Buying a van.

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Fellraven, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Fellraven

    Fellraven Funster

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    Just started doing research. I recall I used to look at which car to get and various consumer reports could be consulted.
    For instance Toyota and Honda always came out tops for reliability. (at the time). British Leyland , Vauxhall etc were poor and hence you knew what to avoid.
    Doesn't seem to be the same for motorhomes as the popular magazines just seem to want to tell you the obvious and presumably would be scared to lose advertising money. A mag I'm reading says:
    "Some coachbuilds are infamous for leaks..."
    Well if i'm buying a van might it not be a good idea to actually tell us which vans they are. Im about to spend most of my retirement funds on this and don't want it to leak. I understand there are exceptions for every make but are there ones to avoid????
     
  2. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    British ones

    (Quickly donning flack jacket)
     
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  3. Manxcat

    Manxcat Funster

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    Agreed. Buy German.

    We had a Westafalia, now have Globecar. We love both.

    We decided to stick with Van conversions as there is not leaking issue etc. If something were to go wrong there is a Fiat dealer in every town with spare parts etc.

    Enjoy your hunt.
     
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  4. BusyBuilder

    BusyBuilder Funster

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    or Ford....there's a dealer in every town but by German if you want good build quality.
     
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  5. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Personally I won't ever buy a British built van again. I was lucky, I had the only one built in the last 20 years that didn't leak but the build quality was shocking enough to more than make up for it.

    I would suggest taking all the magazine reviews with a large pinch of salt - the are reviewing their advertisers products so you are going to be getting at best limited objectivity.

    Look around for yourself, determine the layout you think you want, identify some potential vehicles, speak to as many actual owners as you can find, once you think you've identified the one for you then hire it, or one as similar as possible for a week.

    Then once you realise that it's not actually the right one start the above process again and repeat as many times as you need to.

    Accepted wisdom is that you won't get the right van for you until you're on your third one. If you want to try and buck that trend then spending a few quid on hiring some vans before you commit to buying one is the way to go.
     
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  6. MH 55 FUN

    MH 55 FUN Funster

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    Both our Fords were built in Germany (y)
     
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  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Not so lucky. No British van I've ever owned leaked. Autotrail or Swift
     
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  8. MH 55 FUN

    MH 55 FUN Funster

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    We're in the '' our British built van doesn't leak '' club too :)
     
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  9. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Dammit.

    I never have any luck :(


    I stick by my point about build quality though. It really was terrible.
     
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  10. Hooley03

    Hooley03 Read Only Funster

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    Depending on how much money you've got - we only had a quarter the amount of a new one - go and see as many as you can to see different layouts.
    We were buying secondhand of course, but wanted something a decent size.
    We must have looked at half a dozen before we bought our first one - British Swift 520 with front dinette and overcab.
    Then changed that to an Autohomes Wayfinder because we wanted a rear lounge, which is much better for the two of us and for entertaining when you go away with friends.
    Both vans came with full service history and every bill - DON'T BUY without!!!!! And check it all before handing over your money.
    Go over the van with a fine tooth comb and check that everything works. Drive it for at least ten miles to get a feel for it - if the owner won't let you, walk away with your money in your pocket.
    And buy a builder's damp meter to check for water ingress problems. Neither of mine has leaked and they were 1998 and 1999.
    Good Luck, Pete.
     
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  11. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    IMO, build quality, good or bad is not something you discover after you buy a van. It's always there for you to see before you buy. Why buy it if it's so obviously bad. British vans I've bought, new and secondhand have had a build quality that exceeded the price-point expectations; and I've never had cause for complaint. Trust me if I had, everyone would know.

    Forums can be guilty at times for perpetuating and exaggerating. Which is why tens of thousands are frightened to park on perfectly safe, purpose designed motorway aires and people think that every British van ever built leaks.

    Fact is; we'll be rammed this weekend at Malvern 160 vans, the majority of the ralliers will be in British Motorhomes and most all of them will be proud of their van and have nothing bad to say about it.
     
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  12. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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  13. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    For me, I'll freely admit, when I bought it I was green, excited to be getting a van and let a salesman get away with flat out lying to me. I won't name the dealer but it's one that's very close to us geographically.

    The worst of the build quality issues weren't apparent until you tried to drive the thing at motorway speeds at which point it felt like the hab area was trying to shake itself free of the chassis. There is also a known build issue with that particular van that the converters refuse to acknowledge but fortunately for me caught the next owner, not me.

    Also well that ends well though, we kept it less than a year and then bought the Rapido which is on a different level.

    I'll still never even look at another British built van though.
     
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  14. Cat53

    Cat53 Funster

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    Have to say we are impressed with our 1991 Toyota Winnebago Itasca Spirit. Gives us all we need and good build quality too. So my advice would be to look at everything that takes your eye and go from there. Enjoy the journey. Take your time. When it's the one, you will know it. :)
     
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  15. Neilfg

    Neilfg Funster

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    Brother in law bought a British van from a dealer with a fantastic reputation, an Eldiss Majestic 275 from Marquis (apparently a double whammy) it arrived in March, absolutely no problems bar a broken BBQ point cover as he is ham fisted. Obviously got to give it time as the fittings are not the best quality, but at the moment you would be hard pressed to knock his confidence and happiness levels in his van.

    I would think more about the layout and size than the manufacturer initially.
     
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  16. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    Anything foreign...over rated and over priced ...head down and ignore this thread for a day . Lol
     
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  17. kevan

    kevan Funster Life Member

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    I like my Rapido, french made and good quality.
     
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  18. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    I agree . I,cant afford one this year though.
     
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