Merc or Fiat

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by CanoeWorkshop, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. CanoeWorkshop

    CanoeWorkshop Read Only Funster

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    Hi there

    Just joined the MHF, so here is the first stupid question;

    I think we have decided that a second-hand Autotrail Scout is the machine for us, principally for the layout and finish. We are two adults and our son who is six.
    I believe they exist on Fiat and Mercedes chassis? Which is better or shouldn't I be worrying about that?

    Any other points to look out for apart from the obvious stuff in buying guides?

    Any help appreciated.
    Cheers
    Charlie :thumb:
     
  2. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Hi Charlie...

    Welcome to Fun...

    I am sure both makes are fine but I always prefer rear wheel drive.

    Much less likely to get stuck on wet grass with rear wheel drive.

    I think this means Merc (or Iveco)

    JJ
     
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  3. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Merc is rear wheel drive, Fiat is front wheel drive.

    Rear wheel drive vans tend to have a higher floor and often have a step-down between the cab and habitation floors as a result. The bonus is that rear wheel drive vans have most of the weight on the driven wheels and get stuck less.

    Front wheel drive vans tend to have a lower floor and no height difference between cab and habitation area but they get stuck more!:BigGrin:

    As for the performance of the base vehicles, who cares! It's a motorhome, not an F1 car!

    Neither a Merc or Fiat will break down much at motorhome mileages, so the choice is really down to the the toss of a coin! Unless you plan on driving on wet grass, of course!:BigGrin:
     
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  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Or a Transit!:thumb:
     
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  5. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    You are right... but be careful... I do believe some Transits are front wheel drive.

    JJ :Cool:
     
  6. f6c

    f6c Funster

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    Welcome

    Welcome aboard:Wink:
     
  7. Xabia

    Xabia Funster

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    Apologies for jumping in on this thread, I have always wondered about rear suspensions on the Mercedes chassis as compared with the Alko on the Fiat.

    Whilst I find that the handling of the Fiat/Alko combination which is low relative to the Mercedes is very good, the rear is definitely on the 'firm' side.

    Is the Mercedes on leaf springs 'softer' and does this compromise the handling?

    Opinions would be appreciated. :Smile:
     
  8. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    As has already been pointed out, rear wheel drive will perform better on poor or wet ground.

    The cost of this is a higher floor pan, higher centre of gravity, narrower track, often leaf springs from the Arc and usually a resultant poorer ride as regards body roll.

    How many miles will you do on grass? Hardly any.

    How many thousands of miles will you cover with poor ride quality.

    Fiat or Merc? No contest.........Front Wheel Drive...........

    :restmycase: :hardhat: :imoutahere:
     
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  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Ah, but front wheel drive owners need grip mats, tow ropes and shovels!
    They eat up valuable payload and the extra load increases body roll thus making your wide-track Fiat handle like a Merc without the recovery kit on board!:Wink:

    And you'll be carrying that little lot for all of those thousands of road miles!!!!:Laughing:
     
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  10. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Don't agree...

    But I am sure I would if I spent time wallowing around on/in blue wobbly stuff in a gin palace and was a woossie Southerner... :Rofl1:

    Real men like hard rides... :thumb:

    JJ :Cool:
     
  11. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    Exactly.........not that wallowing rolling feeling you get from leaf springs on RWD vans. :Rofl1:
     
  12. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Having owned both RWD and FWD it does'nt make any difference the layout is far more important than the chasis. In over six years we've never got stuck in either including deep snow in ski resorts in the FWD and if we did so what. Pick the layout that suits you best and just enjoy it.:thumb:
     
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  13. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    If you can't drive a FWD vehicle on grass without spinning your wheels then carry that lot.

    Alternatively you can really get all the weight over the wheels by selecting reverse and using a little brain power and skill..........:reel:
     
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  14. Phill D

    Phill D

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    i think its worth mentioning in all of this a key point...:BigGrin:

    As you are buying second hand you may have a long wait for the exact van on a merc chassis unless you are very lucky. :RollEyes:

    both have thier merrits i personnaly prefer the lower ride profile of the Fiat and its smooth handling. but, merc are nice...:Eeek:
     
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  15. aba

    aba

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    you will probably find that although the merc may appear to be a better option at first it will always come at a higher cost to buy initially and to maintain.
    the pre CDi older merc sprinters are the better ones reliability wise although they can be a little underpowered and rather soft on the suspension but thats a merc trait.

    fiat on the other hand will be cheaper firmer and will possibly have more power and you will definetley have more choice of layout.

    with an autotrail check for a spongy floor in heavy walk areas like in the door way infront of the cooker etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
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  16. Griffs

    Griffs Funster

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    Hi.

    We are due to take delivery of an N&B powered by Fiat I have no intention of carrying a load of snow gear and I do not intend getting bogged down. If the ground is not good enough I will simply not drive on to it, motorhomes are too expensive to get dragged around. I have also owned three american rv's rwd & use a Mercedes Sprinter daily, which is rwd and a load of crap in the winter, when I replace it ,it will be a front wheel drive vehicle.:Smile:
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
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  17. dewaltman

    dewaltman

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    I have a Mercedes sprint shift 2.7 engine and it drives like a dream no wallowing etc and so much power dont know what a hill is,servicing done by mercedes not that expensive ,not had a fiat so can't comment but I think the most important thing is to spend time ensuring the layout and storage is absolutely right for you the price is right and the van is in good condition inside and out then test drive to make sure your happy with performance best of luck
     
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  18. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Airides my son... Airides...

    JJ :Cool:
     
  19. artona

    artona

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    There must be a reason why 80% possibly of motorhomes are Fiat/Peugeot based. Had Fiats for 20 years and agree with the previous posts about never getting stuck in the wet. Pre plan where you park and drive carefully and you will get off.......and if you can't get towed off
     
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  20. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    I have a scout on a fait with the alko chassis, depending on what year you go for there are three chassis options the earler ones had a chioce of the fait chassis slighty higher, slightly narrower track (more body roll) and are heavier (less payload). This has cart horse type springing on the rear axle.

    The alko chassis option is more prefreble, but can have rear axle problems if it has not been regularly greased.

    The alko option on the early builds mostly had alloy wheels fitted.



    The newer models have the new fait camper chassis and has the positives of the alko chassis (although I have never driven one of these)
     
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