to rely on site facilities - we do.

 

The Exsisi 504 is slightly longer with a tapered rear bed. The 574, 564 or 578 would be my choice for two adults and two children although in addition to being longer, they are heavier.

 

We have a BClass 504 which is the same length as the Exsis 414 but slightly wider. We have a single rear bed instead of a double. Consequently, our bathroom has more space but my wife still finds it too small [we tend to use site facilities] and our kitchen is just a little bit bigger. Even so, the smallish internal space means knocks are inevitable. The layout suits us two but I don't see it as being a comfortable family van.

 

If you can cope with the space constraints, the 414 is a nice van for a couple and with patience, be OK for occasional short trips way with the grandsons.

 

One final point, make sure the grandkids can be securely restrained in their seats when travelling.

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