If I knew then ......

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by tobytenblue, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. tobytenblue

    tobytenblue Read Only Funster

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    Hi All, I'm Brian. I've been motorhoming for 2 years now and boy have I made some mistakes! Talk about learning the hard way....:Sad:
    I started with nothing except the idea that owning a campervan might be fun, I knew nobody who had one to ask questions of so I went ahead and bought a VW T2, that was mistake number one. It broke down on the way home from the vendors and it broke down regularly after that. I managed to pass it on after a few months only managing one adventure without mishap, after that it showed its true colours, what an absolute dog that van was, dreadful! So awful, I decided that campervans weren't for me and dismissed the idea of ever having another one. After a few years had passed the idea of freedom and the open road emerged once more, so I bought a two berth 15 year old Leisuredrive on a SWB Transit base, this turned out to be mistake number two! It looked nice when I bought it but began disintegrating before my very eyes! That said, I enjoyed the van for the few months I kept it and it was above everything very reliable however the chassis was a rustbucket held together with wire and bailer twine! Next, a micro camper, a Diahatsu columbus that ran out of fuel a mile from the dealers on my way home with it and no key for the locked petrol cap, not on the key fob or at the dealers! Helpful assistant from the dealers came out and 'bust the blighter off', a dreadful omen predicting accurately mistake number three. Lots of issues with the van ensued, too many to describe in detail here, suffice it to say that I was delighted to wave bye-bye to that one. Mistake number four came in the guise of a Compass Calypso on a Fiat Ducato petrol, I bought at an inflated price (not knowing any different). This van simply refused to run properly after I washed it to offer it for sale. It has remained at my mechanic's workshop since early December last year refusing to budge. Mechanic is totally flummoxed by it, God knows when I'll get it back, maybe when its got a new engine, carburetor, fuel tank, distributor, coil, battery and has undergone a complete rewire!!!!
    THEN I FIND YOU LOT HERE!:Angry: If only I'd known where to get the advice I now know I badly needed.
    However, looking on the positive side, I am now in a position to dole out advice myself and would urge every newbie reading this diatribe not to pursue 'the dream' without obtaining the advice that I lacked. learn from my mistakes and 'look before you leap.
    Oh, if there is anyone out there who can suggest a possible explanation for my Fiat's demise and that might be able to offer advice about bringing her back to life, please feel free, all suggestions will be much appreciated.:Smile:
    Brian.
     
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  2. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Brian....look on the plus side...if it were not for bad luck...you would have no luck at all...welcome to the forum
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Here, have a few carriage returns.

    Now I can read it I can say that you need Jim's Buyer's Guide.......**

    I do wonder if you need a better mechanic.


    **PS I really do wish we'd have read The Guide before hunting, but we had more luck than you so did not do too badly, but more luck than good judgement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  4. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Welcome to fun, hope you enjoy your stay here.

    Sorry to hear about you van problems. I hope you get them sorted before the weather picks up so you can enjoy it some.
     
  5. duane0001

    duane0001 Read Only Funster

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    :thumb: To the better mechanic
     
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  6. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    Hello Brian do you know , we knew nothing either but we got it right 1st time. Probably cos we had owned caravans before . and lots of luck !! As far as the actual engine and structural side was concerned.
    We went for the layout more than anything.
    It was , and still is perfect for us.

    It was only when we got to know other motorhomers through rallying and this forum that we realized how much we got it right. Fully winterized , diesel heating , solid quality fixtures and fittings , power and lights on in the hab when driving , great cooker fridge , proper shower cubicle, king size luton bed that you can sit up in etc we still love it to bits.
    The only thing we didnt like , as it was worn on the knee rolls ,was the upholstery , but we saved and had that redone.
    We shall be keeping it until the teenagers definitely don't want to come anymore , but before we retire.
    Then we are going smaller.:Eek!:
    Yes smaller haha
    Ralphs going to do a PVC to our spec. So we can get to all those out of the way places we love so much..........Not wishing the time away , but its something we are both looking forward to doing.
     
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  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    In his spare time ?
     
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  8. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    :Rofl1: Yes Brian .
    Hes buying bits and bobs as he sees them.
    We will re-use the victron pure sine inverter charger and 40 amp stirling battery to battery charger, hes just fitted to mizzi.
    By the time he gets round to it , the main problem , winterizing , will be a doddle. The stuffs getting thinner and thinner and better and better as the years go by. :thumb:
     
  9. highwayman

    highwayman Funster Life Member

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    Hi and welcome
    Our first van was a petrol Ducato and every time it got rained-on or washed there's a cable connector plug underneath the coil that would fill with water and the damn thing wouldn't start till it was pulled apart and dried-out.
    Hope this helps :thumb::thumb:



    Cheers. Nige
     
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  10. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Hello and welcome to motorhome fun and, glad you have found the forum, sounds like a case of taking a deep breath and starting again ask as many questions as you need :thumb:
     
  11. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Our Type 2 VW had three trips on a recovery truck in the seven years we owned it - snapped handbrake cable (3 hours before catching a ferry to France), snapped fuel line (40 litres of petrol drained onto the drive, dissolved the tarmac, and we had to call the Fire Brigade out to check the house wouldn't ignite), and a failed coil on a roundabout half a mile from home. Trouble was I didn't realise it was a failed coil and had a perfectly good battery replaced. I worked it out in the end.

    We also drove halfway down France and back in 1999 with a leaking seal, pouring oil into the top of the engine only a bit slower than it was leaking out the bottom.

    If only everything was reliable as a VW my arse. We still loved it to bits though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  12. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    First van VW type 2 , drove to cornwall with family, turning in camp field clutch went, farmer towed with tractor to garage returned end of day fixed.
    second van, Ford travelhome, brought from car garage, turned out to be nicked, police helpful but had to purchase again from insurance company. of course the garage solicitors did not want to assist just claiming sold in good faith.
    knew layout of van i wanted, found only x3 over 8 month of searching for Hymer 534 rear lounge,found one Eastbourne, private sale alerted to a few repairs needed (power steering hose) but Loved it, great family hol`s. sold this to purchase later model Hymer534 and still enjoying the layout, just returned from Ski trip and very pleased with van.
    however lot`s and lot`s of tips from fellow funsters haved helped me to further the enjoyments.
     
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  13. chrisboyo

    chrisboyo Funster

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    :welcomefunster::flyingwelcome::welcomefunster:
     
  14. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    Your mechanic does not sound like he knows what he is doing
    Suck squeeze bang blow its not that complicated is it:Rofl1:


    It does sound electrical but he must know if you have a spark at the right time or not:Eeek:
     
  15. duane0001

    duane0001 Read Only Funster

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    Has it got any petrol in it

    Just a thought :RollEyes:
     
  16. f6c

    f6c Funster

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    welcome

    Welcome aboard:Wink:
     
  17. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    Old petrol talbot suffer bad rusting in the fuel tanks we had a rambler that would need filter cleaning every 300 miles
     
  18. Janine

    Janine Funster Life Member

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    Hello and welcome to the [STRIKE]madhouse[/STRIKE] funsters :BigGrin:

    Gosh, haven't I been lucky?

    First van was a Toyota Hiace with a pop-up top. Great holidays when my son was little.

    Part exchanged it for a Bedford CF Autosleeper. No probs except for the clutch going not far from home.

    Current m/h is Shirley, the 1995 Holdsworth Valentine that I have had for the last 7 years. She is a dream to drive and generally enjoy.

    Hope my luck of the Irish rubs off on you, this being St Paddy's day :BigGrin:
     
  19. tobytenblue

    tobytenblue Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Chaps

    :Laughing::Laughing::Laughing::Laughing::Laughing::Laughing::Laughing::Laughing:
    Good stuff coming in now, yes its got juice in it, yes it does sound simple, yes, my mechanic is good (I know this cos I've had dealings with bad ones), but hey, no cigars yet guys.

    Perhaps I should describe the symptoms with more precision:

    Van ran like a Swiss watch until I washed it with a pressure hose, thereafter it protested, popped, banged and lost power. She was down to snails pace and I couldn't get the revs high enough to be useful, any attempt to spin her up and she protested like mad and kangaroo'd all over the yard.

    Carburetor has been off, cleaned and replaced twice, coil has been tested and replaced and fuel lines cleared, all to no avail. When she was first in the workshop, she'd start as normal after the above jobs were done but any attempt to increase the revs resulted in a stall. She would start happily but then stall as soon as she was asked to move!

    When I last enquired, I was told that she won't start at all now!! In fairness though my mechanic does a lot of his work outside (that's where the van is) and the weather recently has stopped play. He tells me that he will get to the root of the problem ....eventually. He too, has been seeking internet inspiration and has so far drawn a blank.

    Given the famed reliability and durability of the Fiat Ducato, like the 'X Files' say, 'the truth is out there', i.e. someone knows the answer all I have to do is keep looking. :Smile::Smile::Smile:
     
  20. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Better to find a mechanic with an under cover workshop, bung a fan heater underneath the front and dry it all off.

    Then having learnt your lesson don't wash it again, it only leads to trouble.:Rofl1:
     
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