Our Compass Bloggers Marmalade Tour – family of 4, plus two dogs – are living and travelling in a Compass Avantgarde 196 for a year … so it’s got to be spot on!
Here's the 5 Things they love about their Motorhome:
1 – The LayoutWhen researching which motorhome would be right for us, it was a big learning curve. We were new to the world of motorhomes and didn’t realise the number of available layout options.
It was a big learning curve.
Eventually we narrowed our selection down to something that had either twin beds or bunk beds for the children, plus another lounge and bed area. We wanted the children to each have their own bed rather than share a double, and we needed a lounge so that we could work at night while they were asleep (we still have to pay the bills)! We decided a 6-berth would be perfect for our needs.
Our Compass Avantgarde 196 does exactly this. It’s a 6 berth motorhome with a lounge at the back that we use as twin beds, although it can also convert into a double (perfect for our movie nights). There’s an additional table for the rear lounge too, so we can have a larger dining space and we use this for celebration (Birthday meals) travel days (so we don’t have to remove the car seats) and entertaining visitors!
To the front of the motorhome, we have a lounge/dining area that also turns into a good size double, with an electric drop-down bed (also a double) above this space – perfect for us. And if one of us wants to go to sleep on the drop-down bed whilst the other carries on working - little bunk-bed office!
Overall, we love all the options the Compass Avantgarde 196 gives us. We can work, eat, sleep or play in multiple places, which means we get variety.
2 – The Electric Entry Point
It may seem like a little thing, but we just love how our motorhome connects to mains electricity. Yes, it’s a standard connection but the placement on the van is the bit we mean. We really like the way the connection is recessed in a compartment next to the leisure battery. And then there’s ‘the cut-out’.
We have a handy little compartment on the side of our van to hide away the connection point so it doesn’t protrude and thanks to a handy little notch in the external panel, the electricity cable isn’t trapped within the compartment seal.
It’s a little thing, but we like looking at the motorhome from afar and not seeing the connector sticking out… it’s like a little ninja. Although we’re not that covert, we still have a bright orange cable!
3 – The Bathroom
The bathroom was impressive from the first moment we saw it. It’s a snug space, as we expected, but it was surprising how pristine and modern it looked. The fixtures aren’t conventional compared to a house in their operational design, (your sink water goes into a tank and your toilet waste into a cassette) yet the bathroom is modern and stylish, pulling it back to the aesthetic level of a brick and mortar home.
We are huge fans of conserving water. It’s one of our favourite things about vanlife. We love how low the water consumption is on the toilet flush and the shower. It makes us feel good to know we’re saving water and also that we might last another day without needing to fill-up again (a little lazy too I guess).
So, it’s stylish, environmentally friendly in terms of water use, but that’s not really what we wanted to talk about here.
What we like most is that the children can access the bathrooms features themselves. We’re noticing this more now as Riley has just turned 2 (at time of writing) and is deep into the throes of toilet training. It’s the moulded floor shape which makes this possible. The bathroom isn’t just a flat floor, it has various steps and plateaus. Upon first look, I was a little confused, but these different sized areas allow for a 2-year-old to reach the sink and a 6-year-old to use the toilet with ease.
4 – The Mattress
We hate to admit it, but, we aren’t getting any younger and prior to embarking on a travel lifestyle, trying to get a good night sleep and finding the right mattress had always been a challenge. Even travelling and staying in good hotels, you can’t be sure that the mattress will be to your liking or that of your spine.
One of our biggest worries prior to starting vanlife was how we were going to find the quality of sleep.
There is a world of difference in a good mattress and a poor one!
The electric drop-down bed is fascinating, but the mattress is so thin – ‘how can it be comfortable?’, we wondered. We had thought that we’d probably try the drop-down bed, but then prefer to make up the lower-lounge bed area. The cushions in this area are much thicker and we assumed that it would be better.
The lower lounge area is comfortable, but in our opinion, the drop-down bed is even more so! Let’s face it, there is a world of difference in a good mattress and a poor one!
Our first night in our motorhome was the most comfortable we’d had in a while; we’d been travelling for just over 3 months at this point and stayed in hotels and Airbnb’s of all shapes and sizes. We couldn’t believe how nice it was.
We’re really pleased with the mattress on the electric bed, and it’s still going strong after 6-months of full-time use. We’ve also heard that there’s a Hypnos mattress upgrade available on some Compass and Elddis models which we would love to try and see how it differs.
5 – The Water Squirters
You’re going to think we’re pulling your leg here, but it has to be said! It could be a fluke, it could be that I’m losing my marbles, but the water squirters on this motorhome are brilliant.
The ‘motor’ bit of our motorhome is a Peugeot Boxer and it’s really nice to drive. It’s 6-speed with electric windows, air-con, cruise control, reverse camera (optional extra) and those amazing spinny-round captain’s chairs… which is all great, but I’m most impressed with the thin jets of water that clean the glass on the front.
Why are they good?
The spray has good coverage and with good blades, the cleaning has always been spot-on, but my main area of celebration is at how long the water has lasted. We picked the vehicle up with 54 miles on the clock and are now (at time of writing) on just over 5,350 miles and we still haven’t filled them up! That’s a lot of driving and use, in sometimes quite difficult conditions – lots of snow driving and the odd tail end of a storm (Ellen and Dennis and Jorge), wind, rain, sludge and sunshine – impressive.
The 5 Things We Love About Our Motorhome seems like a bit of an odd list, but it really is the little things that count in everyday life. The layout, the bathroom, the electric point, the mattress, and the water squirters are all important parts of our motorhome and we may not have considered them all to be important before we had the experience that we do now.
These are the things that make us happy to have our Avantgarde 196!
Discover the Compass Avantgarde 196 today and Get The Best Deal: https://elddis.co.uk/models/avantgarde-196