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Advice On Changing Van - Please


Fordsabroad
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We currently have a twin fixed bed layout but are considering changing to a van with a side dinette so that we can lend it to our children who each have two children of thier own aged between a few weeks to 4 yrs old. The maximum occupancy of the van at any time would be two adults and two very young children.

For our own comfort we would like a large end washroom. Ideally the layout would feature a large front lounge which could be used as 2 singles or a double and a side dinette which would convert to bunks when required. Comfort and a good spec are important. Our price range is around £10 - 15K for a S/H van but would consider more for a new van.

I am keen on a Fleetwood Heritage 640EB but, although they are advertised as 3/4 berth I have yet to find one that is fitted with the bunk to make the 4th bed, although the dinette seems to make a single bed large enough to top and tail the youngsters. Any comments from anyone who has one of these or suggestions for other vans would be appreciated. Single or twin axle are both OK.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Fordsabroad

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We've got a 2007 Coachman 540 TA . . Good end washroom with two wardrobes, plenty of space in the 'van . . only gripe is, it feels narrow, after two 7'6 wide 'L' front vans

Edited by Disco Kid

Roughing it . . but in comfort . .

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We had a Bailey Pageant Champagne with the side dinette/end washroom configuration and our present Unicorn 1 Madrid is also the same. They both work exceedingly well with two adults and two children (even our 13 year old grandson is quite happy on the top bunk). We always use the two fronts as singles and both the bunks are over 6' long (I've used the lower bunk on several occasions and I'm 5'11").

 

For some reason Bailey shortened the beds in the Unicorn 2 Madrid and then took out the bunk on the Unicorn 3 Madrid so they've been taken off our want list (at least until the little ones - 4 & 7 don't want to come with us any more). The U3 Cadiz (two singles in a bedroom plus two at the front) might be a contender as they've lengthened the beds a bit over the U2 - we'd have to actually see one to see if it's anywhere as good as our U1 Madrid.

 

In the end you really need to go and sit around in a few, put your feet up and lounge about to see if it's going to work for your circumstances - we spend hours trying vans out but so far the side dinette/end bathroom layout works for us. We have a fancy for a twin bed layout (which would work well with kids) but so far most of them seem to end up with a cramped lounge area with beds that are too short to be used as singles.

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Going back to making beds again. ... No thanks. .. Do miss our side dinette, but not making beds up each night 😁

Citroen ds4 2. 0 hdi 163bhp Lunar Venus 500 2012.

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We have the Bailey Senator Arizona, which has a very large end washroom, side dinette and front lounge seats which are a good size. The dinette converts into bunk beds. The caravan itself has plenty of storage and very spacious generally. Personally, and this is only MY preference, but I would rather have this layout than the fixed bed layout. I know Bailey have now ceased making this model and it is now the Unicorn Madrid, which has taken over from the Senator, IMO the standard/quality of the Senator is first class. Good luck with your search. ;)

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Hi

We have just done the same. We did have the bailey cadiz twin single beds but we are expecting our first child so have changed our caravan to a Elddis crusader typhoon with the side dinette and massive end bathroom.

Do I miss the single beds NO not really Its takes all of 3 mins to throw the duvet on to the front singles so not to bothered about that and I must say I do like sitting at the side dinette when I'm up earlier in the morning than the other half and slurping on my first brew of the day.

 

CHEERS DAZKIM

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We have a Lunar Quasar 524 in this layout for the two of us and love it, making up the double bed at night is fine and keeps us active and results in a huge bed, equally two long singles can be made up here. A friend (40 something) of ours sometimes joins us with other friends and she sleeps in the single bed in the side dinette area and finds it very comfortable. We love the space and openness this layout provides .

2015 Swift Challenger 530SE & 2017 VW Tiguan R-line 4Motion 2.0TDI 150BHP

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We have this layout in our Avondale Osprey, use the front as 2 singles most of the time. The last 8 to 9 years use good sleeping bags, to our mind a lot better than Duvets. The grandchildren love the side dinette bunk set up, when they come to visit they love to play there. Good kitchen area and full width toilet, shower, wardrobe. All in All we think a good layout.

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We have the same layout, have the option of leaving the bed made up and using side dinnet and awning or traditional bed use. Had 3 vans in this layout now, works well for us.

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We were interested in the Bailey Cadiz, but we were put off by the table storage, we thought it would be a hassle getting it out every time by raising the bed and sliding it out, are we wrong, how do other cadiz owners feel.

 

Les

Les

 

 

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hello Fordsabroad.

 

You sound like great parents, I wish mine would lend me their 'van (and buy with us in mind!).

 

How often do you change your van and what car do you tow with?

 

The reason I ask is that with a very young child, we have found that a fixed double bed is actually very practical, as she gets the double and can easily be fenced in, however, once she's three or four I think bunks will definitely be the best way of making the most of the space in the van. A fixed double would obviously also suit you as a couple very well!

 

If you have a heavy enough car and don't want to be changing your 'van very often, you might want to consider one of the following, which gives you a fixed double, side dinette and rear washroom:

  • Sprite Quattro EW (twin axle - 1600 kg)
  • Sterling Eccles Coral (twin axle - 1800 kg)
  • Swift Challenger 630 SE (twin axle - 1800 kg)

Or with a smaller side/rear washroom

  • Bailey Orion 530-6 (single axle 1400 kg)
  • Adria Adora 612 DT Rhine (single axle 1700kg)
  • Adria Adora 610 DT (older model - single axle 1400 kg)
  • Sprite Quattro FB (twin axle 1700 kg)

Weights given are MTPLM and for the newest models, so older versions of the Adria and Sprite can be found at lighter weights.

 

My personal choice would be an Adria of about 2010/2011 vintage. Like these:

 

http://www. caravanfinder. co. uk/touring-caravans-for-sale/layouts-caravans/adria-adora-612-dt-used-caravan-2010-somerset-tk0191d5e

 

http://caravans. autotrader. co. uk/used-caravans/adria/adora/2011-adria-adora-610-dt-foyrd-road-cfpa-8aa406d146472c69014671797cfc09cb/category/touring-caravan/makemodel/make/adria/model/adora/layoutbed/fixed-bed

 

You get a super comfy double bed (with mattress that splits and raises for reading etc on the newer models) and great kitchen. You don't get a huge washroom, but the whole bedroom becomes your changing room for changing etc, and having the sink outside of the shower space suits us very well on our much older Europa!

Edited by AlfaEuropa
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Thank you all for your input, it is interesting to note that we are not the only ones moving away from fixed beds.

We have agreed to view a 2009 Fleetwood 640EB which appears to be in excellent condition with one owner from new. I did go and view a similar van at a caravan dealers which was described as immaculate and all I can say is their description did not match the dirty unloved van that was on the site and it was £1500 dearer and a year older than the private sale I have in mind!

 

It is funny that when you are not seriously looking there are seem to be loads of vans available but when you actually want one they all seem to be miles away. The one we want involves a round trip of nearly 500 miles but it will be worth it for the right van.

 

Thanks to all of you who responded.

 

Fordsabroad

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We have he Bailey Verona we moved away from side dinette / bunks as our on grew too long We love the Verona fixed bed for us and the huge double bed at the front for the kids or like this weekend our teenager slept in the awning in his pop up tent and my 9 year old and her friend slept on the front bench seats and everyone was happy. I dont think i could go back to having to make up al the beds every night either.

Cleaning the House while the kids are at home is like clearing snow with it still snowing

VW Touareg + Bailey Verona = Happy Family :)

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We had an elddis odyssey 656 which was a 6 berth twin axle with fixed bed, side dinette and huge end bathroom.

Jeep Grand Cherokee S Limited

2014 Crusader Storm :D

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