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Pavb2

Buying a Motorhome

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Hi all

 

Me and the wife have had a caravan for a few years now but we would like to get a motor home and tour around Europe. I don’t want anything too long that’s a struggle to drive and had looked at maybe a second hand 4/5 berth Hymer 544 with the drop down bed and kitchen at the back. At the same time As I’m buying second hand I don’t want to narrow my choice too much so does anyone have any recommendations. Budget £15 - £30 k.
 

There’s pros and cons with respect to left or right hand drive I don’t mind either way. Any advice much appreciated.

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Hi Pav, welcome to the site.

With such a huge choice of makes and spec's available it is important to understand what exactly you will use the MH for and what you really need inside it for your own comforts.

If used mainly in the UK with the occasional trip abroad then a RH Drive makes more sense but general condition inside and out with a Service History is a bonus.

I personally would suggest buying from a dealer rather than private, you should get new MOT and limited Warranty for peace of mind.

Either way check everything works, Water, Gas, Electrical and if coachbuilt look for signs of water ingress.

Good luck with your search

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Our MH is LHD and to be honest that has never been a major issue when driven in the UK, apart from the obvious, and that is that the access door is on the UK offside (right side). Thus when alighting in a layby you have to be extra aware of passing traffic, and some sites insist that I park "nose in" on a pitch to put the door on the UK side of the pitch. Conversely having the access door on the right is a bonus when abroad.

If you do opt for LHD, take a careful look as some A-Class models have a "cab" door on the left, so allowing safe access from the LHS. Should you opt for a chassis/cab (B-Class) then naturally the cab will have doors either side, so diminishing the problem when stopping temporarily en route, however you may still be instructed to park the "wrong way round" once on a UK site.

Brian's advice to purchase from a dealer makes perfect sense, and if at least placing a deposit by credit card, you will have additional protection shou there be problems with the vehicle.

Personally I have a problem with the Ducato/Boxer cab, in that the vertical bar between the quarter light and the wind down window next to the driver, obscures the rear view mirror when I have the seat set for my long legs. Unfortunately a large number of MH models use this chassis cab so my personal choice is somewhat limited. See this thread.

Time to look at the manufacturers' websites and brochures methinks, as you should have plenty of time to browse the options at the moment.

All the very best, and welcome to Motorhome Talk.

Gordon.

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22 hours ago, Pavb2 said:

Hi all

 

Me and the wife have had a caravan for a few years now but we would like to get a motor home and tour around Europe. I don’t want anything too long that’s a struggle to drive and had looked at maybe a second hand 4/5 berth Hymer 544 with the drop down bed and kitchen at the back. At the same time As I’m buying second hand I don’t want to narrow my choice too much so does anyone have any recommendations. Budget £15 - £30 k.
 

There’s pros and cons with respect to left or right hand drive I don’t mind either way. Any advice much appreciated.

I would think carefully about the internal design, do you actually need a drop down bed? We started out with a 7.5 metre Bailey 740 SE and had no problems in touring Europe with that. However we did tend to use campsite rather than Aires. Probably a sensible general purpose length would be around 7 metres. We have since changed to to a smaller Bailey of 6.6 metres which suits us fine but we have not been abroad in it yet. The trouble is that in current times you are very restricted in what you can go and view. I appreciate that you want to buy second hand but having a good look round the various dealers or even the NEC shows would help you firm up on layouts. 

 

David

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Thanks for all the replies much appreciated.

 

At first I thought having the drop down bed would give more living space but not not sure how much this should affect my decision for example the Hobby in the link below seems to be a nice option and a fixed bed does appeal to me.
 

I’ll definitely be buying from a dealer as hopefully I’ll get something  for my caravan. There’s only so much you can do online so when things get back to normal I’ll go round a few dealers. I agree with the advice given here it’s only when you go around looking you pick up information almost without realising. 

 

https://www.gumtree.com/p/campervans-motorhomes/hobby-toskana-600fl-2008-4-berth-motorhome-with-fixed-french-bed-for-sale/1369934939

 

 

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I think 7.4 m is good size because if your going to be traveling for longer periods the motorhome can feel like crammed in and over that length would then limit some European sites as they can be tight on pitches . My motorhome is RHD but has a door on the continental side which is not an issue .

 

Storage is important and do you need a garage ? Thing like sun loungers and water / waste containers take up space .

 

 

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8 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

My motorhome is RHD but has a door on the continental side which is not an issue.

Slightly off topic but. . .

Ours is LHD, and actually I prefer that as I'm unlikely to want to overtake anything in the UK, and which side the door is placed is of little consequence once on site. What would be nice though is an access door on the left of the vehicle to use when travelling in the UK. If the next MH is LHD then I think it will have to have a cab/driver's door also on the left.

Gordon.

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On 08/05/2020 at 17:15, Gordon said:

Slightly off topic but. . .

Ours is LHD, and actually I prefer that as I'm unlikely to want to overtake anything in the UK, and which side the door is placed is of little consequence once on site. What would be nice though is an access door on the left of the vehicle to use when travelling in the UK. If the next MH is LHD then I think it will have to have a cab/driver's door also on the left.

Gordon.

 

Having a C class with a driver's and passengers door means we can leave and enter through the passengers door if parked in a position where it would be dangerous to use the habitation door . .

 

There is a motorhome with habitation doors both sides available .

https://www.tcmotorhomes.com/new-motorhomes/comming-soon/Chausson/N652

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Thanks CD,

Our A-Class has just the one door (on the right) and an 'emergency escape window' (on the left) but other similar A-Class RVs do also have a driver's door on the LHS, so something to be considered next time :)

The Chausson is certainly a nice looking 'van.

Gordon.

 

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On 09/05/2020 at 18:26, Gordon said:

Thanks CD,

Our A-Class has just the one door (on the right) and an 'emergency escape window' (on the left) but other similar A-Class RVs do also have a driver's door on the LHS, so something to be considered next time :)

The Chausson is certainly a nice looking 'van.

Gordon.

 

 

When a US RV or Fiver is imported into Australia they have to convert it to fit a hab door to the nearside as they have to be able to not step out into traffic .

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10 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

When a US RV or Fiver is imported into Australia they have to convert it to fit a hab door to the nearside as they have to be able to not step out into traffic .

That's actually a good safety point but one that is not enforced here in the UK. As a matter of interest, does the same rule apply to a normal touring caravan (as opposed to a fifth wheeler)?

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On 12/05/2020 at 19:25, Gordon said:

That's actually a good safety point but one that is not enforced here in the UK. As a matter of interest, does the same rule apply to a normal touring caravan (as opposed to a fifth wheeler)?

 

Majority of their caravan market is UK manufactured imports so would not need to be modified but a US caravan would need changing .

 

They used to need the axles changed on the fivers as they can have electric brakes up to 4500 kg  .

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