Buying Advice

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Owen Snell, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Owen Snell

    Owen Snell Read Only Funster

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    My wife has inherited a bit of money that we want to spend on a motorhome. We are going to look around some of the dealers near here and have had a look at some advertised vehicles.

    We need to be able to bring the kids with us, so seating for 4 in the back with 3 point belts is essential. Are there some makes more likely to have rear passenger seating / seat belts than others?

    We also want something reliable and durable, both in the base and in the quality of the conversion. Is there a big difference in the quality of the van bases used, or is it down to making sure the chassis and engine have been correctly specified? We saw a Fiat Adria Coral Sport 576 that looks to fit the bill size wise, but it does seem to have a small engine (2.2 litre) for such a big vehicle. Is this a problem in day to day use, apart from the clutch judder issue that seems to come up in all of the reviews!?

    Any information / advice appreciated.
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome to the site. Despite the negative reviews of Fiat engines, most of which concern judder it is a known problem that Fiat are correcting. The engines are reliable and been around for years pwoering a large proportion of motorhomes today. Coral Aria are a good make so you should get good build quality. Be aware of what is out there. Three main camps. American large RV's, too big for most people. the rest are divided by build quality. On the whole German built vans are fully winterised, built for a norther European winter whilst Britsh build for a souther European summer and a world of differance in build quality and price as well. so you pays your money and takes your choice. Don't be afraid of the age of a vehicle, most motorhomes do a fairly low annual milage. I'd recomend an older German built van as opposed to a more recent Brit van. It will last longer in the long run. good luck with the search
     
  3. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi
    I would take my time and have a good look makesure you have a good sit in it imagine what it would be like if all of you where sittining it. As for the seat belts most modern vans with a dinette will have forward facing seatbelts some will have them on the rear facing also i think the law change recently regarding new motorhomes and seatbelts someone will be along that knows.

    Have a good think what you will be doing with MH might sound daft but if your going to use it all winter like we do then getting the lounge area is important as you will spend wet dark nights indoors if only using in summer then an awning might do for sitting in.

    Dont know how many kids you have but might want to think of a rear lounge aswell as dinette then you will have loads of lounging area.

    So get yourselve out over the weekends and dont rush into it.

    Gerry
     
  4. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi OWEN AND WELCOME :thumb: firstly you are driving a big van not a racing car :Wink: so the engine is OK although a bigger one may be more desirable on some of the big hills :RollEyes: lets say it is adequate. Next thing is look at lots of different layouts yo see which suits you best :thumb:A dinette is good for eating in but not very comfy for lounging in :Wink: Layout is the most important thing for you to get right :thumb: Try hiring one for a few days to see what suits you :thumb: it may cost a few bob but will give you invaluable insight as to what you want.
    terry
     
  5. Owen Snell

    Owen Snell Read Only Funster

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    We have a 7 seat Toyota Previa, which is a big people carrier, but nothing like the size of a Motorhome. With a 2 litre diesel performance is adequate, so I was wondering how this type of engine performs with even more weight to lug around.
     
  6. Owen Snell

    Owen Snell Read Only Funster

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    5 kids, but the eldest will probably not travel with us for much longer (if at all!), so 2 adults and 4 kids to transport.

    Point noted about the longe and dinette, seems wise.

    Will start to go out looking!
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    They do OK, not the fastest, just like the previa but adequate :thumb:Expect aroud 22 / 25 mpg (just like my old previa )
    terry
     
  8. Robinhood

    Robinhood Read Only Funster

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    One major issue to factor in, particularly if you are travelling 6 up (and with all the posessions kids want to take with them) is payload.

    Frankly, many 'vans you will see will be incapable of providing you enough payload to remain legal, and IMO you should be seeking one with a MAM (GVW) of at least 3850kg with an unladen weight (incl fuel water gas and driver) of no more than 3000kg.

    This has implications, as you will not be able to drive such a vehicle without the correct licence group (though if you passed your test prior to 1997 you will have it through preserved rights), and it has effects on speed limits, tolls etc.

    FWIW, I had my vehicle registered at 3850kg to give me adequate payload for 3/4 people, and bikes and all the 'rubbish' required for 3 weeks abroad. The advantages of staying legal outweigh any downside (though I am licenced through preserved rights).

    Please do your homework on weights, and quiz any dealer/seller closely on available payload. They will rarely touch on it unless you ask.
     
  9. Owen Snell

    Owen Snell Read Only Funster

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    Useful info, I did wonder about the unladen weight since most seem to just quote GVW and not mention the payload.

    We both have Class C1 on our licences, so no problem there.
     
  10. Robinhood

    Robinhood Read Only Funster

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    On recent 'vans, you can usually find the Mass in Running Order (MIRO though some may use different terminology).

    The best use a base MIRO which includes full fuel, gas, fresh water (sometimes 90% of the former two) and 75kg allowance for the driver, but not all do.

    In addition, the weights quoted are usually without awning, bike rack, tv aerial, etc. and are rarely accurate to within 5% (which is a big chunk when you're talking about 3 tonnes as the base).

    My personal opinion is that you won't find a vehicle fit for your purposes below 3850kg, and even then you'll have to be careful of the 'empty' weight.

    It is worth remembering that (if the MIRO is quoted with full fresh water) every litre you don't carry returns you 1 kg of payload. Not much use if you're wild camping (though with 4 kids I would doubt that) but a good saving if you fill up once on site.

    (I tend to travel at no more than 1/3 full fresh water).
     
  11. bigfish

    bigfish Read Only Funster

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    Hi Owen

    Just another thing, we have on the last 2 vans and the one have now, made sure
    that we get a turbo version for the size of engine.
    Having had non turbo vans i wouldnt go back to a van without, makes for easier driving and some grunt when needed on hills / over taking etc. :thumb:
     
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