Help with small-ish family motorhome

Aug 31, 2016
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Hi, we are looking for our first family motorhome and need a bit of help. We will be doing 50% overnighting on campsites and 50% 'wild'. Mostly in rural Northern Scotland where we do a lot of walking, biking & skiing so a small-ish van that we can leave in laybys/rough car parks without taking up too much space..

We have 2 young boys so ideally something with twin beds or bunks at the rear that becomes their space in the evening and we can sit in the living area up front and chill out.

I am not keen on the tall motorhomes with a big bed above the cab but would prefer a dropdown bed for the adults. Definitely not interested in a vw transporter style of van as there are too many compromises (i.e. way too expensive for not enough space!)

Needs a shower, toilet and some decent storage space, and we are likely to use it for skiing & walking in winter..

I have looked at a Pilote Cityvan which is a great size for us but lacks storage.

Can anyone offer any help or ideas as the choice is too big!

I guess the most important thing is budget - absolute maximum of £32k

Dec 11, 2010
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I think your biggest challenge given what you want to put in the motorhome will be payload. Part of the reason the Cityvan has limited storage is that it has a limited payload. An ordinary car licence will be sufficient for a motorhome with a maximum weight of 3,500kgs. Such a motorhome is likely to have insufficient payload for a family of four unless compromises are made ie you pack less. If you have a C1 entitlement on your licence, than you can go above the 3,500kgs maximum weight and this will give you more payload.

If you don't know about the importance of motorhome weights, and many newcomers do not, the June 2017 Practical Motorhome magazine has a good, simple guide to get you thinking. Also, you can also search the 'net for articles on motorhome weights.

Going back to your question, I suggest that you consider a German A-class which will have a drop down bed and probably be fully winterised. The Arto in its earlier guise was a rock solid, winterised van but second hand ones are rare; the brand went upmarket and out of reach for most people. Have a good look at Hymers, particularly the 544. Beware, Hymer call some of their A-classes 'B-Class' and consider all their A-classes to be 'Integrated'.
Dec 1, 2011
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I think you will need a large van, for skying, as you will need to carry a lot of weight. Does your licence allow for over 3500? Payload is a big problem. You can not just load everything in . You need to stick to the allowed weight of the van 4 people, plus ski, food clothes water fuel , will be a big issue for a small van.
#make sure you ask about payload from the salesman, as it is not something they will tell you about. It has been found by many , that the van of their choice , is in adequate for the purpose . You are asking a lot from a small vcan. We have struggled with weight , and we are only 2, and only use in the SUN.
Read as many forum as you can, re weight issues
Ask as many questions , even if they seem to be "silly". There is no better knowledge than that of other users experience , not the slaeman!