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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-05-2019, 18:49 Thread Starter
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Time to buy...

Hi all,



I introduced myself some weeks ago and was given a very warm welcome and now it's time for us to actually become motorhome owners. Main issue is we are based out near Aberystwyth so not much round here so will have to travel to buy. With that in mind i'd like to collect some thoughts on a few Qs we have.



There are 3 of us but we want a 6 berth so family can join us. Does anyone have any views on: bed at back with garage below versus lounge at back? Seems a tricky call... some people saying how annoying it is to make a bed every night and others not liking only having one place to sit.



I'm drawn towards a private sale just so we can get more for our money, but obviously the pitfalls are clear. Is it a total no go to buy a MH with no habitation report? Also, how important is service history?



Any thoughts on Knaus Sun Traveller 708G? I think its about 15 years old.



Finally, can anyone recommend a good dealer with a good stock of MHs in the 15 - 20K range? Might be a safer bet for us in the end.



Thanks for any help offered
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-05-2019, 20:32
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Starting out in MHing is a steep learning curve and full of potential for mistakes.

Research is important and look at lots of vans before you decide. Many people change vehicle after a year because they have made a mistake with the chosen layout, so I would suggest you don't spend a fortune on the first one you buy.

Hab checks are only as reliable as the person who did them, and it is not unusual for dealers to be less than entirely honest about a vehicle's faults. If you can, I would advise you to take an experienced MHer with you when you find something you like. Preferably someone who owns a damp meter that they can deploy underneath. If buying an older van avoid the smaller non turbo engines as they are a bit gutless, according to posters on here.

Take lots of notes and photos when viewing vans as you will otherwise forget lots of what you see. Imagine yourself living in the van for a few weeks and look at how convenient things are. Storage for bulky items, access to tanks and drain valves and pumps and so on. What it would be like if 6 of you were inside on a rainy day!

Good luck with your search. Ask questions on the forum, lots of experienced people lurking here.
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Last edited by tugboat; 22-05-2019 at 20:35.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-05-2019, 22:21
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Good advice from the salty old sea dog above.

Layout is very important although you have asked the fixed bed or rear lounge question which is unanswerable and has been known to create threads lasting years and years.

Personally I prefer the lounging space with a rear lounge and a front dinette in a large six berth but others will tell you the opposite. You need to get out and see as many layouts as possible first and decide what you think will work for you. Will it have enough space for all your stuff? Check the user payload as well which is how much weight you can carry but before you start hammering two hundred miles to see a van only to find out you dont like the layout, narrow it down a bit, find the layout you like then start researching suitable vans with that layout. Maybe once you narrow it down start asking a few questions about specific models on here. Take your time and get it right then you wont be changing vans in a year. Ive had mine over 11 years now (First van).


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 23-05-2019, 06:24 Thread Starter
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Thanks Barryd and Tugboat, - a steep learning curve and good advice. I wish i knew an experienced MHer!



I shall follow your advice and try to see as many as possible this week and next. It seems the number of models with 6 seated belts is actually not that many so i should be able to get a good idea of what we like in terms of layout.



If we are lucky we may see one we like which is within 200 miles, ticks all boxes and is in our price range! So many variables!!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 23-05-2019, 06:39
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Did you say before Neil if you had an HGV driving license or whatever it's called today? With a six berth you might have to exceed the 3,500kg. weight.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 23-05-2019, 08:42
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You will need C1 entitlement on your licence to drive 3500kg plus MHs. My old CI Riviera was a 5/6 berth with 6 belted seats and was rated at 3850kg.

As advised above you must take care selecting your first MH. Id suggest you draw up a list of wants and needs and then do a great deal of research before parting with your money. Id also strongly suggest you enlist the assistance of a knowledgeable MHer when you are making your decision - it is a lot of money to outlay and get wrong.

Ive heard said that you can buy 3 before you get what you want. I bought my first and then learned by mistakes made and bought my second, this one I have spent the past 6 years getting to exactly what I want (almost)

Incidentally a couple of years ago Tugboat and myself helped out a member on another forum to select a MH - hed found one local to both of us while he lived 400 miles away. We looked it over to enable him to make the trip down to see it and buy it.

Do not believe adverts and especially dealers selling, they want your money and dont give a toss about newbie MHers. (My role is number one cynic)

MHO.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 23-05-2019, 09:19
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you might find an experienced motorhomer on here near to where your looking when you narrow your search down a bit. At the very least people should be able to tell you what to look for and what questions to ask the seller.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 23-05-2019, 22:43
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Hi Neil

If you passed your test before 1997 you can drive up to 7.5t
After this date its 3.5t

We had a Knaus 708g Traveller, 3,750kg. Great German built motorhome with a layout that we much prefer.
We now have a Burstner A747 5,000kg. Similar layout but about a metre longer and much better payload.

Frank

Last edited by fdhadi; 23-05-2019 at 22:48.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 24-05-2019, 08:29 Thread Starter
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Thankfully, I have a C1 licence, but wish I did have a HGV! 😉

I think I have a list of requirements:
Enough room for 3 most of the time but sometimes room for 5 or 6 passengers (kids camping at night).

Not a massive vehicle. I’m slightly daunted by the bigger MHs (8mish in length).

We plan to live in it so most mod cons etc

As you rightly say, I’ll have to get exact vehicles vehicles and then ask for info.

Members helping newbies with info and even visiting a MH is amazing! Warms the heart!

On the Knaus, 2004 plate, i’ll have to check that payload. I liked it because of the shorter length and the garage. I’m told excellent build quality too.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 24-05-2019, 09:07
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Just a thought.... You live in Aberystwyth, and so does an ex member called "pippin". I'm sure he'd be kind enough to chat to you and give some advice or help.

I've just looked, and although he stopped posting on MHF a couple of years ago he posted last month on a forum called MotorhomeFruitCakes.

Fruitcakes is run by barryd who has already posted on this thread. Perhaps Barry could PM him on your behalf?
.

John

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We take the Golden Road to..........................

Last edited by HurricaneSmith; 24-05-2019 at 09:09.
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