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    General questions about the C15 and demountable

    Hi,

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    I have to work away during the week, anything between 1 and 4 nights, when I was more permanently working away from home I used to take a caravan and have it at a site local to where I worked and just pay for the pitch for 7 days as it worked out cheaper than staying in cheap hotels. However I'm now working away in Hertfordshire and for only 1 or 2 nights so 7 days of caravan pitch isn't cost effective, however as I cannot plan my trips getting deals from hotels is not always possible, the hotels near the office know there is a lot of people like myself and charge a premium as a result. For example I did a similar job in Sheffield for a number of years and could stay in Travelodges for an average of £19 a night.

    Anyway, I digress slightly, reading through the forums it did occur to me to get a small motorhome, it has to be small as it would be my only means of transport while down there so has to be able to fit in a standard car parking space at the office, all I really need is somewhere to sleep, prepare a simple meal. Almost all the offices I have worked at over the years have onsite showers so I could even wild-camp, possibly staying in the office car park.

    Looking at it from a financial point of view the motorhome has to be an older one as anything too new makes no sense as it has to work out cheaper than hotels for obvious reasons.

    While looking around I came across the romahome and therefore the forums, which have been most informative and helpful, especially the manuals and images showing the dimensions.

    I'm leaning more towards one of the demountable models as it means if/when the base vehicle starts to rot means transfering the body over to another one, the only real question I have is around the "driveability" of them, currently most my commute is down the M6 and M1 which is mainly 50mph average, however there are sections where its still 70mph and at some stage I will move sites again, which could be Scotland way for example where I would be able to do 70mph on the motorway, I'm more than happy to cruise along at 70 where possible but how does something like the Daihatsu (which seems to be the more popular choice for the demountable) handle 70mph? What are the base vehicles like to drive for 4-5 hours?

    The other advantage of the demountable ones is they don't rot, I've worked with fibreglass in the past so even a battered one is an option as I'd easilly be able to fix any problems with it.

    I understand that the pods are not insulated, which is fine in winter as I can always get warm, however what are they like in summer, is there enough airflow to make them comfortable to sleep in?

    Any general comments that I haven't considered or factered in that might make this a bad idea?

    #2
    Hi JollyP - If you have been reading the threads you will know that I am a strong advocate of demountable for the reasons you state.
    The last pods Mk5 named "Free Spirit" built toward the end of the 90s is double skinned. That is the same pod as Stekker has put on his DFSK. - They are easily identified as they have a "proper" gas locker -the door is on the left hand side rear.
    As the pods have 2 opening rooflights there is plenty of airflow.

    My Daihatsu went to Edinburgh from Cornwall twice and also did Land's End to John O' Groats and round the NC500. Comfortable top speed is 55 to 60mph on the Motorway - I think the Suzuki Carry or DFSK probably handles better - bigger wheels and the slightly longer wheelbase.

    In your lengthy post you do not mention a budget. The slightly larger demountable is the Suntrekker - same construction - same company Island plastics - originaly designed to fit on the Ford P100, are now found fitted on Japanese 1 ton pick-ups - onmy Hilux there is about 10inches of overhang at the rear and it is not as wide as the standard pickups wing mirrors. But you can reckon on paying upward of £5k for a scruffy unit and pickup - I know of one without a pickup with an asking price of 5000 Euros.
    Jon

    Comment


      #3
      Hello jollyp and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for a broad range of views and experience of Romahome and the alternatives. I cannot give you first hand experience of any Romahomes because although we looked at the C15 and demountable pods with genuine interest we never found one that suited our needs As a solo traveller you won’t share our criteria and may find one that suits you perfectly.
      As you may be travelling widely first thing is to try the cabs and the vehicle dynamics. I couldn’t get comfortable in the C15 van cab, although I am not tall I couldn’t get the seat back far enough to suit me. My dad had a Honda Acty van for a while. I expect it was not that similar to the Daihatsu but I would view anything so small and modest in engine size with caution so I suggest testing those criteria first.
      C15 based vans are old now and although there will be some good ones about corrosion can make them beyond economic repair and some spares may be hard to find.
      There are others here better able to advise on these vehicle and they will be along soon.

      If you can find a Romahome pod then it doesn’t necessarily have to stay on a Japanese Kei truck. There will be alternatives that may require some work but could better suit travelling long distances on the motorway. Maybe a Toyota Hiace a Mitsubishi L200 or a chassis cab.
      There is a handy sketch of a Romahome demountable pod in this thread:
      https://community.smallmotorhome.co....r-base-vehicle

      And there are other demountables out there – although generally larger in all directions than the Romahome. See kernojon’s thread:
      https://community.smallmotorhome.co....le-our-new-van

      If you happen to be handy with woodwork there are a few websites which show how to build your own demountable to sit on a pickup as HandmadeMatt shows:
      http://forum.difflock.com/viewtopic....ac716621b8fd43
      It would not need to be as big for a solo traveller or look quite so much like a garden shed on tour! A much better looking effort on an American website Casual Turtle Campers.

      If you want to be inconspicuous then a stealthy van conversion must be your best bet. Have you looked at Dantage’s threads:
      https://community.smallmotorhome.co....o-micro-camper
      and his follow up
      https://community.smallmotorhome.co....for-a-few-days

      Secondhand small vans can be low cost and later models will have much better corrosion protection. Renault first followed by the Fiat-Peugeot-Citroen badged vans built in their joint venture factories last better than, for example, the Transit vans.

      Comment


        #4
        Just a couple of points about Misted post.
        Re Honda Acty although the Suzuki, Daihatsu and DFSK are Kei type trucks. The export models have larger engines - the Acty was 600cc whereas the others are either 1 litre (99* cc 3 cyl engines) or 1300 cc 4 cylinder engines.
        Jon

        Comment


          #5
          jollyp All good points above but other things to consider ...
          You do not mention what business you are in. If you wear a suit to work you will need to consider hanging it up at night. If you are a jeans and T-shirt person then not the same considerations.
          Also, most car parks these days on business premises are covered by CCTV, make sure you have permission to stay and that the monitoring company have been informed, otherwise you may be getting visits from a security company in the middle of the night and the key holders will be getting phone calls...
          Too old to know everything!

          Comment


            #6
            kernowjon Budget isn't huge, it would have to be sub £4k to make it cost effective, if I was spending 4 days a week in a hotel then the budget would be slightly higher, but once you factor in possible pitch costs etc, then I think £4 is a more reasonable amount, once I have something suitable, a demountable definitely seems to be the way forward, then changing the base vehicle in a year or so becomes an option, other than general maintenance the pod, in theory is a one off cost. I hadn't looked at the SunTrekkers but having had a quick look it is probably more suitable, mainly because of the base vehicle being suitable for the types of journey I do.

            Misted I did think about building something, but unless its some form of GRP pod then it will be prone to rot, I had an old caravan that started to leak, even resealing it only lasted a while before it started again, yes the pods can have issues with leaks around windows but the main structure should be fine and the odd repair here and there isn't a problem. Even making something and fibre glassing the exterior will have problems over time as I have seen on boats and if you don't get it just right it becomes even more of a problem to repair. Ideally I'm looking for something that will last that I can just move from vehicle to vehicle. As you say a lot of the base vehicles are now getting old and starting to have the dreaded rust problem, I MOT checked a lot that I have seen that were for say and looking at the history you can see that most have failed in the last couple of years due to corrosion which is a warning sign, even those that didn't fail had advisories on them. I can weld, but once the rot starts then its only a matter of time.

            JimBro Suit hanging isn't something I had thought about, I work, generally in offices, sometimes they want you suited and booted, others have a business casual type policy, but either way I would need somewhere to hang long sleeved shirts. I'd certainly clear it with the company before stopping over, other options are to use local campsites and only paying for the nights I stay as opposed to having to pay to leave a caravan all week, or the hassle or putting it in storage while I'm back at home or towing it to and from home each week as I won't be able to park on the client site with the caravan.

            I'm sure some peoples stance is to just stay in a hotel and it is easier, but having done this for many of years there is nothing like your own personal space, silly things like eating when you want and what you want without having to think about it and go somewhere, its amazing how hard it is to eat sensibly when you are working away.

            Thanks for the comments, its always to get another perspective as there are doubtless many things I haven't thought about or considered, for all the research I've done its easy to get too focused on it without considering other options or as JimBro says hanging clothes, it never occurred to me.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jollyp View Post
              kernowjon Budget isn't huge, it would have to be sub £4k to make it cost effective, if I was spending 4 days a week in a hotel then the budget would be slightly higher, but once you factor in possible pitch costs etc, then I think £4 is a more reasonable amount, once I have something suitable, a demountable definitely seems to be the way forward, then changing the base vehicle in a year or so becomes an option, other than general maintenance the pod, in theory is a one off cost. I hadn't looked at the SunTrekkers but having had a quick look it is probably more suitable, mainly because of the base vehicle being suitable for the types of journey I do.
              Jolly do not look at the layout of my Suntrekker as it was a one-off from scratch. You may find Amanda's videos informative - she is a film maker who has used her Suntrekker since the mid 1990s - I think on her 4th truck!
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...jpS10XyPqSMPST
              If you keep looking Suntrekkers do come up at the right price - I had a permanent search on Ebay, Gumtree etc.
              BTW beware of a Suntrekker Mk1 on a Walker body - these are not GRP - conventional 1980s caravan construction on soft wood frame - damp problems etc!
              Jon

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