Desperate for advise - Laika Kreos or Benimar Sport 350

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Sam, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Sam

    Sam Read Only Funster

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    Having drooled over motorhomes for a while we finally decided to take the plunge! I have been everywhere I can think of to find a good 6 berth for up to 25k and have shortlisted two of them:
    One is a 2001 Laika Kreos on a Mercedes Sprinter 2.2CDI and is for sale at £22.5 from a local dealer
    The other a 2007 Benimar Sport 350 on a Ford Transit and is available at around £26k

    The Benimar is 400 miles away and it is very difficult for me to travel all the way to see it.

    Looking at pictures, I like the look of the Benimar more due to the rear U lounge. The Laika seems really well put together and is in really good condition.
    Both mh have around 30k miles on the clock.

    Since I am pretty clueless, is anyone familiar with either option? Are either good value? I would like the comfort of the knowledge that should I swap to another motorhome in 2-3 years I won't suffer massive depreciation.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Benni-Boy

    Benni-Boy Read Only Funster

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    Hi Sam. As a Benimar owner myself, (Benimar 6000 ST) I suppose I am slightly biased. From my own experience I would definitely recommend the Benimar. My van is a 2001 and I cannot fault her. The build quality is excellent and they usually come with a good spec. The interior finish is far superior to the majority of motorhomes today and much better than the cheaper end eastern european vans. The cabinetry is extremely solid and the soft furnishings are superb. If it is on a Ford chassis you should have no worries. There is a large owners club in this country for Benimars. (Google, Benimar Owners Club for the website) There is a company called RVTex based near Derby who specialise in Benimar repairs and parts. Go for Spanish, you won't be disappointed.
     
  3. Sam

    Sam Read Only Funster

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    Thanks a lot Benny boy.:thumb: This is really helpful. I thought it looks great on pictures but was worried the substance may not be there!
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That always rings alarm bells -- why ? -- can you carry 6 people in safety and within the weight limitations ?
     
  5. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Must say I tend to agree with this, Don't think I have ever seen a 6 berth that had a big enough payload.

    I have a 2year old Laika and have found build quality and fittings excellent, but it does not come up to the size you want. Ours is under 6meters
     
  6. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    Hi we have a Laika 100I Ecovip, which is supposedly 5/6berth.

    The main plus side with the Laikas they tend to have a large payload, ours is based on an Iveco though and is 4200kg, with nearly a 1000kg of payload.

    Where you will come unstuck, and to my view the safety side of it is the lack of seat belts to actually carry the people you have berths for. We have 4 seat belts fitted, forward facing, (including the drivers.)

    Will you be travelling with 6 people on board, or will someone be following in a car.
    We have a motordome tent that had a two berth sleeping compartment, but on our Laika it struggles to fit as we are so tall, so we tend to use if as a stand alone.

    Cant comment on the other motorhome though.

    Good Luck

    Kind regards Pat and Neil
     
  7. Randonneur

    Randonneur Read Only Funster

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    We have a 2002 Laika Ecovip 7.1G which we bought just over a year ago after trading in a Rapido. I must say that the quality of build and finish in ours is superb, although it is only a 4 berth with a very large garage at the rear, not under the rear bed. The quality of the fittings are equal to the Rapido, which is my favourite manufacturer, but couldn't afford to buy another Rapido at the time.

    Again it is swings and roundabouts to find the van of your choice and some compromise has to be made, nothing is perfect.

    Good luck in your quest.
     
  8. Sam

    Sam Read Only Funster

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    Thank you all. I had not even thought of the payload issue (which goes to show you how knowledgable I am!!)

    I only have 2 kids so both motorhomes have 4 seatbelts. I want a 6berth so that we are not all on top of each other and have a bit of separation when needed:RollEyes:
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That sounds fine. Some MHs are a con - 6 berth but for the last two you dismantle half the living area, build a bed, create a system where no-one can go for a pee in the night and you sit there saying "what have I done ?".

    Our 4 berth is like that, plus the final 2 beds are not adult length.
     
  10. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Hi,

    If we can be of any help, you are welcome to give us a ring.

    Good luck

    Peter
     
  11. Sam

    Sam Read Only Funster

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    Thank you all for your advise. After much deliberation I went for the Laika Kreos 3003:Smile:. I figured the Benimar I was considering must have been ex rental as 35k miles in 2 years sounds too much.

    I loved the layout and quality of the Laika and the dealer seems really helpfull. I was surprised he was not willing to drop a penny off the asking price (and believe me I tried), but it seemed a good price anyway.

    I test drove it and the Sprinter engine seemed to pick up really easily considering the size of the body, although the dealer reckons I would struggle to go over 65mph (would not want to anyway). There was a fair level of creeking from the various cabinets and toilets going over bumps etc. I suspect this is normal??

    I am sooo excited - can't wait to take delivery and run away on the first opportunity.

    Again - Thank you all for being so forthcoming with you experiences/ knowledge:thumb:
     
  12. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Hi Sam

    Glad that you have found the van you like, if its anything like our Laika you will love it:BigGrin:.

    Don't expect to see many about they are few and far between.

    Don't know if you know how they got their name, but the company was named after the Russian dog that went into space, hence the dog logo.

    Hope all goes well.


    Dave:thumb::thumb:
     
  13. Sam

    Sam Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Dave,

    I thought the name reminded me of something familiar!!

    I realised there are not many around in UK by the lack of info on the internet. Both my wife and I loved the look of the new ecovip models, but boy they are pricey - maybe in a few years time....

    For now I am counting down the minutes to take delivery:BigGrin:
     
  14. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    one more satisfied customer. I love to see people who ask for advice being advised so quickly. That is the benefit of a forum like this. Advice from those with the experience to give it.
     
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