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Posted: 10 Sep 2011, 5:08pm
Mrs Dodger and I are thinking of getting a motorhome so that we can use it as base for cycling in this country and abroad.
Ideally we'd like a slope-fronted, two-berth, frugal diesel with power steering and all on-board facilities including shower and toilet.
The trouble is that the ones we like we can't afford and the ones we can afford are usually a bit tired. Have you seen the price of new ones??
Anyone have suggestions for finding a good one under, say, £8000?
We've thought about buying a van, like a Sprinter and doing it our (my)selves, but I'm not sure how feasible this is, or how costly.
I have seen them in the past with on-board storage for bikes, which looks much more secure than bike racks, but these are usually motocross day vans.
Posted: 10 Sep 2011, 7:38pm
You're not going to get much for 8K,if you're intent on getting a M/home you'd be better to go down the DIY/Van route IMO though you'd be pushing it a bit to get a shower and toilet onboard a van based M/H though
However if you're open to a caravan route you could get a good quality one with everything you want and need for your 8K if you wait until the off season(best time to buy is late December/early Jan,thats the same for M/homes too) of course you need a car with enough power to tow it.
The plus for caravans are that once set up on site the car is free to tour or use for car assist rides.
Posted: 10 Sep 2011, 8:15pm
Thanks, good advice on timing. At first thought now was a good time, but I see on the roads today hundreds streaming into Cornwall with the start of the "Grey Nomads" period. Waiting until Dec might put a bit more in the kitty too.
Afraid I can't get on with caravans and my car is too old and tired to pull one anyway! Reversing with a trailer/caravan is a nightmare for me.
Maybe we can think of a good Christmas present for ourselves, but I won't hold my breath.
Posted: 10 Sep 2011, 9:59pm
we keep looking at motorhomes but like you say they are sooooooooooooooooooooo expensive new . i geuss they loose value in winter minths so then might be time to buy .
have a look at hiring , still expensive but cheaper than buying
Posted: 10 Sep 2011, 10:13pm
My new "Which Motorhome" mag arrived this morning and I've just checked the ads to see what's available around £8k.
There are a few Mazda Bongos for around that price, which, if you don't know, are slightly smaller than a VW campervan and are fairly compact, usually 2 berth max.
There are also a couple of early (late 90's) VW based 'vans, one an Autosleeper conversion (reputable company).
Have a look at some of the Motorhome dealer's websites down your way. There are quite a few in the SW, especially Somerset and also Poole area. Go along and have a look at them and see if you like the look of them.
We were fortunate enough to buy one this time last year, at roughly 3 times the price you are budgeting for, and have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on our trips this year.
Incidentally, we've driven 4,000 miles but in that time have cycled over 1200 miles in new areas we hadn't had the chance to explore before.
I know they're a huge investment, but bear in mind you can overnight, either for free (wildcamping) or use good sites from around £10 per night. Given that in the past we were using farm B&B's at £80 per night, it can be a good investment.
Hope you get sorted, and now is as good a time as any to start looking or even buy, as dealers are currently taking delivery of 2012 models and are happy to shift older stock now.
Posted: 10 Sep 2011, 11:51pm
There's one on Ebay, a Renault Master, I think. A friend of mine has one and its really comfortable.
Posted: 11 Sep 2011, 7:50am
I always think that this site has a duty to help with practical suggestions.
Can I therefore offer a solution to the Toilet issue......
The wonderfully named "Bumper Dumper"
... and is use
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 10:30am
Try looking in MMM magazine. There are usually a good number of second hand m/homes in there. I bought my first Swift Capri 4 berth van from a private seller. Had an HPI check done did some home work and took the plunge.( It was £8k by coincidence) That was in 1999. I part exchanged it a year later for £12k.
I'm on my third motorhome and have spent a small fortune on my most recent vehicle. I have had it six years and It has provided a great base for holidays and I use it to attend Audax rides where I have to stay over night. Much less hassle than parking up a caravan. I Often just stop in a quiet layby on the way back from a long event and have a kip until I feel fresh enought to drive home safely.
My m/home has a garage which has been a boon for bike storage. Myself and two friend stayed near Paris for an event recently. There was only off street parking available, but we used the vans facilities and had a comfortable and civilised stay.
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 4:20pm
Hi Beachcomber. I like the look of your van but probably not the price. However I will start to get the magazine, so thanks for the suggestion.
Impressed by the tow bar dumper, Cunobelin, although it's a bit public for me. You must be an exhibitionist!
Thanks Anura, now about to look at Ebay and see what they have.
Fausto copy, next week I'm passing those big sites in Somerset too, so also worth a look.
Thanks for all the advice.
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 4:42pm
I don't know if this has been mentioned but I was once surprised to be told that huge coach built motor homes are cheaper (and not just proportionally) than the small van based ones. This anomoly is apparently due to the fact that vans have to be kitted out and converted from the inside while coach builts can be literally screwed together from pre-loaded great slabs of equipment stuck on the walls. So for value (and actual price) go big. Another piece of unsettling information is that the £20 per night you are likely to pay on a campsite works out at £560 per month - close to an average mortgage. Fine for the odd weekend but not so good for living the winter in on a small pension.
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 5:35pm
Auto trader is also a good place to look. The Caravan Club members only CL's are a very good value for staying on, some are less than £10 a night with electricity. They are very handy for some motor homes.
The only down side if living in one full time is the need to pack up to drive somewhere during the day.
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 5:44pm
horizon wrote:So for value (and actual price) go big.
i'm not convinced. sheets of aluminium riveted to frames of wood and assembled with silicone sealant may be good for the first owner and the first few years. but even with the best builders there comes a time when it's not as waterproof as you'd wish and the water that seeps in will make short work of the timber framing.
a good van (VW) with a regular waxoyling will not only last decades, it'll also not depreciatiate after it's 6-8th birthday.
live without the toilet and shower and two people can holiday in comfort in less than 5m and 2000kgs. ie. you wont need the car, nor will you need to empty out your waste
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 9:26pm
Edwards wrote:The only down side if living in one full time is the need to pack up to drive somewhere during the day.
But that's why we have bicycles!
Never driven our 'van off site during the day yet.
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 9:30pm
We were the same and cycled most places but there were times when it was handy in the bad weather to have a a vehicle to use.
Posted: 12 Sep 2011, 9:48pm
Beachcomber, are you sure that's not a train you've bought
I can see two doors and that only seems like half the length of the 'van,
and presume there are garage doors on there somewhere.
Is it an A class by any chance?
I originally hoped to get a garage version, being concerned about the bikes security,
but couldn't afford a biggie and didn't really want to drive one around.
So, went for our compact coachbuilt, which we've managed with just fine up to now.