'A' Class Chassis ?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by joggerman, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. joggerman

    joggerman Read Only Funster

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    I am between motorhomes at the moment and am considering an 'A' class (Hymer?).
    It would probably be a 2000 give or take due to the cost.

    With my not knowing much about this class of MH could anyone comment on the following -


    • Do 'A' class manufacturers such as Hymer put extra rust protection on the chassis before construction, and what are the chances of chassis problems on say an 8 to 10 year old vehicle?
    • How strong is the habitation shell on these and what are the chances of water leaks etc?
    • How well winterised are these older vans compared to more recent Hymers?
    • Any other weaknesses which I should look out for when buying.
    I would like to keep the van for several years and wonder if I should try to get a younger van?

    Thanks
     
  2. bazfergy

    bazfergy Read Only Funster

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    Hi there ive got a aclass pilote on a merc sprinter and ive had no probs with leaks,the van is very well insulated and doesn't take long to heat even in the present weather ref extra rust protection just use waxoyl under neath.Something you should check is any extras such as sat, solar panels to make sure they've been fitted with no gaps where water can get in.My van is on an 03 plate:thumb:
     
  3. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    Underbody protection could only be described as adequate for this country. We are the only country in Europe that uses vast amounts of salt on our roads in winter. My last Hymer was superbly warm. In fact the first trip out in it was in February and i set up th awning and safari room. The following morning i looked at the roof of the awning and thought someone had put a sheet of glass on top,it was ice!,didn't feel a thing in the van.
    I am awaiting a replacement Htmer due in Feb. After having a brief flirtation with an AutoTrail,I afraid my heart belongs to Hymer.
     
  4. derekfaeberwick

    derekfaeberwick Read Only Funster

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    If the van you are looking at has an Alko chassis it will be galvanised. My Merc chassis looks as good as new, Feb 2004 and 27,000 miles.
     
  5. wizza

    wizza Funster

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    Nearly bought a new luner, in the end got a 1996 hymer B544 the only leak i had was where some idiot had not sealed the rails that take the external silver screens not hymers fault after resealing no more probs, chassis like new but only done 40k also factory fitted waste tank heater all pipes are solid and internal. If i did change i would only buy a German rig.
     
  6. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    As far as I am aware:

    Do 'A' class manufacturers such as Hymer put extra rust protection on the chassis before construction, and what are the chances of chassis problems on say an 8 to 10 year old vehicle?
    No they do not. If it is on a Merc chassis it will be the original painted version. I presume the same will be the case with a standard Fiat chassis. If the van is on a Fiat/Alko combination, then the Alko bit will be galvanised. Most commercial vehicle chassis will last a long time; it is fairly easy to treat them with Waxoyl to protect them from winter's ravages. I intend to do mine when the warm weather arrives.

    How strong is the habitation shell on these and what are the chances of water leaks etc?
    Hymer is the only motorhome manufacturer to carry out crash testing. You can see an A-class test (or B-Klasse as Hymer call them) on YouTube. I believe the B-Klasse (or at least some of them) are fitted with a steel roll-bar at the point where the front cab moulding joins the aluminium-clad main body.
    Hymer are well-known to be leak-resistant. I would not worry too much about this as long as the van is in good condition and has been well cared for.

    How well winterised are these older vans compared to more recent Hymers?
    The writers of 'Go Motorhoming Europe' did it in a B-Klasse from the early 90s. They reported a high degree of effective winterisation. Most recent Fiat/Alko (B-Klasse, not B Classic) have a double floor containing water tanks and services. These provide a high degree of winterisation. However, don't think that a single floored vehicle (like those on a Merc chassis - Starline etc) are not good winter vans. Ours has been out in very low temperatures and we have not noticed until opening the door. The fresh water tank is inside and the grey waste, whilst outside between the rear wheels, is insulated and heated by the Truma. Most importantly, the waste dump valve is heated too so it does not freeze up.

    Any other weaknesses which I should look out for when buying?
    Check the plastic mouldings (e.g. in the shower room) for signs of crazing and/or cracking. This can happen due to age / UV light etc. Probably an inevitable problem with any van, and they can be replaced, but may be a bit costly.

    Philip
     
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