Hi: Looking at Burstners and Rapido.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Empgamer, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Empgamer

    Empgamer Read Only Funster

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    Well, time has finally arrived. I am at last due to retire and my wife and I plan to get our motor home. It will LIKELY be an A Class (not 100% certain) and very likely German. As we plan to use it in France mostly we are seriously considering buying from Germany (LHD).

    We are very keen on the Burstner Elegance range. We are quite keen on the fixed island bed as there is only the 2 of use and we don't want to go climbing over each other. I often think that the fixed bed is a waste of space but have listened to a lot of people who say that for long-term touring, making up a bed each day is a real pain and in France/Spain you will likely be sitting outside most of the time anyway. We quite like the i730 and fancy the A Class as the cabin seems more spacious given the (relatively) small size of the lounge, courtesy of the bed.

    We are also VERY keen on the Rapido range, which seem to have some superb layouts, and also Pilote. Very taken with them in fact and possibly a good buy for touring France.

    Took a liking to the Swift Kontiki very early on and alto the Auto Trail Delaware but got put off with the large numbers of complaints that we seem to see around British MHs. Hymers also took our fancy but seemingly no island beds.

    So, any views on either our thoughts, choice of van or buying from Germany or France. We do plan to do some shows but I am not in UK at the moment so it may need to wait.
     
  2. bald eagle

    bald eagle Read Only Funster

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    How empgamer and:welcome:

    regards
    bald eagle:thumb:
     
  3. Toffs-G

    Toffs-G Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome

    I have been looking at Burstner myself recently thinking of thre next MH

    Calais Caravannes (spelling is correct) is a Burstner dealer and seem very good and have been there for a while also a VAt benefit for buying from them and importing to the UK apparently you get a refund of the 19.5% French TVA and then pay the UK VAT on importing thus a small benefit, whether that counters the weak pound is debatable but then I guess MH's from over there are priced up here as a result of the weak pound

    This is their website
    http://www.calaiscaravanes.com/indexe.html

    They do speak English as well

    Hope this helps, good luck:thumb::thumb:
     
  4. don

    don Read Only Funster

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    WE also have a burstner elegance, its a I685, very good payload we love it.
    Welcome and Cheers
    Don
     
  5. scran

    scran Read Only Funster

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    we have just purchased a pilote in november had autostratus with u shape lounge but wanted a fixed bed so we traded for the a class havn t been out in it yet can t wait to get away in it :Smile:
     
  6. bazfergy

    bazfergy Read Only Funster

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    Hi empgamer and :welcomefunster:weve got a pilote galaxy a class on a merc and we love it usually only me the wife and the dog(he weighs nearly 13st)and we have enough room wouldn't be without a fixed bed best thing since sliced bread:thumb:
     
  7. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Rapidos are a nice van, try Martin at Caravannes Rapido, Wokingham. good chap to deal with.

    Peter
     
  8. GIBLA53

    GIBLA53 Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome i'm sure both van manufacturers are of a good quality - i can only give personal experience of the Rapido i owned a 2007 model for nearly 3 years and the fitment quality was excellent (even if French) my only suggestion with either or indeed any of the European types is consider a Mercedes based van my Fiat (3 litre LHD.) was an excellent driving machine with a superb Alko chassis that handled really well but had the judder issues that you can read about ad nauseum in other threads . Happy Hunting Al
     
  9. chrismacgowan

    chrismacgowan Read Only Funster

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    Rapido

    I am a dedicated Rapido fan - I went to the factory near Le Mans before I purchased the first one and have never looked back. I understand the Wokingham dealer is very well respected but in fact for geographical reasons I buy through Stowmarket Caravans who look after me well.

    Very difficult to summarise my support for Rapido in a single sentence but my best attempt is that their layouts suit me the very best and the quality of the interior fit is outstanding.

    Enjoy your research - and do rent one for a week before you buy! It really is worth it.

    Sincerely

    Christopher
     
  10. lazydays

    lazydays Read Only Funster

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    Hello & Welcome Good People Here, Happy Travels:thumb:
     
  11. Empgamer

    Empgamer Read Only Funster

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    Thanks very much for replies.

    @Christopher. Do you know of anywhere that hires Rapido? Have seen a few that hire Swift which would be OK but it would be nice to try a Rapido.

    More I see the Rapido layouts the more I like them. Still undecided as to whether to go for UK or French purchase. We are in SW Wales and the UK dealers are nearly as far away from us as France :RollEyes:

    Originally joined MH Facts 3 years ago. Didn't know about this site then :( Not sure I'll renew with MHF. Good enough forum but never paid for forum membership before. Mind you at £10 it's not a lot I suppose and another useful source of info.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  12. Empgamer

    Empgamer Read Only Funster

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    Much in it between them and Pilote? Trying to pitch where they are in the build/quality stakes compared to Hymer, Burstner, Carthago etc etc. I suppose Rapido would be alongside Burstner etc?
     
  13. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    We have had only one motorhome, having started 3 years ago. It's a Hymer, so I cannot comment on Burstner or Rapido from experience, but we considered both. I think they are well made and certainly would recommend buying German or French. I think Rapido may have more dealerships in France than Burstner, but would not let that influence your decision greatly. You should not have to visit them too often.

    Regarding layout, we wanted a fixed rear bed over a garage. I know that means I get into bed last but we don't find it an inconvenience. What we find of great value, and I would have thought is important in long-term touring, is the storage space provided by the garage. Certainly, you lose some internal space, but I have seen posts explaining how people use the bathroom as extra storage, and needing to fit a ladder and roof box. The garage also means you have plenty of space to store table & chairs, bikes, dirty washing, boots, wine (to bring back) etc. Our garage is capacious.

    If you have an A-class with a pull-down front bed, that can be left in a 'made-up' condition, but you still have to climb the ladder and it's harder for the inside (front) person to get out. We use ours only if adult daughter / son are visiting (well, they do). The over-cab bed can also be used for flat storage - occasional clothes, spare duvet etc.

    Ours has a fairly small centre lounge with an L-shaped settee. In practice, we find this quite adequate as there are just two of us and the great benefit of an A-class is that the swivel seats at the front are in a much wider space than in a low-profile, so the front becomes part of the lounge. The swivels are our normal evening lounging seats.

    If you are spending a fair bit of time abroad, I would recommend LHD - ours is. I find it much easier to adapt in the UK, rather than being on the 'wrong' side in a large vehicle in a 'strange' road system. In fact, I much prefer driving our Hymer abroad rather than our RHD car. You might consider an automatic gearbox as this makes the LHD even easier - you don't instinctively reach for the LH door handle to change gear!

    Philip
     
  14. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Just a thought - beware of limited payload. This can be a problem with many motorhomes, but I was looking through the latest Pilote catalogue at the last October NEC show, and many of their vans would need a max weight upgrade to give decent payload. But this problem is by no means limited to Pilote. Also, a lot of continental-registered vans are plated at 3,500 kg MAM (maximum authorised mass) in order to comply with driving licence and speed limit restrictions.

    It is normal for MIRO (mass in running order) to be declared for the basic vehicle. By the time you have added factory-fitted options and extras, this can escalate alarmingly. In case this is mumbo-jumbo, Payload = MAM - MIRO

    A further complication is that not all manufacturers calculate MIRO in the same way. It should include fuel, 90% full gas, fresh water, tools (jack etc.), spare wheel, EHU cable and 75kg driver. Some of these are sometimes excluded.

    In addition to the standard items above that should be included, I list below my own estimate of options and extras that relate to our Hymer - it may give you pause for thought.

    Estimate of MIRO Kg

    Base vehicle 3,000.0

    Plus
    2.7 Ltr Engine 30.0
    Automatic gearbox 36.0
    Electric door mirrors 2.0
    Cab Aircon 30.0
    Fog Lights 2.0
    Security Locks (x4) 3.0
    Thatcham Alarm 1.5
    L-shaped seating 20.0
    Rear Steadies 9.0
    3m Awning 25.0
    Radio 1.0
    Cab Blinds 7.5
    Fly-screen Door 3.0
    Mini-safe 8.5
    Second Leisure Battery 30.0
    Remote gas switch 2.0
    Tow Bar 26.0
    Reversing Camera 3.0
    Inverter & cable 2.0
    Camos 40 cm 10.0
    Receiver & Controller 2.5
    TV 4.0

    The extras above total 258 kg, and by the time I have added on a further adjustment for real driver's weight, passenger's weight and an extra 50 litres of water that the tank can hold, but is excluded in the standard MIRO, I have a useable payload of 400 kg compared with the stated payload of 800 kg in the catalogue. That is still plenty for us, but a lot of vans have 400 kg or less available payload to start with. In practice, I know I have erred on the upside in my calculations, and the van is not that heavy, but it is still an issue to watch out for. I have read many reports of people taking their van to a weigh bridge and then having to unload a lot of stuff before they can set off on holiday.

    Philip
     
  15. Empgamer

    Empgamer Read Only Funster

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    Thanks. Really useful. We may try and get over to the Rapido factory this year and have a look at some dealers.

    We have a plan to actually go and live in France and plan to use the MH to go and stay in the places on our short list for 2-3 weeks at a time to see how we like them. So the MH will potentially be a cost saver for us. We might lose on the MH over time but not as much as buying a poor house buying decision. Clearly a LHD would be essential for us and a French MH highly desirable.

    We REALLY like:

    9095 DF
    9092 DF
    9009 DFH

    992M/MH (yet to figure the difference - not looked in depth yet)
     
  16. joggerman

    joggerman Read Only Funster

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    If you are thinking of shows, then the Dusseldorf show is the one to beat.
    We stayed for 3 days and the tickets and camping were very reasonable.
    Vast range of vans, all indoors with loads of space between the displays.
    Excellent cheap food available on site as well.
    Next one is Aug-Sept.
     
  17. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    In that case, you might be advised to check the situation regarding maximum authorised mass. I know a Brit can drive a UK-registered MH on a British Licence, but I do not know whether, after a certain period of time living in France, you would have to re-register it as French and if so, what impact that would have on your licence entitlement. In conversation with a French MH dealer in Orleans some time ago, he told me that to drive a MH over 3,500 kg in France, the locals had to take an expensive driving course and exam, with annual re-examination required after that. Also, I believe the taxation is quite high. Now my French is limited, and he spoke no English, but I think I understood the gist of what he was saying.
    I am sure there are Funsters who have trodden this path - perhaps one can advise? I believe also, that the French Camping-Caristes are trying to get an exception to the onerous driving licence requirements for Motorhomes over 3,500 kg, but it is still at the lobbying stage.

    Philip
     
  18. Empgamer

    Empgamer Read Only Funster

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    Thanks. Will check out the Dusseldorf show. If we opt got Rapido, maybe Paris too!!!

    Will check out the DL issue too.
     
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