I'd be interested in the answers to this one neilmac - when I changed last year I seriously (well, sort of!) considered a PVC but decided it was a step too far, tho there's only me - and the occasional guest for a couple of weeks or so.
I was concerned about 1) storage and 2) insulation.
Well, there're 2 of us and our dog but we are very used to being in each others company 24/7
Storage 'looks' good for the van's size with lockers everywhere. Once we've collected it we'll have a better idea where things will go.
Insulation is one of Challenger's boasts at the moment using a system they call VPS (vehicle protection system) - time and use will tell. The Carthago was very easy to keep warm but not so easy to keep cool.
Originally Posted by HurricaneSmith
We downsized to a PVC (AutoTrail V-Line 635SE) earlier this year, having thoroughly enjoyed many years of extensive travelling in our previous AutoTrail Tracker EKS.
The good news:
I achieve over 31mpg based on the van's computer. Being lower and narrower it's easier to drive and I feel so much more relaxed on narrow roads or lanes. I find it a doddle to park, especially in towns. It has good internal storage although the upper lockers are curved at the top to match the exterior profile meaning slightly less volume. I honestly find the floor easier to keep clean and it's simple to shake out the bedding, both using the rear doors. We love the two dining areas, having breakfast & lunch at the front and supper at the rear. LED lighting has hugely reduced power consumption. The frig/freezer seems to be slightly more spacious. So far it seems no warmer (on a hot day) and no colder (on a cold day) than our previous van, although we've not yet camped in snow.
The bad news:
We were aware of the following before purchase and agreed the way forward for us. The bathroom is a compromise, the whb an unusual shape making it tricky to be economical with water, and the shower is too small to be comfortable. The fresh is only 75 litres and can only be topped up when the sliding door is closed. Don't open the sliding door when the nearside rear window is open or you'll break it! Because of the bracing bracketry the under bedding lockers are frugal. The ability to turn on the heating whilst out walking using an app on your phone is not for me, and I disconnected the system after our shakedown trip.
Solar panel is a real benefit and I can now live off grid without worry. When in storage it keeps the battery topped up perfectly. It's simpler to keep the exterior clean.
It's definitely been a good move for us, but we have always been extremely tidy and never carry surplus junk. If you are at all untidy, or believe in carrying all manner of things you think you might need one day, then a PVC is not for you.
That all sounds pretty positive - thanks
We've been used to a front dining area and rear bedroom so that basic aspect will be the same.
The driving, fuel economy and parking advantages sound great and we'll look forward to finding places that were a bit difficult in our Carthago.
Shower room is small but at least the sink slides one way or the other to suit your requirements but we'll only know if its too small when we get to use it. We've been used to using onboard facilities entirely.