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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

My wife and I are considering the purchase of a Motorhome.We live in Glasgow and have two kids aged 7 and 5. I would hope that we could make much use of a MH throughout the year, escaping to Highlands for weekends, Ireland for short breaks and a 2-3 week trip to France in Summer.
Now for the big question. With a budget of approx 25k and wanting a minimum 4 berth MH what would you choose?
 

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Welcome Seanysean.

Try asking a difficult question for starters!! 8O 8O

Only one person (well, two if the wife allows you to have a say! :lol: ) can make that decision.

I notice you have paid your tenner, so I suggest you spend a few happy hours using the "Search" facility to browse the many opinions you will find on here.

Your question has been asked many times before, but it really is impossible to offer anything but a personal opinion . . . which is unlikely accurately to match your requirements. :?

Hope this helps a bit

Dave :D
 

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Anything NOT on a Fiat /Peugeot and you will get more van space for your cash with a coachbuilt.

Autotrail Scout (on a Merc) would fit your bill, we had one for 11 years.
Several of the larger Autosleepers on VW's
Rimor's on Merc's
Kentucky Camp (Merc) Built by Rimor
Lots of others I am sure others will suggest.
C.
 

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CliveMott said:
Anything NOT on a Fiat /Peugeot and you will get more van space for your cash with a coachbuilt.

C.
Oh ... please ! Not again! There are thousands of Fiat and Peugeot motorhome owners out here who have had nothing but pleasure and reliability from their Fiats and Peugeots and who would have no qualms about buying another. In fact I dare say that many of them have already had several of them. Mercs aren't all they're cracke up to be, either, especially when one considers that they're more money to start with.

You are doing the OP a disservice by knocking the most prolific motorhome base - and they haven't got there for no reason !
 

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We had around that budget last year and found we could save up to £5000 by buying private. Took ages though to find the right one once we had decided on the van we wanted, a 6 birth Swift Kontiki. One thing we did do though was spend well under that budget on the actual van as we also wanted some extras such as a Satellite TV Dome £1500, 100cc Scooter and Rack £1700, inflatable boat and outboard £1200 (now deemed to much hassle). We put asside some extra funds for repairs and fixes and also Insurance for the van and the bike. It all mounts up. Ours is on a Peugeot Boxer base which I think has a better reputation than Fiat and we havent had any real problems with it just bits and pieces you would do with any vehicle. Off to France for 10 weeks on Monday so that should be a real test! Good luck with your quest.
 

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Don't worry about the base chassis. No one chassis has been proved to be better than any other and they are all ultra reliable as motorhomes.
The most important consideration must be the interior layout. It must work and you can bet that your first will not be perfect. So if necessary buy below your budget and expect to change within the first year once you have realised what works and what doesn't.
Gerry
 

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Your kids are about the same ages as ours. First you need to make a list of things you want or don't want. An example is how you want to sleep. We started out thinking bunk beds for the kids and the double for us over the cab. But we saw the one we ended up buying and I got hooked on the double fixed bed in the rear. Our kids sleep together in the over cab bed. Later one will probably move to the bed at the table or we will have to trade.

Our ideal doesn't exist at least in a size and price range we would want: a double over a garage in the rear and two twins or bunks fixed somewhere else.
 

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Don't worry about the base chassis. No one chassis has been proved to be better than any other and they are all ultra reliable as motorhomes.
There are thousands of Fiat and Peugeot motorhome owners out here who have had nothing but pleasure and reliability from their Fiats and Peugeots and who would have no qualms about buying another. In fact I dare say that many of them have already had several of them.
Hi I agree with both of these quotes.

We changed our MH recently and were set against Fiat and Peugeot as base vehicles. We would have preferred to stay with VW but could not find the layout we wanted.

I would say size of MH you want to drive and have room to store and layout are the two most important factors. If you buy the wrong layout, it can be an expensive mistake. Ready made beds may save you a few minutes at bedtime but take up a lot of space.
What size washroom do you need? If you plan to use campsites with facilities a large shower and washroom are less important.
Your children will need room to play or at least there own space. The weather can mean days indoors.

We finished up with the layout we wanted but on a Peugeot Boxer base. We knew about the reverse judder problems and water in the engine compartment but both of these problems have been addressed by Peugeot.

We have a neighbour who is on his third MH with a Fiat base, all bought new and he feels the problems are not as bad as some people make out. He is very happy with his choice.

To sum up my thoughts size and layout are the most important factors to consider along with your budget.
Good luck
Regards Chris
 

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It's always interesting to read people's thoughts on this topic. We have two fixed beds in fact. The kids can play in the upper one and anyone of us can stretch out and read or watch a movie on the laptop in the rear one which also gives us a huge storage area under it. Our bath is the small Hymer convertible type. I'd like to have a separate shower but it would take up more space for something that's rarely used. The Hymer shower, closes off most of the bathroom when in use so the only downside is that the floor has to be dried after we use it.

I've had second thoughts about the rear fixed bed, but I asked my wife the other day if she would rather have a lounge area there and she said no.
 

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one thing I was advised and wish I had sone was to hire a MH a couple of times before commiting to buy. this way you can try out several interior layouts and find what works best for you. If you have a good local dealer they will normally refund 50% of the hire if you purchase. This stops you buying the wrong layout as nothing is more telling than a rainy weekend stuck inside the van with 4 people!!

that said, we LOVE our hymer. We had the same budget as you £25k and decided that a very low milage slightly older Hymer represented better value than a newer van due to the build quality.

My advice for what its worth is go to the shows and the dealers and try as many vans as possible!!

remember that the longer the van the more expensive it is on the ferry and also check the over hang on the rear wheels, the more over hang the more interesting the drive!
 

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I will be getting my second X250 Fiat hopfully next week,never had any problems,yes water ingress,sorted by Fiat under warranty.
It`s basically down to individual experience.
Dont forget to look at the storage area you have ,especially if more than 2 of you .
 

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Layout layout layout

storage

Buy one that is big enough but no bigger. We often head over to the West Coast and, while our 6.5M is ok on the single track roads, I wouldn't want to try anything too much bigger.

On the length/ferry side of things, Calmac charges
"upto 5m" - not much fits in there
"up to 8m" - covers just about ah'thing
"up to 10m" - Jeepers !

By the way, on Calmac, with the "Road Equivalent Tariff" scheme, many crossings are about half price compared to what they were :D

A good second hand one can be BETTER than new, as most of the niggles have been sorted and you may get some tasty extras. All for less money :D

Sad to say, but older vans often have better build quality.
 

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I have to second the others... Try before you buy, somehow, anyhow!
We bought our first van, convinced it was right with a double over the garage at the back. After a few months we knew we were wrong, we were lucky (unlucky) that this van had so many faults some major that I was able to make the dealer take it back and credit all our money on a different van. We actually ended up with a new van with an identical layout to our caravan, which we knew worked and loved...
You are spending a lot of money, get it wrong and you will have to spend even more to change and regret it...
 

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My bit of advice would be to make sure you get the MH weighed with a full tank of fuel and water AND all the people you intend to carry (a lot of owners forget that passengers are quite heavy) BEFORE parting with any money

A lot of MH's (but not all) are very close to their MAM (max Authorised mass) when they come out of the factory before you add awnings, towbars, roof boxes etc) I had an old Pilote on a renault base and with JUST me the missus, a tank of fuel and water I only had 14Kg left on the permitted ear axle weight !!!! and that was before we added even our bedding and shoes etc.

With a family you will want to carry a fair bit of kit with you. So it is VITAL you are aware of how much weight you can add.

DONT go on the MAM the achilles heel will be the permitted rear axle weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
which is best

Thanks for all your replies. As I would expect there will be a difference of opinion but I would reflect that a ranking of importance would be 1. layout 2. base chassis 3. size ie just large enough for needs.
In cars there are hierachis eg Aston Martin, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Ford, Vauxhall, Skoda. Can MHs be simplified in this way eg Hymer is better than Swift and so on.
I have always prefered to buy a quality car a few years old, when depreciation has taken effect. I see this is similar with MHs. Are there pitfalls to buying privately? Is there anyway of having used MHs checked over by an independent expert?
Finally a friend mentioned that some owners rent their MH out when not using. Any of you do this or have experience of this?

Thanks again.
 

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Vans

Hi

About three years ago when I joined the forum, I asked pretty much the same question. My budget was the same as yours and from my research I could have a brand new Avantgarde (Compass/Explorer Group) or something a few years older. I opted for the new one and was not disappointed.

Russell

Might be worth you hiring one for a few days first.
 
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