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Upgrading to motorhome

calicasas

calicasas

VIP Member
Messages
392
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Anyone considering upgrading to a motorhome? we have decided we need more room and a bathroom mainly to extend our season to all year round especially in Europe ( once borders reopen)

Before we get the usual replies about size etc.. I am asking if anyone is considering it? I'm NOT asking people to compare the Cali with a Motorhome as we know there is a compromise with both which has already been done to death on here.
Yes, we are considering moving up to a motorhome, for the same reasons, namely we want to extend our stays across the seasons around continental europe. We are starting to look at the grand california & the Niesmann+Bischoff SMOVE+ In the first instance..
I am lucky enough to have dual British/European citizenship so our plan will be to purchase the vehicle in Europe (most probably) this gets us around the issues with insurance..
 
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M

Myriam

Messages
4
Location
Belgium
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Anyone considering upgrading to a motorhome? we have decided we need more room and a bathroom mainly to extend our season to all year round especially in Europe ( once borders reopen)

Before we get the usual replies about size etc.. I am asking if anyone is considering it? I'm NOT asking people to compare the Cali with a Motorhome as we know there is a compromise with both which has already been done to death on here.
I was interested in a Urbano Livingstone K2, on Ducato chassis, as well. Compaired both. I felt more 'at home' and got used to the luxe of a VW. So I decided to go for the Ocean... What really kept me away, is it's height. Not possible to go in an underground parking. And in general the Cali is more sturdy and smaller, easier to get me everywhere, comfortable driving.
 
C

Chris Hardern

Messages
30
Location
Huddersfield
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
We have considered changing to a bigger van only because we feel we need a loo on board.

Being at an age when night visits to the loo are regular occurrences, having one in the van is preferable to trudging across a dewy campsite at 3 in the morning.

Have looked at the Grand 680 (but need a C1 license for that and have just lost it) or the Hymer Car range. There was a nice Crafter based van at Centrum VW when we visited but can't remember the model just now, possibly Westfalia.

Alan
But at 3 am, the stars are out and you might miss out on that!!
 
sapto

sapto

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2,771
Location
Central Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 SE 130
Anyone considering upgrading to a motorhome? we have decided we need more room and a bathroom mainly to extend our season to all year round especially in Europe ( once borders reopen)

Before we get the usual replies about size etc.. I am asking if anyone is considering it? I'm NOT asking people to compare the Cali with a Motorhome as we know there is a compromise with both which has already been done to death on here.
We are from time to time scrolling through the adds or looking at some larger vans when they pass by. We love the idea of the „Poessel“ vans with pop top roof („Hymner van: https://www.hymer.com/de/de/modelle/hymer-camper-vans-fiat) or the Eriva from [mention]GrannyJen [/mention]and her sister.

What are you looking for? Or which ones are your favoutite ones?
 
Kris Emery

Kris Emery

Messages
68
Location
Switzerland
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
We have considered changing to a bigger van only because we feel we need a loo on board.

Being at an age when night visits to the loo are regular occurrences, having one in the van is preferable to trudging across a dewy campsite at 3 in the morning.

Have looked at the Grand 680 (but need a C1 license for that and have just lost it) or the Hymer Car range. There was a nice Crafter based van at Centrum VW when we visited but can't remember the model just now, possibly Westfalia.

Alan
As one of the midnight loo ramblers - I sympathise - we pack a Thetford and a loo tent (does as a shower tent too) for when the loo trip is too far or no loos. Prefer to use site loos when poss - maybe not with COVID-19 - but flexibility is there
 
Karlos

Karlos

VIP Member
Messages
496
Location
Liverpool
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
We looked at motorhome van conversions and coach built but felt construction with all that veneered chipboard wasn't what we were looking for. I had already looked at Cali's and then took Mrs K to VW after looking at lots of motorhomes and she agreed the Cali had a quality finish compared to what we had looked at previously also it wouldn't look out of place on our drive so no storage to pay for and it can pretty much go anywhere.
 
Troglodyte

Troglodyte

Messages
44
Location
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
My wife and I have a 2016 California and have thoughts of increasing in size for the same reasons as blakely, on board toilet and shower. Also plans to do a long duration tour in the future. Still like the idea.
However we paid a visit to Eastbourne and Pevensey Bay last weekend and all the car parks had 2.2 meter height barriers, or lower. It was difficult enough trying to find a car park that I felt was safe to leave the Cali, I.e. not too busy and it a nice area, so I can imagine it would be very difficult if we had a taller van. We parked up in Pevensey and watched a Hymer car come down the dead end road, only to find the height barrier was too low.
Before you change, think about these issues carefully. Where will you use it. Research where would you be able to park up, if not going to a camp site.
The great thing about the California is it’s abil to be used a a second (or first) vehicle, rather than a motor home that’s parked up on the drive when not on a trip.
For us, if we do the European long duration tour, we might change to a bigger van, but only if the trip definitely goes ahead. Even then, might stick with the Cali.
 
AlanC

AlanC

Traveling
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,576
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
As one of the midnight loo ramblers - I sympathise - we pack a Thetford and a loo tent (does as a shower tent too) for when the loo trip is too far or no loos. Prefer to use site loos when poss - maybe not with COVID-19 - but flexibility is there
We have a Popaloo and the frustrating popup tent that goes with it which comes into play when necessary.

Using a plastic bag is a bit of a pain, but the pop-up tent is a real PITA.

Having worked in the TV and film industries for many years I thought folding the tent would be easy having folded up the camera department's reflectors many a time. It isn't, can't think why except the shape is so different from a smaller circular reflector.

Alan
 
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capt kirk

capt kirk

VIP Member
Messages
179
Location
surrey
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
We were very tempted by the Adria twin plus on the Fiat Ducato base, Has a large bed setup and washroom that converts to a shower easily. In the end we have stuck with the calli for day to day use and will probably hire for longer trips.
 
gvick

gvick

VIP Member
Messages
654
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
If we were retired and touring Europe/ North Africa for 4-5 months of the year then I think I would be tempted by aHymer B544 - very solid you can pick a 2000 one up for about £20k good reputation, drop down bed over cab, big lounge and only 6m long - oh and strong resale values as well.
Julie and Jason of “our tour” fame drive one if your interested :thumb

We are not retired yet - maybe 4 years if we are lucky so the everyday driveabilty of the Cali being my main vehicle wins for me :)
 
M

majic

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2
Location
Cornwall
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Anyone considering upgrading to a motorhome? we have decided we need more room and a bathroom mainly to extend our season to all year round especially in Europe ( once borders reopen)

Before we get the usual replies about size etc.. I am asking if anyone is considering it? I'm NOT asking people to compare the Cali with a Motorhome as we know there is a compromise with both which has already been done to death on here.
Have you thought of the Grand Cali or the Westphalia Kepler One? Both have on board loos and keep you in the VW ‘family’.
 
Dottie

Dottie

VIP Member
Messages
396
Location
Perthshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
I like this...
https://earthroamer.com/lti-2/
The price tag puts me off though....and I’m not sure it’d fit down UK lanes...

i think I’ll just stick to my VW. I’ve just bought a porta potty for my shower tent...all as yet unused...alongwith imy answer to a shower tray...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00XLEIQLC/?tag=eliteelect-21

I haven’t yet worked out how I’ll empty this...i have a collapsable bucket which I suspect might come into it...!

there’ll be time yet to practice in the garden!
 
Rascal1

Rascal1

Messages
24
Location
Dublin Ireland
Vehicle
T4 Hightop
In January 19 we changed from T4 California Coach with compact roof to a new Westfalia Columbus 601D.
We had previously had a VW Bay Window for 12 years in which we covered 96000 miles( I'm old I still think in miles).From Spain to Sweden we did have fun in that van.. Still have it and it will be hard to part with.
The Columbus is on the Fiat Ducato Panel van and is 6 mtrs long. We looked at a lot of Vans but it was this layout that worked for us. Transverse fixed bed gives a good amount of storage underneath. The Sven Hedin was also in the running but the Crafter is a much narrower van. This why there is that electrical pop out on one side for you feet. On the Grand California this bump is permanent.In the year that we have had it we have done 16000 miles and it has performed without any issues. It has the Comfortmatic gearbox which does have it's quirks and it will never be as good as a VW DSG box.But I have grown used to it and it has never missed a beat.
The van suits what we wanted in a van and it is the same for everybody. People need different things from a van which is why I would never say that we "upgraded".We just changed because we wanted different things from our van. For me there two parts of a van. One is how it drives and the other is how well the conversion works while parked up. The conversion side was the most important aspect for us.
 
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