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Embracing van life and looking for advice

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Post by HomeGrownHeroz Mon 22 Feb 2021 - 23:11

Hi there!

They say life begins at 30 32 and that certainly seems to be the case for my partner and I. After finally having enough of the 'rat race' and an unfulfilling 9-5 job (plus a terrible 2020 with Covid) we've decided to take an adventure around the UK in a campervan as soon as we are able. I must be the 1000th person this year alone to post this exact idea I imagine  hugegrins!

So, we've been looking at campervans and van conversions and think we've finally landed on auto-sleepers. They seem to have the best of all worlds; not too big, showers and a toilet, and decent looking kitchens.

I've read some pretty interesting forum posts already about pros and cons of some of the more popular options, Peugeot Boxers vs Transit Duettos for example. There seems to be some debate over their reliability and ease of getting parts.

The posts I've read do seem to date back a couple of years so I was hoping for some updated opinions and more recent knowledge.

What advice or suggestions would people kindly offer? Prices for vans of these types seem to sit between £10-12k. Ideally, I think I'd prefer to keep my budget to that also. 

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to speaking with you all :)

Sam


Last edited by HomeGrownHeroz on Mon 22 Feb 2021 - 23:13; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post by burlingtonboaby Tue 23 Feb 2021 - 6:37

Hi Sam
Welcome to the forum from Bridington, prices are rocketing for used vans at the moment, especially with COVID restrictions lifting shortly.
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Post by HomeGrownHeroz Tue 23 Feb 2021 - 7:22

Hi Boaby. That was a concern I had. I'm naively so hoping though that once international travel is lifted, things may balance back out.
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Post by mikethebike Tue 23 Feb 2021 - 9:26

asof_welcome2
HomeGrownHeroz wrote:Hi Boaby. That was a concern I had. I'm naively so hoping though that once international travel is lifted, things may balance back out.
That could be a long wait.
People are happy to wait till it is safe.
Others are just not keeping to the rules. Hence Tens of thousands still getting covid.
The road map will be slow.
The way out is to escalate the jab program.However we may have to wait while other countries catch up.
Particularly France.!!!
You will have to raise your budget to get a good van.Beware of scams ie any van that seems cheap.
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Post by burlingtonboaby Tue 23 Feb 2021 - 13:26

HomeGrownHeroz wrote:Hi Boaby. That was a concern I had. I'm naively so hoping though that once international travel is lifted, things may balance back out.
We have a couple of local dealerships in Bridington,one selling vans over 25K, the other started of with under 25k,however he has been selling vans over the winter within the 30k range, trade ins are selling within days.
Worth a try at Motorhome auctions in Nottingham ( others will disagree shrugg )
Happy van hunting.
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Post by HomeGrownHeroz Tue 23 Feb 2021 - 14:01

Thanks both. We have a plan of our own of how long it will take to get a van and affairs in order so we are definitely going to try to be patient and keep an eye out for a good deal. 

We are only thinking of doing it for a year at the moment, not indefinitely I should have added. Hence why I was looking at vans like I posted above and the budget.
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Post by Greyhound Wed 24 Feb 2021 - 12:01

HomeGrownHeroz wrote:We are only thinking of doing it for a year at the moment, not indefinitely I should have added. Hence why I was looking at vans like I posted above and the budget.

When you say 'doing it for a year', do you mean away in the van for a year solid, or on and off touring over the year?

If you want to be away completely for a year solid then I'd look at bigger vans than the Duetto you mention etc.

We have a Symbol (similar size) and it's aimed more at holidays for a couple of weeks.  I'm sure some will have gone for a lot longer, but they're not really aimed at long term living.  I think over a year you'd get fed up with making beds up every single night, or trying to dry/store wet clothes etc.

If I was to think about a years touring, I'd go for something like a Nuevo as a minimum, but preferably a bit longer with a fixed bed and really good storage.
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Post by bolero boy Wed 24 Feb 2021 - 12:33

Greyhound raises a good point but obviously budget will play a large part...having said that, the way prices are one could buy a slightly larger van and get it all back in a year if selling and the market is still hot.
So, as someone who spends around 30 weeks a (normal) year in a MH I do have a a bit of (nearly) full timing experience...
Van size will always be a compromise...see Milionaire Motorhome program recently...great for living in one place but hopeless for touring.
Similarly, there will be times when you need a bit of space...sometimes apart from each other, so that's something to consider.
Our van is only 6.4m long and just 2.12m wide, so has a virtually identical footprint to an XLWB panel van but, as it's a coachbuilt, the sides are vertical which gives far more internal space.
Sleeping arrangements need to be considered...singles or double, permanent bed or make up daily...
Loads of pros/cons for each but we feel our rear fixed bed gives us these advantages...
...it's huge, comfortable and provides a 'day bed' area for one of us to read or rest alone
...it sits above a garage which is huge and caters for all the myriad paraphernalia you'll be taking with you for a years touring, we even take our ebikes in there.
...we don't have to make it up everyday, bedding needs no other storage area, another issue when your van needs to carry oodles of other stuff.
Think about your own 'sustainability'...does your van have decent sized fresh and waste tanks that allow you to be autonomous for several days...will it have a (pair of) decent leisure batteries, supplemented by solar panel(s) to provide your 12v supply when you 'just want to pull in somewhere'...
...there will be more for sure but for now finally, in amongst the year away PLEASE take a few weeks to hop the channel and get a flavour for European touring, it's just so different and easy than the uk with regard to how the countries are set up to welcome motorhomes. It will whet your appetite for sure.
Good luck.
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Post by Dave 418 Wed 24 Feb 2021 - 17:22

Welcome to th forum from our corner of Lincolnshire. Good luck with you’re search. I won’t go into the saga of our rusty Deuetto but I would think that size and layout would be a good choice for long journeys if you can be economical with what you carry.
We went from a compact Duetto to what seems a huge Rienza with storage space we havnt filled yet.
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