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Counselling On Changing Van Required


Steamdrivenandy

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I am an Eribanaut and own a 2001 Troll 540 and I love Eribas and have even written large chunks of a book about them (which has failed to find a publisher). I've also been ostracised by the Eribaforum community because I posted that I was writing a book and they considered it was a commercial enterprise that broke their membership rules.

 

I am also 6ft 2ins tall and a lithe whippet-like 17 stone. I am owned by two bearded collies and controlled by a 5ft 2ins female dynamo called Chris.

 

The owner of the biggest Eriba dealers in the country (AL) gave me the accolade of being 'the largest person I've ever seen in an Eriba'. I'm still not sure whether I'd like that as my epitaph.

 

Anyway after several years of Eribaing I'm considering going over to the 'normal' side.

 

I've always believed 'small is beautiful', hence I can't be doing with behemoth twin axle jobs and 4x4s and such that are needed to pull them. Also hence my liking for Eribas and my height challenged dearly beloved. However the inability for someone of my size to fit into the Troll's washroom in any meaningful way, along with countless 'kisses' from internal roof and external door frame edges, plus a painful left knee when sleeping on and a morbid hatred of the 2 stone main bench tops that need regular manhandling has driven me towards 'the other side'.

 

We have looked at the Lunar Quasar 464 which has a similar layout to the Troll (albeit the opposite way round) and apart from the Elddis Xplore 304 appears to be the only 3 to 4 berth UK van that's under 20ft long.

 

The 464 boasts an oven, a microwave a shower and washroom that I can turn round and 'sit down' in, it also has a door and ceiling that I can stand up in unbent and an extra 6ins of width which would allow my aching knee to extend at night and relieve the pain. The main benches are shorter than the Troll's and are hinged, so no more lugging round 2 stone of mattress etc. It also costs the same price brand new as you'd have to pay for a 6 year old Troll. But (and you just knew there was a 'but') inside it felt much flimsier than the Eriba with wallboards that flexed and lightweight timber framing that looked perilously fragile and indefinably there was no 'atmosphere' in there.

 

Now this is where I need help. Should I embrace the Lunar for all it's positive advantages and try to forget the thought that I feel it might shake itself apart inside a few hundred miles and that compared to the Eriba it has the 'personality' of a sterilised shoe box? Should I think that it's only for our 30 or 40 days a year and that I shouldn't expect strength, atmosphere, convenience and price all in one package?

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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I hear what you're saying, however it's a caravan not a house so it is going to be lighter and to avoid the excess weight that requires the pulling along by a 4x4 it does need to be made of flimsier but not weak materials. I'd say while the layout in a caravan and it's design are important, as are quality and reliability the atmosphere and personality are what you bring into it. I can't speak for the exact quality or reliability of the modell you're looking at as i'v never owned one, but I'm sure some kind soul on here will know.

 

Happy hunting and I hope you find what you want :)

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I imported a troll a few years ago and had many happy times with it before changing it for a much larger van! You'll always miss the Troll and although the larger van may seem more comfortable and possibly practical it will not have the charactrer of the Troll. So my advice is take a break from caravanning! go abroad and then come back and fall in love with the Troll all over again.

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All foreign vans are built better than the British - more substantial etc.

Try looking at other foreign brands - eg. Adria or Hymer. :unsure:

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It's only a tad over 20 ft. Have you looked at the Bailey Orion range. 10 year warranty against ROT.

Whilst under 6 ft (just) like you I suffer from D. M. S. (Dormant muscle syndrome) and a SWMBO who is 5ft nothing size 8. My priorities for our van are quite different to hers.

In my case it's (In no particular order)

1. Is the bed long enough.

2. Is the bed wide enough

3. Can I fit and use the washroom.

4. Is it solid enough to stand me knocking into bits now and again.

5. Can I relax in the seating.

6. Am I confident it's unlikely to leak and rot.

 

Any of the above being the wrong answer, then its a non starter. I'm too old to be uncomfortable. If O. K. I move onto cost/size/weight e. t. c.

 

In her case it's can we afford it/pull it/do I like the colour scheme e. t. c.

 

As it happens we both meet in the middle and love our Unicorn Valencia. The one thing she finds though is that because of the internal height she can't reach the sky lights and has to stand on the furniture to open or close them.

 

So if life had not been so kind and we were not able to tow the Valencia and needed to downsize. It would be the Orion 430-4 0r 440-4 I just cannot see my money spent on Stick and Screw construction that is full of holes that will (not may) leak any longer. The Alu-Tech construction is probably the nearest in strength / weather resistance to Eriba available from a British maker.

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Hi Andy,

We own a Hymer Eriba Nova 545 SL, Built like the proverbial. !! I'd suggest take a look at what Gary has on http://www. elitecara. ..ts. asp?c=42&d=2 he has a very nice little TEC 510 HTE for sale and wouldn't take a big car to pull it. TEC. are as you probably know built by Hymer as are Eriba sdc12546b.th.jpg

 

Uploaded with ImageShack. usg] I've owned five and can vouch for their robust build and ease of use. Enjoy your caravaning,Catch ya later,indoors.

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Thank-you all for your thought provoking replies.

 

Of course my pocket rocket (Mrs SDA) sees no problem with the van, but at 5ft 2ins she wouldn't.

 

I have identified ways of alleviating some of the issues whilst staying with Eribas.

 

I could try and find a 540 with a central chest (only made post 2004), this would change the two stone 6ft 3ins long ply backed bench mattresses for a shorter hinged and slatted bench base which would remove one problem.

 

I could try and find a Troll 555 which is the only Eriba with a different style of washroom which might improve access for taller/wider humans.

 

I could try and find a post 2009 Troll when they raised the awning rail/door height by a few inches and widened the body by 4 inches giving extra stretch room across the van and additional width and height in the washroom. Unfortunately they haven't yet made any Troll 540's post 2009 with the central cabinet though, so I'd search in vain for getting all the issues resolved in one van.

 

The downside of seeking the above alternatives is that the '04 vans go for around £12K, 555's were only available around 2006 and are now costing around £14K and post '09 vans are valued at about £16K or so. Anecdotal evidence also says that build quality gradually got worse over the decade, but is slowly improving now that production, after 40 years, has moved from Hymer France back to Hymer Bad Waldsee in Germany where it all originally began in 1957/8.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Considering your height you should try as many caravan beds for size first. A visit to a dealers will give this opportunity.

 

We have a tall friend who bought a fixed double bed van and his wife can't make the bed because she is short and he doesn't fit because he is too long.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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I know what you mean about bed sizes LHD.

Our current Eriba has 6ft 3ins single benches that can make up into a roughly 6ft 3ins square bed. However we tend to stick to singles because it gives the dogs more space and you don't get the problem of having to climb over your partner to pay a nocturnal 'comfort' visit :( However even with a 6ft 3ins bed I find I can't really stretch out, which is what my aching knee needs.

The lounge benches on the Lunar we looked at are 5ft 6ins long, so no use as a single bed for me, but possible for Mrs SDA. If you turn them into a double then you get 6ft 7ins or so length which is great, but the central cabinet reduces the bed to 4ft 3ins wide which is 9ins narrower than our bed at home and 3ins narrower than a 'standard' double bed. So not so great.

Whilst I quite admire the Orions I believe their 4 berthers are heavier than our Kia Cee'd SW 1. 6CRDi automatic can handle, well Kia say it'll pull 1,400kg but applying the 85% advisory means max. MTPLM is just over 1,200kg. Three berths are our minimum, to allow grandson to join us, and nobody makes just 3 berth vans these days (except Eriba).

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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but the central cabinet reduces the bed to 4ft 3ins wide which is 9ins narrower than our bed at home and 3ins narrower than a 'standard' double bed.

 

My central cabinet is removable by turning clips under the bottom drawer.

I specifically asked the salesman if this was possible. It may be possible on the van you choose as well. :)

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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That's a thought LHD, I know the Eriba central cabinets are easily removable, it's just that in a van that small there's not much room to put it anywhere else.

I did notice that the Lunar brochure offers an option of 'Wrap around seating in addition to Drawer Chest' which presumably means you get upholstery under the chest which must surely mean that the chest is removable, at least with that option fitted.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Hi Andy, Good to see you on this forum i for one miss you on the eriba forum and did say exactly that when you were forced to leave. Hubby and me were only talking yesterday about your book and wondering if you had it published yet. It must be a really hard decision for you to think of parting with your eriba, we are thinking of possibly swapping our familia in the future for a troll to give us a bit extra space but as yet are unsure as to if it will be worth the hassle for the extra 3ft. Hope you are well and i look forward to hearing of your final decision and outcome. Kind regards. Ellen.

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Hi Ellen, nice to hear from you and especially nice to hear that you were so supportive.

 

I've written masses of the book but got to the stage where I needed to get out to interview those involved in Eribas around the UK and in Europe. That would be costly but I was happy to do it provided I had the backing of a publisher. I approached several but either got rejected or heard nothing at all despite chasing them. Just like job applications really.

 

I'm thinking of putting what I have written on to a website for the benefit of all interested parties, so the forum will at last understand that I haven't pinched their content and that it's publication would've been useful to the very community they're supposed to be serving.

 

Sorry I've hijacked my own thread.

 

It's not nice to consider moving away from Eribas as I still love them and their idiosyncrasies and it is true that, even now, they're a much stronger design than the majority of UK produced vans. I'd love to move to the slightly wider and taller newer versions but they're more expensive than we can afford and I'm not sure they'd actually remedy all the issues.

 

Maybe Cheshire Gordon is right and I should use the winter break to try and put Poppy out of my mind and renew our courtship in the Spring when I may feel happier about things.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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I'm afraid the Adria Action is a little too small to fit us, our two beardies and small grandson Gump.

We had an Adria Compact 590SP motorhome for 2 years before we got the Eriba and I couldn't fault their build quality, but getting spares was a nightmare.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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I'm afraid the Adria Action is a little too small to fit us, our two beardies and small grandson Gump.

We had an Adria Compact 590SP motorhome for 2 years before we got the Eriba and I couldn't fault their build quality, but getting spares was a nightmare.

Adria spares availability is no longer a problem - much better than most British manufacturers!

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Hi Andy,

We own a Hymer Eriba Nova 545 SL, Built like the proverbial. !! I'd suggest take a look at what Gary has on http://www. elitecara. ..ts. asp?c=42&d=2 he has a very nice little TEC 510 HTE for sale and wouldn't take a big car to pull it. TEC. are as you probably know built by Hymer as are Eriba sdc12546b.th.jpg

 

Uploaded with ImageShack. usg] I've owned five and can vouch for their robust build and ease of use. Enjoy your caravaning,Catch ya later,indoors.

 

Just as Indoors so rightly says, I couldn't agree more !!

 

If you love your Eriba I honestly do think that you wouldn't like UK build quality, so why not stay German and take a good hard look at other vans out of the Hymer/Eriba stable or pop down the road and have a good hard butchers at a Hobby, TEC, Tabbert or whatever.

 

Bonne chance

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I would love to move in that direction BJ but I've only just (February) got rid of a gurt great 25mpg automatic Sorento (tractor with a 4x4 body on top) and swapped it for a lovely lithe 40mpg Cee'd SW automatic with an 85% max of just over 1,200kg. Mrs SDA (5ft 2ins tall) is already twitchy about changing vans (she doesn't have my size issues) and if I suggested a change of car as well she'd go mental :(

 

Most of the Euro vans are strongly built but there's a penalty but unfortunately that strength generates weight.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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