Why no Garage or Euro style lounge models

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Post by CC on Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:14 pm

Yes we all like different things I guess Margaret, intresting to see your oven requirement, we’ve never used the oven or grill in all 3 motorhomes we’ve had to date... to be honest I’d sooner have a locker or drawers occupy the same space that we can use for storage. Are we alone I wonder?

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Post by daisy mae on Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:23 pm

Surely I cannot be the only one who likes cooking in their van,? after all it is home from home to me, I don`t have a microwave. don`t cook in one at home anyway. I think my MH cooker is very good. On a freezing cold day, about 6pm , dinner merrily cooking away, and sit having a glass of wine, what`s not to like. up!


Especially when having  been out all day.


Last edited by daisy mae on Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : out all day)
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Post by Paulmold on Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:28 pm

You're not alone Margaret. In my earlier post I stated my wife won't consider a van without an oven. We don't want a microwave but have got one, so we may use it.

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Post by bolero boy on Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:52 pm

not diffucult to get an oven fitted to a van...we have 6 large drawers in our kitchen but the van did not come with an oven...we just had a Thetford Duplex fitted in lieu of the middle right hand drawer.
works as well as any oven weve had previously
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Post by groundhog on Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:53 pm

With you daisy mae! Lady G produces delights from the oven cookery thing ( I think that is what it does) as neither of us really enjoy eating out, we are not all the same I guess! My job is to take care of the compulsory vino and spend time devising cunning plans to stop the "crapice" rattling.

As to layout the most suitable for us was a Bessacarr E795, rear benches plus 4 seat front dinette the compromise being a small shower. Euro lounge and fixed bed a complete waste of space for me, if the benches are not 6 foot 4 inches in length I am not interested.... we are all different though. Garage would be good but the Worcester / Winchcombe has oodles of storage anyway, why there is no door on the Winchcombe to access the underseat lockers from inside as there is on the Worcester baffles me though, just another cost cutting exercise?
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Post by dbroada on Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:10 pm

I can't remember the last holiday that we didn't use the oven. The microwave does get used as a cooker occassionaly but more often it is used as a breadbin.

Interestingly, it was the microwave that finally pushed us toward the Auto Sleper. It was the only manufacturer that placed the microwave at a safe height for Heather to use. Most vans had the microwave a bit too heigh while a few actually had the microwave above head height.

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Post by meanchris on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:20 am

We hardly use the oven.
SWMBO keeps talking about it, and I keep putting her off the idea.
We already have:
Oven.
Remoska.
Microwave.
Teppanyaki Grill
Hob.

The idea is always to eat healthily anyway, chicken, tinned mackerel, boiled eggs, salad.

We often end up eating grilled fish or steak.

I never - ever - want to be eating stew or a Sunday roast in Southern France when it's 30C.

It's becoming clear, though I suspect that we all knew this anyway, that not only is the choice of van, equipment and layout a personal one from our experiences, but it's also a compromise between the differing needs of the people who have to share it.

It's no wonder that we all end up with something different.

I loved the compact design of the two Execs, I liked being able to park almost anywhere (especially in France) and I liked the open plan feel of the lounge.

I now have to admit, that being able to jump into bed after an evening out or just sitting outside in the gloaming, without having to extricate the bedding from the luton, and make up the bed, is far more convenient.

The van we found, after much searching, has more than a euro lounge as the seats are longer, is open plan as the kitchen/fridge/bathroom doesn't pinch the living space off in the middle, and has so much storage that most of it is empty because we don't have enough stuff to fill it.

I think the future for us is likely to be a dropdown bed like the R****o 'FF' models. A lot of manufacturers seem to be picking up on this idea which originated from the over cab drop down bed of many big A Class motorhomes.
Two berth models which only have the drop down bed are now coming on the market, and this layout leaves plenty of space for an open lounge, decent sized bathroom and kitchen, all in a <6m chassis.

Our current van is 7m, and I'd like to eventually go back to a more compact van as we get older, but SWMBO says that she'd feel cramped in a small van after the current one.

I find it very interesting to listen to other people's views and reasoning on this subject, it's not a competition to make everyone accept the same style choices, I like to have an open mind (as with most things) and maybe be better prepared to make my choices with other people's experiences to help me.

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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:02 pm

meanchris wrote:

The van we found, after much searching, has more than a euro lounge as the seats are longer, is open plan as the kitchen/fridge/bathroom doesn't pinch the living space off in the middle, and has so much storage that most of it is empty because we don't have enough stuff to fill it.


You could be describing our Malvern.

My brother has a 'short' Burstner with an electrically operated drop down double bed. The bed supports/tracks needed significant strengthening to make it reliable and the fuses to the motors had to be relocated as you couldn't access them when the bed was stuck down. Their previous vans had been 7m with garage but they decided they'd prefer a more compact van with a bike rack instead - its about Broadway size. They've had it for a couple of years now and love it.

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Post by meanchris on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:24 pm

Peter Brown wrote:
meanchris wrote:

The van we found, after much searching, has more than a euro lounge as the seats are longer, is open plan as the kitchen/fridge/bathroom doesn't pinch the living space off in the middle, and has so much storage that most of it is empty because we don't have enough stuff to fill it.


You could be describing our Malvern.

My brother has a 'short' Burstner with an electrically operated drop down double bed.  The bed supports/tracks needed significant strengthening to make it reliable and  the fuses to the motors had to be relocated as you couldn't access them when the bed was stuck down.  Their previous vans had been 7m with garage but they decided they'd prefer a more compact van with a bike rack instead - its about Broadway size.  They've had it for a couple of years now and love it.

The Malvern does look similar, and very nice indeed. I like the Merc base of course, (bit of a Merc fan in general).

We wanted extra belted seats though, and couldn't afford a Malvern anyway.

This is identical to our new van, except for the upholstery colour (and price). hugegrins

https://www.webbsmotorcaravans.co.uk/rapido-787f/

I have to say that, when we first started looking at motorhomes, the first venerable 1995 Exec that we looked at beat everything previous by a long margin, in terms of quality and longevity (mainly due to the monocoque shell), which is why we bought it.

The van we have now matches that perception of quality build, and exceeds it IMHO, everything fits and works perfectly.

More to the point, it has some design innovations that make it more convenient, like the huge internal water tank and documented pre-wiring for cameras, solar panels and media sources.

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Post by bolero boy on Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:17 pm

almost identical to our second Bolero, a 680fb @ 7.04m (layout still running now)...great use of space for a fixed bed van...
however, we hated the bikes being exposed and getting dirty all the time (or fitting an awkward cover) and we were changing to heavier (more valuable) ebikes so wanted a garage model.
with the Bolero, the bikes added a metre to the length, whereas our current 6.4m van with a garage, includes the bikes nicely stowed away....ferry now considerably cheaper...

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Post by meanchris on Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:53 pm

bolero boy wrote:almost identical to our second Bolero, a 680fb @ 7.04m (layout still running now)...great use of space for a fixed bed van...
however, we hated the bikes being exposed and getting dirty all the time (or fitting an awkward cover) and we were changing to heavier (more valuable) ebikes so wanted a garage model.
with the Bolero, the bikes added a metre to the length, whereas our current 6.4m van with a garage, includes the bikes nicely stowed away....ferry now considerably cheaper...

They are very similar, and we did look at some recent Swifts. They didn't have the perceived quality finish that we were looking for TBH, (sorry if that isn't your experience).

As for the bikes, I made a conscious decision to not carry them outboard after the Exec, as I worry about them on a rack.

As we aren't using the bed while travelling, I decided to carry them in bags strapped to the bed in future, and locked up externally when on sites as we hardly ever stay for long in insecure aires. I don't believe that standard cable locks protect them from a thief anyway.

I've been tempted to devise a method of putting them up on our acres of roof space while there's no chance of them being used on site, or for transporting them.

I must admit, as I said before, a sub 6.6m van would be my ideal for the next or a future van.

EDIT: Re the garage, neither I nor SWMBO are keen on the height of a bed that's above a garage, so that's one of the decisions we made, though the space would be more effective than our current under-bed storage.
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Post by bolero boy on Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:16 pm

we havent had the Swifts for three years....ive been i a few recently and the 'quality' is 'questionable'...
the thing about properly constructed garages is that they are often self supporting and hang lower down than the main floor meaning that the height does not intrude as much as you might think...we certainly have sufficient headroom to sit up in the mornings to read and drink tea...despite the garage being arpund 1.1m high.
our roof-space mist be the opposite of yours, umpteen rooflights, solar panel, satellite dish, extractor hood, SOG chimney etc....
no chance of storing anything else up there....

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Post by Heanorboy on Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:54 pm

Will be going to Exeter motorhome show on Friday which is where we bought our Dorset from.
We also don't like the breakfast area in the front of the van i.e.upright bench seat and table. We have looked at many euro made vans over the years but one thing against them for us is the Hab door is nearly always on the "road" side of the van as we don't currently venture into Europe apart from Ireland. We prefer single beds in the van as well and want to keep it not much more than max 6 meters, not many around that allow fixed single beds with maybe the exception being the Adria compact SL or SLS but tried one and found that as I climbed into the rear bed I cracked my head on the ceiling, so guess will have to keep making the beds 
David

PS I do really like the Bourton two berth  all lovedup and if I could find one well maybe, Maybe (dreaming) sleep on pillow

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Post by Askit on Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:28 am

This has been interesting reading. Whilst I await the introduction of the AS Tardis............snigger 

I guess there’s no such thing as the perfect motorhome as we all have our preferences on layout and facilities. We don’t use either the shower or the oven but the next owner might so they need to be there. We wanted a bit of space for comfort, a decent cooking area and toilet, side benches and (for me) a bed that was at least 6ft 4in long. Drop down beds are great except they restrict headroom and I hate the fashion for cutaway corners on fixed beds. 

A T6 or Ford Custom sized van that could provide all that I have in the Nuevo would be ideal, ain’t going to happen though  shrugg

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Post by meanchris on Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:37 am

The drop down beds in A Class vehicles do seem to restrict headroom, as they are under the curve of the cab roof.
We looked at a Rapido 766FF with a drop down bed, and sat up in it to test this very thing, it had plenty of headroom as it was in the centre of the van and dropped right down to the height of the bench seat backs.

I also worried about the French bed corner, having slept in a boat's french bed for weeks. I needn't have worried because:
a. The MH's bed is full sized unlike the boat and
b. SWMBO sleeps on that side for easy access to the loo anyway. snigger

It is interesting to read others' opinions on this, and sometimes I file their ideas away for consideration the next time I'll be looking to change MH. up!
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Post by Gromit on Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:41 am

As has become very evident, there are many factors including (but not only) personal preferences which influence the choice of van.

If it's of interest to others, some of ours are:-

6 metres is about the maximum length I can get onto the drive without major tree surgery (forbidden by her indoors) and without hitting the house guttering . . . again!  Whistle1

6 metres is also a handy size for supermarket car parks, and will usually fit into one space if there's a grass verge to hang over.

We very much prefer the side benches for lounging with a book, rather than having to sit upright all the time in a kitchen dinette.

The side benches convert quickly and easily into single beds, although we use the (almost equally quick and easy) double. I'm too big for the single and can't sleep well if there's no room to shuffle around.

We definitely don't want a fixed bed, as it's 6 feet of wasted space during the daytime - dedicated space that could be usefully used in other ways. Less than 5 minutes per day setting up the bed and stowing it away is not much of a chore!

We also don't want a roof light over the cab. I have a lovely head of skin which doesn't appreciate being roasted in the hot sun, and the alternative of overcab storage is perfect for the duvets. Keeping them there makes it dead easy to throw them down onto the bed, which is made in less than a minute.

We don't use the oven very often, but wouldn't want to be without it. The grill is used all the time, and the latest ones make good toast. Didn't really want a microwave, but now we have one it gets a lot of use - mostly for warming up.

I wouldn't have a Fiamma bike rack in future. Heaving electric bikes up onto them is very difficult with advancing years. A tow bar mounted rack is a lot easier and more convenient - if you have a tow bar of course!

I believe the latest Sargent panels do the work of a Battery Master, but if your van doesn't have that function I think a BM is very desirable. Fit and forget - no more worries about flat batteries.

Would I go for an expensive Strikeback/Growler alarm again? Probably, although we rarely use it when on holiday other than when we stay on Aires or other potentially "iffy" stops. It does give great peace of mind then, and helps us to sleep soundly. It's on while stored at home, but whether it's much of a deterrent to a professional thief, I'm unsure? Seems expensive, but so is the van - and every additional deterrent helps keep it safe.

Above all else, and arguably most important of all, the habitation layout of the Nuevo EK suits us better than anything else we have seen - on any make of van. A Broadway in the same layout would be even better, but since we have to stay within the 6 metre limit, the Nuevo works for us.

Hope this is of interest.
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Post by meanchris on Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:47 pm

Your thoughts on the big modern cab roof lights match mine entirely, though I do still have my hair, it still makes me overheat in sunny climes.

I wouldn't argue with any of your choices Dave, they're essentially the ones we made for our two Execs.

We probably would have stayed with those choices were it not for personal circumstances which triggered a forced sale, less said the better probably... Whistle1 gettinwrong
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Post by Heanorboy on Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:06 pm

Askit wrote:This has been interesting reading. Whilst I await the introduction of the AS Tardis............snigger 

I guess there’s no such thing as the perfect motorhome as we all have our preferences on layout and facilities. We don’t use either the shower or the oven but the next owner might so they need to be there. We wanted a bit of space for comfort, a decent cooking area and toilet, side benches and (for me) a bed that was at least 6ft 4in long. Drop down beds are great except they restrict headroom and I hate the fashion for cutaway corners on fixed beds. 

A T6 or Ford Custom sized van that could provide all that I have in the Nuevo would be ideal, ain’t going to happen though  shrugg
VW Tardis already invented

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322023/Just-vantastic-Head-turning-campervan-opens-reveal-secret-compartment-flick-switch.html

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Post by bolero boy on Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:29 pm

we now have slideouts from PVC converters like IH, side and now rear....also Adria as mentioned. and the Doubleback above...
however, they are complex, add weight and not as mich gain as ypu might think....
also, we now have rear lounges above garages (as mentioned earlier) and even drop down beds over rear lounges (Mobilvetta..) so designers are working hard to give us (the customer) literally whatever we desire in terms of design.
some companies, like Chausson, are at the sharp end, with new permutations and innovations every major show....some, like AS, prefer to take things a little slower.....which, it seems, is probably how their core customers like it...
the question is, will that demographic remain the same, moving forward, or will the lack of innovation cease to satisfy the younger aspiring van owners of tomorrow....?

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Post by groundhog on Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:56 pm

Slightly off topic but I cannot find a van from any manufacturer that would give me EXACTLY what I would like from a motorhome, I absolutely want a Mercedes chassis for the exceptional drive and automatic box but even looking at US manufacturers where slide outs are commonplace there is nothing I would prefer to a new Winchcombe.

Why not buy one?

New they are around £75K and my Worcester which is essentially the same van is probably worth about £45K with low mileage and well sorted. I would be spending £30K for what.....I already have a personal registration so not even a later number plate!

I don't think so!

Now if someone comes up with a van that has a decent fixed bed, BIG front benches to make a dining area, reasonable sized bathroom and maybe two extra travel seats on a Mercedes chassis I might get my wallet out but I don't see that happening any time soon. wave

Happy travels all!!
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