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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, I'm thinking about getting a T5 SWB 140PS with a Reimo Trio Style conversion. We've got three kids to squeeze in (ages 4, 9 and 11). Two of them get travel sick :eek: but not too bad if the ride's good and they can look out of a window. Will the seats be big enough? Has anyone else out there got experience of a largish family in a van. Thought we'd get a decent awning (Khyam?) to expand the space as far as poss.
 

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We've just bought an LWB shuttle 140 for the same reason. Can't help with conversion as we have a caravan but so far so good :)
 

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It all depends on the width of the rear seat - we get our 3 across the back of our Bilbos converted van, and they've. Each got a seat belt T:
 

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We supply & fit the RIB seats, of which you can have a three seater of 130cm (leaves room for a narrow run of furniture) or 150 cm (full width of van, so no room for furniture) There are some photos of the 130cm in the gallery on our website, if it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone, only 1 still needing a booster seat now. Think we'll have to try it out. As an alternative, how comfortable are the double front seats for one adult, one child?
 

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Thanks everyone, only 1 still needing a booster seat now. Think we'll have to try it out. As an alternative, how comfortable are the double front seats for one adult, one child?
I think the double front seat would be the best way forward. You can get a swivel base for these now, although not seen them myself.

If you have and you do, a largish family, then you don't want to compromise on storage space in the conversion. So a 3/4 bed or seat is going to be needed rather than a full width. If you get a pop top you will ( at the ages they are be able to with a little bit of luck be able to get them all together. What you will need though is a poptop tent protector something that will stop them getting cold and wet. http://atdesigns.co.uk/aTDesigns/IgTherm.html

With regards the awning, think about spending quite a bit of money on this as you want something that lasts and will pack down very small as agian storage will be a huge factor. Vaude a German tent and rucksack manufacture make both a side and rear drive away, with inner tent options. Pack size is the best I have seen and coming from a mountaineering background they are built to last out Himalayan base camps.

I have storage issues to as my family compromises of me and wife, small child 3years, dog of 4years and a fantastic off road wheelchair for the wife as she has MS and now finds it near impossible to walk more than 10 steps.

I hope the info is of use.

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Tony, that's really useful info. Good to hear you and your wife can still get out and about with the van. it's great how flexible they can be. We'll be using the van to travel to see family, so being able to insulate pop top will extend the season in which we can do that. A:
 

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We have a SWB 3 Bridges conversion, and 3 kids almost exactly the same age as yours.
We have a double up front and a double RIB in the back.
Its cozy but really great fun,
I use it as a daily drive and a LWB would have been to long for the spaces on the works carpark and my drive.
When you are fully loaded space is tight so you need plan what you take and you will pack far to much the first time you go.
Stacka boxes are the best thing we have found, 3 under the RIB with one soft bag and 4 behind the passengers seat. Quick and easy to unload and stable when traveling, Another essential item is a decathlon £25 2 second pop up tent. Long weekends/festivals/single night stop overs before you cross the channel. Arrive at site, pop up tent empty the van in to it, wind out awning and have a glass on wine all within 10mins and loads of space to do it in.

The double up front is great loads of space under it, big wide enough for me and by eldest who is bigger than the wife now. The back is a bit upright for me but the the wife actually prefers it that way, be the 5 of us managed to the French alps and back this summer so cant be that bad.

Get the kiravans swivel it make a massive difference to the living space and I would say its essential if the weather is bad, our week in the rain in Dorset in June would have been unbearable without it.

Sleeping wise the 120cm RIB is great and plenty wide enough, for weekends away fin and tom (12 and 10) sleep up top and Millie a very petite 5 sleeps in a SWC cab bunk across the front.
If we are away for longer we have an outwell country road awing and fin the eldest sleeps in that.

If you want any more info pm me you're number and I can call you.



Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for that advice Phil. It's a relief that someone else is fitting this many people into one van! The boxes sound like a good idea. T: How do you get on with the swivel double? How long does it take to turn round?

Helen
 

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I just want to back up Phils remarks We are a family of six new to camping after a lot of research we went for a lwb T5converted by Bilbos a comp. in Surrey. I had them fit a Kiravans Double seat and they are fantastic we store all our walking boots and dirty muddy stuff under there it is a lot of space you lose if you have a single seat . It takes a bit of getting use to, swiveling it but once you have done it a few times it is not to bad, but for me never easy but worth it.
The seating position is quite upright and cant be adjusted on ours but my wife finds it very comfortable and we have even had my 14year old in the middle and there was plenty of room.

Ralph
 

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I don't know about 3 kids and the reimo trio but it is something we considered however with 2 kids and another one on the way we are just about to change our t4 7 seater camper for a t5 caravelle which we plan to fit with pop top, cab bunk and kitchen pod. Everyone has different priorities but we have now decided that more seating and space for every day comfort is more of a priority than the camping cupboards & storage.

I like being able to separate the children on longer journeys to reduce the squabbles, we plan to have the child pack so we don't have to worry about storing a booster seat when sleeping in the van. With regards to the front double, I hate ours in the t4 as it feels a squeeze next to our 4 year old in his high back booster.

I'm glad we did a self conversion on the cheap first to really figure out what we want. We have had our t4 for 5 years and changed the layout twice! Finally think we have figured what we want now that we plan to spend more serious pennies!
 

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The child pack is where there are built in booster or 5 point harness into the central captains seats. Maybe not so relevant for you if 2 of your children are older but definitely great for us with having 3 in car seats for several years to come! Found this image to show what I mean...

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow isn't that a good idea. Glad I posted on here, there are so many different ways of doing things and you'd never find all this info just searching the internet. Will have to think long and hard how we tackle this to make best use of our space.
 

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I've got a Triostyle and love it but I only use the 3 rear seats for short trips across town when I run a my son and his mates (all 9) to footy practice. I think they may get on eachothers nerves on longer trips. The seat itself is 1100mm on a triostyle and then it has a ~200mm padded shelf alongside to make a bed 1330mm wide. The other problem I can foresee is that the cupboards aren't very deep on the triostyle conversion. We got round this by having a LWB conversion so we have an extra cupboard. I think you should look at a Lucky or one of the other conversions with a wider cupboard but stick with the Variotech seat and get an extra removeable seat?

This is a Reimo Freevan showing the additional seat...

 

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Hi Helen, just out of interest, I'm also looking at a Reimo Triostyle (Or California SE) and have a couple of little ones. Have you managed to source one, have you seen any more around for the £30k mark? Any ideas appreciated. Ian
 
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