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UK Motor Caravans (uk.rec.motorcaravans)

Re- Compact MH with ablutions

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 27th 05, 12:45 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
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Posts: 133
Default Re- Compact MH with ablutions

Thanks to all you replied to my post.

I finally got round to going to a dealer, Marquis, Hampshire, yesterday to
look at the sizes of motorcaravans suggested. As soon as we got there 'er
indoors fell on the Auto-Sleeper Mezan, which is a copy of the Romahome.

I think that this would suit us well, as although there is no separate
'bathroom' the area at the back can be curtained off with a shower curtain,
and a drain fitted in the floor. Then I can splash to my hearts content!!
Also I thought it a very practical layout compared with the T4, as you can
make full use of the kitchen and sink, with the bed made up.

My main doubts are of the quality of the chassis, I always imagined those
Peugeot / Citroen vans to be a bit 'disposable', and wonder how long the
suspension will cope with the heavy body and overhang. I suppose you could
always fit spring assisters if it started to sag. I should think that they
are fine to drive, and should be a lot more economic than the VW. There is
an extensive test on them this month in MMM, and they come out quite well.

The biggest bugbear though is the expense. I cannot see where there is
25,000 in one of these. I think you can buy a Peugeot van new for less
than 10,000, and a top of the range caravan with all mod cons and it's own
chassis for similar, so how the hell do they justify it?

However, I have definitely got the bug, and will be investigating second
hand Romahomes. Any owners got any comments about them? My other gripe
would be that I would want to fix a bike rack on mine, but I wouldn't think
that designing a hinged rack would be rocket science, I expect somebody has
already done it.

Cheers, Barleycorn.

  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 28th 05, 09:48 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Hairy Arse
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Posts: 50
Default Re- Compact MH with ablutions

"Barleycorn" wrote in message
.. .

The biggest bugbear though is the expense. I cannot see where there is
25,000 in one of these. I think you can buy a Peugeot van new for less
than 10,000, and a top of the range caravan with all mod cons and it's

chassis for similar, so how the hell do they justify it?

Half of it is they can get away with it,

Last year i bought a second hand iveco turbodaily.. a big van to say the
least... 6.5 meters long, 2 meters wide, about 7 foot tall, 2.8 litre TDI
engine etc, R reg..1997, i paid over the odds a bit at 3k, but it had all i
wanted, mainly the single rear wheel version of the extra long wheelbase
van, which are a little thin on the ground,

Ok i had some mega bad luck when 2 weeks later the engine ate number 4
exhaust valve at 70mph on the A1, wrecking the head, piston, liner, turbo
and so on,
We opted to go for a fully re-conditioned engine at a cost of 4k, sounds
silly for a 3k van, but the van was soon to be a motorhome that'll be taken
all over europe, so the investment in an essentialy brand new engine with
zero miles on it was a good one.. these van's are very expensive for parts
you have to remember.. they are scaled down trucks not scaled up cars like
most vans,

hence things like rear wheel bearings are about 4 inches wide, about 5
inches in diamiter, and cost about 100 each, and take about 600 newton
meters to re-seat the hub nut after fitting them (standard car wheel nuts
are torqued to about 100 newton meters max)

But as a result these van's are very very sturdily built, they can take all
the abuse heavy handed fleet users throw at them, (except being driven on
the rev limiter from brighton to london and back all day every day for 5
years by an unsympathetic driver who dosent own the van so dosent have to
pay for repairs)

I also replaced the differential at the same time the engine was being
re-conditioned.. this was an 800 expence alone.. went for a higher ratio
diff while i was at it to suite it's planned more sedate life it would be
leading as a motorhome.

We then spent around 7k for a bare coachbuilt body.. this price was for the
van to be driven into the coachbuilders as a panel van, the body chopped off
and disposed off, chassis preped for the new wider and longer body,
framework built, the lot clad in alli sheet, insulated and lined inside with
3mm wall board ply, 5 seitz double glazed windows fitted (one of them almost
2 meters long.. these windows cost from 400 to 1000 quid each)
Caravan entry door fitted, wiring added in the walls, insulated floor, all
sealing and trim strips on the outside and so on,

Basicaly 3 weeks after driving a panel van in, i drove a 7 meter long, 2.15
meter wide, 3 meter high coachbuilt bodied van out.

Then we fitted out the interior with the usual motorhome items.. i built my
layout with a rear bathroom, 2.15 meters wide by about 2 meters long.. nice
sized shower, big wardrobe, drawers, laundry bag hidden beside the drawers
under the wardrobe (accessed like a laundry chute)
nice sized oval bowl sink in a corner cabinet.. bags of storage underneath,
thetford swivel bowl toilet, 4 large eye level lockers and so on.

main living area has a 6 foot wide sofa, and a 5 foot 8 wide sofa facing
each other accross the van, island leg table between these makes a dining
area that 7 people can sit around in comfort.

Just fitted an electric motor to the bed slider, so now i just press a
button and a sliding bed base comes out from the largest sofa to meet the
smaller one, making a 7 foot long by 6 foot wide bed.

We opted to have the over cab luton area as storage and not a bed.. so the
van's roof line is level along it's length, less wind resistance, and tons
of storage over the cab.. we built this van for the 2 of us and a dog.

Kitchen is an L shaped main counter area.. smev combined sink, half shallow
sink and 4 burner hob and grill (electric ignition and all that) single
lever taps throughout, domestic sized waste pipes with real S bends fitted,
no smells from the waste tank in this motorhome.

At the moment we have 2 massive cupboards under the cooker/sink unit, but
there'll be an oven under the cooker when we find a suitably priced one with
electric ignition that matches the cooker.

2 long drawers and a pot and pan cupboard in the end of the L shaped part of
the counter base,

On the wall behind you when facing the cooker is the thetford 85 litre
fridge (usual thetford stuff.. electric ignition, flame meter, interior
light, full width freezer that keeps minus 18*C at 35*C outside temps and so
That's mounted halfway up the wall, so no bending down to get stuff out the
fridge, below it is a large larder for tinned food etc, above the fridge is
a small microwave,

Trumatic heater to the left of the fridge (the version that's certified for
use when traveling) full blown air kit on it etc,
That's built into another work surface, above that is a 15 inch tft TV, a
DVD player and so on, all built into the van.. not removeable without major

Thin cupboards other side of the fridge for table storage, awning winder and
stretcher pole, and other junk i can hide in there.

Usual fiamma turbo vent (thermostaticaly controlled for the dog) in the
roof, fiamma vent over the shower cubicle, 125 watt solar panel on the roof,
cab seperated from the living area with a sliding door (electricaly operated
of course

Electric step under the main entry door, 150 litres of fresh water.. pumped
by the usual surflo diaphram pump and accumalator, 130 litre waste tank with
1.5 inch fast drain valve (like the american RV's have) elecsol carbon fiber
batteries, sterling 20 amp 4 stage mains charger, inverter, safe, 6 kilo
fire extinguisher and so on and so on.

Ok, this is a big van, prolly 3 times the size of the romahomes, and we did
the interior build our selves,
We picked the van up from the coachbuilders at the begining of febuary last
year, and was at the peterborough show in april to show it off.

Saw a kinda similar layout to ours on an autotrail Mohican while at the
show, this was on a fiat base vehicle (half the cost of an iveco when new)
had less equipment in it, and they wanted 45k for it.

Our total cost to build our van to date... just over 20k.

Ok my time isn't included in that cost.. that's just all the stuff that's
gone into our van to build it.. including the thousands of screws, nails,
litres of glue etc.

But you can see what kind of mark up a motorhome has on it if we can build
one for more than half the cost of a similar layout van, and that was with
paying retail price for the body to be built.. imagine what it costs the big
makers when they do the body them selves.


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