Fiat , peugeot or Mercedes Based?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Kev and Carolyn, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Kev and Carolyn

    Kev and Carolyn Funster

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    Hi guys. Sorry if its been asked before.

    We are a little closer to having all our 'loose ends',coming together now. What with the house move, change of hospitals and all that stuff! Struth..Its took some time ! :sleep: Talk about tired!
    Any way, this has now given us the time to 'whittle' our choices down on what MH to go for.
    As regard 'Base truck'..Are there any of them that are a preference?
    Fiat ,Peugeot and Mercedes seem to be 'The norm', so I would believe that they are well proven for the job that they do?
    Would you suggest a particular type to stick with? By that..is Fiat better than Peugeot, or is Mercedes ideal or just a 'Badge' to have? :rock:
    We were invited to look at a motorhome the other day at a company very well known to all of you guys I'm sure, up here in the Midlands area . I will not name but , it was the first time I was actually being pushed away from buying a 'New' motorhome ! (By that I mean less than 3 years old) We were actually being 'advised' to go for an 'older' truck ? I got the impression it was purely down to interior build quality and not the base truck . Can anyone advise at all please?
    We could ( I know), just jump in and go for it and learn the hard way I suppose , just like most of you guys have done ?
    However, We would really appreciate any information you guys will have .

    Knowledge is King! :clap:

    Thank you in advance . (Whether it be Helpful or not ::bigsmile:)

    Kev and Carolyn
     
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  2. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Don't forget the Ford Transit!

    However, the base vehicle really is a small consideration compared to the the whole package.
    The priority is to ensure you have the correct layout, winterisation, tank sizes, right size fridge, right cooker, big enough bed, sufficient storage, sufficient payload, etc, etc.........
    The base vehicle just moves it all about!
     
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  3. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Fiat and Peugeot are identical vehicles apart from the badges. A Mercedes will be more expensive and in the past that was thought to be justified but as I understand it not any more. I've even heard it said that the new Sevel group light van (Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Relay) is better than the current Merc sprinter. The Merc is still 5 grand or so dearer though. Ours is on a Ducato and we don't have any issues.

    If a dealer was trying to push you towards a particular vehicle I would suggest it was because he needed to shift it rather than because he thought it would be better for you.
     
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  4. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I think the motorhome construction and layout is more important than the base vehicle. Having said that, ours is on a 2003 Sprinter and I really like driving it (powerful 2.7 litre engine, automatic transmission and left-hand drive). A Sprinter base will tend to roll a bit more, but I'm not in a rush anyway. I have heard from several sources that the Fiat base tends to have harder suspension than the Merc (presumably this also applies to other Sevel-based vans). A Fiat with an Alko back chassis section will tend to be more stable than others and it is galvanised - (but not the front of the chassis under the cab).
    Regarding build quality, there is a common view that older vans were more solidly constructed. For example, I was told by a highly respected Hymer repair expert, that the interior quality worsened around 2006. I think they, in common with many other manufacturers, had a sticky patch after the recession. Hopefully today's are better built again. I still think the quality of fittings in earlier vans tends to be 'classic and strong' rather than 'glitzy and light' which so many vans seem to sport today. Perhaps this is in pursuit of the attempt to make a van that contains all the mod cons come in at a GVW below 3.5 tonnes to increase appeal to younger drivers. In practice, by the time all the apparently 'must-have' electrical, kitchen and sanitary options have been fitted, a decent sized van (and certainly an A-class) is unlikely to have a usable pay-load if it is plated at 3.5 tonnes.
     
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  5. Kev and Carolyn

    Kev and Carolyn Funster

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    Hi John and Shell.

    You're right! I had missed the ford has a Base truck Sorry. :unsure:
    I think it was because I hadn't seen many to be honest

    Kev
     
  6. Kev and Carolyn

    Kev and Carolyn Funster

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    Hi Nicknik

    Im not sure he was trying to push us on to something to be honest? I genuinely thought he was being upfront with us? The vehicles we were looking at were all similarly priced around £40k . The only reason for not mentioning the company is just incase the sales guy gets a 'roasting' for not selling the dearest one to us!
    I could have been set up though , being naive ? You just don't know ?

    Thanks anyway ;)
     
  7. Padraigpost

    Padraigpost Funster

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    I agree with Nicknic that if the dealer was trying to push you to an older vehicle he wants to move old stock, if it is the dealer I am thinking of [pilote dealer] I have had issues in the past with them.
    Personally I prefer the Mercedes base which I admit is more expensive but they are great, rear wheel drive as opposed to front wheel drive, as for base vehicle servicing Mercedes garages are Truck based and therefore 24 hour service as opposed to car based and only working from 8 till 5, and with the Mercedes you can get a true automatic gearbox not the robotised manual box as fitted on the Fiat, the Merc 7 speed Auto is great.
    Don
     
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  8. busby

    busby Funster

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    I think the base vehicle choice is a lottery,,some people are very lucky and have no problems and others have vehicles that live at the main dealers..Just to much technology on all modern diesels mainly because of E E anti pollution laws,,,shame really because they are so superior for ride and driving. BUSBY.
     
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  9. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Layout layout layout.
    Far more important than the base vehicle.
    All 3 are good, personally I'd choose a modern (post 2005)Fiat over a modern Merc every time. Had several Mercs but the modern ones have been junk.
    Good luck(y)(y)
     
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  10. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    If you get 10 different answers on this page then you might just get nine or ten different opinions. That's what they are, opinions.

    I was told the Merc is the chassis to strive for especially if it gives you rear wheel drive. My best mate has the Merc under his "A" Class and without a doubt it wallows around on anything but a straight road more than my Fiat does, it also moves far more when stationary as people move about inside so much that he has now fitted corner steadies as on caravans.

    According to the blurb at our local dealer, the Fiat/Peugeot/Citroen euro van now has 93% of the C and A class new market. That alone sways me towards the Ducato.

    Whilst there are some Facts in there this is just my opinion.
     
  11. busby

    busby Funster

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    They have the biggest % of the market because they supply them cheaper than other makers,,,always have done but they are as good/bad as the others now days. BUSBY.
     
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  12. Kev and Carolyn

    Kev and Carolyn Funster

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    Hi Don.

    Thanks for the information regarding Mercedes and Service stations/garages. That is really a good point. (y)

    Kev
     
  13. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    Only had Merc or Iveco, both rear wheel drive which does it for me. I have been on wet sites and driven off when all the FWDs have struggled.
    As for reliability, they were/are top notch.
    Phil
     
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  14. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    Construction wise a lot of newer vans are built with GRP and no wood and large solid panels which is good for preventing leaks and obviously no rotting and also light bang resistance. I would definately prefer this type of outer hull than the traditional ali/wood set up found on older and some contemporary vans. I saw the fiat/pugeot chassis naked at the NEC show.....its a fine piece of solid engineering.
     
  15. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    You can usually reverse off if you have FWD, but my biggest problem with getting stuck on wet sites was down to the tyres, never been stuck since we fitted Toyo M&S tyres.
     
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  16. busby

    busby Funster

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    Most of the chassis rear of cab is usually ALCO now on majority of vans. BUSBY.
     
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  17. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Same here even in snow M+S tyres do the job.
     
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  18. busby

    busby Funster

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    Try and miss both snow and mud but would have struggled in our usual destination last week to avoid the white stuff......BUSBY:):)
     
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  19. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    Just because it's rear wheel drive doesn't mean you have better traction unless it's a TWIN WHEEL rear drive. I've had a rear single wheel drive and yes you can get stuck but my twin rear wheel drive never did. As far as front wheel drive Fiats are concerned unless you have plenty of weight at the front end then there's a possibility you can get stuck. More so if the rear end has a large boot and overhang which are tended to be loaded up. If you decide to go for a front wheel drive Fiat then go for a 3ltr, simply the best. Don't let the salesman try to sell you a 2.3ltr. I'm on my third 3ltr and they take some beating, plenty of low down torque when you need it.
     
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  20. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    We go to the Alps skiing every year so hard to avoid.
    First time in snow I was really worried as I'd read all the scare monger stories on forums about how bad FWD was:eek: Imagine my surprise when the old gal ploughed through no problem what so ever. Obviously tyres make a huge difference and the ability to drive in bad conditions, I've seen loads stuck in FWD and RWD but it was as much to do with their inadequacies as drivers as anything else.
     
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