[tl:gallery index=0 size=103×155]Our Gentleman Jack Bancroft is an irredeemable motorcaravaning enthusiast. His family have been camping, caravanning and motorcaravanning since 1928. Jack and his wife Flora are now on their tenth motorhome, a 2003 Auto-Sleeper Pollensa on a Ford Transit base. They have toured extensively at home and abroad, including a period of full-timing. Here, Jack answers your motorcaravanning queries:
Q: I currently own a Roller Team 600G which I purchased new in 2009. It is something I like to share with my grown-up family. Since we purchased it my son has been diagnosed with MS and the C-class section of his licence has been removed.
His partner passed her driving test much more recently and her licence, with its present entitlement, does not allow her to drive the motorhome. We have looked at the possibility of putting her through the additional test but it is proving very expensive.
This has got me reviewing the need for such a large ’van. My daughter’s family are getting bigger and the needs we had on purchase are not the same as they are now. When my wife and I use the ’van I put a small 125cc motorbike in the garage compartment and use the motorbike to travel around the local area once on site.
I would like to get a slightly smaller ’van with four berths and four passenger seats, then fit a rack on the back of the ’van to take my motorbike when my wife and I use it.
Could you advise please the maximum weight of ’van I can purchase that could be driven by someone who does not have a C class licence and what I specifically need to be aware of when purchasing – either new or nearly new?
A: Here are some pointers. First, the ‘vital statistic’ is 3500kg. This is the maximum weight of motorhome your son and daughter-in-law can drive with their current licences.
The most important thing to do when assessing the suitability of a motorhome is to role-play in each of the four main areas. These are lounging/dining, sleeping, catering and ablutions.
Kick your shoes off and actually lie on the beds. Are they big enough? Can everyone access the loo at night? And so on.
The washroom is often a tricky area for an MS sufferer. In the time you are likely to have the ’van, is your son likely to need a carer to assist? (If so, you’ll need a washroom big enough for two). Or will grab-handles suffice?
In a nutshell, if you are pleased with your Roller Team 600, I’d look at a 500. Practical layout (our favourite), Ford base, five passenger seats and a huge payload. I reckon the Roller Team offers excellent value for money.
[tl:gallery index=1 size=210×175]Finally, there is another option, have you thought about keeping the 600G (pictured, right)? There is sufficient payload to have it down-plated from 3850kg to 3500kg though you’ll have to limit what you can carry to 435kg, including the weight of the passengers. Consider towing the motorbike on an open or box trailer.