We thought we would share with you our experiences so far in searching for our next motorhome. Having had several in the past you would have thought that by now we'd know exactly what we wanted. Not the case! A van, to us, very much depends how we intend to travel over the next period.
For the trip we did in 2011-2012 the ’07 Adria Twin was, without question, the best van for the job. Sure we could pick fault with the tambour doors but for a trip which was mainly about exploring new places, being outside interjected with bouts of driving, cooking and of course sleeping it was the perfect combination. 6m in length, relatively inconspicuous, great MPG with comfortable driving and sleeping arrangements. It stood up to the test and cleaned up like new.
On the subject of fixed bed van conversions, they seem to be somewhat of a rarity in the UK and despite my attempts to get a UK converter to consider one, Europe steams ahead with new and exciting takes on the hugely popular layout. A quick walk around the Dusseldorf Motorhome Show at the huge number of fixed bed vans confirms this. Our current favorite is the Karmann Davis 590 (was previously the Globecar Globescout, or 599DB in the UK) which seems to have the best bathroom layout so far.
British made vans however are different. “Lounge” is key, even more so “U Shaped Lounge” or “End Lounge”. I can only assume that the poor weather is largely to blame. Having spent a fair bit of time in Adam’s parents’ Autotrail Tracker EKS of late we can safely say that making up a bed on a night is not for us. However, it’s worth mentioning if you want two singles and a good lounge the EKS makes use of this space very well.
Motorhoming is largely about compromise. You can have the layout you want, but it might take you over your desired length. You can get a premium van but it might be a bit older then you would like and so forth.
So what are we looking for:
- Lowline Coachbuilt
- French Bed - with as small a cut off as possible
- Under 7m
- Ideally not X244 Fiat or early X250 2.3 Fiat (narrows down the search a LOT!)
- Good build quality - a German Brand
- Large Fridge/Freezer
- 8 years old max
- Engine suitable for towing a box trailer for shows
- LHD / RHD not an issue
- AirCon a bonus but not essential.
- Budget: Circa £20k
We're looking French bed under 7m and we're looking European but not necessarily left hand drive. We're indifferent about the location of the steering wheel since we always use the van together and the elevation means you have a great view of the road regardless.
There is also then the issue of Chassis. If we go premium and this a bit older we likely slip into generation X244 Fiat. Our first van was a X244 Peugeot 2.0HDi (essentially a car engine) and for the miles we do a 6th gear is a really nice thing to have. We both really love driving the latest X250 Fiat, the driving position is excellent, but unfortunately the 2007-2010 models just had too many issues. Reversing judder, clutch, our head gasket went, spare wheel dropped off - all sorted under warranty, but painful nonetheless. We can't afford a 2010 model, so we're thinking outside the box - Renault or Mercedes!
Wish us luck, suggestions appreciated!