Join Date: Jun 2007
My Motorhome: Hymer Exsis-i 504
Thanked 464 Times in 440 Posts
Welcome to the forum Paul!
When my husband and I were full-timing we'd a 7.3m van with permanent single beds, suited us admirably. The beds were great as, with my husband's condition, he needed to go to bed NOW, not in half an hour, so I just looked for the next suitable layby and as soon as I parked he was in bed!
Some time after I became solo I downsized to 6.2m, still with a permanent bed above the garage (plus a dropdown at the front for visitors). We'd many years of caravanning with the family, making the beds up every night n I wasn't keen to go back to that. I know many folk say it's no problem but it's something I prefer not to do. Depends on yourself. Keep in mind that when the bedclothes are not on the bed they need somewhere elso to be stored.
I did seriously consider a PVC when downsizing but although the designs were very clever regarding storage, I felt it was a step too far. I also felt the insulation in a PVC wouldn't be as good as a coachbuilt or A-class. And I didn't want to be the one annoying the life out of the neighbours opening and closing that big side door!!
I'm very happy with my Exsis-I 504 as a solo van tho I wouldn't want to share the space for too long.
Regarding your type of touring, I'm a member of the National Trust (and also English Heritage) and when I'm not on the continent I do my best to bankrupt these organisations conducting my own version of the Elizabethan tour!