Having decided to live fulltime in a motorhome the search for one began in earnest. As anyone who has ever owned a motorhome will know, there are always compromises to be made. It’s all about getting the right layout for your needs. The things you need to consider include whether you want a fixed bed or not, how much storage space you need, how many seat belts does the vehicle need, do you need a lounge area etc. etc. etc.
When the search began the models I seemed to favour included the Swift 630G and the CI 656, both 6 berth models coachbuilt models with overcab double beds. The key difference between these models was that the Swift had a transverse double bed over a huge garage whilst the CI had transverse adult sized bunk beds with a smaller garage. The Swift came with a Fiat 2.8 litre engine whilst the CI had a Fiat 2.0 litre engine until 2005 when they upgraded to the Fiat 2.3 litre. The 2.0 litre was considered to be underpowered by most.
Travels all over England followed looking at used examples at dealers. I’d been told that you can normally get 10% off the screen price if you are a cash customer with nothing to part exchange. Unfortunately this was not true in my case with dealers only willing to offer 5% discount which meant I was still unable to afford the models I’d seen.
My search broadened, looking at older models that were within my budget. I’d heard good things about A class Hymers in terms of the internal build quality and so I arranged to meet Chris at Ikonic Kampers who specialises in these models. The model I’d gone to look at was a Hymer B694 from 1994. It was 7.3 metres long and came with 4 belted seats, a single sofa and a rear lounge that converted to a double bed. The layout felt good and the quality of the materials did seem high. It would sleep five and had lots of room for storage.
To make a comparison I decided to look at the other models Chris had on his drive which included another B694 from 1995, a B584 from 1998 and a B564 from 1998. All his models came with a Fiat 2.5 litre engine. The newer B694 was beyond my budget and I was fully expecting the other two models to feel too small at under six metres long. However when I entered the B564 something felt right. It had six seat belts, the dinette felt large and converted to a double bed that even a tall person (6’2″) like me could use. Like all A class Hymers it had the pull down double bed above the cab which was large and comfortable. I particularly liked the hanging wardrobe and cupboard on this model and the ski locker which would provide decent levels of storage. It did not sleep as many as other models I’d seen but I decided I could always get a privacy tent to attach to the awning to increase space.
With the decision made Chris and I made the deal and I’m due to collect my new home this coming Saturday! I’ll be sure to upload some photos soon. If you happen to own a Hymer B564 why not get in touch? I have lots to learn and it would be great to know a few other people with the same vehicle.