Choice of 3 - Which one?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by BOND, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

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    Hi all

    Andy & Debs here. We're brand new to this mobile life & are looking to buy our 1st Motorhome.
    The general idea is to use it as a comfy rest area 10 weekends at a motor racing track (hardstanding with electric) and one or two tours of Scotland/France/Italy per year.
    I wanted to go the American RV route for the slide out interior space, Deb isn't keen on driving 34ft through the small UK/European villages so we looked at the small Euros like the Bailey 745 Approach & to be honest I'm impressed with the quality & finish but not sure 3 weeks in Scotland or thru Europe in that confined space is as relaxing as it could be.

    So here's whats come out of the long discussions & the mind numbing time trawling the internet with laptop shaped eyes.:Confused:

    Kon Tiki 665
    Auto-Trail Comanche
    Burstner panorama 920

    First viewing of the Kon Tiki & Burstner tomorrow but yet to find a Comanche within a sensible driving distance.

    Obviously I know the Burstner is going to be something special but is it worth the 40k extra?

    Right then, who's got what????

    The main criterias are: fixed island bed, comftable seating, good water/waste holding & decent Captians chairs that turn right round.
    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    There are a few con leaky owners and ex owners on the forum, a good one is fine and layout excellent a bad one will plague you with leaks, how do you tell the difference, never found out.
    Autotrail have had their problems the rear axle grease points have been inconveniently boxed in on some models which leads to back axle failure and expensive replacement again what models no idea just info for further research.
    Bursner, no known problems and excellent build quality. If buying new a huge difference in price, secondhand you could pay the same as the other two but just a few years older. I know which I would go for. I would also go for secondhand as the initial hit is taken by someone else, extra goodies may have been fitted, and any intitial problems have been ironed out. In the bursner you may well have a choice of a Merc engine as well and that's a massive plus for me. Enjoy looking and I'm sure whatever you buy you will be happy with it.
    Oh one last thing Jim sells the motorhome buyers guide, it WILL save you more than the cost of the book if you follow his advice.
     
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  3. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    If you want an Rv get one,don't make Debs drive! :Smile:




    Vlad
     
  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    The Grand Panorama looks a good concept BUT!

    That huge windscreen won't offer such a good view in the winter months when you boil a kettle or cook some food and its covered in condensation!:Smile:
     
  5. Rapide561

    Rapide561 Read Only Funster

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    Van

    Wow - what a range, from about 35k for a used 665 to 110k for the Burstner.

    I'd probably avoid the Panorama. This is the question I asked

    "Oh bugger, the windscreen's shattered, can I have a new one this afternoon?" - that was one thing that put me off, in addition to the price.

    I looked at a Burstner Elegance - but the small oven put me off.

    Russell
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    The main criterias are: fixed island bed, comftable seating, good water/waste holding & decent Captians chairs that turn right round.


    all come as standard in an RV. :thumb:

    full sized fixed island bed with a proper mattress

    around 40 GALLONS each, grey and black waste...70 GALLONS fresh water...thats GALLONS, not litres.

    proper 3 seater couch and recliner chairs....not chipboard/ply and slab foam.

    full sized swivel front seats...Americans have big butts.
     
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  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That's the groundwork but until you've been inside them all and gone through everything you need to do, even down to the toilet, you still have much to do.

    At a race track, could that get a bit dirty ? If so how will this impact on the interior ?

    But your wife is right, for touring in Europe you have less options open to you with an RV.
     
  8. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    I have a selection of fixed double bed vans, two pre-owned and others new on SPECIAL OFFER! with three years complimentary hab services!:thumb:

    Swift Kontiki 665

    Rapido Esterel 39 Automatic A Class

    Swift Kon-tiki 669 Lo Line

    Pilote Aventura G690 LGA

    Auto-Trail Mohawk Super Lo-Line

    Auto-Trail Tracker RB Hi Line

    Auto-Trail Tracker FB Lo Line

    Might give you some more ideas and options

    Peter

     
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  9. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    You can get RVs from around 26/28 foot, they dont have to be monsters. American units are around 8'4" wide European ones are around 8' wide and if a lorry or bus can get there so can an american unit, if your a competent driver.
    Fuel is another decider most americans do around 10/12mpg unless they are petrol fitted with lpg then you will get around the 20/24mpg. You also need to check it is within your licence entitlement - dont believe some adverts about driving on a car licence, a lot are overweight
    For me for comfort and space enough to stretch out and have friends sitting in comfort and not squashed together its american - and on the whole for what you can pick an american up for compared to a european well the saving on the purchase price buys an awful lot of fuel and for any 1st time owning a unit i would never buy new - let someone else sort any problems out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  10. oldmanriver

    oldmanriver Read Only Funster

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    we have a kontiki 669, fixed island bed, good sized cooker etc, fancied an rv but size does matter in Europe, not all sites willtake an rv and we find ours big enough
     
  11. MHVirgins

    MHVirgins

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    We looked at just about everything earlier this year and there's always got to be a compromise......unless you're not bothered about size. But length can be a problem on some sites here and generally there's going to a drawback with the longer vans.
    We like the lounging area that the Autotrail gives us, we looked at others makes and there was always something that we didn't like about them. Take your time and have a good look, try them all out, sit in the loo and check it all for space if you were living in it.......I think we've enough room in the loo, but Margaret thinks otherwise.......:Doh:
    Our ideal van would have been the Autotrail Chieftain, but the length was the problem for us, I was happy to drive it, but Margaret had nightmares thinking about it........but there's always a compromise with a van. Happy hunting!

    Bill
     
  12. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  13. Mel

    Mel Funster

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    The windscreen is a standard bus windscreen so it should be readily available.
     
  14. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Just playing Devils' Advocate - do you really need such a large motorhome? If you go round a show and jump in and out of various vehicles it is very easy to get caught in the trap of thinking "this ones bigger and better" and dismissing smaller vehicles as too cramped.

    I have read in more than one place that the bigger the vehicle the less it gets used. It isn't a hard and fast rule of course and no doubt many on here drive bus-sized RVs and will say they use them all the time but a couple of weeks ago we were staying near Truro and a true bus sized RV turned up. I am sure it was very comfortable inside but we drove off in our little 'van and parked it on a council car park in Padstow then after exploring the place drove off along the coast visiting Trevose Head and numerous other places reached only by single track roads with passing places.

    If you are going to tow a car or even have space to keep a vehicle on board then fine but it isn't our sort of motorhoming. Big is better in terms of comfort and if you have say a couple of big dogs with you then a van conversion won't cut it but I think you need to consider very carefully what sort of motorhoming and travelling you intend to do.

    None of the above should be read as criticism of those with large motorhomes, it would be boring if we all had the same vehicle and everyone's needs are different. I only suggest thinking very hard before you take the plunge - getting it wrong will be a very expensive mistake. I saw a big RV type vehicle for sale recently, £95K and it was only about a year old. I don't know the circumstances of why it is for sale (could be illness) but I suspect the owner is taking a hit for a few tens of thousands.

    Might be worth hiring vehicles of various sizes, if you haven't already done so, to help you work out what you want and what you intend to do with it.
     
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  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I hate to queer your sales pitch Peter but is this diagram not a perfect example of the price you pay for a fixed bed. Look how little lounge space there is and how cramped the kitchen is.

    This is where Luton or the A-class drop down bed scores.

    You spend 1/3rd of your life in bed. That means in bad weather the are cramped for 2/3rds of your life.
     
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  16. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    We bought the Burstner Elegance 890 a few weeks ago and in the two weeks we have spent in it so far we love it.
    We didn't fancy the Panorama because of the windscreen - it felt a bit like being in a goldfish bowl when sitting in the lounge. The Elegance is virtually the same layout but with a more traditional A class windscreen.
    We have found that size does matter in more ways than one. On the plus side is the interior space and room to move around. And following on from Brian's point about lounge space this is where we really find a benefit. That and the island bed so I don't have to climb over Gwen to get into bed which I had to do previously when we had a transverse fixed bed.
    On the minus side it is more difficult to manoeuvre the van especially in narrow streets. The old adage that the extra length doesn't matter, the back end just follows the front isn't quite true. The back wheels cut the corner and the overhang can sideswipe other vehicles or street furniture (or dry stone walls as Brian found out recently).
    We were impressed withe quality of the Burstner on delivery. Only a couple,of very minor trim issues. Nothing has broken or gone wrong yet but it's still early days. The only problems we have come across is with the auto box because it's not really an auto with a torque converter it's a manual with a clutch that is operated by a computer so there are only two pedals. However you can't just trickle the van when you are say reversing into a parking spot as the clutch starts to overheat and all sorts of alarms start sounding. So not a fault as such but something you have to adapt to as our last van was on a Merc chassis with a proper auto box.
    Never had a British built van so can't comment on the quality or otherwise of your alternatives.
     
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  17. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    It is, but for a significant minority, it's a price there is no option but to pay. By reason of accident, illness or just advancing years, not everyone can still climb ladders. :Sad:
     
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  18. teddybard

    teddybard Read Only Funster

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    Only Major Problem With Burstner
    appears to be the quality of the Owners:Rofl1:
     
  19. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    :Angry:
    Oi!. :Sad:
     
  20. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Oh yes, 'er indoors hardly ever climbs the ladder to bed without saying "We'll keep this 'till we can't climb this ladder". "Yes dear" I say.

    She was very grateful for the downstairs bed when she broke her collar bone in Spain.

    But while we can, the Luton bed is a godsend, pretty huge but takes up no room. We can't sit up and read in it, so not perfect.
     
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