Yesterday we rose at 5am and were away (in the car) before 6 o’clock and on our way to Paris, or rather, to the north-west of Paris. We were going to a motorhome dealer, where there were two Hymer B534s, rear lounge configuration, for sale.
The dealer, like most French retailers, closes for lunch at 12:00 for two hours. The early start was intended to get us there for around mid morning, in plenty of time to look carefully at both vehicles. It also seemed sensible to leave early and to drive during the cooler part of the day as temperatures were forecast to rise to 35°C.
Luckily our new car was fitted when new with the luxury pack and sports fabulously effective air-con (down to 18 degrees), tinted glass, a shaded sun roof, and sunscreen blinds at the rear. We packed plenty of water for the dog in our 12v cooling box and off we went.
Things got off to a poor start when we noticed that the sun roof cover was partially open. On attempting to close it completely, it got stuck… in the fully open position! (We assumed a fuse had gone but I did manage, luckily, to close the blind later in the day.)
A route that avoided la peripherique had been planned. Not sure if that was a good choice or a poor one but the traffic on our chosen route was horrendous as we approached Pierrelay and the clock kept on ticking. We eventually arrived just half an hour before lunch so it was a very cursory inspection that we gave to the two vans and we completely omitted to look at any alternatives.
Of the pair of B534s, there was an older model with more miles that was more highly priced than the younger model with fewer miles. This had puzzled us but it was clear when we saw them that the older van was simply more appealing and it did at least offer air-con in the cab area.
By midday we had decided that the rear lounge layout would work well for us, that the tiny 6m length actually packs in plenty of features and feels pretty spacious in fact. We liked the moveable table, which is relatively large, and the comfort level of the lounge benches is pretty high. I managed to get up the ladder to the drop down bed and down again without issue and if my joints deteriorate to the level where I can’t do that, then the lounge makes up to a king-size bed. In the meantime the lounge area will suit the dog nicely.
We said that we would buy! It didn’t seem to matter that doing the paperwork encroached into lunch (not very French!) and we came away at 12:30 having paid our deposit..
The van is to be collected on the 18th July.
We decided to come home avoiding the Paris outskirts by heading out West towards Rouen. Definitely the long way home, it took us eight and a half hours to get back to base, and certainly the more expensive in terms of road tolls (by a long way) but still the more likely route to be taken when we get the van. However, we are unlikely to attempt to bring it home in one leg!
Being short on time, I got no photos of the van but will upload some when we get it home.
Two Snails will be back on the road again, soon.