Buying Older Motorhome, What to look out for?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by FrCrilly, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. FrCrilly

    FrCrilly Read Only Funster

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    Hi All,

    I’m planning to buy a 4/5 berth motorhome on a small budget (£5,000 to £10,000). For this reason, it will have to be an older used model. (See below list of available at present models that would suit). I have the advantage of access to a self thought mechanic and so opening up the vehicle regularly to sort out problems will not be a problem.

    I am however concerned about the following:

    1.Are new/used parts easily available for older models. (again see below list of examples)
    2.Are older models difficult to get insurance/road side assistance for?
    3.Are there any other nasties to be aware of when buying an older used motorhome?

    Also, if anyone has any recommendations of older models that would minimise the above concerns, feel free to share (giving reasons why).

    Any help with the above would be greatly appreciated. Thanks In Advance for all responses.

    List:

    1987 Talbot Merlin, 6 berth with 2 rear bunks, Right hand drive, petrol 2.0L, 60K mls

    1990 Citroen 250 factory motorhome

    1984 Mercedes Motorhome,1.9L Diesel.

    1993 Dethleffs motorhome A462 Fiat Ducato LHD 1.9D,72K mls, 4 berth, length 16 feet

    1992 WEINSBERGE CAMPERVAN 4 BERTH LHD 1.9 DIESEL 88,000MILES
     
  2. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    DAMP DAMP DAMP & ROT..
    Be very careful, mechanical and all other problems can be fixed..... but rot and damp can kill a camper. Go over it very very carefully and get a reliable damp meter to take with you
     
  3. ArenqueRojo

    ArenqueRojo Read Only Funster

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    My feelings would be that while damp is a problem, provided it hasn't gone on for long, in an old motorhome even that is fixable without breaking the bank.
    The one thing I would look at more than anything else is the chassis and cab bulhead. If they are sound, and many are, all else is repairable/replaceable.
    Go for a sound base vehicle and leave yourself money to do work on it rather than spend up on slightly newer.
    Apart from the last on your list, which I have never come across, all the others are well known workhorses. Each has their specialist fixers.
    Remember, old motorhomes tend to go on for years. It is very rare to come across a breaker. They plateau out at a point and from there onwards people just keep mending them:BigGrin:. Many of us would trust a 20 year old MH more than a 2 year old.:Eeek:
    The trick is to reckon on some running repairs. If you pay too much for the thing in the first place, human nature says you will resent the repairs whereas if you got it comfortably cheap, you are more likely to say "mend it and at least I know that bit is sound again..." and be happy with your toy:Smile:

    Patrick
     
  4. John H

    John H Read Only Funster

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    Hi, I bought a fiat ducato/Elddis autostrata, Its a five berth 2 litre petrol, I paid under four grand for it and apart from needing some work on the cab its all fine, everything works as it should, I picked it up from Essex and drove it back to Anglesey without incident and we went away in it the next weekend. I would have to say that its a bit low on power and very heavy on the steering.

    Regards, John
     
  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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  6. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Hi FrCrillyOther vans that might be worth a look if you can find in your price range would be any of the Auto-Sleeper Monocoque bodied motorhomes.Any of these are normally long lived, and can be had on Ford,Peugoet so parts should not be a problem, with Ford being the easiest. The main spots for damp on these are around windows.vents in roof and doors.

    If you have someone who can check with you so much the better

    Hope you find what you want.


    Dave:thumb::thumb:
     
  7. mulaz

    mulaz Read Only Funster

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    Test everything.........
    we imported a van a few years ago fro germany but did not find about the leaking water pipes until we did a weekend in the lakes.
     
  8. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Hi,

    You dont say where you are but is this of any interest, comes with a full service and warranty and just in your budget.

    Peter

    Auto Trail Cree

    Volkswagen Transporter T4 2370cc Diesel ManualLength: 20' 8" (6.3m)Layout: End WashroomHeight: 8' 11" (2.73m)Berths: Four BerthMileage: 52600Specification: -This 1992 Autotrail Cree is fully equipped with an Omnistor 4000 retractable awning,
    -Front Passenger swivel seat,
    -4 seater bench settee with two lapbelts,
    -Swivel armchair and single rear seat,
    -Blackout blinds & flyscreens,
    -Velour curtains & tiebacks,
    -Electrolux 3 way fridge (mains electric, battery or gas powered) with ice box,
    -Monte Carlo 3000 gas oven, separate gas grill with tray and 4 ring gas hob with extractor fan & light above,
    -Gas heater,
    -Shower room fitted with storage cabinets, drop down hand basin, shower curtain and cassette toilet with indicator.
    A two way shower room door provides an enclosed 'changing area' when required.
    -There is a Status TV aerial point & electrical sockets,
    -Storage cupboards with wardrobe and drawers,
    -Fold away matching table,
    -Travel safe cupboards & drawers including 2 leaded glass display cabinets with Bottle and drinking glass holders in lit unit.
    -The vehicle also has a Carver Cascade 2 water heater,
    -12V mains power hook up point,
    -7 individually operated fluorescent lights,
    -2 small conical spotlights.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Rayb182

    Rayb182 Funster Life Member

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    Saw that m/h looks good:Smile::Smile::Smile:
     
  10. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    At least you have your priorities right as regards concerns.

    As for model list, I'd say possibly the only make you could apply #1 to would be the Merc, plus a fair availability of used parts too. Forget the others. One guy on here could not even get a fuel filler cap for his five year old Fiat base motorhome.

    One make you should give serious thought to is any Ford based mh. Spares are plentiful, with new parts easily obtainable even for older models. I have a 16 year old Transit yet new parts can easily be bought here in the UK or anywhere throughout most european countries. Older model Transits are quite crude and simple which make mechanical repairs relatively cheap and easy.
     
  11. JQL

    JQL Read Only Funster

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    If Peter at John Cross is making an offer within your budget - my advice is take his arm off
     
  12. eirebus

    eirebus Read Only Funster

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    i had a 92 dethleffs with a 2.5 diesel 5 berth and had no problems with it dry as a bone and the engine had no mod cons so was very easy to work on (service etc ) am now in a 98 weinsberg with turbo etc more power but more bits to go wrong try to buy diesel if possible far more economic and tougher engine:Smile::BigGrin:
     
  13. froghopper

    froghopper Read Only Funster

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    oler models

    hi froghopper says welcome to the crazy worl of motorhomers, well as an old model myself its not a bad idea, i have had talbot/ fiat/ ciroen models, petrol and diesel, 1984 up to 1992, on these its normaly the headlights that rust, delfin products at poole has them about 85 pounds each, compared to a new model, not bad, gear linkage, again delfin, some panels, again delfin, no relation, no involvment other than customer, they are magic to deal with, general repairs are pretty simple, body type, the merlin is great, mr Glanville at gosport hampshire, he has bits, new and used, recycled fridges, fires, heaters, windows and a place like alladins cave, so trim etc,, no bother, cookers, you name it, bet he has it, another man with camper blood,
    so my advice, buy the best you can afford, play with it, tinker and enjoy, then hit the road, we went all round europe 2 years ago with a 1984 petrol talbot, talisman, 12 countries, 4 weeks, broke down 3 times, had cover, who cares, while it was being mended, got bikes off and had a look round, you are where you stop, visit, never no what you may find, chat away, travel safe:thumb::Doh:
     
  14. billy

    billy Read Only Funster

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    Diesel fumes only joking :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  15. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    Full timing in the van
    that it will pass its next mot
     
  16. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Hiya Froghopper.

    Sounds like you had a great time.

    On an older motor you must know what you're doing mechanically.

    Get to know the vehicle.Carry spares for anything that might let go...

    Make sure you service/replace anything that might need prior to leaving.

    Oil change and filter.

    Spray/replace ht leads and dizzy etc....

    Check battery, alternator and hab battery condition and charge.

    All light connections and working ok.

    Have FUN.:BigGrin:
     
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