Alko Chassis vs "Standard" Chassis

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by BMStewart2004, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. BMStewart2004

    BMStewart2004 Funster

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    Hi
    We are looking into MH and SHMBO likes Autotrail Tracker RB layout. We also see that the Bailey Approach 730 has the same layout but @£10k less expensive.
    Finish aside there are differences in the chassis in that the Autotrail (I believe) uses the standard manufacturer supplied job which is higher than the low line Alko of the Bailey.
    Does this make a noticeable difference to driving experience?
    Also the Autotrail has blown air heating as opposed to the radiator style of the Bailey.
    Relative merits between the two? Someone suggested to me that the blown air would struggl in a MH the size of the Tracker RB.
    Look forward to responses
    Many thanks.
     
  2. Bluemooner

    Bluemooner Funster Life Member

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    I have a small Bailey and it does seem to drive better than my last one which had a standard chassis also i wouldn't have a van now that doesn't have the Alde heating
     
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  3. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    I think either heating system will work OK, the radiator style may be quieter though.

    The Alko chassis is better. Its lower and lighter, and has independent rear suspension which should give better handling and ride. On the other hand the Bailey I think has lower ground clearance which might have a greater risk of grounding eg on ferries.

    Normally ALKO chassis and radiators are dearer not cheaper, I haven't studied either van but from the brief description you gave the Bailey sounds as if it would be dearer!
     
  4. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    We have the Tracker FB which I only a little shorter and the blown air keeps us snug we were out over last winter with no problems I can't comment on chassis other than the trackers is a Fiat Motorhome chassis very stable and a comfortable drive(y)
     
  5. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    once you have had Alde it's hard to adjust back to horrible truma :(
     
  6. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    We went from a 'normal' to an Alko chassis and can honestly say we noticed absolutely no difference at all.

    As for blown air, we have the Autorail Chieftain which is a pretty big ol van, and the warm air works very well indeed..
    My only issue with blown air is it eats batteries when off grid.

    But for those times we also have a 'proper' fire which it seems no one fits nowadays
     
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  7. stevenjcooper18

    stevenjcooper18 Read Only Funster

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    I have an Autotrail RB, and find the heating system good, especially if you are hooked up, because you can use both electric and gas, and it really gets hot. You can also use the heater while travelling, not that you need it.
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Normally more storage is found on motorhomes with an Alko Chassis as they have purpose made sections for tanks n stuff. Blown air heating is the norm and 95% of vans have it. I hate it. to heat my van I need to use gas and electric. The gas provides the heat, and needs the electric fans blow it around the van. These fans hammer your batteries which can make wild camping in the cold a bit of a challenge.
     
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  9. maz

    maz Funster

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    Have had two vans - both with Alko chassis. Both fine to drive but have no experience with the standard Fiat chassis.

    Re Alde vs Truma. First van had Alde heating - nice but took a long time to warm the van and was heavy on gas. Current van has Truma heating - quick to warm the van and has no problem keeping my 8m van toasty warm. Insulation levels, double floor and location of boiler can make a big difference though. If Truma boiler is centrally located, the duct runs will be pretty much equal and provide even heating throughout the van. If boiler is located at the back of the van, long duct runs to the front can result in little warmth emerging there, especially when running on electric.
     
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  10. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    Aren't there 2 standard chassis? One with a wider rear track?
    Should be more stable?


    Or not?

    Truma blown air works for us.. But we rarely wild camp
     
  11. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    Interesting thread, I may be a bit of a chassis nerd :whistle: I Have the standard Peugeot/fiat chassis 2013 model on my Elddis. There was a naked 2014 one complete with cab at the recent NEC show.........my god what a beast that chassis is, made my LR3 look flimsy........

    I also had a nerdy look at the alko chassis, if I was going on a ferry and/or going to a country like Poland with some of the worst roads I have encountered, I would prefer the standard manufacturers chassis, I also think in the unfortunate event of a smash the renforced steel chassis would deform far less than the Alko one.

    With a van that long and if you go on a ferry I would have thought Height of chassis would be important, I feel very confident with my high peugeot chassis on going on that kind of thing. I also have to drive down an unmade road with speed humps to get home, so again the high chassis inspires confidence.
     
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  12. WAG2CRU

    WAG2CRU Read Only Funster

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    It is my understanding from talking to a number of people that, when comparing the Aldi system to Truma, it is very common that
    those doing the comparison have had an older Truma and then moved on to the Aldi wet system, they have not had experience of the later and more powerful Truma 6, in reality both Truma 6 and the Aldi wet system are very effective.
     
  13. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    That is one place we do notice the Alko
    The full chassis always ground out if the tide was wrong.. So far the Alko has not caught once.. but I should think this is more because with the Alko the axle(s) can be moved further back ?
     
  14. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    I see the new Bailey Approach 730/740 does have the alko chassis, so does the older one have the standard chassis, the pics I saw of the older 730 looked like it had a long overhang at the back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  15. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    We have the standard chassis with the wide rear track , much easier & cheaper to upgrade, also handles better than our previous van with standard track chassis.
    Most of the alko chassis vans have a double floor or steps in the floor. If ithas a double floor the height is the same as the standard chassis. If it has the low floor then there will be a step at the cab end & possibly another at the rear, very easy to trip up or fall down after a couple of glasses
    Re the heating, the alde is heavier so reduces payload & personaly I don't think there is much difference now with the latest truma 4e & 6e sytems.
     
  16. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

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    We have the wider rear track chassis. The van corners like it's on rails but it's a bit harsh on bumps with the suspension being stiff. Also, because of that, don't have a problem when passing wagons, it's very stable. Diesel fired blown air heating serves our van adequately and economically. It's about the same size as a Tracker.
     
  17. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    The 2012/13, first series Baileys were also built on the Alko chassis.
     
  18. BMStewart2004

    BMStewart2004 Funster

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    Thanks all for you comments, we'll have another look at the next NEC show in February and try and narrow down further.
     
  19. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

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    Got a Tracker (This years model) with end Kitchen and the Truma works extremely well for us.. We just have the circulation fan on low speed and that keeps the whole van at a very comfortable temperature. The boiler itself is situated under the RH bench and the "runs" are all fairly short.. Reference the chassis, it is, as said a good chunky bit of kit and I find the ride solid and good in the corners.. Also, we like the ground clearance, as it lets us go everywhere we want !! I think the Bailey is a fair bit wider than the Autotrail. In my opinion, the new Autotrail ( wider than the last model) is wide enough.. Also the new (2015) Autotrail comes with a re-modeled dash and 17 inch drop down Avtec TV...
    Yes, as you can see, we are delighted with ours... Hope you enjoy your choice, whatever it is... Mitch. (y)
     
  20. BMStewart2004

    BMStewart2004 Funster

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    We have been able to hire a Bailey 730 for next years TDF in the Alps so we'll see how it goes. SWMBO really likes Autotrail though....
     
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