Looking to buy - at long last!

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Norrie, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Norrie

    Norrie Read Only Funster

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    Decided to go ahead with our original decision and buy a motorhome - so we're finally in the market with 30-ish grand burning a hole in the proverbial pocket.
    After all the looking at dealers' offerings and reading great stuff in MMM and on this excellent site we have buit a wish-list, below.
    The next step is to seek advice from you experienced folk on who actually makes our 'dream motorhome' - if one actually exists!

    What we'd really like:-

    6 berth
    Overcab bed
    Rear U lounge
    Dinette opposite kitcken
    Separate shower / WC
    Double floor – insulation, noise and secure storage
    Fly screens
    Roof rack & ladder
    Tow bar
    Scooter rack
    Outside shower
    Awning and safari room
    Microwave
    Gas alarms
    Intruder alarm
    Interior dead-lock
    Corner steadies
    Spare wheel
    Not the 2.3 litre Fiat

    Non-essentials, but would be nice:-

    LPG tank
    6 speed gearbox
    Halfway screen / curtain
    Air / assist suspension
    Additional leisure battery/s

    I'd really appreciate any and all comments.

    Many thanks,

    Norrie
     
  2. Mikemoss

    Mikemoss Read Only Funster

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    Sounds like either a Swift Kon-Tiki (not sure of the model number) or Bessacarr E795 would fit the bill as they're both on the Al-Ko chassis that would give you the between-the-floors storage space you're looking for. Both would need to be second hand to get within your price range, but that means you'd avoid the Fiat 2.3 engine as they'd be on the previous 2.8jtd which didn't have the problems of the current model.

    AutoTrail also do the Scout and Apache 700, but not sure whether these have the double floor.

    Newer, for less money, would be the Swift/Bessacarr 495 and 695 models (695 has half-dinette up front, 495 has full dinette), but no double floor on either.

    Good luck with your search. You've chosen exactly the layout Sue and I find perfect for us, by the way.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    The important criteria you listed are

    6 berth
    Overcab bed
    Rear U lounge
    Dinette opposite kitcken
    Separate shower / WC
    Double floor – insulation, noise and secure storage
    and
    Not A 2.3 Fiat

    All the rest are either standard or fitted as extras ..

    When you visit a dealers ..
    Start by looking at C class double floor marques that are not 2.3 Fiat
    that will probably narrow it down to a just few models.. or maybe none at all..

    The layout you suggest is fairly standard so shouldn't be too hard to find.. you can then fine tune your choice by seeing what extras are fitted as standard and how much they cost retro fitted.

    Personally I wouldn't entertain any Fiat .. 2.3 or otherwise ..

    Good luck

    Jim
     
  4. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Hi.

    I would fully endorse what Jim has said.:BigGrin: Remember that every motor home is a compromise, you will rarely find exactly what you are looking for.

    Nothing can now replace looking at as many motorhomes as possible, even new models as converters all have their own style and this often follows through from previous models.:thumb:

    I would not recomend Fiat, but if you must, go for the previous models pre 2006/7 as they were better and have proved themselves in use.

    Hope you find what you want:thumb:

    Best of luck
    Dave
     
  5. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    Lots of stuff to fit those criteria.

    I notice that you didn't mention seatbelted seats for the other passengers. Was this an oversight or do you not have the need for them? I don't know of any coachbuilt that has seatbelts in the U-shaped lounge area.

    You're bound to get your dream machine before long.

    Good hunting.

    John
     
  6. Mikemoss

    Mikemoss Read Only Funster

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    Yes, John (JayDee) has raised a very valid - vital even - point re seatbelts, which I'd overlooked. It's amazing how many 'six berth' vans are actually 'six berths with only four seats' vans and apart from the obvious danger of carrying passengers in seats without belts, the law is about to change which will make it illegal to carry passengers in unbelted seats where other seats are fitted with them. I think that's right anyway....

    CI do some six-berths with six belted seats, and I think the newer Swifts/AutoTrails do too.
     
  7. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Hi Norrie,

    I have a 2006 Swift Kontiki 665 Voque T 6 berth 7020 miles with most of the spec you are looking for or a 2007 Rimor 689TC 5030 miles.

    If they are of any interest more details and pics on our website.:thumb:

    Good luck

    Peter
     
  8. stagman

    stagman Deleted User

     
  9. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    I have only one thing to suggest, If you intend to keep it for a long time and you intended to use it for more and a couple of months a year, Don't, please DON'T I repeat, DON'T buy a van from the SWIFT group.

    Doug, a full (nearly) timer in a van from the Swift group for 4 years.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  10. Norrie

    Norrie Read Only Funster

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    Mike, Jim, Dave, John, Mike, Peter, Stagman and Doug - thanks very much indeed to you all, I value every word.

    I am wary of Fiat because I'm a biker and I'm not convinced the Italian bike industry understands electricity or quality control. But a huge amount of motorhomes are using the Fiat / Ducato platform so my fears are probably not warranted. But I don't want the 2.3. I would rather have Ford or Mercedes underneath but that limits choice further.

    Although we are going to buy a 6 berth there are only 3 humans - and 2 dogs. We'll need the space. A couple of belted seats in the back would suffice....unless mutts have to be restrained???

    Of the marques named we've already been impressed with the (visible) build quality of Autotrail. Bassacar & Kontiki seem very good too.

    Doug - you've obviously had a bad experience with Swift so I'll go trawl this site and find out more rather than ask you to repeat it in this thread. But thanks for your input.

    Now I'm off to have a peek at Peter's offerings.:Eeek:

    Norrie
     
  11. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Are you visiting the Motor Home Show at Peterborough this weekend? Lot's there to see.

    Nigel and Pamala
     
  12. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Remember,
    This is one mans experience whom only ever wild camps, has a negative opinion of all those that use a campsite as well as there campsite owners.

    Although Doug is far better equiped to offer his opinion on a swift as he owns one and I don't, perhaps you should have a chat with the others whom own Swifts whom swear by them. i have just spent 10 nights away with 3 swift owners and a bessacar owner (same as swift) whom love them and would deffinately by them again, and one is like Doug, basically a full timer.

    You mention an autotrail, I can direct you to someone whom has had such a negative experience that they would never buy again, I can do the same for an Adria. although I own one, love it and would buy again tomorrow even if they made it on a crap chasis like FORD. This of course is my opinion,. and like doug, I am entilted to it.
    This therefore leads to your problem, you are obviously doing your research and rightly so when parting with what Stagman rightly descibes as a shed load of cash. You will get that many differing opinions for every model you fancy, you can bet your bottom dollar that when you find the model you want, someone will come along as Doug has on this occasion. So rule nothing in and nothing out. OUr first van was a CI, every dealer in the world warned us against it, yet it was an excellent choice for us and sold on very quickly.

    My only further bit of help would be if your van is 30k look below that and use the additional saving to ge tth evan to what you want with extras.

    Good luck with it and keep us informed.:thumb:
     
  13. Stephen & Jeannie

    Stephen & Jeannie Read Only Funster

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    Perfick, jus perfick !!!

    I have an Auto-Trail Scout that I fulltime in,now three years old and 30,000 miles under its belt. All comfy wood inside, no plastic and carpets that come up with nice wooden floor underneath for when you are in sandy conditions and just need to sweep out. The rear lounge is a must so you can walk away from the washing up to do later....As Pa Larkin would say "perfick jus perfick !" Fuel consumption around 28-30 mpg. If you can then get the Gaslow system fitted.I just paid £20 for 26 litres of LPG. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: I forgot to mention, don't bother with Brownhills !! they don't know the meaning of customer care !!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  14. lesleyjean

    lesleyjean Funster

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    Well said Haganap

    I agree totally with everything you said.

    I own a Swift Kontiki and I absolutely love it.

    I also agree that Norrie should keep some money back for extras as one can easily spend £8,000 on extras because I did just that.

    Good luck Norrie, hope you find your dream motorhome, like the rest of us have already.

    Lesley
     
  15. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Hi Doug,

    We use Sundances on our Hire Fleet, no problems and hire vehicles get well used.

    OK they get checked over after every hire but we would not use them if they cost us money!

    Peter
     
  16. Norrie

    Norrie Read Only Funster

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    N&P,
    We knew there was a show on but decided not to go because 1) we're really looking for a second hand motorhome and 2) we're already confused enough with the huge amount of choice! It's like choosing wallpaper - if there were only half a dozen patterns made it would be easy! :Doh:
    The older I get the worse I get at making decisions.:Sad:

    One thing that is becoming very clear is that, just like cars, motorbikes, holiday destinations and many more choices in life, perceived quality can be clouded by the unfortunate experiences of the unlucky few. I drive a Subaru Impreza and think it's a wonderful car - a friend of mine bought one (on my recomendation) and has had problems with it. He now tells everyone who'll listen how bad Subarus are......
    At this point I'm looking for a Swift or an Autotrail 6 berth with a U lounge, hopefully with some of the options I originally listed. Holding some cash back for adding more of those options is a fine idea - I doubt we'll find exactly what we want.
    But I will keep this fine forum informed - and I'm really enjoying the hunt!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  17. Norrie

    Norrie Read Only Funster

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    Steve, thanks for that.
    I'm viewing a private-sale '06 Auto Trail Scout SE this weekend. Any useful pointers regarding areas of weakness?
    We're flying to Webb's in Wiltshire (wherever that is!) on Tuesday to view another Scout. Same model, slightly newer, same mileage but 3 grand cheaper and a 12 month warranty! Suspicious........
    I know you don't rate Brownhills but any experience of Webbs?
    Cheers, Norrie
     
  18. carpyone

    carpyone Read Only Funster

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    Like Steve I have a 2006 Auto Trail Scout SE on a Fiat cab with a 2.8 engine.. When I read you wish list it read like my M/H. I bought mine secondhand through an AutoTrail dealer(Who sadly closed down 4 months later), who had sold the Scout to the first owner. I spent about 70 nights away in it last year and so far 18 nights since 1st. April this year.
    The suppling dealer gave me a warranty for 12months as the first owner failed to have it serviced in the prescribed time window. My warranty turned out to be worthless as it requires the supplying dealer, now defunct, to undertake or authorise any work and the "official" looking warranty booklet has no other contact numbers.

    However I am pleased to say that I have had no problems at all in the 14 months I have owned it apart from a small rust spot that appeared on the weld in the passenger side cab frame. This was easily and quickly rectified by a body shop. I have just had the Habitation service undertaken at White Arches and they found no problems and it is having its service and first Mot later this month at Redvers of Swindon courtesy of the Christmas Auction of favours on this forum.

    My Scout is a standard SE model apart from the previous owner had a Gaslow system fitted.

    Whilst I could have bought a New 2008 model I decided that the then "judder" problem was emerging and Fiat still don't seem to be addressing it if you read the many threads on it.

    I wish you well in your search.
     
  19. Norrie

    Norrie Read Only Funster

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    Many thanks Carpyone.
    What exactly is a Gaslow system? Many owners seem to rate it.
     
  20. carpyone

    carpyone Read Only Funster

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    A refillable gas system used for heater and water heater as well as cooker. Once fitted instead of changing gas bottles when empty you can fill up at an LPG point at a petrol station or supermarket.. Especially useful when traveling abroad when our red/blue gas cylinders are not widely available.

    see Gaslow - home
     
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