Hymer ML-I 540, advice please

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by dicksob, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. dicksob

    dicksob Funster

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    Hi, Helen and I are currently researching which van could replace our current IH630RL, and we have the hymer on our very short, short list!
    Have a couple of worries though and not being very technical thought I would look for advice before spending money! Want to stay under 6.5m and have plenty of payload, can order the hymer on a 4200kg chassis, so good on this even with a big spec.
    First concern is the chassis the 540 is built on. Looks to be the short wheel base Mercedes sprinter, wheel base is 3250mm, can't see length of overhang, will I have problems with grounding, seen reports on MLTs having issues? If so would rear air bags do the trick?
    Second concern is on off grid power, can get 3 95amp batteries and inverter, good so far, but only room on roof for 1 100w solar panel, is this enough? Does come with 180amp alternator, would I get by in summer on stellplatz? Know this is how long is a piece of string, we are not huge power users.
    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated, or other observations. Finding something approaching the quality of our IH is proving a challenge!
    Bill
     
  2. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    I have bought a 580 and it is longer and it does get a bit close at the rear, I was very close coming off the ferry from Eire but it did no damage anything. The things I note will get damaged is the tank strap and a couple have been pulled off but as they are only pop rivetted it is not a big deal. I actually fitted an air bag system bought off Ebay for £320 and that is much better as it stops the sideways rocking and lifts the back a few inches. I also fitted a 140 watt solar panel and got the correct schaud controller to fit on to the schaud electrics box. I also fitted a second battery as there is actually room for four batteries under there. We are delighted with the van the difference is the lengthways double bed that the 540 does not have. I also got the high garage to fit my motorbike in but I haven't done it yet. the disadvantage is the headroom is less and you could bang you head on the rear cupboards which the 540 doesn't have. mine is 5.99 long and 3860kgs. it has a 100 litre grey tank which is far too big if you drop it on all the roundabouts it never gets full (LOL)
    all the extras I fitted myself saving over a thousand in labour alone. The batteries are just standard leisure batteries and they cost three tiomes as much as a fit from the factory. The wiring is all there for the solar panel it just needs finding. (hint look in the cupboard above the cooker on the right.) is goes down to the electrics box and is clipped there hiding , red and black.
     
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  3. dicksob

    dicksob Funster

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    Thanks for your prompt response. Wish I had your skills, could save a load of cash!! Do you think this model would also ground out, the a class has full grp underneath so no tanks or straps to snag??
     
  4. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    We have a nearly new B678 on a Fiat/Alko chassis, which is also a Hymer A class. Yes the floor is GRP, but there are several "drop downs" below the floor, including the one that hold the waste and clean water tanks, which is just after the rear axle on mine. And below that is the drain pipe for the waste water. Not too worried about it grounding on ramps etc, the main worry is not hitting it when reversing the rear over a kerb to fit into tight spots.
     
  5. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    I have not actually grounded anything on mine other than just touching the rear on the ramp finger, but the loading officer was watching it for me. I am still looking for a towbar and in my endeavours to find out how they fitted, I looked under a couple the same as mine one I noted had the two ribs at the back actually ground away at the very end, right into the foam for an inch or two. I suppose it is how you drive and where you go. as mentioned by Peterc10 it is the reversing over a high kerb to park up in a carpark etc where the damage might happen, just be aware, the same with sharp apex where you might ground the battery box as well. The airbags raise it enough to lift it over most common obstacles in the roads.
     
  6. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Not sure, but as I understand it the rear of some new Hymers do not have any rear metal support at all. With mine there are aluminium chassis extenders bolted onto the Alko chassis which support the rear garage. I have seen a new B704 and a Mercedes based A class (not sure if Exsis or ML-I) both of which just has strengthening ribs built into the GRP floor and not bolted to the chassis. I understand it is very difficult/expensive to fit a towbar to those. You could ask @Hyacinth 1, who I know was looking for one for their B704.
     
  7. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    The big plates at the chassis end that hold the tank weight is doubled up and two long extension fitted to that and they go a metre and a half to the towbat Simple really as it has a limited down load 100 kilos noseweight plus overload of 200% and it really only has to pull There is NO metal work rear of those plates on an MLI. The factory bits to fit will cost £1800 just for them, and £1200 when ordered new at factory including wiring.
     
  8. Hyacinth 1

    Hyacinth 1 Funster Life Member

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    Our hymer has a very long overhang but so far we haven't bottomed out yet, we've driven over some speed bumps you might have expected to have hit but haven't. Also entrances and exits to parking up have given us concern but so far no problems.

    We have two 120w Solars on ours but 1 runs side to side by the skylight in dinette, so that maybe an idea for getting a larger solar on instead of front to back. We have 2 95a batteries for the habitation and so far never ran down and that's using them in this country.

    We are still looking into tow bars for it but so far haven't got any further than a few funsters looked under it and shook there heads! Will have to do some serious research soon but so far not needed.

    Liz
     
  9. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Including me :D
     
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  10. Electraglide

    Electraglide Funster

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    What engine have you got, I would like the v6 but 50kgs is a lot of payload to lose even on 4200 kgs
     
  11. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    It is the 163 uprated standard 2.2. I have to be careful as I bought it to allow me to downrate it in two years time, if I last that long/ I will not be allowed my licence after my 70th birthday. Apart from the awning and airbags it came out at 3560 when I weighed it with both on board and fuel with a bit of water and some food and clothes, enough to use. I can still add loads as we travel alone normally. The V6 would give a bit more go away from start etc but we have enough power for my style of driving normally.
     
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  12. dicksob

    dicksob Funster

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    Chaps, thank you for all your helpful comments. Feel bit better re grounding potential and will investigate whether room on roof for 2 panels with cunning placement!
    Bill
     
  13. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    There is on mine but the 540 is bit shorter but should still be OK.
     
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