Bongo/Campervan purchase and advice please.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by wingman, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    We have a female friend who has become interested in motorhoming since talking to us about our pastime.

    She is interested in 'Bongo's' and camper type vans. Problem is, she's asked me for opinions and help and although I know enough about larger motorhome's merits and de-merits, I know very little about camper vans!

    She is used to camping and still owns a tent with all the gubbins, but now wants a bit more comfort. As she's on her own, she doesn't want a large MH and is attracted to the campers because of home parking/driving etc.

    My questions are these......

    • Do any of them have conventional Thetford type toilets (not Porta-Potti)
    • Do any have conventional showers?
    • Where are the best camper dealerships that won't rip her off?
    • What about heating?
    • What about on-board fresh and waste water?
    • Can you get features in a camper similar to those of larger vans?
    • She would only have two dogs travelling with her, very occasionally, one other person.
    • Her price range would be circa £30-33,000
    Thanks in advance all
    James
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I think a panel van conversion is the answer.. Good budget there.
    Bongo's, Vw etc as nice as they are, would not give the space. Plus tend to have things like porta potties, small water containers rather than a fitted tank.
    We used to have a Trigano and had shower area, thetford toilet etc.
    I plan on getting another at sme point to do more Europen city touring.
     
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  3. Borderland

    Borderland Funster

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    Within that price range you can get better than a Bongo, not that they are a bad choice but you could probably get a good one for less than £10000.
     
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  4. chaser

    chaser Funster

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  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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  6. Steve1087

    Steve1087 Read Only Funster

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    We loved our Bongo and had it for about 5 years. It was brilliant to drive and no bigger in area than a family car.
    When we bought it it was 12 years old and like new underneath and had obviously been well maintained in Japan. We had ours converted so we had a full width bed rather than the side conversion which only leave you with a narrow bed. Minus points are obviously size related. We had a portaloo for use on a night and fresh and waste water was via external jerry cans like a caravan (we only used that if we didn't have facilities). It was more like camping but in a tin tent. Very comfortable though.
    If she is used to camping then she'll be at home in a Bongo sized vehicle, but forget about fitted toilets and showers.
    If there's one thing I've learnt about choosing a Bongo its to check the cooling system. If you can still see the colour of the coolant in the expansion tank (red, green or blue depending on what they've put in it) then its obviously been well maintained. If the tank is rust coloured and the tank level can't be seen then walk away.
    Its bound to give problems later on.
    With that budget she'll probably be better with a VW T4 or T5 or a small coachbuilt. Probably still need to use the sites facilities with regards to showers though.
     
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  7. golly

    golly Funster

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    Smallest one I know of with toilet and shower is the Autosleeper Topaz, based on a VW chasis, they do tend to hold their price well so don't know how they fit in with the budget.
     
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  8. andrewjw

    andrewjw Funster

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  9. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    Wow! Thanks for those great replies everyone. Thanks particularly for the comprehensive replies and links to adverts.

    Reminds me of when I started looking for an MH as a newbie and hadn't a clue! At least I'm slightly better informed now.

    It does seem that if she wants 'facilities' then it's a lean towards a PVC? I will pass the info on.

    Thanks again
    James
     
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  10. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    Peter at Johnscross Motorhomefun is a member of the forum and is very respected for his unbiased advice. If you are not to far away pop down there and have a word with them
     
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  11. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

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    Has she thought of having a panel van converted to her own spec. There are experts on here that could offer loads of advice, and I think with that budget she should get exactly what she needs.
     
  12. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    Haven't spoken to her yet, she's more a friend of the wife. As wife and friend work in a school, both are off because of the Easter hols. Might get a chance to chat to her next week. (The friend that is :D )

    Thanks again all.
     
  13. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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  14. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    The one engine in the Bongo range to steer well clear of is the 2.5ltr diesel one. Cooling is a nightmare and cylinder heads made of chocolate, the rest seem absolutely fine.
     
  15. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    I've got a small panel van, converted by @Terry and it's got Thetford loo and shower, plus usual kitchen stuff. It's big enough for me and 2 dogs and is really comfortable. All on what was a small budget.
    With your friends budget she should get a really luxurious van.
     
  16. cruiser

    cruiser Funster Life Member

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    we hope your friend finds the right one for her. but like the rest of us I will bet that she will change and go larger
     
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