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Muddywheels

Ex Vanner looking at Motorhomes

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Hi folks ūüĖź

 

Some of you may know me from Caravantalk or even various Land Rover Forums

 

Due to a house move I reluctantly gave up pulling tin tents back in 2015 after nearly 30 years on and off - prior to that it was my dad that pulled them for approx 10 years of my childhood so you could say touring is part of my DNA :D

 

So I'm now getting the urge to get back on the road but we downsized from a big fuel guzzling luxury 4x4 to a PHEV and don't want to change vehicle or tow a small vanūü§Ē

 

Therefore I've been looking at Motorhomes and thought where better to do some research than here!

 

Looking around I've shortlisted some 6m motorhomes with pull down beds and viewed a Swift Bessacarr 524 which I really really like:wub:

 

I would appreciate any tips and thoughts particularly regarding practicality of 6m MH e.g.¬†parking as swmbo isn't into cycling and last 18 months my health has deteriorated so walking long distances isn't as easy as it used to beūüė≥

 

Looking forward to sharing and learning from you all ūüĎć

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Welcome to Motorhome Talk. I confess that I do not contribute too often here but I do lurk in the background and keep up to date with what is going on. I am therefore sure that any questions you may have will be quickly addressed by those experienced in 'tin tents with motors'.

Kermit.

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Muddywheels  welcome to the forum!

 

Parking a 6 metre vehicle is something that you will quickly get used to, so therefore, not much of a problem. 

 

What kind of things do you intend using the new vehicle for? Local trips? Foreign trips? Long stay? short stay?

 

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Cheers Scania :Thankyou:

 

I've driven big 4x4s for many years and pulled twin axles so the MH should be a doddle after this - main concern is will a 6m MH fit in public car park spaces or would I be searching for places to park?

 

When we had the Twin axles we had acres of space for 2 adults and a Westie - the 6m MH is a lot smaller but the pull down bed, separate rear shower/wc and captain chairs is very appealing vs towing :unsure:

 

When we both worked we used to spend most school holidays in caravans  (1-2 weeks at a time normal/5-6 weeks in summer). Now we are planning mid week breaks, longer trips (avoiding school holidays) and the DREAM is winter sun - my parents winter in Portugal so we'd like to drive down and use them for base (washing machine, etc) while we explore the region:wub:

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I see what you mean in regards to parking! I was thinking you meant reversing onto pitches, things like that. My own Camper is 6 metres long when travelling, and 6,7 when parked. Its also quite narrow. Parking it on public car parks here is no problem. How it is in the UK I cannot say. One of the others will be along soon and give better advice in regards to UK parking.

 

A max length of 6 metres here is ideal, as it travels on ferries at car prices. Very handy if ferries are used a lot.

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We have a dog so would probably use Tunnel even though Hull Ferry is nearest - not happy leaving dog in vehicle on a ferry :unsure:

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Glad you've mad contact with the MT crew now.

The main problem I've found with the MH is not so much whether it will physically fit into a parking space, but more the restrictions that others put upon the use of that space. Height barriers are the main problem in parking areas when visiting places, and on road parking, while often viable, have restrictive practices such as limited times, when all I want to do is browse around the village or town like any other visitor.

As a consequence when touring we tend to drive past the places with restrictions, and stop at places where we feel more welcome. That said, we do tow a small car at times and so can use the MH more like a caravan; that is to say we park in one place and tour the area in the car, then move on to another "base" and do the same from there.

RV on site.jpg

This is our previous outfit parked up in Brittany back in 2011

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That look more like a house on wheels Gordon :lol:

 

Would love something like that but swmbo will kill me if I suggest it - she's taking some convincing about a MH so might build up to that in the future ;)

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We moved from a caravan to a MH last year. Our caravan was 8m long plus the car so it made for a large lump our MH is only 7.5m so in some respects is easier. We visited the UK last year in our MH and did not experience any problems and we did a circle from Portsmouth to Cumbria and then back down the East side of England and back to Portsmouth. We chose our parking spots carefully, the biggest issue as already mentioned was the height barriers particularly at supermarket car parks. A bike or taxi sorted out other trips. Certainly in Europe a MH is less of an issue than the UK. A MH is a different experience from a caravan, we certainly wouldn't go back.

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1 hour ago, Muddywheels said:

That look more like a house on wheels Gordon :lol:

The replacement was a later version of the same model that we still have to this day.

RV at Hendra 2015.jpg

All good fun, and I trust you'll soon be enjoying your motorhome too

All the best,

Gordon.

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On ‚Äé14‚Äé/‚Äé03‚Äé/‚Äé2019 at 08:33, Muddywheels said:

 

 

I would appreciate any tips and thoughts particularly regarding practicality of 6m MH e.g.¬†parking as swmbo isn't into cycling and last 18 months my health has deteriorated so walking long distances isn't as easy as it used to beūüė≥

 

 

 

Muddywheels

 

Don't wise to pry but how limiting is your walking ability? I ask as there are many sites in the UK which are near to towns/villages or bus routes and trains. Even a 6m motorhome might be an issue in some places in terms of parking. We always look for places near to a bus stop or easy walking and occasionally use a local taxi. My left knee is pretty shot but I can fortunately walk a reasonable distance if I rest now and them. A coffee stop usually helps;)

 

On my website I have a series of campsite reviews and those that might be more suitable to motorhomers are listed with the little motorhome icon, have a look here   

 

David

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Thanks Klyne ūüĎć

 

2 years ago l thought I was pretty fit apart from a back problem I could manage - cycling, kayaking, long walks with the dog, etc

 

Christmas 2017 pain in groin diagnosed as a hernia which needed surgery and gone downhill since then 

 

Now left leg/hip/groin aches practically all the time, right knee is clicking/painful and generally all joints are hurting at different times - today it's left knee and right shoulder 

 

Been round in circles with medical experts - latest opinions are vitamin D deficiency, probably osteoarthritis and bursitis but awaiting more tests

 

So my plan is to slow down pace of life and return to touring again in the hope I will see some health benefits especially if we can get abroad for winter sun

 

Park and ride should¬†be useful in busy areas but we are happier in the countryside where 6m should be practical ūü§ě

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Interesting video. Who is this guy that presented it? He did make a couple of faulty statements by my way of thinking.

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14 hours ago, Scania said:

Who is this guy that presented it?

Andrew is a journalist who writes for various publications. As he's caravanned all his life he is well experienced with the hobby, and has produced a lot of helpful videos in relation to caravans and motorhomes, so I think we can forgive him an occasional inaccuracy.

When I've spoken to him it is clear that he's very much the outdoors type but he can also be seen at shows, such as those at the NEC each year. I know that quiet places, such as the Scottish islands are amongst his favourite places but he is widely travelled, and keen on walking, windsurfing, mountain biking and his motorcycle. He is currently 'living the dream' by travelling around with his trusty canine companion Dougal, staying in his Airstream caravan (or other caravans or motorhomes being tested) virtually full time. Dougal is often to be seen at Andrew's side, but doesn't have a speaking part in the videos ;)

 

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3 hours ago, Gordon said:

Andrew is a journalist who writes for various publications. As he's caravanned all his life he is well experienced with the hobby, and has produced a lot of helpful videos in relation to caravans and motorhomes, so I think we can forgive him an occasional inaccuracy.

 

 

I agree. Nobody is perfect,, we all make mistakes. So we can forgive his inaccuracies.

 

Given his experience, the one surprised me was his comment in regards to refrigerators. As advantage 8 for caravans, he stated something to the effect that they have three way fridges that run on battery power, mains or LPG, and campervans have compressor fridges. PVC's that I've seen here usually have 3 way fridges, not compressor ones. 

 

A while ago, someone on here mentioned that one big difference between European and British vehicles was that Motorhomes from Europe usually had garages, whereas they were uncommon in UK vehicles. If we assume that Andrew is correct as regards fridges, does that mean there are other big differences between motorhomes/PVC's/etc. depending on where they are built, and for which markets?

 

 

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Some american RVs have compressor fridges but I'm not aware of any European units that have them and they're more likely to have absorption units. The unit in our RV only works on gas or mains electricity (no 12V option for when travelling) however it is possible to run the onboard generator whilst on the move and power the fridge from that, or run it on gas as this too is designed to be used whilst the vehicle is in motion. Three way fridges tend to be fitted to European units.

The main differences between outfits from mainland Europe and UK derived models is determined by the way they are likely to be used. In the UK we tend to live in the caravan or motorhome, hence in general they have more luxurious interiors and more gadgets, while abroad the 'living' is generally done outside of the unit, and the inside therefore biased more towards sleeping. European vans don't often have a grill, or carpets, while UK derived outfits have both of these as standard. Garages, or large storage areas, are certainly more common on EU units where they're often underneath a raised fixed rear bed, whereas UK units are more likely to have low level seating for daytime use that will convert to beds at night, in place of fixed beds. We are starting to see more pull down beds in recent motorhomes and I believe that's a trend that is likely to continue.

Gordon.

 

 

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I'm looking at pull down bed model as it's¬†really compact (6m) but¬†still¬†give full width wc with seperate shower¬†at rear - have previously owned twin axle caravans with island beds but then had to pay for storage - motorhomes with island beds¬†are too big for my drive and would need to tow a car for getting around when away ‚ėĻ

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Gordon, thanks for posting that. I enjoyed reading it.

 

As you know, I travel out of this country into Europe on a regular basis. Based on this, I'd like to add these comments.

 

In regards to carpets. Here, there are considered to be a cause of allergies from dust, etc that they collect. Especially here in Sweden, its not even common to have carpets in the home for this reason. Added to that, many newer motorhomes, such as my Adria have underfloor heating. Carpeting would negate the effects of this by adding insulation.

 

Grilles are a different kettle of fish. Here at least, grilled food is considered to be unhealthy. It is as you so rightly say, Here we tend to live more outside the vehicle, so have less need for gadgets.

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7 minutes ago, Muddywheels said:

I'm looking at pull down bed model as it's¬†really compact (6m) but¬†still¬†give full width wc with seperate shower¬†at rear - have previously owned twin axle caravans with island beds but then had to pay for storage - motorhomes with island beds¬†are too big for my drive and would need to tow a car for getting around when away ‚ėĻ

 

Just a thought. Would it be easy enough for you to climb up to a pull down bed given the health problems you mentioned previously? I had enough problems with the cabover bed on my previous motorhome. That was 5,3 metres long, incidentally. Even if it did not have a full width wc/shower, there was enough room for me, and I'm not exactly a tiddler…:D

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The model we looked at bed looks to pulls down low enough to not need ladder provided nobody is making up lounge bed below which they won't be as only 2 of usūü§ě

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Some PVC's have compressor fridges but they are generally smaller than those fitted in caravans and larger motorhomes.

 

David

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19 hours ago, Scania said:

In regards to carpets. Here, there are considered to be a cause of allergies from dust, etc that they collect.

I completely understand the concerns with carpets. Most UK homes do have them however so I suppose it's natural to also want them in a caravan or motorhome. Some manufacturers do have a vinyl floor covering, and then add removable carpet on top - thus giving the owners the option of carpets or not. This arrangement not only makes cleaning the carpet easier, but allows for it's complete removal if staying where mud or other dirt is likely to be carried into the 'van on shoes.

Our motorhome has a combination of vinyl in the main living area, kitchen, and washroom, while carpet is used for the rear bedroom, and the cab area. I have a removable rug in the centre of the lounge, mainly because I don't want to walk on a cold floor. Of course this rug can be removed and stored in the garage area when in a more sunny climate.

Gordon

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We always remove carpets because of dog and store them for next owner so they're like new :D

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