Newbie looking for advice

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #1
Hi Everybody,

My family and I are looking at investing in a Motorhome and I was hoping to ask for some advice! We have young kids and holidaying at home over the coming years will be so much more enjoyable than going away!

Our family size is two adults and four children (ages 11,9,3 and 1)! (I am assuming we are looking for a 6 berth and six seats?).

Could I ask for any advice in starting the search journey? What should I go for or avoid?

Which websites should I start to look at?

FYI - our budget will be €20k approx.

Thanks very much for all the help!

John


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #2
welcome john,
like you i am looking,and you are in the right place,the guys here are fab and they will give you as much help as they can,i would also suggest looking at you tube its great for info,best of look in your search :) Peter.

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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #3
Thanks very much Peter - great advice! Will certainly take a look! Good luck with the search yourself! 😀👍


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #4
Quote by Kopjohn

Hi Everybody,

My family and I are looking at investing in a Motorhome and I was hoping to ask for some advice! We have young kids and holidaying at home over the coming years will be so much more enjoyable than going away!

Our family size is two adults and four children (ages 11,9,3 and 1)! (I am assuming we are looking for a 6 berth and six seats?).

Could I ask for any advice in starting the search journey? What should I go for or avoid?

Which websites should I start to look at?

FYI - our budget will be €20k approx.

Thanks very much for all the help!

John


First question is what driving licence do you and any other drivers hold?

If you have a standard B car licence you will be limited to a MH with a total gross weight for you, all the family plus all your clothes and gear to 3500kg. This will be an issue with a 6 berth van with 6 people on board.

If you have a C1 licence then you can drive up to 7500kg.

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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #5
Thanks Kabundi! I have already applied for C1 permit and theory test just in case! Going to take the test when I can! I thought I might be snookered on a B licence so decided to give myself more options. I’m keen to get something that’s spacious enough to take the whole family, but something not too massive to be driving around in. And I’ll certainly be getting somebody in the know to assess any purchase just in case I’m missing anything big like rust or damp!

Appreciate the advice - going to do a lot of homework and make sure I’m doing the right thing. If that means 2020 purchase is out and I have to wait until next year, that’s what I’ll do! As much as I’m dying to get going and make the most of what’s left of this year!


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #6
First item on your shopping list, a damp meter and learn how it works. They also can detect electrical cables so can potentially put you off a good van.

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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #7
Thanks Ally, really appreciate that advice! Definitely will get one of them! I’m a total novice, and want to make sure that my first purchase and experience is a positive one. Thanks for having me here, really great advice and food for thought so far!

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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #8
Unfortunately you'll find it quite difficult to get a 6 berth as they're snapped up as soon as they come up for sale even in the best of times


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #9
DAMP DAMP DAMP

I was down with my local MH specialist today and he was working on a 2007 motorhome on a FIAT X250 chassis from a major UK manufacturer. It had serious rot in the floor on both sides which is going to cost a four-figure sum to repair. The MH looked well kept on the surface and would have been in the €35k price bracket.


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #10
Quote by baguette

2007 motorhome on a FIAT X250 chassis from a major UK manufacturer.


It wasn't a swift Colin by any chance?


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 27.07.2020  ·  #11
Welcome to the forum, I wish you good luck in your search, however I am going to play devils advocate here.

With four young children and two adults to transport I suspect that you will find it extremely difficult to buy a Motorhome with six forward facing 3 point seatbelts. After fit of extra belts is very difficult to surmount as most vans will not have readily accessible fixing locations.

Hopefully another member with similar family size and age profile can give advice on how they manage. My history is that with three young kids (many years ago) and little disposable income we went down the caravan route. I don’t know if you have already been down this route. The advantages were that once on site (having travelled in a car with approved seatbelts) we could erect a large awning into which the kids could be banished for peace and quiet on wet days. The awning nearly doubled the size of the van and we used an inner tent with inflatable mattress for the older ones to sleep (earlier than us adults still in the van). Obviously you can get an awning for a Motorhome or else the thought of six people cooped up in the van and all having to go to bed at the same time is not a good one.

You obviously want to go down the Motorhome route, and it is a great way to travel but do make a list of pros and cons and bear in mind in a few short years the oldest kids will not want to go with you (not cool camping with parents) and that might prove a better time to revisit the Motorhome with 4 belted seats which are much more common.

I hope you don’t take this as a big negative but €20000 is a big chunk of money to spend and not get a happy outcome. Perhaps others will post a better picture for balance.

Best wishes,

Davy


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 28.07.2020  ·  #12
On the whole I would agree with Davy.

I have a 6 berth MH which is 8m long however I would not ever want to actually have to berth 6 people in it. Trying to do it in something shorter, whilst theoretically possible, would be uncomfortable in the extreme especially on a rainy Irish weekend.

I have the usual front seat belts and two other forward facing belts but nowhere to put anymore even if I wanted to. Its illegal to use a seat belt in a sideways facing seat and I've certainly never seen a MH with 6 legal seat belts fitted although someone may know different.

I think Davys right that with a family that size a caravan is probably the way to go. A lot less expensive, easily expanded with a good awning, everyone able to travel safely in a belted seat and of course a relatively inexpensive way to see if camping type holidays are the thing for you.

Not wanting to put you off but again I think Davy is right in suggesting a MH may be more your thing as the family size decreases.

Separate issue is that this particular year it is very much a sellers market and prices are at a premium and you'll get a lot less for your 20,000 Euros than usual. In my opinion a year or two from now the market will be flooded with unwanted MH's as people realize there's more to motor-homing than just jumping in and driving off.


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 28.07.2020  ·  #13
My tuppence worth. It is hard to find a MH with 6 belts. Our van is 7 berth but only has belts for 4 people. When i bought i had an option to have 2 extra belts fitted to the rear facing seats. I don't remember if they were full belts or lap belts. Also look for a good payload as 6 people can gather up quite a lot of stuff.

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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 28.07.2020  ·  #14
Great advice here - thank you very much to everyone here! And all taken very much on board!

Looks like we will be holding back and waiting a few years - totally agree with all of the contributions here.

Thank you!


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 28.07.2020  ·  #15
Another option is to get to one of the large shows in England when they start again. There are loads of second hand vehicles for sale and it would give you an opportunity to have a good look. My favourite was at Shepton Mallet. I went there for years


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Re: Newbie looking for advice

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Posted: 28.07.2020  ·  #16
I should probably chime in here, I've a bit of relevant experience. We're a little over 3 years into our motorhome journey and our boys are 11 (nearly 12), 10 and 7.

We've 6 birth plated at 3,500kgs. It has fixed double beds over the cab and over a large garage at the rear and the dinette which can convert to another double. Two forward facing seats with seatbelts in the front, two forward facing seats with seatbelts in the rear and two rearward facing seats with lap belts in the rear.

So far we've kept the 3 boys in the overcab bed which means the dinette is available for us to chill when they've gone to sleep, I know we're on borrowed time on this front, but they'll probably be staying up as late as us soon, it would be minus craic for you at night to be in a camper if you had to make up the dinette for the kids to go to bed or for them in the morning if you were to sleep there. When you're on a campsite, you can make use of the outside space more so that's a consideration.

The alternative is to look for a van with a rear lounge, but they're rare, especially in later years, and while I would probably trade off some of the garage space for more head height over the rear bed, the loss of storage you would suffer with a U lounge would be a deal breaker for us. Faffing about converting seating areas to beds is a pain in the hole too.

Another catch 22 is payload, already mentioned above, you get precious little payload in a 6 birth plated at 3500kgs. However above 3500kgs, you're getting into the realms of tag axels and longer vans. There's possibly a sweet spot between 3850 and 4250kgs where you'll have a reasonable payload and be under 8m long. As a short term measure, you could look for a van that is effectively down rated to 3500kgs for licencing purposes. You could potentially get it uprated when you get your C or C1 licence.

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